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“Watch out, you almost spilled my wine!” Eric said in a teasing tone as Alyssa sat hard on his lap. “Shut up,” she responded, kissing him on the cheek. It had been a long week, and judging from the fact that they had both arrived at the apartment with a bottle of wine, they were both in the same mindset.
An hour and a bottle later, they were cuddled up on the couch, listening to Spotify’s “Happy Folk” playlist playing softly over their Amazon Echo’s speakers and “catching up,” which was relationship code for complaining about work and gossiping. Alyssa laid her head back on the couch and groaned softly.
“I’m just so sick of this bitch Ellen,” she said as she stared at the ceiling. “Like, I’m sorry you’re still working as a receptionist when you’re 40, but don’t take that shit out on me just because I’m young and have my life together.” She perched herself on an elbow and looked at Eric. “Plus, did I tell you she’s taken off early THREE times this week to pick up her kids or whatever? It’ll be like 2pm and we’ll have patients just milling around in the waiting room because we have no out to check them in or out. And then the doctor just has Sonia cover for her, as if she doesn’t have enough of her own shit to do. I’m just so sick of that place. I should start looking for new jobs.”
Eric finished packing a bowl and wordlessly handed Alyssa the pipe as he went over to open the sliding door to their balcony. He had heard these complaints before and knew that she was just blowing off steam. The first few times she had brought up looking for a new job he had been supportive and pushed her to find new openings, but now he realized that she didn’t want to leave her current role. He understood that his role was just to be a sounding board for complaints, and occasionally chime in with a “that sucks, babe.”
“That sucks, babe.” He said as he returned to the couch and took a sip from his glass of wine. He accepted the pipe from Alyssa and hit it before speaking in a hoarse voice. “I feel you. I’m stoked I got my promotion and raise, but I didn’t realize they’d actually be making me work this much harder. I was kind of just hoping for more money. It’s been a month of working late and I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m getting burnt out and I can’t see an end in sight. I wish there was something to look forward to, you know?”
Alyssa sat up and gripped his arm as her face split into a grin. “Oh my god. You know what we should do? Plan a vacation! Something to look forward to!” Eric smiled in return. It was the perfect idea. “Holy shit, Lyss, you’re a genius. Hand me my laptop, let’s look at flights right now.”
Eric opened his laptop while Alyssa hung over his shoulder, both of them giggling with wine-fueled excitement. He opened Chromecast and went to SkyScanner.Com, scrolling silently as they looked at the flight deals that were offered. “Damn, flights to New York are only $120 round trip!” He exclaimed. “Nooo,” Alyssa said as she looked at the screen. “Let’s do a real vacation. Somewhere abroad. Somewhere warm. What about Manila? I want to see some beautiful beaches.
Eric chuckled and kept scrolling. “I don’t think Manila is the place to drink cocktails on the beach. I heard it’s kind of slum city, and pretty dangerous. What about Hawaii? I went to Oahu with my mom a few years ago and it’s awesome. We can take surfing lessons and get our tan on or whatever?”
Alyssa looked at him unenthusiastically. “Ehh, Hawaii is kind of boring. All there is to do is like tan and drink and shop. I want to see some culture, you know? Let’s live a little! What abouuuut…” She paused as she scrolled through the upcoming flight deals. “New Delhi? One of my sorority sisters went there during their light festival or whatever and she said it was In. Credible. There’s like a million people all on the streets dressed up and dancing and selling food and stuff-“
Eric cut her with an uncomfortable laugh. “That’s a lot of culture, for sure. What about somewhere we can relax a bit? I don’t want to be on edge the whole time or, like, die of dysentery. What about this deal? That seems like really cheap to get to another continent, right? And we can see some culture but also chill and drink on the beach, you know?” He looked over at Alyssa and tried to close the sale. “We could watch the sunset from our balcony, get some bomb ass food and wine…it would be pretty romantic…”
Alyssa turned to him, and he knew immediately she was in. “Oh my god, that would be so amazing. I’ve just heard how expensive it is to stay there, and I don’t know if I can afford it. I’m more of a hostel girl.” She said with a smile. “A fucking hostel?” Eric thought, fighting to keep the expression of disgust of his face. “No chance am I bunking with 10 other people in some smelly room and having to lock up my shit for fear of being robbed.”
He smiled back and spoke softly. “Don’t worry about that, babe. What’s the point of my new raise if I can’t use it on great experiences? If you buy your ticket, I have the lodging covered.” Alyssa covered her mouth with her hands. “Eric, are you sure? You definitely don’t have to do that, we can find somewhere cheap and make it w-“
Eric cut her off as he clicked to the airline page to buy the tickets. “I’m absolutely sure. I want to do this trip with you, and I want to do it right. Go get your passport and let’s buy these tickets. We’re going to the Amalfi Coast – oh shit, my wine!”
Alyssa had straddled him, seemingly unworried about the wine that had spilled on the rug. She kissed him deeply and ran her hands through his hair. The ticket buying would have to wait until tomorrow.