John kissed her good morning before he left for Logan’s place. It was early, and the night’s lovemaking had wrung the energy out of her, so she fell back to sleep for a little bit.
Etty opened her eyes for a second time, smiled like the Cheshire cat, and stretched until her spine crackled. Dim memories of John telling her he’d left breakfast for her in the refrigerator surfaced in her mind. Her stomach replied with a resounding burble; it was keen to know what would break the fast.
She flung the blankets off, and put her feet on the woven rug beside the bed. It was a little cold, but not enough to bother her. The word that came to her mind was “bracing,” rather than “bitter.”
Standing in the open space between the dining room and living room, Etty manifested her wings. She unfurled them, shook out the feathers, and gave them a little stretch, before making them disappear. It didn’t do to ignore your body parts, even if they were only there when you called them.
A few short steps more and she was in the kitchen, trying to remember which of the machines was the refrigerator. The cold one, she decided, and opened the right door by sheer luck.
There was a plate on the shelf with a little note on top.
“Here’s some breakfast so you aren’t starving when you get home. There is bread in the wooden box on the counter, too. I love you, John.”
She grinned from ear to ear, pleased that he thought to leave her a cute note, and doubly pleased that she’d learned to read English from Duke Thorson’s mother many years before.
The plate was piled with sliced fruit, cheese (Logan’s, no doubt), a ramekin of what looked like butter, and a hardboiled egg. She skipped in place with delight for just a moment before reaching into the breadbox. There were hearty rolls inside, so she gleefully took one.
When she turned to the breakfast counter, she found even more reason to adore her absent spouse. John had also laid out napkins, silverware, and a big glass of water for her. She bowed her head for a moment, overcome by gratitude that the Great Spirit had seen fit to knit their lives together… or give her the intuition to choose him… or whatever it had been that put John in her life.
Warm feelings, and happy memories, were her morning company during breakfast.
Etty applied herself to the food, and noticed the ring on her finger. It was unsettling enough to wring fifty percent of her good mood from her heart. The food her husband prepared for her disappeared while she tried to figure out if she’d done something stupid by slipping the ring on the night before.
“Well,” she though to herself, “that’s why I’m going to talk to Mama and Papa. They’ll know something, or know someone who does.”
Her stomach announced that it was well pleased, and could move forward without complaint, so she carefully took her dishes to the sink. Washing dishes in a human kitchen was one of the few things Etty felt competent enough to do, having done so on many occasions in the Thorson family’s kitchen. It gave her a bright spot in the middle of her worrying, to do something useful in return for the thoughtful breakfast.
Once the dishes had been dried, she stacked them beside the sink, and gently slipped into the mist between worlds. Her family home was never far away, especially in the spirit world, where physical distance was infinitely flexible.