Nick had yet to come in from work. There had been a terse text on her phone, telling her he would be late home from work and then he was going to fly his remote control plane. He was leaving Steph to stew in her own juices. Don’t wait up it had said.
After the argument this morning she’d gone back to calling him Nick and he in her head. Nicola and they could wait until Nick told her that was what he wanted. She’d been rushing him. She hadn’t realised he didn’t want to just start going to work as Cupid Stunt straight away. Taking it slowly was probably better for Steph as well.
“One vegetarian, bean free, sauce with rice. Lots of healthy veg for you to pick out.” Steph placed a plate down in front of Ellie who was texting a mate on her phone.
The only response was a grunt.
“One chicken, sauce and rice.” Another plate, this one as laden as she could get it, went down in front of Jake. He was playing a game with Perry the Platypus on his tablet.
“Won’t be a minute.” Plink. Plonk. Pish. He played the game with lightning speed.
Seriously if her hands hadn’t been full she’d have broken the habit of a lifetime and slapped him round the back of his head. Her inner turmoil had chased any sense of humour and good grace from her.
“And one chicken, rice and veggies. No sauce or anything interesting.” The last went down in front of Luke.
“Is that everything I like?” He didn’t even look up from his Minecraft book. Apparently, or so he’d said, he’d been studying about better uses of redstone.
She felt like a very poorly paid cook and waitress. None of them had started to eat yet and she knew damn well they’d pick at the food. Well except Jake, he’d polish his off and ask where the rest was. With her coffee she sat at the head of the table and watched them. On a normal night she’d have taken the devices but tonight she was glad they weren’t talking to her.
It was a good ten minutes before Luke looked up. “You not eating, Mum?”
“Not hungry. I’ll eat later with your dad.” As she said it she formulated a plan that she hoped would make things better. After all the sex had been fab last night. Surely, that could be rekindled. “Now, listen contraceptives...”
“We’ll go to bed early.” Ellie at last paid attention. “Just don’t continue with this conversation.”
“What’s she mean?” There was such innocence in Luke’s voice that Steph smiled.
“Trust me you don’t want to know what she means. I wish I didn’t. Way too much information.” And with that Ellie went back to texting her mates and eating one grain of rice at a time. “Basically she means she wants alone time with dad.”
“Eww yuck.” Jake stopped exercising his fingers and started shovelling in food. “Seriously, Mum, keep that stuff to yourself.”
“Your Dad and I need to talk.” Although she did harbour hope that maybe a little more might happen if they got on alright. “You two have dirty minds.”
“And whose fault is that?” The tone Ellie used was pure teen implying their parent is a useless embarrassment.
Now she had a plan in place Steph felt better. She’d wine and dine Nick, and for the first time since his announcement she would make sure they talked and got their feelings out. As long as he came home. He would wouldn’t he? Really, he wouldn’t be petty? And now she felt shit again.
“Mum, is there any more?” asked Jake. “I’m starving.”
"Best Possible Taste" is very loosely based on real life events.