This time the words on the other end of Harry’s secured line are truly an emergency:
‘I don’t think this is working, Harry. I don’t think we should see each other anymore.’
Harry is stunned. Sure, he’s the one who started it all, but did he intend for things to go so far? A minor misunderstanding over spectator seats at a softball game. A silly mix-up over finger food at the ballet. It all seems so trivial. But is it really? Do two people who can’t communicate when things don’t matter have a prayer of understanding each other when things do?
Maybe Sam’s right. Maybe they should break up.
They meet one last time at the Crate and Barrel in Chevy Chase to exchange pans. The day is dreary, the clouds lowering, the sunlight weak. Harry has Sam’s copper lined, stainless steel Cuisinart stock pot with insulated handles. Sam has Harry’s Calphalon four-quart, nonstick professional chef’s pan with glass lid. Harry feels as if he’s aged twenty years in the past twenty-four hours. Sam’s cheeks are streaked with tears.
‘No, really, you keep the Mouli food mill,’ says Harry, haltingly, groping in vain for words of comfort. ‘Maybe I could borrow it sometime.’
‘I don’t think so,’ says Sam, stifling a sob. ‘I’m afraid this is goodbye.’
Previously on The Rocky Road of Love… Episode 1: One Fine Day. Episode 2: Fate and Chèvre. Episode 3: The Rocky Road Ahead. Episode 4: Could This Be Lunch? Episode 5: I Only Have Eyes for Stew. Episode 6: Harry in Love. Episode 7: Dinner for Two. Episode 8: Sam, Line 2. Episode 9: Romance at Home. Episode 10: Barbecue, Beans, and Slow-Pitch Softball. Episode 11: Play Ball! Episode 12: How ‘Bout Them Dawgs! Episode 13: Mercy! Episode 14: Harry Gets Mad! Episode 15: Harry and the Hopelessly Inadequate Ballet Buffet. Episode 16: And Now Sam’s Mad!
New this week … Episode 18: The Big Breakup.
Coming next Monday … Episode 19: Chocolate on Her Mind.