Gooed cheddar blanketed runny eggs. Deirdre aligned waffles edge to edge and lined crisped bacon in rows. She heard the shuffle of rigid soles enter the room and took her assigned seat.
Charles surveyed the steaming plates.
“What’s with the spread?”
“It’s all your favorites. I just, well, I should know better. I’m really sorry.”
“I hope so.” His hand swung at his coffee mug and froth puddled over the table and floor.
“Why is this so full? Jesus, Dee.”
“I’ll get it.”
She wiped the table and bent down, sopping up foam with a clenched jaw. Deirdre displayed a mannequin face when she stood up and smiled at his forehead. He grunted and toreinto the eggs and meat.
Her eyes counted the bites he took with a mouth gnawing and slurping, never hesitating. Deirdre didn’t eat breakfast, but today, a twinge coiled in her stomach, a hunger that normally dared to crawl out when the house was empty.
Before she could pour her morning tea, his fork, heavy with the last bits of yolk and pork, fell to the floor. His chair screeched. His mouth parted, full of air fighting to scream.
Charles crashed. She studied his tainted belly and wilted legs expiring by the second and giggled, peering into eyes desperate to seethe. The ache within her expanded, a space howling to be filled, and she could wait no longer.
Pancakes. She would make pancakes.
Margaret is a neuropsychologist and consultant who resides in California. She writes informative assessment reports by day and has been published in The Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation as well as the abstract issue in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.
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