Author’s Comment: I have never had cause – nor inclination – to write romantic fiction, or anything akin to what this project calls for. Thus, it was an interesting first experience to say the least.
THIRD ACT: GROCERY SHOPPING. ISABEL OPTION
Having yet to really gain a proper taste of her personality, my curiosity decides for me to see for myself of Isabel’s own tastes. The supermarket was quite extensive, with copious shelves within the confines of which you could easily disappear, likely along with the contents of your wallet.
It would seem Isabel’s preferences are unphased by this prospect, as she saunters off in the direction of the organic meat kiosks.
I follow the clack of her heels down the polished aisle, watching her navigating through passing strangers with an iron composure, seemingly as if they were not even there. Coming to the front of the glass-pane, all manner and cuts of various meats are arrayed before us. I must admit, the sight is quite enticing.
There’s a moment’s pause, deliberation I thought, before she smacks me about the head with a sudden question.
“What steak would you recommend for a Florentine marinade, porterhouse or coulette?”
She did not even turn her head to look at me, but simply threw the query over her shoulder, almost casually. Or was it? Perhaps this some sort of test? I knew I was slightly overreacting but something about her demeanour was unsettling.
I had never thought of myself as much of a chef. I only remember watching my mother prepare steak marinades. I reach out a finger to point to the little plastic marker indicating the porterhouse cut when she overrides my drawn breath, addressing the butcher.
“Two sides of your porterhouse steak please.” She announces confidently.
She had just folded her purse away into a leather clutch, card in hand, when her attention snags on my still upheld finger. My cheeks smoulder in self-acknowledged stupidity, yet quite unexpectedly her lips widen into a small smile.
I can’t tell approval from contempt when I am so expectant of the latter. Yet a twinkle in her pale eyes keeps my confidence from collapsing.
Isabel pays for the goods with her card and then I feel it’s duly my own turn. The butcher bids good day to Isabel, who I was then acutely aware lingers behind me, like a cat watching for the mices’ next move. I know this is going to sting but I think it a necessary sacrifice.
“Could I get two cuts of strip steak, please?” I hear myself ask, trying to resist the urge to fling my wallet away down the aisle, screaming to save itself.
I still cannot decipher whether Isabel approved or not, nor can I fathom why it is so important to me anyway. She merely stands to one side, her feet drawn together diligently, watching as I place the meat in the basket we had agreed upon entering to share.