Wednesday, December 3

Letter of Complaint to the Florist, Regarding a Bouquet

I WOKE UP FEELING rejuvenated; not because of the depth of my sleep but because the sky was clear and for weeks it had been deathly grey with constant drizzle and horribly unpleasant. The walk to work was brighter and automatically I felt good. Also, my wife would be receiving the flowers I had ordered for her, which made me happy.
It is strange that I get happy at such a gift, especially when I am not on the receiving end, yet all the way to work I thought of how happy my wife would be to receive these flowers – a gesture I did not afford her often. It is good to give flowers, I thought. To me it always seemed a bit tragic that the flowers died and that the very death of them almost rendered them pointless as a gift, but it is a view not shared by everyone. The courier somewhere would be preparing the flowers to take to her, from the warehouse where they were arranged to the gloomy street down which she works. A bouquet of flowers is a beautiful comma in the day, a brief pause, a relief, a moment to coo and show them off.
The flowers were an apology.
It all began the night before when we had coincidentally arrived home from work at the same time. Usually she returns before me, prepares dinner and when I enter – my boss satisfied for another day, at least, with my unpaid overtime – we are ready to eat and then caught up in the sofa, lame with a full belly and exhaustion. Too many nights are spent in such a way that it bruises my heart to think of it.
This particular night there was some sparkling wine to be found in the fridge, there for so long we knew neither its origin or whether it was set there for a special occasion; however our palates were just in the mood for such a luxury and we partook. The wine excited our spirits and we talked and laughed. I cannot tell you how long passed but over the course of the bottle our tiredness vanished and joy stepped in. We joked and topped up each other’s glasses, forgoing the polite inch to the brim, going and going, bubbles and over-spilling.
Fuelled by our drink, we became amorous and thigh rubs became kisses became a smiled walk to the bedroom where all was untidy and the lights were out. All that romance, childish and exhilarating, returned the closer we came to the bedroom. Again, I could not guess at the time that passed but my enthusiasm and excitement peaked when my wife went down on me; I kneeled on the bed and her body tangled itself awkwardly in the half-light so that she curved, propped up by her elbows, the sway of her spine, the drawn-in cheeks and pleasure fighting its way up my spine.
This is where it began to go wrong: it did not take long before I began to feel the bobbing of an orgasm within me. She felt it too and asked me – detaching herself a second – to warn her before anything happened. As it was – the moment, her movements, her tongue, the tears of me and her flicking and slurping and dribbling – I lost myself, missed my cue and ejaculated into my wife’s mouth against her wishes.
It was unintentional, I assure you – and I assured her!
She tried to contain it but there was no use because it did not stop and soon it ran out of her mouth, wave after thick white wave, down her lips and chin and on to the day-old sheets. Angrily, the mood evaporated, she stood up, quickly clothed herself and scolded me. I apologised over and over, profusely. She would not hear it, would not believe me. She made a cup of tea while I ordered us a takeaway, the evening ruined.
So I thought that a bouquet of flowers would perhaps serve as a greater apology, a considered – and pricey – display of true remorse. As is my humour, I chose a bouquet that was stuffed with gypsophilia, as I noted it had a distinct similarity to splashes of come. Perhaps she would not notice this, perhaps she would, but it amused me and the flowers themselves added quite the effect to the bouquet as a whole.
At work I eagerly awaited word from her that she had received the flowers. I wanted to talk to her about it, but would wait, hoping that she would enjoy them and forgive me and that maybe we could get another bottle of sparkling wine that evening and I could seek to repay her for the bolt she commanded out of me the night previous.
‘Thank you for the flowers,’ she said down the phone, her voice causing me to tremble in the quiet office—‘they’re lovely. But the box they came in is crushed and I had to throw half of them away.’
I was deflated. I wished to throttle the courier. I paused, trying to think of something to say—‘…’
‘I’ll see you later, okay?’

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