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Friendship

It had been about five days after they met that one of them had first stepped foot in the other's flat at the end of the day, ready to share dinner. He couldn’t remember exactly when it was or what had happened but he had always been bad at remembering first times, a weakness he hated. Always thought about it a year later and wished he had paid more attention, he had long since taken to writing down itineraries of holidays or important days so he didn’t need to store the memories in his head, they could just be prompted by reading about what he had apparently done that day. Unfortunately, this was not one of those days that had been deemed important enough to record. Just another day at work.

Ignoring the large gaps in his memory of that day all those years ago, he trusted that they must have eaten. It would have been weird if they had not, and therefore he would have remembered it, so the lack of recollection as to what on earth occurred then led him to believe they must have eaten together. Perhaps he had found some frozen leftovers in the bottom of his freezer as he so often did at the end of a long day, or perhaps one of them had convinced themselves all the way outside again to go and fetch a good old british takeaway.

Over the years, they had gone through stages in terms of takeaway. Not much based on evidence or changing their minds for any good reasons, more just the fact that having kebabs for their main meal five days a week became a little too much after a while. Only so much mayonnaise one could stomach. In the beginning they had pretty much stuck with the local chippy, it was the closest to his then flat, and it had an impressive variety in the menu so they saw no need to venture anywhere else. But then one fateful day, and after a particularly satisfying end to a case, someone else at work had brought in a chinese for them all to share and that was the end of the reign of the fish and chips. 

Although moving between takeaways - moving between flats as well - a good old collapse onto the sofa with your dinner already warm in front of you became a staple in their lives. It wasn’t every day obviously, they had lives outside work, outside each other. Just those tiring days when you’re already both in the same car and may as well provide moral support as you attempt to navigate the public after having had very much enough of them for one day. Things went quicker too, they became a well-oiled machine. One of them could find the plates whilst the other was locking the front door, one of them could dish up the food whilst the other was making them a cup of tea, one of them could switch on the television whilst the other found the beer from the fridge.

Recently, call it the last four months perhaps, they had moved on to the indian around the corner. A real consensus was yet to be made, it was alright and all that, but was it good enough for them? They considered themselves experts on all things fast food; by this point they had tried almost everything. He had anticipated it would last another month before they moved on to something else and referred back to it when necessary as the indian with the big fish tank. Not too good, not too bad, nothing special really, their biggest takeaway (pun intended) from the whole experience wasn’t even going to be the food, it was going to be the collection of exotic fish staring the customers down with their little gaping mouths.

He tended to stick with curries at the moment, was finding them very suitable to the time of year. They warmed him through with all their spice and he was also a fan of the range of rice he could pick from. Why not fry his rice in mushrooms, or egg or pineapple? Sounded good to him. Sometimes he would ask them to surprise him with the rice, he didn’t think they appreciated that request much and he did suppose they just gave him plain rice every time he did so, regardless, it pleased him. His partner on the other hand did not love the curries half as much as he did, wasn’t a fan of the spice or the mushrooms, or, for that matter, the rice. Nevertheless, the indian around the corner needed evaluating by the best team around and that was exactly what would happen.

He had driven there instinctively today after work, it wasn’t late nor had he had a particularly taxing day but regardless, he could hear it calling his name, the familiar routine. He ordered his usual for now, it wasn’t a day for experimenting. The question of rice had been raised and dealt with in the form of vegetable, that being the only option apart from plain that his partner would ever eat without spending too long picking things out of it. He had always gone with vegetable if he had been sent off to find dinner without specific requests but of course this time there was no real need for him to suffer through broccoli, he just hadn’t remembered until it was too late.

He put the bag of food in the passenger seat but there was nobody there, so he spent an uncomfortable two minutes deciding whether he could strap his dinner into the car or whether he was missing something obvious. When he got inside his flat he took the food through immediately and was irritated to have to walk all the way back to lock the door himself, so irritated to be thrown off balance that when he got back to the kitchen, he nearly got out two plates. The tea routine would have to adapt, he could put the kettle on to boil now, dish up his dinner whilst waiting for it to do its business, and then once he was done with that, the water would be ready. He tried very hard to ignore his partner’s mug as he grabbed a mug from the cupboard. Perhaps he would have to throw that out.

July 04, 2021 17:34

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