After not seeing Ally Rhone for nearly five years, Eddie Alden almost didn't recognize her, could have walked right past her like she was a painting on the wall. However, there was something that made her stand out as he passed her on the street, something that made him glance over his shoulder to her. It was the smell of her perfume, the same Yves Saint Laurent fragrance that she had always worn, and that he hadn't smelled the same way since.
She looked different, not entirely but little changes here and there. Her hair was short, a wavy windblown look that stopped just past her shoulders, it used to be longer, nearly down her back. There were streaks of blonde going through it now, riding the milk chocolate colored waves. Her eyes hadn't changed though, they were still the clear brown they had always been, with a ring of gold around the outsides, and they were heavily framed by thick black lashes.
Her name was on his lips, he was ready to open his mouth and call out of her, but almost as soon as he had noticed her, she had disappeared into the ebbing sea of New Yorkers. The sun was beating down mercilessly on his back and he wasn't in the mood to be trampled by tourists and natives, too busy to notice that a mad had suddenly been turned into a statue.
He made his way back to his apartment in the Upper East Side, his head still in a dim yet unrelenting fog. He walked up the stairs not really paying attention, and when he reached his front door, he was also shocked that he had arrived, thought that he might have floated up the long creaky stairway.
Eddie dumped his groceries onto the counter and noticed, almost with relief that Jane had already left for her yoga class, which she did about three times a week. Eddie walked out onto the adjacent balcony and irritably began to smoke a cigarette, never minding the heat of the day and paying more attention to the sweet burning on the back of his tongue.
What right did Ally have to show up again? He thought as he passed the lit Marlboro from finger to finger, never minding the ash that was dropping to his jeans. She had skipped down when she was twenty years old, and now just came back to Manhattan out of the blue.
After puffing the cigarette to a stump and crushing it out on the marble of the balcony, faintly registering that Jane was going to give him hell for it later, an uncomfortable thought passed through his mind. Was he upset that she had come back, or that she had come back and not given him a call? He gave the dying cigarette an extra stomp for good measure and turned to start a shower, letting the door slide shut behind him, letting the glass rattle in the frame.
The hot water rushing over his body did him some good, the clammy feel of the steam and the smell of the soap cleared his head, letting him think more clearly. He wasn't going to let it ruin his mood any more than it already had today. It was his and Jane's one year anniversary, and everything had to be perfect.
He wrapped a towel around his waist and began arranging the flowers he had bought into the crystal vase that above the sink. Jane had added all sorts of feminine touches to his once bare loft. Once the flowers to his liking, he began to cook the breakfast. The smell of the sizzling bacon wafted through the room and almost seemed like aromatherapy to him, and for the first time that day, a smile crossed over his face.
He was dry and dressed, hair combed neatly, both breakfast and flowers were out on the table, waiting any minute for Jane to come through the door. Eddie sat at the table, absentmindedly playing with the petals of the white and pink lilies, or pushing the bacon and berries around on his plate with a fork. He hated blueberries, but Jane insisted that they take a regular part of their diets, so Eddie did the best he could to oblige.
It was ten minutes later before Jane pushed her way through the door, trying to balance her yoga mat, her work out clothes, and her keys. Eddie jumped to his feet and took the mat from her hands, allowing her to make it through the narrow doorway.
"Hey baby," He said as he kissed her, and registered that her lips had a faint salty taste of sweat and the honey lip balm she always carried around. The taste wasn't unpleasant; it was something he knew he could always depend on when he kissed her.
"Hey you, everything looks amazing," She said as her dark eyes scanned the apartment, taking in the flowers and breakfast. "I love you" She said as she stole a kiss from his lips. Again, the salt and honey taste.
They sat down together and began to eat before the food got too cold, making pleasant small talk and occasionally, Eddie would lean over and take her hand, look her directly in the eye, and kiss the bridge of her nose. All the little things he knew that she loved.
After they had eaten and Jane watched Eddie clean up, they made love in their bedroom, slow and attentive, two bodies gliding over each other, hearts beating heavily.
Jane took her turn in the shower, and just as Eddie entertained the thought of slipping in behind her and soaping up her back, there was a knock at the door. Eddie turned to answer it, expecting to see the little boy down the hall, hoping for a quarter.
He dug into his pockets and pulled out some stray changed that had fallen out of his wallet. "I hope you're hungry today Nate" He said as he pulled open the door.
"Not really, I already ate. How you doing Eddie?"