Drop #89: Lunch

In the morning, when she’s leaving for work, I ask if she wants to meet for lunch.



‘Positive. I’m, busy all day.’

‘OK. Another time then.’

‘At 12.30, after working nonstop for 4 hours, I start making the elaborate lunch I’ve been evolving in the back of my mind, looking forward to it immensely.

I prepare a salad of micro greens, radishes, sprouts and heirloom tomato, and dress it in a mustard and balsamic vinaigrette. I make tempura batter and shuck the five oysters left over from the weekend, which must be consumed. I fry them and various vegetables, which I’ve sliced to size, patiently in the batter in batches. When almost done I pan sear four large scallops while brushing them with a soy-ginger glaze, making sure not to over cook them. I set the large dining table, using the nice plates and cutlery. I have timed it all perfectly. Everything is hot and cooked to specification, and nothing is soggy. I crack a bottle of good, chilled Sancerre and sit down.

Phone rings. It’s Mary: ‘You want to have lunch?’

‘Thought you couldn’t.’

‘Something got cancelled. Come on, nothing fancy, but lets meet. Would be nice to see you.’


I carefully put everything away, covering what I can with foil, and cork the wine. I get to the restaurant around 2.15, very hungry. At half past she hasn’t shown. I get the call at 2.45: ‘Sorry, Babe. Something came up. Turns out I can’t make it after all.’

‘Oh, OK.’

‘Next time, alright?’


‘Oh, since you’re out, can you pick up some toilet paper?’


I get home at 3.30. The salad is soggy, as is the cold tempura, and the scallops will turn to rubber if I reheat them, but I’m hungry and I eat it all anyway. Then I get back to work. I’ll make dinner for the two of us later. I already have something special in mind.

By E.M. Vireo


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

4 Responses to Drop #89: Lunch

  1. Couple of thoughts on this one – first, I know many women who’ve been in this very place so many times and it was interesting to see a man in this role (assuming it’s a man). Second, this is a poignant lesson in taking a person for granted… gets one thinking.

  2. legionwriter says:

    This makes me hurt a little because I think it happens so often in our age of hyperactivity. The pain in this piece, really, is in the fact that the narrator appears to have learned to accept it all as what’re way things are. I think a lot of us have. Well done.

  3. I presume the something special includes oysters

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