We were making brownies when I ran out of sugar. Turning the cupboards inside out exposed nothing but a half-used bag of icing sugar riddled with tiny mouse-sized holes.
“Shit.” I sighed leaning against the counter half-heartedly gesturing with the leaking bag, “we’re going to need more sugar.”
It was in between the glances from her blank eyes to the bowl of melted chocolate and butter that I realized I was going to have to go back. To that apartment, again.
Peering out my backdoor I surreptitiously glance around. Damn, there will be witnesses.
“Keep watch that he doesn’t come home.” I command my troops, er troop. As I begin to climb the fence for what I hope is the last time.
“What about… them?” She asks nodding to the group of neighbours chatting a couple meters away at the other side of the fence.
“Them? They see me do this all the time. They probably don’t even know I don’t live here anymore.”
She doesn’t look convinced shying backwards into the safe anonymity of the doorway.
“Some accomplice you are…” I mutter under my breath.
“Nothing I’ll just be a second.”
Over the fence and up the stairs I barely pause to check that the lights are off inside. The key is in the door. I take a deep breath and push it wide.
Fuck. This place. It’s exactly as I remember it. Everything in disarray. The stainless steel dog bowls I bought are almost empty. The lobster chew toy she loves is covered in mud. I kick it away and then instantly feel guilty. It’s not her fault she isn’t here.
I wander aimlessly into the kitchen, forgetting that I’m on a mission, forgetting that they could find me here at any moment. That wouldn’t be awkward at all. I pull a card off the refridgerator door and the magnet flings across the room. A hastly written number is scrawled over it in blue pen. Hope ya don’t need that for anything, I think and crumpling it up toss it into the garbage can. I suddenly feel badass. Maybe a little like Rambo. Next, I ransack the cupboards, collecting all the baking supplies I had thought to leave just in case he felt like baking. I take the sugar, cornstarch, brown sugar, oatmeal, and anything else that looks useful and pile it into my arms. Then I spot the giant sack of flour. I’ll be back for you later, I mouth at it.
Laden down with my bounty I trot back outside. My lackey is nowhere to be found.
“Tas!” I whisper frantically.
She pops her head out of the door on high alert, “what is it?!”
“Here, take these.”
Her eyes go wide as I pile my supplies into her arms and then turn back for more.
“You’re getting more stuff?”
“Leave no survivors!” I yell triumphantly and jog back into the apartment.
I continue on toting things back and forth and with every stolen ingredient my spirits lift ever so slightly. Feeling like coffee in the morning? Ha! Try just hot water instead. Maybe a little peanut butter on your toast? Too bad, looks like you’re just having butter. Thinking you might make her that delicious sour cream and raspberry pie you once seduced me with? Looks like you’ll be heading to the grocery store, asshole. I’m in a fit of self-satisfied rage, covered in flour and bits of spice when my gaze rests on the bedroom door. It creaks a warning as I enter. The bed looks well-used and abandoned. My sheets, comforter, pillows all tossed willy nilly across the mattress. They are practically having sex right in front of me. I’d left it all for him, before. Didn’t want to think of him uncomfortable or cold. I’m a nester after all. Fuck. That. Shit. I seethe through my teeth. Get your own goddamn bed. I grab my favourite wicker laundry basket that he never returned and dump his folded clothes unceremoniously on the ground. Throwing it roughly on the floor in front of the bed I take everything but the bottom sheet. It’s not mine, anyway. I don’t give myself a second to think about the last time I laid with him there or the time he caught me dancing on the bed to Mika in my underwear. I try not to, anyway, but the past has a way of crawling in uninvited.
I’m not sad as I lock the door behind me. But, I’ve lost the triumphant gleam in my eye. She laughs as I throw the basket over the fence and follow suit.
“What’s all this?”
I force a smile that feels more like a grimace, “Well, I made this bed didn’t I? I figure it’s about time he stops laying in it.”
She starts to laugh and then stops. She starts to say something and then stops. I heft the basket onto my hip and as I move past her into the house I can feel her hand hovering near the back of my neck unsure which area might be safe to touch. My whole body tenses for a confrontation that never comes.