B.Y.O.M

by Prerna Shetty

B.Y.O.M

“Wow! You look stunning. Whatever did I do to get so lucky? Happy Anniversary, love,” Reuben beamed.

Samantha blushed at his words.

It was their 5th anniversary and she had planned everything to the very last detail. All those years ago when they had newly begun their relationship, Reuben had accidentally let it slip that he would pop “the question” if they lasted five years. And voila! The day was finally here.
She wanted this night to be perfect.

Samantha walked out in an off-the-shoulder, red evening dress, sporting a sweetheart neckline that had Reuben’s jaw almost sweeping the floor. Her hair was done up in a lace braided bun and she had chosen to wear her diamond earrings for the occasion.

She didn’t know when she had started preparing for this day. Perhaps, immediately after Reuben’s little declaration. But she clearly remembered when she finished outlining it.
A month ago.

“You really went all out, didn’t you? This place looks so elegant, although the name threw me off a bit. What does B-Y-O-M even mean?” Reuben asked while he let his eyes soak in the restaurant’s beautiful interiors.

“Well, you know B-Y-O-B, right? Bring your own booze? It’s a similar concept. “M” stands for meat,” she replied.

“But we didn’t get any…..”

Before Reuben could finish his sentence, he was interrupted by their attendant.

“Welcome to Bring Your Own Meat where we specialize in serving a variety of cuisines, especially tailored for any meat provided to us by you. Ms. Sequeira, I’m happy to let you know that we have received the email with your dinner preferences. It will be our pleasure to serve you.
Now Sir, if you could follow me please for the highlighted activity of the evening.”

Reuben almost jumped out of his chair with excitement. “I can’t wait to see what you’ve planned. But I’ll still steal the show,” he exclaimed as he patted the pocket on his suit.

“Oh darling, I’m sure you will.” Samantha smiled.

A month ago, Samantha had been looking for her phone. Reuben, surprisingly, had gone for a shower without his phone. So she picked it up to call herself. That’s when she had stumbled upon all the lascivious texts between him and Rachel, her best friend. She had felt her lungs collapse at the sight of their exchanges.

She had compelled herself to see all the pictures and videos that their lack of shame had bred. At first, she wanted to tear down the bathroom door and confront him. But as the feeling of helplessness soon turned to seething anger, she collected herself, placed the phone back exactly where she had found it and left the room quietly.

Now here she sat, sipping on a glass of Merlot, as the restaurant prepared pan seared steak with the meat that had walked in with her; medium rare, just the way she liked it. Samantha had to marvel at the chef’s flair when the aroma filled the room before the waitress had even placed the dish on her table. It looked so delectable as the sauces generously oozed out of its crevices. The first bite sent her into a frenzy of emotions. Her palate had never before savored something so tender and exquisitely seasoned. Samantha was almost sorry this would be the last time she’d taste him.

When it was time for dessert, she was happy to see that the chocolate pastry had come decorated with a certain diamond ring.

“Not too much to ask for after five years, I’m sure,” she pondered.

Just as she slipped it on her finger and began admiring the ring’s radiance, the waitress walked up to her.

“I do hope everything has been to your liking this evening, Ms. Sequeira. Here’s the takeaway you had requested.”

Her email had made it clear that she would be happy with an 8-ounce fillet. They could discard or do whatever they deemed fit with the rest of Reuben. She had, however, asked them to save one organ.

After all, she couldn’t deprive Rachel of her favorite piece of him.

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