“Uh oh,” Pam said.  “That wasn’t a happy look. Benton’s in the doghouse. What did he do?”
Callie shook her head. “Oh nothing. He’s…he’s just such a…man.
Karla tipped her chin down and looked at Callie over her glasses. “You’ve been married for almost thirty-five years. You’re just now figuring that out?”
Callie ignored Karla’s question and turned to Terri instead. “Stay single, sweetheart. You don’t know how truly blessed you are not to have to mess with a man in your life.”
Terri put an arm around Callie’s waist. “Ah, you don’t mean that. You and Benton have one of the best relationships I’ve ever seen.”
She laid her head on Terri’s shoulder. “No, I don’t. But sometimes he frustrates me so much.”
“What did he do?” Pam asked again.
“Booked a trip to Cozumel for our anniversary.”
Terri took a step back. “And you have a problem with this, how?”
Callie shrugged. They are going to think I’m crazy “I had my heart set on that Alaskan cruise. We talked about an Alaskan cruise. He knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Three pair of raise eyebrows met her response. “Come on, girls. I’ve been to Cozumel four times—”
“All without Benton,” Pam reminded her.
“And each time you’ve complained that he wouldn’t go with you,” Terri chimed in.
Karla motioned to Terri and Pam. “What they said and a question. How many times have we all heard you say there were things on the Island you wished you could share with him?”
“You’re right,” Callie admitted. She chewed her lip, looking for a way to make them understand. “I wanted this trip to be special. Thirty-five years of marriage is a landmark, I wanted it to be a fresh adventure for both of us. I wanted the opportunity to experience new things together.” She waved her hand in dismissal. “Never mind. I guess it’s just me.”
“Well, I think it’s sweet,” Terri told her. “Not just that he’s finally going somewhere you’ve wanted to take him, but that he surprised you with it.”
“I don’t think he intended it as a surprise. He swears he mentioned it to me days ago.  When I had no clue what he was talking about, he was the one who was surprised.”
“Callie,” Karla began. “You’ve been awfully pre-occupied putting this together for Bro. and Sis. Gordon. We all have. Are you sure he didn’t mention it to you? Could it have gotten lost in the madness of organizing this ceremony, start to finish, in less than four weeks?
“I’m sure,” Callie answered. She glared over her shoulder with narrowed eyes. “There’s no way I would have missed that.”
to be continued...
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