Closing the oven door, exhaling slowly & keeping a keen eye on the cake tin sitting in the middle, meekly.
Orange & vanilla scent wafts into the kitchen. Covered in cake flour from head to toe, like a slender cupcake, I’m a little proud of myself.
Who says men can’t bake?
I hope it won’t burn. I’ll still eat it, no matter what. Her fingers made it.
The white kitchen counter is a little messy with eggshells and orange rinds littering it.
Nancy enters the kitchen looking fresh & with black slacks, a grey t-shirt and white towel wrapped around her head. Wet but wrapped firmly wrapped. Little strands of hair are sticking out. It sits pretty well on her head and I can imagine her as an African queen leading a revolutionary tribe.
‘I’m sorry,’ I say slowly as I look up to her. I mean it. I’m a handful but I don’t like it when she’s mad at me.
She shrugs her arms, ‘accidents happen,’ she says with a resigned face. It lights up when she notices that I started cleaning up the kitchen. Her eyes flicker around the kitchen quickly.
Utensils are soaking in the sink. A large clear bowl has with cake mix drooling on the sides. A silver whisk sits in it as sunlight is bouncing off it.
She takes a whiff of the air & beams even harder. Lowering her face, she notices that the baking flour is rolled up the way she left it plus the Blueband is still sealed.
I did something. Or I forgot to do something. I can’t exactly pinpoint it.
‘Babe, how did you finish up exactly?’, she asks evenly but a little flustered. I can tell when she’s inquiring about something gently.
I think a little but I still can’t put a finger on her pulse.
I’m different from her. That’s why she complements me.
I start retracing my steps slowly as I search her eyes for answers.
‘I add the rest of the stuff. I mixed it,’ I say slowly, ‘I tasted it,’ I savour the words as I lick my lips, ‘A drop of vanilla added,’ I finish off proudly.
Nancy bites her lip trying to hide her smile but I can tell that she loves my dimples & I. I just need to smile her and watch her edginess ebb out of her.
‘Then you poured into the cake tin,’ she helps me out slowly.
‘Yeah’, I say confidently puffing up my chest.
‘Did you coat the tin?’, she asks a little hesitantly and gently. Placing her elbows on the counter and her head between her hands with a knowing smile.
I laugh out loud. She giggles a little.
‘Next time,’ I say conspiratorially as I move behind her and wrap her in my arms. Her wet towel smells like coconut and baby hairs are on each side of her face.
I don’t know why I always forget that step. Shit happens, I guess.
‘Simon, what’s up?’ Nancy asks me earnestly. I snap out of my daydream.
‘I just wanted us to do something nice,’ I smile back at her large brown eyes. I get lost in them occasionally.
‘You’re acting weird,’ Nancy says softly.
‘Almost done deciding,’ I tease her as she lays her menu on the side.
A small furrow appears on her forehead and I can tell that she’s almost there. Like a kitten deciding whether or not to chase the light.
‘You’re beautiful,’ I breathe into her.
Willing her to believe me and take a chance on me. It’ll be a long night for her.