Kitchen Affairs

By: Brooke Cumberland

“In the kitchen. What is your favorite position in the kitchen when you’re working?” he clarified, although I’m sure he was trying to rattle me. Oh, thank goodness.

“I love working with desserts and sauces. I love being able to make food desirable and appealing. It’s like art – but with food.” I gave a little smile hoping that was a satisfying enough answer for him.

“Desirable and appealing,” he pondered. “That’s intriguing."

Finally, the cab pulled over at my apartment. “Thank you again, Mr. Stagliano for catching my fall.” I reached for the handle and swung the door open.

“The pleasure is all mine, Miss Woods,” he quipped, looking oddly suspicious. I nodded and stumbled out.

“Michael! Have you seen my wallet?” I panicked. No, no! Of all days to be late and my wallet is MIA.

“No, sorry honey. Did you look through your purse and coat?” Michael replied, worried for me.

“Yes, three times already! It’s gone!” Where the fuck did it go? “Guess I need to call my bank and credit card companies.

“Don’t forget your picking Stella up today. I have a hot date,” Michael bragged as he walked in to the kitchen putting his shirt on.

“Yes, I know. Hot date, huh?” I asked curiously. Michael was a player, but as long as he didn’t bring his accomplices to the house, I didn’t care.

“Troy. He’s fun. If it doesn’t go too well, I’ll be back by nine.” Michael approached me and tenderly kissed me on the forehead goodbye.

“Stella, let’s go honey!” We left and practically ran to a cab. Of all days to be late and without my wallet! Good thing I had a secret stash of cash lying around the house for emergencies.

“Welcome, Miss Woods. Glad to see your finally joining us today,” Mr. Cooper scolded looking pissed. I was fifteen minutes late and as much as I tried to sneak into the kitchen; I was busted.

“I apologize Mr. Cooper. It won’t happen again.”

“Are you okay?” Blakely turned around with a puzzled look.

“Yeah, just ran late. I lost my wallet,” I pouted.

“I saw Mr. Stagliano leaving the tavern right after you left. Looked like he was up to something,” Blakely commented, changing the subject as we gathered in our groups for another cooking project. Today we were focusing on bases and soups.

“Really?” I asked, pretending not to notice. I didn’t know if mentioning him to her was a big deal or not. I figured she’d hound me and ask a million questions. I didn’t need to be distracted today since I was already late for class.

“Okay, so let’s start with the vegetable minestrone and tomato lavender base,” Brad proposed. We chatted for the next several hours getting our soups and bases prepared. Interning was grunt work. We had to do all the crappy jobs that the chefs didn’t feel like doing. We have to learn anyways, but I was ready to move on to more challenging tasks, start entrees, and gourmet meals. I hoped to run my own kitchen someday. Maybe my own restaurant.

Before Liam and I found out we were expecting, I worked at a local restaurant in town where I cooked, and Liam bussed. We were trying to save money to move into our own place. I would pretend that I was the executive chef and present the food in a special way with garnishes and drizzles on the plates. After having that job, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Cooking gave me a sense of accomplishment that I desired after my parent’s divorce. They were tied up in who got what that I felt invisible most of the time.

“I’m just going to place this in the freezer guys. Be right back,” I announced with my hands full walking the other way. I shuffled some containers around to make room and aimed for the door when I suddenly noticed something shiny in the corner of my eye.

No fucking way.

There lying on a rack next to full containers of condiments was my Coach wallet nicely folded with a note on top.

You left this in the cab last night. Figured you would need it. However, if you want the remainder of the contents you must meet me for dinner first. Pick you up at 8pm tomorrow night. -D.S.

You are fucking kidding me. He was holding my credit cards hostage. Un-fucking-believable. What nerve.

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