“Breakfast!” Oliver yelled from the kitchen. He was cooking for Lindsay for the first time. They’d been dating for two weeks. He wanted to impress her. Pancakes were piled in a large stack on a plate next to crispy bacon wrapped in newspaper. The grease was seeping through, leaving shiny patches on the paper.
In hindsight, the bacon and pancakes would have been more than enough food, but Oliver had decided to make scramble eggs, too. He hoped she was hungry.
When Lindsay walked in, Oliver handed her a mug of coffee.
“Thank you!” she said, leaning in to kiss him. She turned toward the kitchen table and her eyes widened. “Holy shit!”
“Too much?” Oliver asked timidly.
“Yes!” Lindsay said, laughing. “I am so excited.”
Lindsay sat down, and while she put cream and sugar in her coffee, Oliver hoisted a stack of pancakes onto her plate.
“Bacon?” he asked.
“Yes please,” she replied, with a look of pure happiness. Lindsay poured syrup on the pancakes and passed the bottle to Oliver.
“Who taught you to make these beautiful pancakes?” she asked.
“No one really,” Oliver replied, putting the cap back on the syrup. “Mom used to make them every weekend and I’d help, but she’d always mix everything together while I made the bacon.”
“I love that,” Lindsay grinned, as she put a bite to her mouth. But when she started to chew, the smile on her face dropped, and her eyes grew larger.
“Oh no.” Oliver’s heart stopped. “What’s wrong?”
Lindsay chewed as quickly as she could and swallowed. “It’s salty.”
“What?” Oliver said, his face growing pale.
“There is a lot of salt in the pancakes,” Lindsay elaborated, before taking a large swig of coffee. “But taste yours. Maybe it was just mine.”
It was not just hers.
Oliver wasn’t able to swallow his bite. He ran to the garbage can and spit it out.
“Oh my god, that is horrible!” he said.
Lindsay started to laugh. “What recipe did you use?”
“My grandmother’s old cookbook. I used a measurement converter thing on my phone since all of the dry ingredients were listed in grams and stuff.”
“How many teaspoons did it say to use?”
“1/2 but—I know what I did.” Oliver covered his face in his hands. “I mixed up my salt and sugar.”
“How much sugar was supposed to be in the pancakes?” Lindsay asked, covering her mouth.
Lindsay laughed so loudly her face turned red and tears ran down her cheeks. Oliver picked up the plate of pancakes and walked out the back door toward the compost bin. The second he was outside, Lindsay grabbed their plates and put them in the sink. She picked new plates from the cabinet, put them down on the table, and piled on eggs and bacon.
When Oliver came back inside, he saw the table and the frown on his face dissolved. “I am really glad I made eggs.”
“Me too.” Lindsay said. She took a large bite of eggs, smiled, and swallowed. “Can you pass the salt, please?”