Bottle of Red ~ By Cathy

Sat at her desk, mind supposedly on the job of creating exciting copy out of drivel, she hears the first few notes of one of her favourite tunes. Maybe a good time to make a coffee, although the song recommends a bottle of red instead.

Waiting for the kettle to boil, she sings along, the words coming easily, after all she`s been singing them for a good few years. Working home alone she knows there will be no snide comment about her voice. It always sounds good to her but ..

As the song continues, she is taken back to her favourite Italian restaurant. Way back, it was about 1980. But was it her favourite Italian restaurant? She was only seventeen at the time, maybe the memories of that night had made it feel as if it was.

The last evening before her boyfriend left to go to university two hundred miles away. It felt like such a big deal. The chorus reminds her that there were 2 bottles of wine, red and white. Was there really? She had a Saturday job, he had been saving up to go away – they probably had a couple of cokes.

The restaurant was in a trendy cellar, that much she was certain of. If she had dined out enough to have a preferred restaurant, then it would have been something like that one in 1980. She could never really explain to anyone why she remembered the restaurant so well. It was far too embarrassing. The thing that didn’t happen, the present, the question that she was hoping for.

A big trip out of their normal town, into the big City, a special occasion. He was leaving but soon she would be on her way to university too, a college in the same city as him.

She finished making the coffee, the song was still on the radio. Maybe she was extra tired today, she was only emotional if she was tired. When he pulled out the small box with the delicate bow on it, she really thought. Yes, they were only young and they didn’t need to tell anyone, it could just be their secret. A sign of their commitment over the 200 miles.

She pulled out her chair from the desk with some force. The box had a locket in it, not a ring. There was no bottle of red, or white or anything. It wasn`t their favourite restaurant, he had probably chosen it for a special BOGOF pizza offer.

The locket was long gone, the boy a distant memory but Italian was still her favourite food, and a bottle of red was always a great accompaniment to any music. Priorities girl, priorities.