Nick and Amy have been married for seventeen years and a seventeen-year anniversary is a big deal because marriage is hard and a fifty percent divorce rate and all. Nick and Amy live in the middle of the United States, in a place like Iowa or Ohio or some other smallish, flat state with too many vowels, growing corn and soybeans, basically indistinguishable from any of the other states around it and uninteresting to anyone that didn’t grow up there. Their three children are finally old enough they don’t worry too much about leaving them with Grammy for a week and flying off somewhere exotic with no cell service. For this reason, plus a deal on airline tickets if they left the very next week, they decide Mexico is the best location to celebrate this momentous occasion.
“Happy anniversary, Baby! I booked us seven days in Mexico!” Nick says to Amy, planting a whiskery kiss on her mouth, simultaneously grabbing her butt with one hand while gesturing dramatically at the laptop in Vanna White fashion with the other.
She laughs and swats his hand away, but honestly, she is dying to get away with her husband. To be more specifically honest, she is dying to get away from making dinner and driving carpool and monitoring screen time and homework. She’s also dying to go somewhere warm in the middle of this coldest winter on record, dying to come back with a tan that will make the women in her pilates class properly jealous, and dying to sleep. My god, the sleep, she thinks and blinks back tears of joy. The thought of crawling into a fresh bed with crisp white sheets every single night and not getting up until her eyeballs open on their own is almost more appealing to Amy than drunken vacation sex. She sighs as she looks down at the computer screen Nick has open, plastered with snapshots of the ocean and sand, girls in tiny bikinis and men in even tinier speedos, and she must admit that a week away with her husband who she hasn’t spent much time alone with since their honeymoon sounds glorious.
“Honey, we’re leaving next Tuesday, but you have that big presentation at work the same day,” Amy reminds Nick with a skeptical frown. “Is that going to be a problem?”
“Nah, I have plenty of time to finish the presentation for my team and they know I won’t be there,” Nick waves away her concern and pulls her down onto his lap so he can nuzzle her neck.
Leaning over him, she flicks the screen and scrolls down to see the pictures of the suite they just booked. They can expect an outdoor shower and a hammock in a lush,private garden and the drinks are all included. Amy turns so she’s face-to-face with the man she’s known since she was twenty and smiles coyly.
“Ok, if you say you’ll be done with your presentation, I believe you.” She wraps her arms around his neck and plants a kiss on his mouth. She looks deep into his eyes before she pulls away. “And we’re totally having sex in that hammock.”
It’s Monday night at midnight and Nick is wearing a path in the carpet from the closet to the bathroom to the corner of their bedroom where his suitcase is open wide and virtually empty except for an enormous pile of Hawaiian shorts. He’s raking a hand through his hair and sighing loudly with every pass and finally, Amy sits upright in bed and flicks on the light.
“Goddammit, Nick. Are you serious right now? Our flight leaves in five hours and I would like to get a little bit of sleep.” She squints in the bright light and her hiss is getting louder and shriller by the second, but she doesn’t care if her mother who is sharing a room with her youngest daughter right next door can hear every word. “How are you not packed yet? Who does this?”
“I know and I’m sorry. Who would have predicted that my computer would freeze up and that my boss would need the files earlier than he’d originally said and that my assistant would quit?”
Me. Amy fumes silently. I could have predicted this with one hundred percent certainty, she thinks.
“I’m just going to quickly finish packing and then I have just have a couple of things to finish for work. Honey, have you seen my swim trunks and the light blue shirt I like to wear with dress pants? Are fifteen pairs of shorts too many? Have you seen my passport?”
Amy growls through clenched teeth and flops back dramatically in bed, pulling the covers over her face.
“We’re doing it, Babe!” Nick leans down to whisper in Amy’s ear as they stand fifty impatient travelers deep in the security line at the airport. She smiles as excitedly as one can muster when you’ve had less than three hours of sleep.
“Yep, we’re doing it,” Amy agrees and squeezes his hand and shuffles three inches forward.
“Man, I hope I didn’t forget anything important. Oh shit, did I forget underwear? Amy, did you happen to see underwear in my suitcase? Shit, I think maybe I forgot them. Oh well, I guess there’s no better time to go commando,” Nick suggestively wags his eyebrows at Amy.
Because it’s not even five a.m., because she’s had no coffee yet, and because the security guard nearby taking his job super seriously would probably take her down if she were to throat punch her husband, Amy simply gives Nick a terse smile and shrugs her shoulders. He barely registers her irritation and pulls his cell phone from his pocket.
“So, I have to send a few quick emails to my team before we get on the plane. I didn’t quite get everything done I needed to finish, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. Maybe I’ll just call and leave them a voicemail and tell them they can call me with any questions.”
“Babe,” Amy says in a brittle voice, trying her best to keep her voice even and low. “How is anyone going to call you with questions? We’re going to be on an airplane. In the sky. Over an ocean. With no cell service. And then we’re going to be in Mexico and our cell phones aren’t going to work there without costing us a small fortune. We talked about this.”
Unfortunately, Amy’s voice doesn’t stay as quiet as she had hoped and Nick frowns when the young, gorgeous newlyweds practically dry humping in line ahead of them, turn with matching looks of concern on their fresh, stupid faces.
“Hi,” Amy waves at the staring couple. These two, she thinks. Practically intertwined and their hands are actually tucked into each other’s back pockets. Gross. Are we in a John Hughes movie? It’s too early for this bullshit, she thinks. “Oh, just wait. This is normal,” Amy barks at their tan, judgemental faces. “When...Continue Reading