When Ryan walked into the kitchen, Sandra was already there cooking scrambled eggs. “I cut myself shaving,” he said.
“Ouch. I imagine that hurt,” she said.
“Yup,” he said. “I’ll make toast.”
Ryan put the toast in the toaster and looked out the window. “There’s a cat digging up the flowers I planted on Saturday!” He ran outside and chased the cat away. Stomping back to the front door, he realized that his feet were wet and cold. He must have stepped in a puddle.
He looked down and frowned. His fluffy slippers were covered with mud. He left them by the front door and went back to the kitchen. “What’s that smell?” he asked.
“The toast burnt,” Sandra said. “The toaster was on the wrong setting.”
“Do you want me to toast some more?” Ryan asked.
“There’s already some in the toaster. Sit down and eat.” Sandra turned and started dishing up the scrambled eggs onto the waiting plates. She smiled at Ryan, and then frowned. “Your shirt’s on backwards,” she said.
“That’s easy to fix,” Ryan said. “Watch.” He pulled his arms in and tugged his shirt around without pulling it off. Then he popped his arms out of the sleeves. His elbow hit Sandra’s mug of cocoa. It flew up in a short arc and fell.
Ryan dove to catch it, tipping it into Sandra’s favorite sky-blue shirt. The stain spread rapidly as the mug hit the floor and shattered. “I’m so sorry,” Ryan said. “Let me get some paper towels.”
“It’s okay,” she said. Ryan handed her a crumbled wad of paper towels and then started to mop up the mess on the floor. Sandra dabbed at the stain as she left to change her shirt.
Ryan gingerly picked up the broken pieces of mug and hissed when one stabbed his thumb. He decided to find the broom and dustpan to finish the job. As he turned to get them, he saw movement out the window. The cat was back. He grumbled and stomped outside in his socks to chase it away again.
Work was a comedy of errors. He somehow managed to be late to everything and trip over nothing and call three people by the wrong name. And he’d left his lunch at home on the counter. He was happy when it was finally time to go home.
On his way home from work, Ryan stopped by an empty field and gathered a bunch of the pretty yellow flowers growing there. Sandra liked yellow. Her wedding bouquet was full of yellow flowers. He set them on the seat beside him and hummed along with the radio. Soon, he was home.
He bunched the flowers back into a bouquet and went inside. He found Sandra in the living room going through her planner. He held out the flowers. She made an odd face and started sneezing. And then, a bee flew out of the bunch of flowers and landed on Sandra’s hair.
Sandra shook her head and started running. She was still sneezing. The bee followed her as she zig-zagged down the hall. She ran into the bathroom and shut the door. Ryan followed behind her, still carrying the flowers.
“I think the bee likes your shampoo,” he said. “It smells like flowers.”
“Just get rid of it,” Sandra said through the door.
Ryan waved the flowers in what he hoped was an enticing manner. The bee flew closer. Slowly, Ryan coaxed the bee to the front door. Then he threw the flowers outside. When the bee followed the flowers out, he closed the door.
“It’s gone,” he said. Sandra came out of the bathroom. Her eyes looked red and puffy and she was blowing her nose.”
“Were you crying?” Ryan asked.
“No, I think I’m allergic to the flowers you brought home,” Sandra said.
“Well, they’re gone now,” Ryan said. He gave Sandra an awkward hug, trying to avoid the tissue she was still holding.
“You’re stepping on my foot,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” Ryan said.
Sandra laughed. “It’s okay,” she said. She smiled. “I love you anyway. Even on bad days.”
Ryan smiled back. “I’m glad. I love you too. Especially on bad days.”