She’d gone to freshen up. His hand rested on his glass. It was cool against his fingers and the ice floated there motionless and nearly imperceptible in the candle light. Their food would soon arrive and he day dreamed about what he would say when she returned. For her birthday she had made it clear that steak was what she wanted to eat. An odd request possibly for a meal meant to be romantic, but knowing her tastes he had not refused. “Let’s make the most of it,” She had said, excitedly, “It is restaurant week.” So he had made reservations at Ruth’s Chris’ Steakhouse, an odd name but perfectly explainable: a woman named Ruth had bought a man named Chris’ steakhouse and retained the original name.
So there they were opposite the candle light, her chair empty about to be filled and him alone among couples and parties and families eating steaks, mushrooms, salads and potatoes. As if an alarm had sounded the moment their main course was to arrive, she appeared out of the far right corner of the room and began moving toward the table, the waitress carrying their meal coming from the left at nearly the same speed. Two trains travelling toward each other on a single steak powered track. They arrived together and he winked at her and thanked the waitress. She sat down smiling broadly, somehow the silverware already in her hand. “Smells so good,” She said giggling. He touched his glass absentmindedly and laughed, as much at her enthusiasm as for how much he loved her. “Ready!” she said bouncing in her seat. He shook his head and reached out for his fork.
A searing pain.
Startled he pulled his arm back.
Seeing stars and Petite Filets.
She looked at him, a piece of steak impaled on her fork.
“I think I burned myself,” He said, a curious expression played quickly across his face, “Look.”
He put his arm out toward her, “Hurts pretty bad.”
She looked at his arm, lovingly and disinterestedly and concerned and hungry before popping the piece of severed steak into her mouth.
“Watch out, These plates are really hot.”