She got dressed with her best gown, the one with green silk skirt, that goes with an embroidered bolero. It was his favourite. He used to say that it emphasized her figure and her golden hair. She chose among her jewels, the emerald necklace with matching earrings and bracelets. She combed her hair in a loose bun. He would be proud. Pretty and radiant for him. Now she only had to wait for him, the love of her life, making his entry, so handsome and elegant in his tuxedo, as ever.
That day was her birthday. He never had forgotten that date. There would be a big party with lots of friends, great food, music… She was so excited, just like the first time after the wedding. He was the perfect host. A master organising everything. She only had to get ready and enjoy. She sat down on the armchair in front of the old clock. Seven pm o’clock was the magic hour. He would arrive, kiss her, and then lead her downstairs to the living room to greet their guests.
Ten for seven. She retouched her makeup to be even prettier. What was that noise at the door? Never mind.
Five for seven. Her heartbeat began to go faster: he was so close!
Seven. She held her breath. Silence.
Five past seven. Nothing. What had happened? He never had been late before.
Ten past seven. Tears began to ruin her makeup. One drop fell onto the green silk skirt. There were more stains. She had cried many more times before.
The phone rang.
– Happy Birthday Mom!. Forgive me. I forgot to call you before seven.
– Where is dad?
– He’s not here any more, remember? are you OK?
– I’m waiting for him.
– He’s not coming Mom.
– Has he abandoned me?
– He can’t come Mom. He passed away. Remember?
More drops stained the green silk.
– He has abandoned me.
– Come on Mom. Don’t say that. How are they taking care of you in the elderly home?
– Mom talk to me, please.
But she wasn’t listening. She had dropped the phone and had begun to slowly undo her chignon, untill her untidy white hair covered his sad, tired , wrinkled face. Alone. Oh God! how hard is to be alone. Who knows, maybe next year…he…will…come…