Clive calmly put on the white oven mitts, pressed the centre button to stop the bleeping, opened the oven door and took out the pizza Mozzerella. He placed it on one of the two glass plates, cutting it with the kitchen knife the way his wife used to four months before. He cut it into six slices and placed three on one plate and three on another. He took the plates to the table before removing the oven mitts and throwing them carelessly onto the windowsill.
"Michael" he called. "It's ready."
Michael, who had been reading a film review of Psycho on his laptop in the sitting room came in and sat down.
"Pepper for me."
"What a coincidence. I go for pepper too. Small world eh?"
"Indeed it is mate".
Clive put pepper on both their pizza slices and then sat down himself.
"My wife used to have chilli on her pizza" Clive said slowly.
Michael didn't speak for a moment. Then he said "It's hard to believe it has been four months now."
"Yeah." Clive put some pizza in his mouth.
"You don't seem to miss her much."
Clive paused. "We were never exactly close" he explained truthfully. "Now and then I feel a slight twinge but only if I happen to watch a film I usually see with her or something like that."
He paused another second. "Thanks for trying to save her."
Michael inclined his head slowly in acknowledgement and put more pizza in his mouth.
"She looked so much like Jackie" he mused."
"I remember you telling me".
"Thanks for letting me stay over at yours that night."
"No problem mate. You were in pieces. It was the least I could do and, you did try to save her life."
"Yeah". Michael drank some of his water.
"Do you still hold a torch for Jackie?"
"I don't know. Sometimes I think I am over her. Other times well...seems silly doesn't it? I only saw her the one day. It's not as though I ever stayed with her for any length of time."
Clive suddenly became very interested in eating more pizza. He fixed his eyes on the food and didn't speak.
"So, your wife left you the house?"
"Yeah. I know it's a lot of hard work running this place, but..." He started on the salad, "I was prepared to take that responsibility. I still am."
"You must be glad you accepted my job offer then."
"Yeah definitely. It pays the bills anyway and copy editor is still an enjoyable job. Of course I also do make up as a second job to make ends meet."
"Didn't something else crop up in that line just recently?"
"Yeah. Amateur production of Merchant of Venice".
"Sounds great. When is it?"
"In a few weeks. Local playhouse."
"I'll see if I can make it."
"He's fine. I left him asleep on my bed."
"What were you doing when I called you?"
"Reading a film review of Psycho. It's so interesting to read about the techniques used by Hitchcock and everything."
"Yeah - great film that."
They fell to talking about the film.