Demandez. It was the buzzword of their relationship at the start.
Ask me. Tell me. No, *beg* me. Say please.
It would help, perhaps, if it wasn’t written on the mirror. That’s how he thinks of the food now as a reflection of him – every roast chicken, every perfect patisserie, every carefully reduced sauce – it’s a slice of him on a plate.
A slice taken out of their relationship.
Once upon a time, he’d had time for her. Had left the kitchen in fact, that night they met, to ask what she thought of the food. At least, that was what he started by asking. He finished by writing his number on a napkin.
Napkins are disposable.
Now, he doesn’t ask her anything, and she doesn’t ask him, either. Not the coupley stuff, like ‘What do you want for dinner?’ (He brings leftovers from the restaurant), nor the ‘Where do you want my cock?’ or the ‘Shall I come in your cunt, or your mouth?’ Where she wants his cock is in the long, stolen afternoons they used to share, not the post-midnight hours they’re confined to now, once he’s showered off the scents of his true love – the garlic, the chilli, the oil from the deep fat fryer.
She might tell herself, one day, that she made a last ditch attempt to save it. She sat in the restaurant, at the table opposite the mirror, and she even dressed like a mistress – all black, red nails, lots of cleavage.
He stays in the kitchen.
At six, the first guests start to arrive. She gives up her table to a party of four, and heads home. She should leave a note, she thinks, somewhere where he’ll see it.
When he comes home, in the early hours, there’s a word on the mirror, in lipstick.