“But you know what she likes, right?”
Dave looked at me exasperated, he'd been through this a thousand times before and still I got no better at understanding.
“Just get her what she wants, what she'll love you for.”
He was right. I picked up the car and headed to the out of town shopping mall, into the large department store, up the escalators to the second floor and within two minutes I had it in my hand, a simple brown vase.
I wrapped it that night in cream paper and placed it in the center of the coffee table. Under the diffuse light of the dimmers it blended perfectly into the room. A sickness came over me. If someone could show all this to my twenty year old self he'd be suitably enraged. I held my head in my hands and rubbed my eyes; the midlife crisis wasn't going to happen, not tonight, not tomorrow, not ever. I closed the door on my teenage self and went to bed.
When she opened it the next morning she cried. Small tears bouncing off the surface of the vase.
“How do you know me so well?” she asked and kissing me on the forehead she rose, placed the vase in the center of the mantel piece and left the room.
For some time I sat and looked at it, that simple brown vase, innocuous, unoffensive, mediocre, and I too started to cry. For every day left on this earth, I could love her.