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Pen Your Pride

April - Alex

It had been a few months since Chris and I had had our big blow out and I actually questioned our relationship. We seemed to be on autopilot after that. We went through the motions of running our household, but the air had changed. I didn't bring it up again even though there were days when I wanted to and Chris, well the nagging had slowed down. We had spent the last three months pretending the fight hadn't happened, but it had happened, it was the elephant in the room that we didn't want to talk about.

We were at a party Chris had been invited to and I stood by her side like I always did being the supportive husband I was supposed to be. Getting bored of the conversation, I excused myself saying I needed to refresh my drink and took off to see if there was something more exciting. I'd lost my patience for boring conversations and for silently staying in the background.

I went up to the bar planning on ordering a Scotch but when I looked at the selection of liquor they had at the party I noticed that the host must be into white wines, which was unusual, most people enjoyed reds over whites and usually there was a larger selection of red wines. There were four white wines to choose from. Anjali's face flashed in front of me. In fact it didn't take much for me to remember her. She would have loved the Rombauer Chardonnay.

"I'll have a glass of the Chardonnay," I told the bartender.

"The Rombauer is an excellent wine, it's like the quintessential buttery California Chardonnay. It doesn't get better than that when it comes to Chardonnay's," a blonde to my right said.

"I don't know, Frank's Family Chardonnay, is quite good and I think it has a slight edge over the Rombauer."

"A man who knows his white wines. Don't meet too many of them," the young woman teased. "I'm Daniella Carmine," she said as she stuck out her hand.

"A pleasure to meet you, Daniella. I'm Alex Shergill," I said as I shook her hand.

The bartender handed me my wine.

"I'll have a glass of the Chardonnay too," Daniella said.

"Have this one," I said and handed her my glass.

She smiled and accepted the glass while the bartender poured another glass for me.

"So how does a New Yorker know his California wines so well?" she asked.

"Because I'm from California. I grew up in the Bay area and my mom loves white wines so I grew up drinking out of her glass," I smiled remembering fond memories of drinking from my mom's glass when she wasn't looking when I was a teenager.

"Where in the Bay area?"

"Los Altos."

"I'm visiting from San Francisco, although I'm originally from New York. I'm just home visiting family."

"Are you related to the host?" I asked feeling stupid that I didn't remember the host family's name. I'd gotten so used to being dragged to these events I didn't even ask anymore where we were going.

"Yes, Jessica and Roger are my aunt and uncle."

"Do you miss New York?" I asked.

"Actually, no. I mean I miss some things about it, but San Francisco is home now. What about you?"

"I like New York, but I do miss California. The weather definitely sucks here, I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Plus, California is a much better place for riding your motorcycle."

"So you're the adventurous type," Daniella said. I wasn't sure if she was just making conversation or if she was flirting with me. She couldn't be more than twenty-eight or so. She was just a baby.

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