I smelled fire.
The moment I walked into the house from the garage, its pungent odor invaded my nostrils, but I couldn’t see the source.
To my right I saw him sleeping on the couch with the TV blaring ‘Lethal Weapon 3’ on TBS, the ingredients for the dinner he had promised to make while I was at class sat on the kitchen counter. I wondered how long that pork had been out.
The Stellas were open in the fridge, seven remaining. Added to the few he had drunk with his buddy after work, that was nine. Nine beers- no wonder he was passed out. I went into my bedroom and showered, jumping at each noise that the cat made as she walked across the wood floors- thinking he had woken up- but when I dried off and changed, he was still sleeping amid the brown microfiber and throw pillows. He breathed out deeply and turned, eyes still shut.
The smell of fire persisted, but there was nothing out of place.
The clock on the oven impatiently glared at me: 8:30. A little late to start dinner, and I felt tired, but I did it anyway. He might wake up soon. Help me out.
I cooked, then ate alone.
Before I climbed into bed, I checked the oven three times to make sure it was off.
In the morning he woke me up early with a cup of coffee. “Thanks for letting me sleep yesterday; I appreciate it. Can you give be a ride to Port Jeff by 7?” He had taken no breath between the sentences.
“Yeah. No problem.”
When I got up, I still smelled fire, but couldn’t figure out from where.