It was two weeks before Christmas and I had come home early from work to get ready for your clients holiday party. Some hugely festive event held at a fancy hotel where we would get to put our dance lessons and knowledge of wine to the test against those who belonged in that world. I had laid out my dress and shoes that morning, freshly pressed by the dry cleaner. It was strapless, black, cinched at the waist and then flared out to right above my knee...perfect for dancing and for standing at attention next to you, perpetual arm candy.
I was getting out of the shower when you came into the bathroom.
"I bought you something." you said and as I fastened the towel around my body I imagined the necklace or earrings you might have purchased when from behind your back you pull a CVS bag. I took it from you as though it might have contained an explosive, peering inside. "It's a straightening iron," you said. "For your hair. For tonight."
And so I did. And in the picture of us our neighbor took as we left our Beacon Hill apartment you can see the black dress, my fake smile and my perfectly straight hair.