A Familiar Recipe – Short Story

After the miscarriage, Sarah and Simon’s marriage struggles to survive

Sarah sat and watched him. He had clinically laid the table a minute ago. Making sure all the knives and forks were exactly the same distance away. Placing the pot stand, exactly in the centre of the table.

Simon walked over to the table, placing the pan exactly on the pot stand. Not a millimetre off the centre.

Things had been tough for the last year in the Parker house. Ever since they had lost the baby the pair had been on a different page. It started with a quick niggle at each other. A few cross words had grown into a full-scale war. The arguments lasting for hours. Always resulting in one of them spending the night on the sofa.

Two weeks ago they had faced the final decision. Go their separate ways or make their marriage work.

It hadn’t always been like this. Before pregnancy, they had been happy. Constantly in the bedroom, only wanting to spend time with each other.

Then the miscarriage had come. Two days later, they were told that they would never have a child. Inhospitable womb was the cause. Simon told her it didn’t matter, but she knew better. He had always wanted kids. How could their marriage last when it had always been about having a family.

It was essentially this, that had broken them. The more Simon said it didn’t matter, the more it mattered. When they had sat making the make or break decision, Simon finally managed to convince her it was okay. After all, they could adopt and still have a family. Giving a child a home was even more important than having your own, he told her.

Simon smiled at her, as he sat opposite.

“I made your favourite,” he said.

Reaching across the table, she squeezed his hand looking deep into his eyes. Eyes of the man who loved her, she sighed with contentment.

Spaghetti Bolognese, Simon’s signature dish. He always made it using a healthy amount of black pepper. A family recipe, he told her the first time he cooked it for her. It took him until the week after they were married, to finally tell her what the secret was. No one Sarah had ever met, used that much black pepper, but it was amazing.

“There is a works meal next week if you want to go?” Simon asked.

“Yes, that would be fun. Who is going?”

“Tom and his wife, oh and my secretary Diana”

“That should be fun,” she replied.

Sarah hadn’t met Diana, she was looking forward to getting to know her better. She had just found out that she was pregnant. Simon had been reluctant to tell Sarah at first. Sarah had no ill feelings towards her. She wouldn’t wish the horror of not having children on anyone.

Sarah took forever to pick an outfit for the meal. She wanted to impress Simon’s work friends.

Two hours later, after the third outfit change, they arrived at Diana’s house.

Claire met them with a smile and kissed Sarah’s cheek. The two men shook hands. They chatted until Diana came in from the kitchen.

Diana was ten years younger than Sarah, blond with a witty personality. Sarah liked her immediately. The two chatted as if they had always been friends.

After a couple of drinks, Diana took them to the table and served the dinner.

It took one mouthful, for Sarah to recognise the recipe. The generous helping of black pepper in the spaghetti bolognese. She looked up at her husband. He was smiling at Diana, a familiar smile as well as a familiar recipe.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s