Lionel examined the burn on his wrist from being careless near the hot plate.
A neat smart burn.
The kitchen was not tidy.
He was the only person in sight to wash up the plates that were licked clean.
Tumbling desert bowls in empty state.
The taste of ‘Fleur de Sel Caramels’ now the taste bud past.
Lionel was a good host and more than a fabulous cook, he could get a dinner party happening at short notice. They’d come with napkins and ready delicious smiles.
The mess was comfort today, a friend.
Last night the toast was “Lionel Our Master Chef!”
Filling the bellies full to a happy brim was first nature not second nature to him.
Dinner talk swung about the room, a feisty debate in one corner, heart to heart another and umms and ahhs in the more silent contemplations.
Not a one noticed Lionel’s heart beating away on his plate, that he had not touched his meal, that he was not there.
Third degrees of loneliness burning inside his mind.
Who knew an apron could be a mask?
The kitchen sink full with froth and hot water, bubbles playful.
He did what had to be done.
What was that?
A noise startled him from his duty of care.
He told the pot that mirrored his face back at him “That my friend is the sound of my heart anchoring back in my chest”
The inanimate understood him.
The dishes dried alone, Lionel understood this was best.
© K S Hardy 2010