I knew she had left when I couldn’t find the cookie butter.
She had taken the pretzels too. And some clothes and her hair dryer of course.
Hard to believe that only three months ago we were saying, “I do,” and eating catered herb roasted organic chicken with wild mushroom risotto. And that unforgettable red velvet three tiered wedding cake.
In the weeks that followed, we were cooking three course meals that could have won us serious money on those home cook TV shows. Wintry pear salad complimented by pork tenderloin with apples and pear onions. We were excited with her speciality (and my favorite part of the meal) the dessert. That night it was two spoons in a single black forest parfait with walnuts. I felt like royalty.
It did not take long for things to spoil. Filet mignon became store-bought-oven chicken. Farmer’s market peaches were now served out of the can. Homemade pie crust had become gallons of no-name vanilla ice cream shoveled nightly. Then microwave chicken. I thought we hit our bottom with stranger cooked tub chicken, but last week we finished a bag of frozen chicken fingers. They might have been fish sticks. There’s no way of knowing.
I hope she comes back soon.
I’m ashamed that it took me eating flake cereal every night this past week to miss her and appreciate all she does.
I did have pizza one night.
And the next morning.
I have not been pulling my weight in this relationship. So, the solution to win her back was pretty obvious.
I called and left her a message inviting her home for seven o’clock dinner. Then, I left work early, stopped by the grocery, and went home to cook her the best meal these hands have ever made.
I had it ready by six forty-five. A sautèed shrimp cocktail was first on the menu. Followed by balsamic-glazed salmon fillets with minced garlic for an extra level of seriousness. And nothing says, “I Love You,” like white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.
In my focused passion and desperate desire to make a perfect meal to win her back I hadn’t taken notice of anything that did not add to the feast. But, as I was setting the table, I heard the song of creaking from the back porch swing. Before I pulled the entrèe from the oven I opened the pantry with tearful eyes and saw the cookie butter had returned home long before I had.