Evening arrived slowly. He was late home from work again.
They’d been married for two years, having lived together for only one. She had worked at the same office. That’s how they’d met, at the typical Christmas office party, both of them drunk, both of them looking for fun. She’d been the one who sought him out, pried him away from other competitive contenders. She’d won the prize and had given up her one-bedroom flat in South London to move into his three-bedroom apartment in the city. He’d made it clear from the offset that he didn’t want to have kids impinging on his perfect lifestyle nor any pets for that matter. Only with persistent persuasion had she finally been able to bring her 14-year-old cat into his godly abode. She could never have left Kitty behind. Kitty had always been there for her. Kitty always would be there for her. They had years of unconditional love between them that went beyond the usual pushing and pulling in human relationships.
She’d worked extra hard in the kitchen today preparing a romantic dinner, all of his favourite dishes. A bottle of red wine, reflecting an elegant flame from the candle beside it, stood proudly on a lavishly set table. She gave into the bewitching atmosphere, helping herself to a glass of the enticing claret. The comforting gurgle of the liquid being freed from its confinement merged with the drone from a car engine outside. The spell had broken. He had arrived home from work.
“Mm. Dinner smells great, love,” he said as he strolled in.
“It’s chicken, your favourite!”
Soon at the table, they chatted lightly during their first course of foie gras served with sliced pear.
“You’ve certainly outdone yourself tonight, Wonder Woman,” he said.
“The best is yet to come!”
“So then,” he continued, raising his glass to meet hers, “what’s the occasion?”
“To us and the future.” She smiled at him.
“To us it is then.”
“And the future.”
The first course came to an end. She made idle chitchat as she filled the wine glasses and they started on the chicken chasseur.
“I had a strange day,” she said.
“It was the local radio.”
“Some cat got run over. The owner took it really badly. They had to scrape off the body from the curb outside the house.”
He swallowed another piece of chicken.
“You’ve gone pale. Is the dinner not agreeing with you?”
“No. Dinner’s great, love,” he assured her. “I’m just a bit tired.”
“The news reporter spoke about love and its limitations when applied to our pets.” She took a sip of wine.
“They said that love has no limits in whatever shape or form it takes. And almost any one of us will do anything for love. Just as the cat’s owner did.”
She cleared away the dishes to fetch the cherry cheesecake.
“So what did she do then?” he asked, slicing a portion of cheesecake. “The cat’s owner?”
“She cleaned the body of her cat and, in an act of pure love, cooked it for a special dinner.”
“She ate her cat so they would be part of each other forever.”
“That’s sick!” He shoved his plate aside. “What was the cat’s name?” His voice shook.
He bolted from the table. He rushed to the back door and doubled over, heaving. She watched him, her green eyes wide with satisfaction.
© 2020 Jennifer Koch-Buccheri
Available under the Thanet Writers Education Policy
Born in London, Islington, Jennifer Koch-Buccheri discovered her passion for writing at a young age, seeking refuge from life in stories.