“He’s at my place. Too much to drink, I guess.”

Sarah listened patiently to what Jimmy reported, his words came haltingly clear: her husband turned to the bottle because of their spat.

“Since he is not here, I think you should eat what I cooked for him,” she said without showing any other emotion. “I think you’ll like it. It’s his favorite dish.”

Jimmy saw what’s on the table: the food was absolutely enticing. His hungry stomach growled as if commanding his brain not to let the chance pass.

“But you have to fetch him,” Jimmy insisted, his eyes stared at the plate of spaghetti.

“Eat first,” she said firmly.

– o –

Larry has already emptied his first plate of spaghetti while Gemma watched him without a sound.

“I think Jimmy needed a friend to confide his problems. He drank too much and won’t go home until you fetch him at my place.”

“He can sober up and walk by himself,” she replied. “He cannot sleep in another house except in his own bed.”

“Really?” Larry was surprised with the information.

“Really,” she repeated and added, “I think you two are overdoing this charade of yours.”

“What charade?” his eyes widened.

– o –

“You know I received a call this afternoon,” Sarah revealed.

“Why are you telling me about it?” Jimmy kept poking at the yummy rice bun.

“My cousin told me something that I should be aware of.”

“And?” Jimmy stopped chewing.

– o –

“Her cousin told her about your plan,” Gemma related.

“You mean, you and Sarah talked?”

“Yes. After you and Jimmy left for work. It was so spontaneous.”

Gemma laughed while she recalled their hours of fun.

They did not notice that Jimmy and Sarah had entered the house. He carried some of the food that was supposed to be Larry’s.

“You are right, dear,” Sarah interrupted, approached her husband and gave him a light smack on the lips. The spaghetti sauce left its mark on her cheeks.

“Hey, I should get one, too!” complained Jimmy.

Gemma was already near him when he reacted so in seconds he got what  he deserved.

“What’s with the food? Don’t tell me you both cooked spaghetti?”

Sarah nodded to Gemma so she could explain.

“When her cousin called, who fortunately you invited for a drink, we decided to cook and promised each other to play along with whatever you were planning. It’s as simple as that.”

“Larry does not drink that much so Jimmy made that mistake of saying so,” Sarah said, smiling.

“And you did not tell me that you cannot sleep in other people’s house,” Larry added.

“Of  course,” Gemma nodded.

“Hey, everything was part of my plan.”

“What plan?” they chorused, curious of Jimmy’s explanation.

“I told Gemma her garden sucked so I told her to ask Sarah for help. I know Sarah was great with plants.”

“What if I did not go?” Gemma postulated, grinning to show how correctly her husband read her mind.

“You don’t want to lose face. You are the only housewife around here who has no garden to speak of.”

“That will change, I promise you,” Sarah comforted Gemma and held her hands.

“How about our plan? Our talk this morning?” Larry could not stop laughing.

“That’s plan B,” Jimmy confessed. “When I saw Sarah’s cousin, I wanted him in to our secret.”

“And you’re sure he would squeal,” Sarah concluded, clapping with much enthusiasm.

“Bingo!” Jimmy exclaimed, exchanging high-fives with Larry.




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