Annika R

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The red umbrella lay forgotten by the open window in the second floor bedroom. It was wet, not from its last use outdoors but rather from the previous rains that had come seeping through the window.

All was still in the house.

Save the chopping coming from the downstairs kitchen. And yes. The music was also coming from the the same room which emitted the chopping.

Downstairs in the kitchen could be found the only conscious human movement in the house from a man chopping peppers, onions, tomatoes, and all manner of flora in a dimly lit kitchen. His sandy hair was disheveled with the sweat that matted down some regions of his hair and his white, unbuttoned Oxford shirt had seen better days as it hung loosely to his tall lean frame, giving way to several bruises and cuts on his abdomen. His lightly tanned pants, however, were crisp with the folds of fresh ironing. He was pale as the snow of December, but his eyes were the only color on his person. A piercing blue, they resembled the color of the inky North Sea, where he had spent so many a summer, the only hue on what seemed to be a bleached person. Even with this little color, a smile crept across the corners of his lips as he minced away the asparagus and placed it in its own bowl right next to the rest of the vegetables, shortly after which he turned the speaker’s volume a little quieter. It had just began to play “Bungalow Bill.” It wasn’t quite clear why he was cutting all the vegetables or why he was smiling, even with all the signs of distress on his body.

He walked away from the counter where he had been cutting and opened the refrigerator. Once there, he removed a carton of eggs and placed them on the counter, along with a carton milk. He then proceeded to get a large bowl and spoon out of separate drawers. One by one, he cracked six eggs into the bowl and added about a third cup of milk to the eggs. Whisking them together, he began to move to the music, and his smile grew. It was not a malicious smile but rather a smile of relief, relief from the absence of his dangerous, tedious work. He began to see a sunrise through the dirty kitchen window and switched the music off. He walked over to the door that led outside and opened it wide despite late March’s chills.

Upon returning to the stove, he set a large pan on the stove and began to heat it, after which he poured the egg mixture into the pan and began singing to “Come On Eileen.” After a few minutes, he dumped the contents of each of the vegetable bowls into the pan and then proceeded to get two plates out of a wooden cupboard above the stove. He then set the kitchen island for two, complete with napkins and a glass of orange juice as well as two mugs with coffee in them. After this, he retrieved the finished frittata and placed it on a cork plate. He then cut himself a piece and placed it on the plate. He began to chow down the eggs and kept smiling, as if he were a child who had just won their first basketball game.

At last, he finished his meal and cleared his plate in order to put it into the dishwasher. He stood up. “Stella, it’s ok if you don’t wanna eat with me, but I made a big omelet, ya know, one of this frittata things you’re always chatting up, and there’s some left for you. See you tonight, I love you!” He shouted to the empty house.


* * *

Lydia Kevers was late. But then again, when wasn’t she? As she rushed to her desk, she almost spilled the coffee she was carrying on her freshly pressed blouse. But just as she reached her cramped area, she spied a certain blue-eyed, blonde haired man entering the large office space. As she approached him, Lydia straightened her skirt and blouse and patted her hand down.

“Good morning, Mr. Sorensen, how are you?” she said as she handed him the coffee.

“Thank you, Lydia, did you send me Thompson’s labs?” he said with a smile.

“Oh yes, I did, but I wasn’t able to finish with your schedule for the transplant for Carls, I’ll get on that now.” But as she turned, he tapped her on the shoulder, and she turned back around.

“I made a frittata for Stella this morning, you think she’ll like it?”

She shrugged and laughed, and began walking back to her desk, now dumbfounded. But she sat down she whispered to herself, “But Stella’s been dead for five years.” She picked up the phone to dial her brother’s number.

“Lydia?” a deep voice spoke on the other end of the phone.

“Hi, Eric, it’s me. Listen, where are you?”

“Uh, at home, it’s my week off and it’s like ten.”

“Ok, ok good, I need to to tell you something.”

“Yeah?”

“Uh, my boss-”

“The Swedish one?”

“Yeah, him, uh, I think he thinks his dead wife is alive,” she whispered.

“What?! How do you know?”

“He was wondering whether she was gonna like the eggs he made her.”