Helen left Hannah and headed straight to the kitchen. “What a bloody mess this is!”
She cleared dust off the counters and stove top and dove into the groceries she’d had delivered. There were lovely potatoes and butter, three Cornish hens wrapped in butcher paper, apples, sacks of flour and sugar, fresh milk and a satchel of herbs.
“We shall have a lovely dinner tonight! That should settle things down around here.” Satisfied with her plan, she hummed a lively tune as she prepared each dish to perfection.
“Wha! What is that ungodly racket!” The noise from the kitchen had jolted Henry from his distressing dream. It took him a few seconds to remember that he had house guests. Unwelcome house guests! “I don’t need this! I won’t have it! I won’t!” He got himself together and grabbed his overcoat.
Helen was putting the finishing touches on dinner when Henry stomped into the kitchen. Behind her Hannah had just entered from the breezeway.
“What is that amazing aroma? I can’t wait to…”
Henry interrupted Hannah, his eyes smoldering, “I told you Helen, I take my meals out! Look at the mess you’ve made of this kitchen!”
“I made your favorites Henry. Come now, let’s have a nice dinner.”
Henry growled, threw his coat on and bolted out the front door slamming it behind him.
Helen turned to look at Hannah who stood frozen in the doorway. “Come along Hannah, help me get this to the dining room. He’ll be back. He’s a stubborn one, always has been. But he’ll come around. You’ll see!”
Dinner was a quiet affair. Henry’s absence had cast a pall over the evening.
Hannah broke the silence managing a weak smile. “That was delicious Helen. You’ve been so kind. Let me get the dishes and kitchen put back in order.”
“Thank you dear, it was my pleasure, but I’m sure you’re exhausted. I’ll take care of the dishes. You go settle in for the night. We’ll get a fresh start in the morning.”
Back in her room Hannah started to unpack. With each item placed in the dresser, she fell deeper into regret. “Oh, what have I done. This is not at all what I imagined it would be!” She wrapped herself in her mother’s quilt, dropped to the floor and sobbed herself to sleep.