Friday began inauspiciously when I burned the rice that I can cook in my sleep. It ended when Rob announced he was leaving. After he had packed an overnight bag and left, pulling the front door gently closed behind him, I stood in the empty kitchen, breathing in the familiar smell of the untouched lamb curry I had cooked for supper, interspersed with the faint whiff of smoke that lingered; and, despite the fact that I had thrown away the burnt saucepan used to cook the rice, opened all the windows and run the extractor fan.
“Did you burn something?” Rob had asked, sniffing the air as he walked in.
“Can you still smell it?” I laughed, flinging myself into his arms.
Gently, but firmly, he pushed me away.
“Shall we sit down? I want to talk.” Something in his tone made me wary and my heart still.