The Way We Lied

Her free hand indicated sweeping arcs and David could almost see the picture coming alive in the air that hung before him. Everyone else he knew talked about policies, monetary values and mortgages but through her eyes he saw shafts of sunlight, deep shade and marble skin.
Mary lifted the crisp bacon onto warmed plates. “One egg or two?”
He hesitated for a moment. Caroline was always trying to make him eat muesli and prunes and only allowed him an egg once a week. But Caroline was not here and Mary was.
“Two please. Can I do anything to help?”
“You can make some more toast if you’re really hungry. I’m sure we’ll wolf it all down between us. I haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday afternoon, so I’m starving.”
David moved to her side, cutting more bread to brown unevenly under the grill and buttering the slices that were ready. Mary broke two eggs into the pan and bacon fat splattered angrily as the whites spread.
“Here, take over for a minute,” she said suddenly. “I’m getting really hot.” She handed him the spatula then pulled her thick Aran sweater over her head, revealing a thin T shirt over unsupported breasts.
David tipped the pan and splashed the fat over the yolks till they were opaque. “You’re quite good at this, aren’t you,” she said. “ You can come here again.”
He looked at her with hunger in his eyes as well as his stomach.
“Can I really?”
He found himself urgently needing confirmation that this was not one of the many idle invitations issued so easily like ‘let’s have lunch sometime’ or ‘we must have a drink next time you’re in town’. Suddenly it was vitally important to him. More important than his meetings tomorrow, more important than the many issues his constituents and his party were insisting he should resolve. He desperately felt he needed this comforting refuge, away from those who expected him to live up to their expectations and demanded so much more of him than expertly cooked eggs.
“Sure, whenever you want,” she said, taking the spatula from his hand and pulling out a chair for him at the plain wooden kitchen table. She brushed away the breadcrumbs scattered across the table’s top then she put a plate of food in front of him and gestured for him to start.
“Don’t you know, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” And she began laughing as she broke more eggs into the pan and threw the shells across the kitchen into an overflowing bin.

to be continued January 4, 2016


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