Pansy folded the newspaper neatly, leaving only the recipe showing. She sat it on the counter, pulling ingredients out of the pantry and running a finger down the dull grey newsprint. It seemed the latest baking craze was "cocktail cupcakes." This particular recipe was supposed to mimic the flavor of an amaretto sour.
She hadn’t had an amaretto sour in years, although they had been her favorite and his right after they’d both turned 21. She thought back to her days living on the gulf coast. As an airman’s wife, so there wasn’t a lot of money coming in. Then again, they hadn’t had kids yet, or gotten into debt yet, so expenses were also small. Every few weekends, they’d make the trip from Biloxi to New Orleans. They’d spend the day walking around the quarter, drinking and singing karaoke and generally enjoying themselves.
As she mixed the batter and poured it into the muffin tin, she remembered the greasy, leering man who’d leaned out one of the strip clubs. "Hey Baby! You could have an exciting career in the adult entertainment industry!" Donald had gripped her hand tightly and crossed to the other side of the street, his face turning beet red in his attempt to control his temper. He’d been so possessive of her back then.
But that was years ago. When just his kiss would make her tingle all over.
Thoughts of her years on the coast prompted her to pull out her old photo albums. She looked through them as the cupcakes baked, till the oven timer dinged cheerfully. She set them out to cool, thinking of all the years the two of them had spent together. It had been a good life, a good marriage, until he’d started this new job. At first, the constant mentions of his doe-eyed new coworker were simply annoying. Then they became troubling. Then the "working late" and "company outings" had started. Now, he was barely even bothering to cover his tracks, barely pretending he wasn’t cheating.
She iced the cupcakes carefully. The two of them ate lunch together every day in the plant cafeteria. Her friend Gladys had at least had the decency to look pained as she described them splitting sandwiches and sharing a bunch of grapes. She placed the cupcake carefully in his lunch box with the rest of his lunch, tossing the rest in the burn barrel to be disposed of later. She placed the lunch box in the fridge, where he’d grab it without waking her in the morning on his way to work.
The almond flavoring of the amaretto would perfectly cover the bitter almond of the extra ingredient she’d added, she thought, as she crawled into bed alone.