Before I left, he threw me onto the bed and asked me what I wanted. What I would ask for if he could give me anything in the whole entire world. The early spring sunlight had filtered in through the dirty windows, their beams casting light onto the skin of my bare thighs, dry and white after such a long, brutal winter.
“I think I belong in Napa,” I said, after giving the question some thought.
I could see it in my mind already. The rolling hills set into rows of blooming vines, lifting and dipping with the shape of the land. Equal parts working girl, designing labels and scheduling shipments of barrels, bringing life to a fledging winery through social media management and some brilliant sorcery involving public relations. And then the other half…afternoons in dusty jeans, pruning branches bent with the weight of mature fruit, tanned skin scratched by vast brambles of pinot noir grapes. Some wealthy couple to fund the place, be the business brains while I tended the land, night after night in a guest-house decorated with iron chandeliers and hand-scraped walnut floorboards.
My Californian dreams and a Midwestern lust for land. The perfect marriage.
“Ha!” he said, dipping the mouth of a bottle further into my glass. “This is the closest you’ll ever come to any of that, sweetheart.”