I gingerly lifted my glass of Veuve Clicquot and took a small sip, enjoying the heady flavor the champagne had. I skimmed over the menu, feeling fuller with each title and description I read.

“Monsieur is ready to order?” the waiter asked.

I nodded and quickly rattled off a list of names, a total of four courses, each with its designated wine. The waiter nodded in approval and repeated it to another waiter hovering behind him, who grinned widely and bustled off towards the kitchens.

After the head waiter left, I looked around. The tables were filled with people: penguin-tuxed gentlemen chatting amiably with richly-colored ladies. Off in a far corner, a jazzy quartet played muted tones that wove around the conversation like soft ribbons. A giant window off the side showed the outside view of black velvet skies with their diamond stars. Interstellar travel has never been so luxurious.

I just wished I had company.

I gazed at the empty seat across from me and sighed. I would have my husband over, but he had very urgent business back on Earth. He gave me this trip for my birthday, giving me a kiss before sending me off.

I took another sip as the waiter discreetly put himself beside me and placed a dish in front of me. “Truffles with foie gras, monsieur,” he said gravely, as if he were serving royalty.

I grinned as I began to eat. I can tell this would be an excellent birthday gift.


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