I came across his Facebook page the other day, his face grinning confidently out at me, a bit fatter perhaps, but still handsome in a way. I couldn’t help quickly searching out his status… hmm …‘in a relationship’. Not married then.
My mind drifts back – how long now? More years than I care to remember, years that look as though they might have been kinder to him than me.
Dinner’s ready,” I shout turning out the light under the potatoes. It isn’t, but it will be by the time he finally reaches the table.
There’s no response, as usual. A minute passes.
“Did you hear me?” I bellow.
“Yes,” he hisses from the other room. “I’m coming, woman.”
I hear the cloakroom door close. Another five minutes then.
I drain the potatoes and place the pan back on a low light.
After the flush, I begin to mash. Time a plenty yet.
Now he’ll go back to the sitting room and rummage amongst the remote controls littering the coffee table until he locates the one for the television. Then he’ll stand there, pointing it at the set while he watches the current news item through to its conclusion.
“Dinner’s on the table,” I call, though I haven’t yet drained the vegetables.
“I said, I’m coming,” he yells.
I take the warm plates from the oven.
“Have you moved my slippers?” he demands from the doorway.
I stare at his reflection in the kitchen window, close to boiling point now.
“Upstairs where you left them” I hiss.
He’s watched television for three hours in his shoes, why does he now need to have his slippers on to eat his evening meal?
He trudges heavily up the stairs and I begin to carve the lamb. Down the stairs he comes, one at a time, and back into the lounge to check he’s turned the television off.
I dish out the meal, take both plates to the table and start eating, watching the steam rising from his plate opposite me.
“No wine?” he mutters accusingly, before rummaging in the fridge, and then opening cupboard doors searching for the one that holds the wine glasses. They’ve only been in there three years, so it’s still early days yet for it to have permeated his consciousness.
He finally returns with the wine glasses and sits down, surveying the table.
“No mint sauce?” he queries, half rising from his seat.
I spring up, grab a jar of mint sauce from the fridge, and slam it on the table.
”Your neck’s all blotchy,” he observes helpfully, before opening the jar and spooning some onto his plate. He peers at it suspiciously.
“This is very green,” he says accusingly.
“It’s mint sauce,” I replied, “it’s supposed to be.”
He lays down his knife and fork and begins to read the contents of the label.
“Hmmm,” he declares triumphantly, “artificial colouring. I thought so.”
“You’re pushing it now, you know,” I warn, and he looks up all wide eyed innocence.
“Is this your hormones playing up again?” he asks.
He pokes around in his meal for a few seconds, lifting up the slices of meat as though I might have concealed something beneath them.
Images of ground glass and weed-killer race through my mind.
He takes a mouthful of potato, and then lays down his knife and fork and looks at me accusingly.
“Did you know this dinner’s cold?”…
It wasn’t our last night together, there may have been a few more bust ups still to get through. But we were pretty close to the end by then.
Handsome is as handsome does, my grandmother used to say.
“Dinner’s ready,” I call.
“Be right with you,” comes the response, and I smile. Some learn more quickly than others.
I’m linking this to Yeah Write. (At least I hope I am)