Dan and I had been together for eight years. We'd married straight out of school. We did the whole big wedding thing in a country church with our closest friends and family gathered to witness our promise of eternity to each other.
Life was good. I couldn't really complain. It was just that, well...things lately seemed so... so tepid.
"Hey, babe. Did I tell you the good news?"
I turned at the sound of his voice.
Dan's eyes twinkled in mischievous fashion. His boyish good looks and charms had never fled. Neither had the rock-hard body he'd never had to work a day for. If I, on the other hand, so much as looked at a Twinkie, my thighs threatened to dimple in protest.
"What good news?" I asked.
"My family's coming for Christmas this year."
"Awesome! When are they arriving?" I mentally began making my cleaning plans.
"Most are going to try and come by Christmas Eve, but a few stragglers may not be able to arrive until Christmas afternoon."
"How are many is 'most'? Your family isn't the smallest, you know."
"About fifteen. Twenty tops, I swear."
As he crossed his arms and the sun glinted off of his hair, there seemed, for a split second, to be a halo encircling him. My golden-haired boy next door.
Contrary to seemingly commonplace feelings about in-laws, I loved Dan's family. Maybe I didn't love them all staying with us at the same time, but we'd wing it.
I watched as he headed for the den and, no doubt, some game or another. Leaning back on the kitchen chair, I pulled my knees to my chest and used the quiet time to try and figure out why I was so down. I simply had no reason to be. Life was good.
Why, then, did something seem to be missing?
I needed adventure, something wild... something wicked.
And my guilt was eating me up.