Butter and oil.
Salt and pepper.
Seasoned side down. Don’t jump when it screams.
Three and a half minutes. Don’t touch.
Three more minutes. Resist.
Onto the plate.
I sit at my end of the table, knife and fork in hand, looking straight down at my plate and not at the seam in the center where I took out the leaf to make the room less empty.
A single slice through the crust, top to bottom, left to right.
It’s perfectly seasoned: butter and oil and salt and pepper and time and distance and relief and sorrow.
But it will never be as good as yours.
This story is part of No Novel November, a daily microfiction challenge. If you'd like to know more and/or join in, click here.