Forever and Ever

WORDS TO USE:  TV – orange – goose – sandals – stubby

PROMPT: Write about a meal or dinner going horribly wrong.

Aggie pulled her favorite baking dish from the oven and set it on the glass cooktop. She stepped back and felt sick as she stared in horror at the sad-looking, blackened goose and unrecognizable vegetables beside it. What had gone wrong?

A glance at the stove’s clock told her she was in trouble. Her new husband would return from the airport in minutes with his parents. This was their first meal together and her first chance to impress her in-laws.

With a sigh, she hung her head in disappointment. She’d seen a goose being cooked on her favorite cooking show, Worst Cooks in America. Maybe that should have been her first clue that this attempt could go astray. But she’d thought she could do better. Wrong.

Get over it! Figure out something else.

She raced to the refrigerator, determined to find anything to make some kind of meal. Tom didn’t deserve to have a failure for a wife. Okay, he’d known that cooking wasn’t her specialty. But she was a master with a microwave! And she had many restaurants on her speed dial for quick deliveries.

Opening the refrigerator door, she stared at the basically empty space. A tub of butter and a gallon of milk, probably out of date. She wasn’t good with expiration dates. A couple of jars of nearly empty jams completed the contents.

Hopeful that just maybe the meat/produce drawer held something, she pulled it open. Seriously! She squinted at the partial tomato in a plastic container. Although it was hard to tell the blob was actually a tomato any longer. There was a bacon package with two pieces of what looked more like jerky than bacon. And a gorgeous orange.

Heart heavy and almost all hope to save herself gone, Aggie closed the refrigerator and hurried her way to the small pantry. Her left sandal got caught in a sticky spot on the floor, and she stumbled and smashed her stubby little toe into the corner of the stove.

She gave up, not even bothering to open the pantry door. They’d only been married two weeks, only been home from their honeymoon a week. Catching up at work had taken most of their time. When they’d finally gotten home each night, all either could manage was collapsing on their bed. Seconds after that, they’d gotten lost in each other. Food wasn’t even a thought. Good thing they both grabbed a quick breakfast on the way to their respective offices and ate lunch out, too.

Tears burned her eyes, and she slid down to sit on the floor. The smell of burned goose and charred vegetables drifted down to her. She was the worst wife ever!

Aggie was in the middle of an intense personal pity party when the door opened from the garage. She didn’t even have time to wipe her tears away before two strong arms reached down to pull her up. Before she could stop a final sniffle, Tom plastered her body against him, his arms holding her close.

“I made reservations at our favorite restaurant, sweetheart.” He patted her back gently. “That okay with you?”

She pulled in a shuddery breath and looked up at him. His warm brown eyes mirrored love, understanding, and a hint of amusement. She was torn between wanting to kiss him for coming to her rescue or punching him in the stomach for sensing that she would have a cooking disaster.

He settled her indecision and gave her a quick kiss. It weakened her knees and destroyed her irritation.

A non-too-subtle throat clearing broke them apart. “Don’t we need to be going, son?” Tom’s dad asked from a few feet behind them.

Aggie groaned, and her face heated. First was the cooking disaster, and now getting caught all but climbing all over her husband.

Said husband chuckled, still holding her close to him. “We could just let the two of you go…”

This time Aggie got even with him for traumatizing her. She pushed out of his embrace, glared in annoyance at him, and glanced at his mother. “Any chance you will take him back?”

His mother’s eyes flashed with amusement, and she shook her head. “Sorry. He’s all yours now.”

“She’s right,” Tom said, reaching out to caress Aggie’s cheek. “I’m all yours, forever and ever. I married you for good times and bad, and for cooking wonders and disasters.”

The frustration melted away at his expression’s warmth and determined declaration. “Score one for ‘cooking disasters.’” She smiled at her in-laws. “So, who’s ready to go eat someplace with edible food?”

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