“Why do you fuss over the way you place the radishes on the plate?” Asked Frida.
“Look, it doesn’t take that long to do it. Didn’t I tell you to pour the wine?” Answered Silas. He shrugged as he turned to Frida, drops of vinegar spilling on the kitchen floor.
“You just want me to get drunk!” Replied the red-headed woman. “The least you could do was join me.”
“I just want you out of my kitchen, woman!”
“Most people EAT in their kitchens! What are you, a duke?!”
Silas closed his eyes. She was doing it again. He wasn’t going to take the bait. Instead, he took a deep breath, and explained:
“Look, it stresses me to have you fussing about while I prepare the food.”
“Because of questions like that!”
“You’re kicking me out of your kitchen just because I asked about you arranging the radishes?!”
“By the gods, you’re sensitive!” Said Frida, turning away with her hands open toward the ceiling, stomping back in the direction of the main hall.
Silas called to her: “Wait.”
Frida stopped by the door, back still turned to the black-haired, stocky scholar.
“It just… Matters. It matters the way you arrange the food. I mean, if you’re starving, sure, you won’t pay much attention. But we’re not sailing; we’re not adventuring, we’re just… Here. Living quietly. For a while, at least. Beauty matters. The way the meal looks will influence the taste. Don’t… Don’t ask me how, or why. But it does. You know it does, too, if you stop to think about it. It’s something everyone notices. It’s just they don’t… Remember.
Frida turned back to her companion. Her red curls rested on the shoulders of her plain, beige gown. “Was that so hard?”
“Did you get it?”
“Does it matter? It doesn’t look to me you got it completely, either. But now I know why you do it. I guess.”
“Is that enough?”
Frida shrugged. “I’ll go pour some wine.”