She hadn’t noticed the silence behind her in the kitchen at first. She’d just kept chattering on and checking that the chicken wasn’t in at too high a heat.
“What do you think hun?” She’d turned around then. Turned around to her husband holding one half-peeled carrot and staring at her with his jaw unhinged. He moved it, seemingly popping it back into place with a swallow and pushing the next few words out slowly.
“Where did you hear that information?” he asked.
She squinted at him, really taking in the crumpled shirt and badly knotted tie. Had he been home the night before or was that her imagination? She was sure he had. Or was that the night he’d called at three am and said he was working? No! He’d called two nights ago to say he was working but the following night he’d come home and then locked himself away in the study after dinner.
She shrugged at him and moved over to the sink where the lettuce was waiting.
“Some couple in the cafe over by the supermarket I think.” she said. “Didn’t hear too much of what they were saying, very cloaks and daggers the whole meeting, made it quite interesting to watch as the one passed the suitcase across to the other.”
“Suitcase?” her husband asked, carrot now abandoned on the island counter-top.
“Yes a suitcase.” she said. “Rather banged up, which was a shame, it looked like it might have been expensive at some point.”
“You have no idea.” whispered her husband. His hands shook until he pressed them against the counter-top. Forcing his weight against them to keep them still.
“Trish.” he said. “What did these men look like?”
“Oh you know.” she replied, readjusting her sleeves so they wouldn’t get soaked in the sink. “Businesses types. Pinstriped suits and the such. The one had the most ridiculous moustaches though, what do they call them? Steering wheel moustaches?”
“You mean handlebar.” suggested her husband.
“Yes!” she cried, smile spreading across her face. “Those are the ones.”
“Aha.” Her husband nodded and went quiet. He was thinking, she could see him chewing at the inside of his cheek just like he always did and just like she always told him not to.
“Peter.” she chided, picking up the dishcloth and throwing it at him. “What have I told you about that horrible habit. You’ll have no cheek left.”
“Sorry.” he mumbled. “Excuse me would you. I have a phone call to make.”
“But the carrots!” She watched as he walked slowly towards the kitchen door and into the rest of the house.
“Later.” he said. “I have to call my boss.”
“About what?” she splutter, dropping the lettuce back into the sink and making her way over to his forgotten carrots. “Dinner isn’t that far off!”
He stopped, turned back to look at her and smiled.
“Won’t be long I promise.” he said. “I might even get a raise once I’m done.”
“A raise? What for?”
“Don’t worry about that!” He was moving again, taking the stairs two at a time. “Did I tell you I love you today?”
“This morning.” she said, attacking the carrot with the peeler and a slight scowl.
“Well I’m telling you again now! You really are an amazing women!”
“Yes.” she huffed. “An amazing woman who has to make dinner on her own.”
(Flash Fiction For Today’s Daily Prompt)(Flash Fiction For Today’s Daily Prompt)