When Alan loved me, his love wrapped around me like velvet; tender, caressing, sensual. I moved through the world as if I were always enfolded in the black velvet cape he gave me for my 50th birthday.
He remained infatuated with me at the time of this birthday. After knowing each other for 20 years, he still beamed like a boy as I pushed aside the white tissue paper and unfolded the long, hooded cape from its box. He knew me well, knew I’d be delighted with this gift. Still, I could see in his eyes that bit of doubt. “Maybe she won’t like it, maybe it’s all wrong,” he was thinking.
I threw it over my shoulders, pulled the hood over my head, admired myself in the mirror as I stroked the soft fabric, then twirled to enjoy the feel of it billowing out around me. I looked at him, at the happiness in his eyes now that he was sure of my pleasure at his gift.
Perfection. My 50th birthday was perfect.