Quiet.

Their new rule was silence throughout the house until bedtime. She chopped up the vegetables and missed the sensation of headphones filling her ears, hearing other people’s voices and opinions fill her mind to drown out her own thoughts and worries. As the onions began to sizzle, so loud with no voices or music filling the air, he arrived home and the click of the key turning in the lock sounded too large for such a small action. She leant back from the kitchen to see him down the hall and without hellos they let their eye contact linger. An upward curve of the eyebrow asked about his day and the turning up of the side of his mouth answered. A broad smile told him she was happy he was home and the creases in the corner of his eyes said me too.

They danced around each other, nervous for some reason, the weight of their lack of speech adding an intensity to their every movement, and his hand brushed hers as he reached to take a sip from her wineglass, sending shivers up her spine. She burst out a small escape of laughter and trapped the remainder in her throat, letting it out only through bringing a hand to her mouth and feeling her cheeks flush red. He put the wineglass down and watched her for a moment before heading back down the hall to bathroom and disappearing with the sound of hot water. With her senses heightened she thought she could smell the shampoo even over the food she was cooking and she smiled giddily as she scraped the rest of the ingredients into the pan and watched them darken.

The steam from their opposing rooms mingled in the hall and frosted the windows, noiselessly filling the house.

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