She noticed, but didn’t say anything until he was done.
“Did you eat the last piece of cake?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said, a little warily, but with no regrets.
She didn’t say anything more until hours later.
“About the cake,” she said, then paused, sorting through the possible words, trying to find the right thing to say. “It would have been nice if you’d asked.”
“We’ve had it for days. I thought everyone who wanted some would have had a chance to have some.”
“Or maybe if you’d just said something,” she said. “I’m going to eat the last piece of cake, is that okay? And then I would have said, yes, please, eat the last piece of cake.”
“I didn’t know you were saving it for anything,” he said.
“It wasn’t that I was saving it,” she said. “Maybe it was because you were eating it in front of everyone else, and hadn’t offered to share.”
“There was only one piece,” he said.
No one was feeling any better.
She gave up. Trying to explain it, to find a reason, was just no use. “It bothered me that you ate the cake,” she said, and she wasn’t sure why.
But it was probably because she had been hoping to eat it. Later. When no one else was around.
He didn’t have anything more to say.
* * *
“You didn’t save any cookies for me,” he said.
“Oh,” she said. “I gave them to the children. Their friends came over, and so I pulled them out.” And then they were gone. Very fast.
“I only made them yesterday,” he said.
They had been his favorite kind.
Maybe now he knows how I feel about the cake, she thought.
“I’m going now,” he said, and left.
I know how he feels about the cookies, she thought.
Maybe tomorrow, when he was away at work, she would make some more cookies and surprise him.
Why wait for tomorrow? He’d be gone for at least half an hour. Plenty of time to make more cookies.
She snapped on the oven and flipped through the cook book, searching for the recipe, then threw a bowl and ingredients out onto the counter, and mixed them up quick, racing the clock. She broke off large balls of dough and even rolled them in extra sugar.
The cookies had just come out of the oven when he got home.
“I smell cookies,” he said.
“Have some,” she said. “Sorry I gave yours away.”
“Sorry I made such a fuss about it,” he said.
No one said anything about the cake.