My husband was a chemist by day and a superhero at night.
His laboratory was his sacred space-even I wasn’t privy to its insides. No amount of coaxing made him budge. If I ever brought it up (innocently, I swear), he acted territorial and cagey. So I don’t any more.
To talk about me, I am a designer. In fact, I’m the mastermind behind all of my husband’s outfits when he goes on his night vigils. And let me tell you, they’re a rage. My husband is a huge hit with the ladies. When he zooms around in those suits, he’s hard to miss. And women are more than willing to throw themselves into danger.
Tomorrow is our anniversary, and I still don’t know what to get him. Over dinner, I asked “Honey, what do you want-” but he was already making a dash for the door. He was in the costume I only recently stitched, his golden cape trailing behind. He looked dazzling. “Sorry love, duty calls.” he said, giving me a quick kiss. “But, to answer your question, the clue is in the house.” he winked, shutting the door after him. I stared at my plate petulantly.
Before going to bed, I happened to pass by the lab. A pink heart-shaped post-it on the door caught my eye. I completely forgot about using this opportunity to sneak in.
That’s it? That was my clue? I knew enough chemistry to figure out that it was ‘salt’. My husband needed salt? Didn’t he make enough of that in the lab himself? Or was he subtly trying to tell me my cooking didn’t have enough salt?
That man is so frustrating.
I gave up and went to sleep. That night, I dreamt of all things salty. Food (yum), sweat (yuck). The beach.
The beach! He wanted me to take him on a holiday! What a strange hint though. He could have drawn some palm trees. Or waves. Anyway, I got it now. Sun, sand and salt. Perfect.
I woke up in excitement and radiated infectious energy. Gave the sun a run for its money.
I was humming in the kitchen, when my husband returned home. I ran to the door and threw myself in his arms. “Happy anniversary!” I squealed. “I was just going to book tickets!”
“Tickets? What tickets?” he asked, dazed. “You want to go to the beach, right? Isn’t that what your clue meant? NaCl?” I said, in an excited rush. “That was real clever of you, to link the sea and salt like that. I always knew our chemistry sizzled.” I oozed.
My husband’s face went blank. Then he burst out laughing. His body was spasming, and tears soon began to stream down his face.
I sat, puzzled. He finally held me close and said “I really meant ‘Not another cape, Louise.’”
I should have just gone in, when I had the chance.
Via Daily Prompt: Territory