The fancy placemats and silverware were set out on the dining room table. A small arrangement of wildflowers served as a colorful and aromatic centerpiece. The purples and yellows he knew to be her favorites. The richness of scent in the room was complimented by the meal that was carefully planned and prepared, and now was staying warm in the oven. The lights had been lowered to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere, and the addition of a few candles had served to frame the space in intricate dancing shadows and orange hues.
This date had been circled in red ink on his calendar for many months. He had put thought and consideration into every last detail. Like so many, he felt that any anniversary ending in a 5 or 0 somehow was an extra special milestone. He remembered how celebrated and festive their 5-year anniversary had been. Today marked 10 years. Why did a wonderful dream such as this have to fly by so quickly? Images and scenes from their courtship flooded his mind with such vivid clarity, that it seemed to have just been yesterday. He knew that most couples never reach this point. This was a moment to look back over with fondness and gratefulness for all that they had accomplished together. It should be a time to look ahead and continue to celebrate and plan for their future. A reason circled with red that reflection was appropriate to count their blessings. A time to renew their vows over conversation, a delicious meal, and some time alone.
He came out of his daydream about an hour and a half later. He knew all too well his reality. He felt silly that he had even attempted to pretend on what should have been such a special evening. He slowly stood up from his chair and blew out the flickering candles with a brusque puff and turned the oven off. It was best just to go straight to bed. He would put things away in the morning. For now, even though it may be silly and futile, he just wanted to fall back into that dream.