Tension

In some ways, you know it’s funny. You know that you will make a joke, when you turn up at his apartment later, about how you bumped into his ex at your beginners’ knife skills class and, well, you could have cut the tension with a knife. 

It’ll be funny later, but to be honest, while it’s happening it’s not so funny. At first, your worry is that you will somehow slip and chop off her finger, but that worry is soon replaced by something more tangible. You will realise that, beginner or not, she is better at this than you are. The teacher will praise her for her excellent knife control and you will glower and resent her the compliment. You will nearly take your own finger off because you are hypnotised by the smooth movements of her blade as she segments citrus fruits for a delicious caramelised orange tart. You will watch her efficiently fillet a seabass and feel like she is in fact cutting your self-esteem from your bones. You will make such a mess of the task yourself that you’ll feel bad for the fish.

That evening, you will take the onion focaccia that you’ve made to his, and he will tell you that it’s delicious, and you will remember the joke you wanted to tell him, the tension one. You will not tell it, though, because you will not be in the mood. You’ve worried about this for a long time, the day you would inevitably meet his ex and the fact you knew you’d be jealous. And you were right to be worried, because you are jealous. It’s just that you were expecting to be jealous of her shiny hair or her bouncy tits, but you’re not. You’re jealous of the way she dices a fucking shallot.

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