It was over from the moment I saw you cut an onion. Bitten-down sore fingernails slicing chunky-knit rings when we were supposed to be making stuffed zucchini boats. What the hell were you thinking? I watched as you nervously negotiated the knife handle. Like a shy thick-fingered chimpanzee casually holding a Qianlong porcelain vase; with the best of intentions it was always a “when” not an “if.”
Suddenly the cruel lotteries of life condensed to just one irrefutable, unfortunate certainty. You sliced the top off, then the bottom, and balancing it on its curved side nudged the blade in, splicing and spraying tears into the air. I pretended not to look. A skinned layer came free, and as you pushed the knife in that second time, the body slipped from your grip and bounced across the wooden floorboards. You picked it up, with all the faux-casual-coolness of a dog-owner whose darling pet has just defecated while they’re poo-bag-less and in view of a neighbor. You rinsed it under the tap, and continued to help me make zucchini boats.
And then you tell me that you’re proud of my efforts at trying to manage my emotions better; you tell me things will get better at work; you tell me you love me.
“What’s the matter babe?”
“It’s the onion.”