To anyone but myself the shake in his hand was barely perceptible, yet, it made me edge away a little, as as he picked up the letter for the third time that morning. I knew what was coming. I just wasn't sure how long it would take.

"From prominent hotel chef to obscure, two-bit entertainer with a saucepan in his hand." That was how Roger had described it. Is that what it means to be forgotten - scraping a living out of the bottom of the foulest barrel available?

As I turned all this over in my mind, and one question repeatedly fought its way to the forefront? What was my role in all this? True, it had been Roger himself who had come up with the idea. Life at the hotel... No! Life had become hotel. That's why he threw it all in. Yes, it was his decision, but I had driven him to it. I'd not set any ultimatum. I'd not even asked him to quit. But every silence over the breakfast table cried out the same unmistakable message .

At first, he'd been full of confidence. His cuisine was world-famous. He had friends all over. There would be a universal clamour for his services. Little did he realise the power of the establishment..., and their ruthlessness to all who turned their back on them.

I got up and handed him a glass. That seemed to be the only way to calm him, now. I sat beside him and carressed his cheek. Listless eyes turned towards me. What else could I do to help him? "Open it!" I whispered. He handed me the letter, but sensing my hesitation he sighed: "Sorry!" He tore the envelope open and pushed out the official-looking notepaper. I leaned across to read it with him. As I did so the curtains went down. School meals! This was the final insult; far worse than parading in front of a TV camera for the "Forgotten Fruit and Vegetables" show. The pressure gauge flashed before my eyes, rising rapidly. Panic! Too late to avoid the inevitable explosion. But as I looked into his eyes, I saw a slight but distinct sparkle in them. Then I realised, what it meant to him. He was going to be cooking again.


That last paragraph was superb. I could feel his elation. He was going to what he loved!

31 August 2007 at 03:21  

I liked the fact that you turned something that had the potential to send him over the edge into something positive. Nicely done.

31 August 2007 at 03:50  

I thought you did a great job of setting up a whole storyline in a short time. And I loved the ending.

31 August 2007 at 05:29  

sometimes we under estimate the power of passion. this man loves cooking more than anything and he is willing to bend his pride to be able to do the thing that he loves most. well done.

1 September 2007 at 06:38  

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