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Valentine's day.






Audriana Sinclair


“Yeah, I can take a look at it tomorrow,” Michael said as he spoke on the phone. I sat anxiously in the passenger seat as I looked out at the traffic on 285. It was Monday evening, Valentine’s Day and neither of us had the chance to really romanticize one another. I was so busy with the new move to our newest Sinclair property in Midtown and getting that open in the middle of a pandemic. Michael made such an impression on my father that he offered him a position in the company, helping to manage airbnbs along the coast line and buying properties up to tear down and build again. Michael had gotten so comfortable that he had to hire his own assistant to help him keep up with the demand, and this was only just the beginning.


Still, neither of us barely had any time for one another and it was starting to make me…anxious. Especially with me holding in the fact that I was pregnant, and have yet to tell him.


I glanced at my phone seeing a text from Diega showing me her Valentine’s gift from her husband. The entire house was decorated with pink and red roses. I began scrolling through the other pictures sent to me from Michael’s sister, Omni and her gift of matching robes and slippers with her husband, Tucker. Even Siren and her husband were laid up at a resort living the life.


“I’ll call you tomorrow about it,” Michael said before hanging up. “I gotta fly out to Florida tomorrow.”

“I know,” I sighed with a frown, “I’ll be in Philly.”


Michael looked at me, beard trimmed to a low fade, black rimmed glasses and a sly smile as he gently cupped my chin.


“How many more days until we on vacation, baby?”

“17 more days,” I sighed again.

“I know this ain’t how you imagined spending Valentine’s Day with me, stuck in traffic.”

“It’s fine,” I told him. “Both of us have been busy, and barely have time for ourselves. That’s why I can’t wait for our vacation. I told my dad, do not bother us. My brothers know not to call. We are on DND.”

“That’s right baby,” he agreed just as his phone rang again. I bit the urge to say something when I saw my brother’s name before he answered.

“Yo?” He answered, leaning back into the seat with the phone against his ear. He suddenly sat up, eyes wide before groaning, “I’m with Audrey bruh. I’m not tryna…I know but…”

“What is it?” I whispered.

“They want me to fly out, now.”

“So tell him no! We haven’t even made it to the house yet. Just tell him no.”


Michael ended up merging off to the exit ramp as I threw my hands in the air, irritated. This was the night I was going to tell him he was going to be a father. I was sick of holding it in but it seemed like no time would ever be the right time to say something.


“Michael, I swear to God. You better not–––.”

“I’ma call an Uber and have them take me to the airport. This is an emergency–––.”

“What emergency?!” I snapped. “You can’t be serious!”

“Look,” pulling into the parking lot of a Publix, “just do me a quick favor. This is the last time I’ll do this. I promise–––.”

“I don’t even want to fucking hear it Michael. This is beyond ridiculous! Since when has this job been so important to you that you have to leave so abruptly? They’ve been managing properties long before you, they can do it without you!”

“But they can’t do it like me and I like doing this. You said, you’re the one that said just try it out for a month and see how I like it. Did you not?”


I shook my head, biting my tongue at the thought of pressuring him to work with my father.


“I like doing this shit. I get to wear suits. I get to make money and walk around like I’m that nigga because I am that nigga,” he boasted playfully while grabbing his bag from the back seat. I said nothing, deciding to ignore him until he was out of the car. Not even a kiss goodbye, not even a hug or anything. Just closed the door, hopped into the next car with the keys left in the driver seat. I watched him pull off before sucking my teeth and sliding over to take the wheel.

“Asshole of a man,” I muttered, glaring at my wedding ring as I gripped the wheel. Before I could put it in drive, I noticed a folded piece of paper sitting on the dashboard, just up against the windshield. Curiously, I grabbed the note and unfolded it, seeing his handwriting.


Dress and shoes in the trunk. You got two options. Gift in the back seat. Meet me at suite 101 for dinner tonight at 8pm. Don’t be late Mrs. Skye.


My mouth dropped before looking up, trying to find the Uber car before quickly getting out to look inside the trunk, and sure enough there were shopping bags and shoe boxes.


I could hardly hold my smile in when I slipped on the same dress I wore, the night we were supposed to go on our first official date. The night he put me out of the car and the night he was jumped by my brothers. The gift in the back seat was his favorite perfume he wanted me to wear and lingerie to match.


I still had plenty of time so I decided to do some cleaning up around our house before finding another note just underneath our pillows.


I knew you would get nervous and start to clean up but I just wanna say, you look beautiful and to show you how much I love you, I left something in the closet.


I turned around, staring at the double doors before bolting for the handles to yank open, seeing a giant red gift bag stuffed with red and white paper until I dug deep inside. I pulled out a crystal plaque that had our wedding photo engrained along with a copy of our pictures that I haven’t seen, and I nearly cried. One album was titled HIS and the other titled HERS. His photos showed the behind the scenes of our wedding from his perspective with his brother helping him put his jacket on to Michael having tears in his eyes before his mother. Before I could turn the page, there was another folded piece of paper in between the pages.


You probably got tears in your eyes right now.


“Michael,” I choked with laughter, looking up at the ceiling with a loud sigh before looking back at the note.


You probably got tears in your eyes right now. I know you. I know my wife better than I know myself. I bought some new Kleenex in the kitchen, should be in the pantry. Don’t fuck up the makeup. It’s almost time to come see me.


I groaned, putting the book down with my own laugh as I grabbed my things, ready to leave but decided, I probably needed to wipe around my eyes. Michael knew I was an avid fan of Kleenex, believing that it was better on the face than most wipes, and that I loved the smell of them. It was weird, but I could smell Kleenex and the box itself all day. I reached into the pantry, grabbing the new box of Kleenex, ready to swipe at the first soft tissue before realizing there was something inside.


“What now?” I groaned, feeling my tears about to fall as I looked at the small jewelry box inside along with another note.


I can’t believe you actually came in here for a Kleenex, I knew yo ass was obsessed but I didn’t think it would work. Come on, put this one and come see a nigga.


I felt myself literally balling at the sight of the diamond bracelet and matching earrings. Now, I was determined. I got back in the car, deciding to search for any other clue until I reached down, underneath my seat and felt another piece of paper. I smiled, yanking it out.


Baby, you is officially crazy if you’re reading this. I don’t have no more hints. I’m ready for you to come see me. Come on. Meet me at our first spot where we met. Knew yo crazy ass would be searching the car.


I laughed, hating that he knew my every move like the back of his hand. I sped down back roads, leaving the highway to the transplants until I reached the first hotel we met at. Now that we’re working on another property in midtown. I came by occasionally but since I was in the middle of opening a new hotel, my cousin stepped in my place to help out, but tonight….



I got out the car, trying to wipe my face but the makeup was ruined. I could hardly show my face because of it so I opted for the back entrance for employees, tapping my ID card and taking the elevator directly to the top but as soon as I stepped on, I saw a note taped to the closing doors that said Mrs. Skye.


You look beautiful baby, don’t worry about your makeup.


I felt the tears coming down harder, barely able to read the last sentence as I leaned against the railing of the elevator.


We’re about to be the dopest parents a baby could ever want.


Ding!


My legs felt like soft noodles walking out into the hallway that seemed longer than I remembered but I saw the trail of roses leading towards the door that was cracked open. I could hear the music playing as I stepped inside to see the entire place was set up like a private restaurant in the living room with one of the servers on standby waiting. Michael sat at the table with a proud smile as I stood in the doorway with raccoon eyes, a wet face and shaking knees.


“I got you good, didn’t I?” He laughed, getting up to come to me as I cried. “It’s been a while since we had some alone time so I hit yo people up and had everything taken care of with the help of yo brothers. Our vacation starts now. First stop is dinner,” he said, swinging his arms around my waist with his lips on my cheek, “then Ima take you to the bed and make love like I never before,” kissing me as I grew weak in his hold, “and then I’ma do it again…and again until you beg me to stop and even then…” pressing up against me as I closed my eyes. He didn’t have to say a word because I already knew how he gets down in the bedroom. “Then we taking this pregnancy test together,” placing his hand on my stomach, I could hear him release a shaky breath, “I can feel my life growing inside of you…You are blessing me with the chance to raise a baby with you…”

“Michael,” I cried, face buried in his shoulders as he held me close.

“The food is ready to be served,” the chef said, walking away from the kitchen, I barely noticed any one else in the room as Michael and I held one another. He suddenly pulled back and smiled.

“I got you good, didn’t I?” He asked again as I laughed, trying to wipe my face before nodding. “Had you fucked up huh?”

“Michael please,” I laughed again as he took my hand to sit me down, “My makeup is ruined…”

“My wife saved me from self destruction and she don’t even know it…” he said as he spoke to the waiting staff in the room, “she don’t even know the power she got over me. She taught me so much about myself, I don’t think there’s enough time in this life to even show her how much she means to me. How you feeling Mrs. Skye?”

“I feel…” watching them set the table with our appetizers, “I feel loved. I feel loved and oddly enough, horny…”

“You are loved, that’s why,” he said, taking a sip of his wine, “and you’re horny because you know you finna get dicked down after this…”


I nearly spit out my drink in laughter as he smiled.


“Shit, I ain’t lying,” he shrugged coolly. “Happy Valentine’s Day Mrs. Skye.”


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