Thursday, 27 September 2012
The smell that filled the air when I opened the cottage door and walked in, made my stomach ache and my mouth water. Hurrying over to the bedroom, I threw my things on the unmade bed before walking over to Lucas, as he knelt in front of the growing flames that now danced within the chipped and faded stone hearth. Curling up on the sofa and tucking my feet under me, I reached for Daniel’s pillow, still lying on the end of the sofa where I left it earlier. Pulling it into my lap, I heard a soft thud as something hit the floor. Looking down to the bottom of the couch I bent over and picked up a weathered paperback book from the ground.
The sound of bacon sizzling had me looking back over to Lucas. Sitting with his back to me I watched as he held out a cast iron skillet, which looked as old and worn as this house, and held it high over the fire’s flames.
“What are you doing?” I asked, curiously watching Lucas, as he poked the frying bacon strips with a plastic fork.
“I don’t know about you, but I like my bacon crispy.” He threw over his shoulder, along with a sly little smile before turning back to his skillet.
Looking back down to the small battered novel in my hands, I turned it over. I was barely able to make out the words, Hamlet, written in bold font on the scratched and tattered cover. Flipping through the stained and creased pages, I stopped several times to look at the small, scribbled notes that filled the margins in almost every other page.
“Hey, is this yours?” I inquired, looking up to see him pull a large brown bag out from the right side corner, beside the fireplace.
“This….” I said, waving the book back and forth in the air, trying to get his attention.
Finally looking up to see what I was talking about, “Oh! That’s Dani’s. His m-” he started to say before stopping himself.
“His what?” I eagerly asked, silently begging him to continue so I could find out more about Daniel.
“So how do you like your eggs?” he asked, avoiding my question. “Scrambled or-”
Tuning Lucas out as he continued talking, I thought about the last time I saw my gramps. How I watched him make eggs that morning for breakfast and how we talked about my trip. Thinking back, it felt like a lifetime ago.
“I’m good. No eggs for me.” I told Lucas with a tight smile.
“Well the bacons done, so have at it!” he said to me as he took the strips out from the hot pan, and laid them on the paper plate he pulled out from the magic brown bag.
Still clutching the book in my hand, I hunkered down next to Lucas on the floor and took a bite from the still blistering hot slice of bacon. Unconsciously closing my eyes, a soft little moan escaped my lips when the hot meat touched my tongue.
“You…ah… you got a little bit of drool right there.” Lucas said, startling me out of my bacon trance.
Reaching up I wiped the side of my mouth with the back of hand, glaring at Lucas when his amused smile morphed into a deep husky laugh.
“Don’t you have eggs to make.” I snapped. Still glowering at him as he turned and cracked a few eggs, into the same mug Daniel had offered me soup in last night. Using a plastic fork, he whisked to eggs into a frenzy before throwing them into the heated skillet.
Throwing the cooked eggs into another paper plate, he rested the scorching hot pan on the other side of the stone hearth. Settling to face me, the plates of food between us, Lucas dug into his eggs and I nibbled on my bacon as we both ate in silence. I’d just polished off my 6th strip, and was staring at Daniel’s book in my lap but not really seeing it, when Lucas’ raspy voice cut into my thoughts, shattering the unintentional silence.
“So how’re you doing? You know, with…..everything?” Lucas asked.
Looking up from my lap to Lucas, I saw the concern and wariness that flickered across his grey eyes as he patiently waited for me reply.