Before the waiter left the table, Mark quickly changed Abby’s order from the house Chardonnay to the Chablis.
At first his propensity to make these small amendments had been flattering. It was like he wanted her to have the more expensive things on the menu, the nicer room at the hotel, the better taxi service to take her home. She thought that he wanted the best for her. After a while, he was changing everything that she’d chosen.
Abby had always known that financially she couldn’t sustain an affair. Her and Robert were saving for a house deposit and she knew that he was prepping for a proposal. He would often turn to her in the kitchen, mouth agape, eyes fixed on her in a still frenzy, before asking some inane question about the freshness of the fridge contents. She loved Robert. He was tender, thoughtful and kind. He was loved by her family, her friends and he was marriage material: dependable, loyal and full of love for her. She hadn’t intended to start an affair, but when Mark took her out for a drink three months ago and asked her outright whether she wanted to join in him an adulterous escapade, she said yes.
Now here she was, in a wine bar near Covent Garden having her wine order changed by her dallier just to reflect his status.
“It’s the same thing really. Almost all of the grapevines in Chablis are Chardonnay”.
“I know”, said Mark, “But why bother with the same old shit when you can have something special?”
Abby was going to say that she liked Chardonnay. She felt comfortable with the flavour and was able to discern it easily on her palate. She just looked back down at the menu and resigned herself to finishing the glass before the starters arrived.