I should have known something was wrong when I met Jen and her husband for lunch (my birthday, their treat) and despite not having eaten since dinner, I couldn’t finish a cup of soup and half a sandwich. Then later I turned on the oven to preheat and set to mixing the final batch of cupcakes for our party last night, scorching the two dozen vanilla and red velvet cakes I’d put there for safekeeping.
My head hurt.
I had one cup of coffee this morning at Joe’s place. Maybe it’s caffeine withdrawal.
I made a big cup of coffee and took acetaminophen. Dark chocolate orange cupcakes baked. I dressed, ignoring the complete control this headache had taken over my neck and skull and my eyes, my eyes, ow.
Stirring hot cream into bittersweet chocolate pieces for the ganache I reasoned, it may just go away.
I didn’t eat much today; I’ll go to the party and eat and feel warm and I won’t drink, except for tea. Tea will be good.
As I coated the cakes with shiny chocolate a thought hit me. I refused to acknowledge the possibility. On the drive over a wave of nausea struck.
I walked gingerly up the steps, cleared of the recent snow. I opened the door and saw all my friends. The box of (twelve, not thirty-six) cupcakes was taken from my hands and five minutes later, after saying quiet hellos to people I love and shaking my head at the offer of a plate of food, I gathered my small and thoughtful gifts (the best kind) and drove home.
I closed the door to my bedroom, pulled on pajamas and opened the window a crack to let in the 20-degree air.
Go away, please go away.