After finishing their dinner Rob starts to collect the dishes of the table while Sasha walks into the kitchen to get a wet cloth to wipe down the table. They have been married for only two years but have already found a comfortable rhythm that worked for them both. Before they lived together Rob would get his plate and put it in the sink, not to soak but just for it to be out of sight for a while. He would then turn to the living room, settle into his couch and turn the TV on. He would worry about the dishes later that evening, first he wanted to just relax for a bit. He would put the dishes in the dishwasher before he got ready for bed, if he hadn’t forgotten about them yet. For Sasha it was a little bit of a different story. She was used to cleaning up right after herself, wiping down every surface where the plates might have touched and wash the dishes as soon as they entered to kitchen. She did have a dishwasher when she lived alone but barely used it, only when friends or family came to visit and left dirty dishes in their wake when the left would she turn to her trusty old dishwasher friend. Every other night she would just do the dishes herself. It gave her a moment of rest before she sat down for the rest of the night, because she knew that if she left the dishes untouched she would worry herself about it way too much.
Now Rob and Sasha had the perfect compromise, he would clean up the table and bring the dishes to the kitchen while Sasha wiped the table down and then made some tea for the both of them. They would sit on the couch together to watch a show or movie. It might even be that one of them would grab a book to read or that Sasha had a bout of inspiration and would grab her laptop to write some ideas down. She might even spend the rest of the night working on her novel, an old document she opened once in a while. The dishes were said to be done by ten at night, it’s a routine they both liked. A moment of rest and time to spend together before they went back into the kitchen at 9:50 sharp. They always did the dishes together, every night at the same time. Some might find it weird or strange that they wouldn’t do them straight after dinner but at a specified time at night. But the reason doesn’t matter really, as long as it worked for Rob and Sasha that is all that counts.
When the kettle is done heating up the water and starts to whistle, Sasha grabs two mugs from the top shelf and places the teabags inside. A sweet chamomile for herself and a warm, rounded ginger spice for Rob. Leaving the bags in the mugs she makes her way towards the living room where she finds Rob already slouched on the couch.
“Ah tea, right on time” says Rob with enthusiasm, smiling ear to ear. “I was wondering what took you so long. I was just ready to start your favorite movie.”
It takes Sasha a bit by surprise and she laughs a little. “And what movie are we talking about? The rom-com that you think is my favorite or the superhero movie we both know will always take the cake?” she answers with a smirk.
She had actually been dying to watch that movie again and after all those years of watching movies together, Rob still knows when she just might need that one superhero movie, his actions still surprise her some days. He presses play as she cuddles up against him, carefully holding her mug of steaming tea in her hands knowing fully well that she will not take a sip of it for at least half an hour.
As the scenes move from jumping buildings to heart felt conversations the rest of the room stays silent. Both fully captivated by the movie minutes turn to hours when suddenly, right in the middle of their favorite part the screen goes black. It takes a few seconds before Sasha and Rob realize what just happened, slowly getting up from the couch they look around the room. All the lights are out as well and they hear the soft ticking of the clock that hangs on the far end on the living room near the hallway.
“What just happened?” Sasha askes, knowing the answer already but not yet quiet comprehending it.
Rob looks at her with a slight frown. “I think the power just went out, let me check outside to see if it’s just us” – and he walks over to the window to push back the curtains.
All around the street Rob sees the neighbors doing the same, everyone is checking to see if the whole block was affected or if it was just them.
“Looks like a complete blackout, we’re not the only one…” Sasha replies, looking over his shoulder. “Well… Now what? We can’t finish the movie and I’m not watching it on that small screen of my phone.”
Rob looks at her and notices that this blackout is affecting Sasha more than she would dare to admit. “Let’s first get some light going in here, I can’t see anything” He says, keeping his tone light. “Then we’ll figure out what we can do for the rest of the night.”
“What are you going to do then? We have no power.” Slightly aggravated Sasha lets herself sink into the couch. Her tea has run cold but that doesn’t stop her from taking a sip. She needs something to do before she gets frustrated at a situation she has no control over.
“I’m getting us some candles and the blanket from upstairs.” He says with a smile on his lips. He turns to move towards the hallway when he bumps into the doorframe. “Even after living here for over 2 years I seem to keep forgetting that this door won’t move out of my way.” He lets his laugh fill the room as he continues towards the closet that sits in the hallway, more slowly this time.
When Rob gets back from his quick errand he places the candles on the coffee table, on top of the fireplace and in some lanterns they only used as decorations on the floor. The blanket he wraps around Sasha as he kisses her forehead, he knows she’s been stressing a bit lately and getting ripped from her routine has jostled her. With the space now filled with the warm welcoming glow of tiny flames he feels the rest settle back into the room and he moves next to his wife on the couch.
“Thank you,” Sasha whispers “so… what do we do now?”
“Let’s just talk for a bit,” Rob replies with a soft voice “or… we can stare into the flames until one of us gets a better idea?” They both let a small laugh escape their lips. He leans towards Sasha and nudges her shoulder with his.
“Yeah, I’d like that.” She says with a smile on her face. Sasha can feel her spirit lifting a bit, this might just be what she needed tonight. It’s just a stupid blackout and there is nothing she can do about it. The only thing she can control in this moment is her reaction towards the whole ordeal. And what better way to spend the night then to just talk and laugh with the one you love most.
“Tell me about that time you bumped into the doorframe during the blackout” Sasha says to Rob, looking him dead in the eye whilst trying to hold in her laugh.
One response to “Prompt: conversations at candlelight // Letters to September – 16”
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