The sizzling in the saucepan tells that the temperature is just right.
She wraps her arms around his waist and presses her cheek against the back of his wrinkled cotton shirt.
“Thank you. I don’t like cutting onions. They make my fingers smell funny,” she says.
He drops them in the pan. He turns and hugs her back.
He kisses her on top of the head.
Then she pushes him away.
“I’m cooking. No interruptions.”
He watches her with smitten admiration.
“There’s something sensual about a woman with her hands in food. Very sexy,” he educates.
She moves her hand not very gracefully in the bowl and a glop of something accidentally reaches escape velocity and lands on his pants.
He wipes it off with his finger. He gives it a lick.
“Needs more garlic.”
They lean over the counter together.
Their faces wear expressions of great seriousness.
Neither of them speaks. Until…
“How can you tell if it has gone bad?” she asks.
“I don’t know. Looks like it’s been in the fridge for a while.”
“Were the hieroglyphics on the label a clue?” she asks.
“Man, you’re a dork.”
“One of us should probably try it,” she informs matter-of-factly.
“You came up with it for me.”
“So I already did my part,” he counters, poking at it with his finger. “Did it just move?”
“You don’t want me to get an upset tummy, do you?”
She unbuttons the top button of her plaid shirt.
“That’s not going to work,” he says.
She unbuttons a second button.
“You really think I’m that easily manipulated?” he asks.
She opens a third button, and traces her fingers from her neck down her chest.
He takes a deep breath, and a heaping spoonful of the questionable material, then shovels it in.
He holds it in his mouth for a moment.
Then he swallows it.
Tears come to his eyes.
And holds on to the counter.
A stomps his foot.
He finally stops.
He wipes his eyes.
“So it’s gone bad?” she asks.
“Uhm… Noooooo. Try it.”
She pokes it with the wrong end of a spoon.
“I now know what hate tastes like,” he says while wiping off his tongue with his fingers.
iTunes shuffles and deals a song that makes her dark eyes shine.
And get bigger.
She drops her mixing spoon.
She spins to the middle of the kitchen.
She bounces. She moves her head from side to side with the beat.
A hand, she couldn’t keep down if she wanted, finds its way over her head.
The bounces get higher.
Unruly self-maintained bangs are ignored.
Lips form into a cute Mick Jagger-ian sneer. Then back to a smile.
She bouncedances over to him.
She takes his hand.
He shakes his head.
They both know that resistance is beyond futile.
“Whyyyyyyy?” he asks.
“‘Cause when the minutes seem like hours and the hours seem like days…”
One hand in the air.
Then the other.
She shimmies and shakes her booty at him.
He grabs her hand holds it over her head, and makes her spin.
He pulls her in close and kisses her.
He throws in a surprise dip.
Laughter bursts from her.
He washes the dishes.
She sits on the counter nearby. She sings along to the music.
“You missed a spot,” she says, not even trying to hide a grin.
He kisses her. Harder than either of them expected.
She puts her forearms on his shoulders and her hands on the back of his head. She pulls him in for more.
They take a break to bask in the swoon.
“I like that you like me,” she says, in a voice so sweet it borders on unfair.
He just blinks. He sneakily dips his hand in the sink and puts suds on her nose.
She scrunches her whole face.
He puts his hand on her shoulder.
“You’re one of the best things about my day. Every single day. I hate sleeping because I miss you even in my dreams. I love that you let me be myself, and it makes me want to be better. Everything about you causes me crush to even harder. And I’m already crushing REALLY hard. I’m mad at all the years where I didn’t know you. Your heart makes mine race. Your mind excites me more than I can explain. Your bum makes me forget my phone number. And even though you’re the sloppiest cook in the history of preparing food… you are, by far, my favourite.”
He gives her a gentle forehead to forehead bump.
“And don’t you forget it,” he adds.
She nods slowly.
He washes more dishes.
She goes back to her singing.