Having escorted the lady up the stairs, I encouraged her to make full use of my couch while I darted from cupboard to sideboard to cupboard, picking out the pans that felt most satisfyingly heavy in my hands, the ones with the irresistibly curved handles that even when brim-full were no trouble to lift. The conversation we had been having on our walk followed us in, climbing in through my windows and weaving its way to and fro between us, dodging table legs and cushions with ease. I made some pretence about the electricity meter before switching from the overhead light to the small ones in the wall bracket, needing any kind of reason to admire the shadows she cast. The shadows of knee over knee, knee over sofa, arm over face and nose over cheek, with all the edges of her arms softened where the fibres of her jumper intercepted the light. Turning my back on her only to chop my onion, I endeavoured to whip up the finest spaghetti carbonara my tired fridge would yield.
We moved acro