The Cook

Meals for one and the cloying sweet lift of her voice raise your eyebrows like a fish on a hook. Your face dances in her octaves, the thick chocolate table solid against your back. Sunlight penetrates your closed lids, and there’s so much of it everywhere, you swim in the yellow golden rays. Every sharp echo of a horn causes your eyelids to flutter – was that him? But the absence of a metallic fence click is deafening in your ears.

Her voice is your shield against solitary, your new best friend for the next few minutes. You find comfort in the black and gray blurs that dart from the tree to the feeder and back. Their company is fleeting like the sugary timber of her voice.

The oven beeps, high and repetitive. It demands you. Requires you to peel your eyes open and roll your body off the table. Requires you to glance at a barren driveway as you press down on the round button to quiet the alarm. You pull the heavy door open and heat bursts forth; it grips your face like a sunburn.


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