"Nora! What do you think you're doing!" Pots and pans are strewn all over the floor and all the counters are covered with food. "Mom's gonna kill you!" **Actually, I'll probably get the blame.** "Help me clean up this mess, bozo." He begins to restore order to the chaos. **She's not even going to help me.** Nora is still sitting quietly at the table. He walks over to her and tries to slide the cookbook out from under her arm. Tears have raised little pockmarks on the cover. "Dammit, you're going to ruin it." He yanks harder, and the cover rips off. She turns her face towards him and stares at him out of puffy red eyes. "Chris, I'm tired of take out. I want Dad to cook for us again."
He feels his throat constrict. **I miss him too.** He gives her a hug and smiles without real feeling. "I'll help you cook tomorrow. We don't have the right ingredients, anyway."