Dinner For One – Friday Fictioneers, April 2022

Copyright David Stewart

It’s a habit, cooking for two, even though you’re long gone, Edward.

But now my neighbour is sitting in your chair, waistband undone, buttons agape on his shirt, tenderly rubbing his socked toes against each other in an act of gross self-comfort. 

I can imagine you hovering behind his chair, fuming, ready to snatch up his greasy fork and plunge it into his swollen belly, like pricking a sausage.

“We must do this again,” my neighbour says.

We must not.


I still miss you, Edward, but in future I’ll cook for one.

You never ate much anyway.

Not latterly.

Spring is getting under way in Dorset, but a sudden cold snap last week sent us scurrying for covers to put over the tender seedlings and succulent plants. Winter has a defiance I should be prepared for, but I never am. Thanks to Rochelle for her leadership of Friday Fictioneers, we appreciate what you do each week.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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42 Responses to Dinner For One – Friday Fictioneers, April 2022

  1. michael1148humphris says:

    Add a lot of chilli into the breakfast, it work wonders. Even better than a fork maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Loved the rubbing of the socked toes


  3. Tannille says:

    I’d say she was repulsed… Great storytelling. “We must not. Ever.” hehe.


  4. Dear Sandra,

    I’d opt for dinner for one next time, too. Sometimes loneliness is the better option. Well done as always.




  5. Dale says:

    Nothing like inviting someone who makes himself way too comfortable. I could feel her repulsion as much as mine. It is a re-learned thing, cooking for one. Beautifully written.


    • Sandra says:

      Yes, cooking for one hardly seems to be worth the bother. My husband isn’t away much these days but when he was I frequently just rustled up a sandwich. Thanks for reading, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. granonine says:

    Sandra, you portrayed that neighbor SO clearly! I don’t blame her for not wanting to ever do that again 🙂


  7. GHLearner says:

    This neighbour jumps out of the page, he reads so real. Good for her to not repeat this. Great writing.


  8. msjadeli says:

    My two ruling feelings after reading your story are indigestion and sorrow. I love the paragraph of what she imagined with Edward.


  9. Iain Kelly says:

    Let’s hope the neighbour doesn’t invite themselves round the next evening… Vivid descriptions Sandra.


  10. pennygadd51 says:

    You have a wonderful ability to pick up the subtle cues that makes us love or hate somebody. What a devastating critique “…waistband undone, buttons agape on his shirt, tenderly rubbing his socked toes against each other in an act of gross self-comfort.” “Gross self-comfort” is particularly fine.


  11. Danny James says:

    Not a very good neighbor.


  12. authorfleurl says:

    A beautiful story. Gave me the tingles. And yes, what a gross neighbour. Add more chilli to his portion next time. but I’d go for dinner for one, as well.


  13. Vartika says:

    I like the way you presented the scene. Some people are irreplaceable in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It probably seemed a good idea at the time, but not in retrospect.


  15. plaridel says:

    i guess she should just do whatever is convenient for her. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bill says:

    What I understand least about this story, Sandra, is why I like it so much. Well done.


  17. elmowrites says:

    You took me through the feelings here, Sandra. Grief for Edward and a very different feeling about the neighbour. I’m glad she’s going back to dinner for one … at least until she finds more worthy company.


  18. draliman says:

    This is why you shouldn’t get to know your neighbours too well. It’s too easy for them to pop round.
    He certainly didn’t match up to her Edward.


  19. Maybe Edward just snatching away the fork should be enough to scare him away.


  20. Margaret says:

    If you want to get the measure of a man, watch him eat. (The next phase is to time how soon afterwards he falls asleep in the armchair.) She’s right not to invite a repeat performance from this one. I really admire how you’ve built a picture of these characters and of the whole scene. Great details and telling dialogue and thoughts.


  21. Rowena says:

    Great story, Sandra. It must be so hard to lose your life’s partner and what to do from there. You captured it so poignantly. Well done.
    Best wishes,


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