The Last Thing He Told Me

1.5 Twenty-Four Hours Earlier


Owen and I sat on the dock, eating Thai food straight from the take-out
containers. Drinking ice cold beer.
He was in a sweatshirt and jeans, bare feet. There was barely a sliver of moon,
the Northern California night chilly and wet, but Owen wasn’t cold at all. I, on
the other hand, was wrapped in a blanket, two pairs of socks, pu􀏦y boots.
We were sharing a papaya salad and spicy lime curry. Owen was tearing up,
the heat from the chilies going straight to his eyes.
I sti􀏲ed a laugh. “If you can’t hack it,” I said, “we can order the curry mild
next time.”
“Oh, I can hack it,” he said. “If you can hack it, I can hack it…”
He stu􀏦ed his mouth with another bite, his face turning red as he struggled
to swallow. He reached for his beer and guzzled it down.
“See?” he said.
“I do,” I said.
Then I leaned in to kiss him.
After I pulled back, he smiled at me, touched my cheek.
“What do you think? Can I get under that blanket with you?” he asked.
I moved over, wrapping the blanket over his shoulders, feeling the heat of his
body. His barefooted body, a good ten degrees warmer than mine.
“So tell me,” he said. “What was your favorite thing today?”
This was something we sometimes did on days we got home late—on days we
were too tired to get into the big stu􀏦. We each picked one thing from the day to
tell each other about. One good thing from our separate lives.
“I actually think I have a pretty cool idea for a little treat for Bailey,” I said.
“I’m going to re-create the brown butter pasta for dinner tomorrow night. You
know, the one we had on her birthday at Poggio? Don’t you think she’ll love
He wrapped his arm more tightly around my waist, kept his voice low. “Are
you asking me if she’ll love that? Or if that will make her love you?”
“Hey. Not nice.”
“I’m trying to be nice,” he said. “Bailey’s lucky to have you. And she’s going
to come around to that. Pasta experiment or not.”
“How do you know?”
He shrugged. “I know things.”
I didn’t say anything, not exactly believing him. I wanted him to do more to
bridge the gap between Bailey and me, even if I didn’t know what that could
possibly be. If he wasn’t going to do that, I at least wanted him to tell me I was
doing everything I could.
As if hearing my thoughts, he pushed my hair o􀏦 my face. He kissed the side
of my neck.
“She really loved that pasta though,” he said. “It’s a sweet thing to do.”
“That’s all I’m saying!”
He smiled. “I should be able to duck out of work early tomorrow. If you’re in
the market for a sous chef?”
“I am,” I said.
“Count me in then,” he said. “I’m yours.”
I put my head on his shoulder. “Thank you,” I said. “Okay. Now you.”
“Favorite part of my day?” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “And don’t cop out and say right now.”
He laughed. “Shows how well you know me,” he said. “I wasn’t going to say
right now.”
“Really,” he said.
“What were you going to say?”
“Sixty seconds ago,” he said. “It was cold outside the blanket.”

You can use arrow keyboard to go to pervious/next chapter. The WASD keys also have the same function as arrow keys.