“Derek remember we have dinner reservations at 7, okay?” Kate said looking at his reflection on the mirror while brushing her hair. Derek was standing behind her near the closet putting on his blazer as she continued “and don’t be late?” at which he looked at her and smiled.
Picking his briefcase from the bed he walked up to her and holding her waist from behind asked “When am I ever late Hun?” with a chuckle. He then slowly planted a kiss on her cheeks and turned her towards him with a bemused expression on his face.
“Really??” she muttered while stroking his shoulders gently.
“Haha..Kidding! Don’t worry I’ll be on time tonight. Promise!” Derek said as his eyes fell on the reflection of the wall clock on the mirror “Ooops already late! Got to go…I’ll see you later” and he rushed out.
“Always!” Kate whispered as she went back to brushing her hair. She was a pediatrician at the city hospital while Derek was in real estate. Tonight was their seventh wedding anniversary and as always Kate had planned a dinner at their favorite restaurant followed by a movie at the park. They had been together since college and after all these years had even grown fond of each other’s quirks. Love is in being imperfect together they believed.
Derek for Kate was the love of her life, a kind of man every woman yearned for. The only thing she wished to change in him though was his habit of being late, always. But now she had learnt how to get around that too. And that was why she asked him to be at the restaurant at 7 tonight while the reservation was really at 8. That way he would eventually reach by 8.
“I knew you’ll never be on time but 2 hours!” Kate sulked as she sat looking at her watch and sipped on her fourth glass of juice.
“Ma’am do you want to order anything” asked the waiter for the umpteenth time at which Kate just shook her head.
“Where are you Derek?” she murmured as she picked up her phone to call him for the tenth time but again it went straight to voice-mail.
“Great!” she said and finally gestured the waiter “Check please.”
It had been 4 hours but there still was no sign of Derek. This was unlike him. Even if late he would always be reachable on call but tonight he just seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth. Kate knew something was wrong, something had to be or else he would have come home by now.
“Okay thanks Julia… Let me know if you hear anything!” Kate said on the phone to Derek’s secretary. From her she had gotten to know that Derek had infact left office at 6.30. He wanted to be on time this year and had wrapped up everything by then.
"Why did he never reach? Where are you Derek?” Kate uttered closing her eyes almost on the verge of crying.
A sinking feeling began to creep into her heart as she thought about the various possibilities. She begged her mind to keep quiet but it went on and on about the mishaps that could have happened. The news was on but there was no report of any accidents. Where could he be she contemplated.
Walking to and fro from the living room to the door, which was wide open, Kate kept calling Derek. Every time it went to voice-mail she felt a gloom descend on her. The streets outside wore a deserted look and no one had any inkling about his whereabouts.
“I’ll have to go to the station!” she thought picking up her purse when a car came to a halt in her driveway.
“Derek!” she yelled and ran up to the door but it wasn't him. It was a police car and two officers climbed out of it.
“No…No…” she mumbled. In her heart she knew what had happened and stood there frozen in shock.
"Ma'am there was a freak accident at the highway at 6.45 this evening...." and they continued but she couldn't hear anymore.
“It's my fault...I forced you to leave early! Derek no. You can't leave me...We’re having a baby! I wanted to surprise you tonight but...!” she uttered as she felt being dragged into a black hole, lost. She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.
Word count : 749
Linking this to the Speakeasy weekly prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 words or less using the following sentence as the last line "She waited for someone to tell her what to do next." in the post.