He glanced at himself in the mirror. He was ready. Good thing too because it was time to do this. He’d been looking forward to it for a while – so long that he could practically taste what it would be like. His lips curved into a half smile as he headed quietly down the stairs.
There she was, just as he’d expected. Yes, this was going to be easy. Then he felt a prickle of nervousness. What if something went wrong? It had been known to happen. If it did, the whole thing would be ruined. No, he reassured himself, it wasn’t going to be a problem. OK, so he hadn’t done this sort of thing before, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t pull it off beautifully.
He looked at her again, moving gracefully from kitchen to dining room without even seeming to be aware that he was watching her. So much the better really. Without speaking to her – after all, what was there to say, really? – he made his way to the kitchen. He swallowed once and drew open the cutlery drawer. It made no noise, thank God. He’d oiled that persistent squeak the other day knowing he wouldn’t want to be bothered by it today. He selected the knife he wanted and ran it a few times through the knife sharpener. By the time he was done, it was honed perfectly. It would go in smoothly and easily.
He paused for a moment, listening to the soft clink as she put out wine glasses on the table. Good, she hadn’t heard him. He felt like a pro already. He was just leaving the kitchen when he noticed that he’d left the cutlery drawer open. Stupid! He carefully closed it and listened again. No sound from the dining room. Well that likely meant she was fixing the flowers on the table or folding the napkins. No problem there; he could finish this almost no matter what she was doing. But he really did need to get going now if he was going to do it at all. Timing was critical. He glanced at the knife in his hand, at the way the kitchen light made it gleam. Then he headed for the dining room.
He must have made no noise at all because she didn’t look up at first when he came in. Just as well. He was a little nervous and having her watch him would just make things harder. But something got her attention because she glanced up from the forks she was putting on the table. She smiled a little and said, ‘Oh, there you are! I didn’t hear you come in.’
‘Sorry, did I startle you?’
‘Maybe a little, but it’s OK.’
He walked closer to her, so close he could just catch the scent of her Oscar de la Renta. When he got close enough there was no more holding back. He swallowed once more, raised the knife and…
…carved his very first Thanksgiving turkey! It came out beautifully, too.
To all of my American friends, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. May this time with friends and family keep you warm.
To my friends everywhere, whether I’ve met you (yet) or not, my deep thanks for being there for me. You mean more to me than I can express in a blog post. I wish you all well.
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Marc Blitzstein’s Mack the Knife.