The following excerpt is from The Birthday Gift by Abigail Barnette.
My husband—and, as of two minutes ago, the birthday boy—Neil, blinked up at me in the dim light of the bedside lamp.
“What’s wrong?” He rose on one elbow and reached toward his nightstand, groping around for his glasses.
“Nothing’s wrong,” I assured him. “I just wanted to be the very first person to wish you a happy fifty-third birthday!”
He covered his eyes with one hand. “No, don’t do that. If we lie here quietly, it might ignore us and go away.”
I gave him a little shove. “Stop. Birthdays are fun. And I have a present I want to give you. I think you’ll like it.”
He slid his glasses on and looked me over. I hadn’t gone to bed at ten, when he had. Instead, I’d waited for him to fall asleep, then got dressed up in my pearly white Bordelle Kinbaku bodice bra and webbed garter belt. I’d put on shimmery pink-gold gloss and smoky eye makeup, and curled my dark hair. Now I looked a far cry from the wife who’d sat around the house barefaced in yoga pants and a ponytail all day.
“What have you gotten all done up for?” he asked, his suspicion growing.
“I told you. It’s your birthday present.” I leaned down and left a kiss mark on his stubbly cheek. “Meet me in the media room in fifteen minutes.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Rachel Kramer Bussel is an author, editor, blogger, and event organizer. She writes about sex, dating, pop culture, feminism, body image and has written for numerous print and online publications, including BUST, the Daily Beast, DAME, Harper’s Bazaar, and Jezebel. She has edited 60+ anthologies including The Big Book of Orgasms.
You can find more about Rachel on her website.