Sunlight came through the kitchen window, casting a cheerful square of brightness across the counter. Jeannie was cutting up a lime. She liked a slice of lime in her mineral water. Made it seem more festive than a plain glass of water ought to be. She liked that, and the flavour. The flavour of sunshine, she thought, as she enjoyed the beam sent her way this morning.
Her knife sliced firmly through the pocked green rind of the lime and it sent up its urgent citrusy aroma, pleasuring Jeannie’s nostrils. A small smile relaxed onto her face, and she plopped a lime slice into her glass. Then she poured the bubbly water, cold from the fridge, and leaned back against the counter. Sipping, she was absorbed in this small moment of everyday bliss.
Max came rushing through the door from the hallway, filling the quiet kitchen with frenetic energy.
“Late again! I’ve gotta get going – where’s that phone number of the guy at the gym? I’ve gotta call him pronto or he’ll charge me for the session.”
“You’re skipping your gym session again? Won’t get fit that way,” said Jeannie, mildly.
“Get off my back. I had a hard night last night.”
“A hard night of drinking.”
“Where’s the frigging number?” said Max, rifling though the detritus that had collected under the kitchen phone on the wall. Pens, brochures for cheap pizza, ignored bank statements still in their envelopes, a ripe banana – scattered across the counter.
“It was written there on the yellow pad,” said Jeannie, sipping her water and lime, unperturbed. This was a familiar scene. She and Max were proverbial opposites, he always late, disorganized, in a panic; she calm, at ease, accepting chaos with wry amusement.
She looked at Max. She loved him.