Water bubbled over onto the stove. Allison silently cursed, then grabbed some pasta and began adding it to the pot. Rachael Ray she was not. She never had been. Luckily, Brett didn’t really mind. He wasn’t fussy that way. As long as the food was edible, he was good. In fact, he’d always been pretty generous with the compliments on her meals, though they were never extravagant by anyone’s definition.
‘Oh, there I go again. Focus,’ she muttered to herself. This wasn’t about his complimenting her food. Details. Meaningless details. She was just anxious. And trying to wiggle her way out of this dinner. This conversation that she desperately needed to have with him. At least, that’s what she kept telling herself. ‘Be strong.’ She picked up her glass of wine and took a big gulp.
The oven beeped. Allison slid the loaf of buttered garlic bread in. Ok, now for the salad. She rinsed the lettuce and tore it into bite-sized chunks. Why was she so nervous about this? She’d been waiting for what seemed like years to broach the subject. This wasn’t what she thought she’d feel like at all. Instead of excitement, she felt a knot in her stomach. She guzzled some more wine and made a face as it went down. She wasn’t much of a drinker, and wine was certainly not her drink of choice. But she needed some liquid courage for this endeavor. She wasn’t sure if it was working; maybe she needed something stronger. Unfortunately, that was the only alcohol in the house at the moment, so it would have to do.
She poured herself another glass, downed half of it and waited for the bread to be done. Wait. She needed to check on the pasta. And finish the salad. What else should she add? She peered into the salad bowl. Just lettuce. Yeah, she needed to add something. Tomatoes maybe. She didn’t have much in the fridge. Some grapes? Cheese. Yes! She needed cheese. Cheese would be perfect! ‘You’re losing focus again. Stop it!’ she told herself.
She needed to rehearse what she was going to say, not worry about the salad. That was beside the point. She had written down a few thoughts, but where had she put her notes? Maybe she should just wing it. Just go with---
The sound of a car pulling up interrupted her thoughts. “Oh crap!” she said aloud as she heard footsteps. Before she had time to think, Brett walked in. She just stared at him, wide-eyed. He took one look at her and laughed. “Are you – are you drunk?” he asked in disbelief.