I turned on the TV and it was still on her favorite channel, The Food Network, which we were watching during dinner earlier. An Iron Chef rerun episode was playing. I never understood the fascination she had with watching people cook, but I decided to watch it for a moment. It didn’t hold my attention for more than 30 seconds. I could only guess why she enjoyed it.
She was always up for something new and I’m pretty sure some of the meals she’s cooked for us had come from the countless hours she spent watching the channel. But this evening was special. She didn’t cook us dinner. I had texted her earlier in the day that she was in for a surprise when she returned from work. I was the one who made us dinner tonight.
It wasn’t anything special, but she liked it a lot. At least that’s what she told me after her first bite. That’s what people who love you tell you, right? You could cook the worst meal in the world and they will eat that shit up and feed you praise. Dinner was a simple salad, laced with her favorite sauce and a hint of some special condiment. “It’s a secret ingredient,” I had told her with a smile when she asked me about it.
“Dial one-eight-hundred Dan’s cars now for a limited time discount!” said the voice-over at the end of a used car dealer advertisement as I switched to another channel. The prices flashed onscreen. One of the highlights was $2,000 for a ’98 Corolla. Damn, I could’ve used this dealer tonight. Well, I guess I’ll keep him in mind for next time. Though, I doubt there would be a next time.
The Lonely Planet program resumed after the advertisement ended. It was a program about the most remote places to go to for a quiet holiday. “…we’re here in middle of Cornwall, with miles and miles of nothing but country side…” She always wanted to get away, to leave this noisy neighborhood in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. I promised her that we would go, as soon as I had some free time away from work.
And today I kept my promise to her. I had taken the remainder of the week off because I had some leaves to clear and had just finished a big project. It was the perfect opportunity for a getaway. I took her to a place where nobody could reach us. It was a long drive and she had had her eyes shut the whole journey. I guess I didn’t need the blindfolds I had prepared for the surprise.
“…nobody can get in touch with you, unless they sent a messenger from the closest town over – provided they knew where you checked in first!” exclaimed the TV host.
I jumped to another channel. It was the home shopping network showing yet another rerun. I had seen it last week – the man on TV was selling his faceless customers a garden shovel which came with free tools and a bag of fertilizer. I remembered watching the ad and thinking to myself, “that’s just what I need. Feels like I’m killing two birds with one stone!” as I reached out for my phone and dialed the number of the home shopping network.
Sometimes everything just falls into place.
I switched channels again, but this time to my favorite channel. The first quarter tip off for Hawks versus the Celtics had just started. I had placed a lot of money on the Hawks earlier today – the odds looked pretty good. I put the remote control aside and placed my feet on the table, carelessly knocking over a stack of magazines to the ground. I half expected to hear her nagging voice until I remembered that she wasn’t around anymore.
I’ll clean up the mess later. Thank god she’s not around to interrupt me. Let’s go Hawks!
I leaned back further into my couch. What a lovely night to be lonely.
Writing prompt from reddit.