Sometimes digging in deep to crafting a piece of writing provides a kind of abundance that I crave. Here’s one of those from a little while back.

Stella slipped self-consciously out of the business meeting. Her mobile phone had buzzed impatiently one time too many for her keep ignoring it. It must be something serious, really serious, she reasoned as she teetered on her manolos whilst manhandling the heavy oak door. The complex discussion was finally getting somewhere, and leaving was a bad look, but she couldn’t risk ignoring such persistence.

She couldn’t see who was calling, but she had felt the repetitive buzz of the phone up against her leg as it lay buried deep in her oversized handbag. It must be something urgent, really urgent. She made it out the door, crumpling into the expansive patent leather lounge in the lobby. Her heart was racing, partly from the stress of being summoned out of that meeting, and partly from that heavy feeling of dread.

Who needed to talk to her so badly, so urgently? Catching her breath, Stella scrambled through her over-full, oversized handbag to find the phone.Seven missed calls. It had felt like seven hundred. Seven missed calls from the home phone. From hubby. Stella’s heart raced faster, and the scenarios in her imagination grew more vivid. He must be hurt. He must be suffering. He must have terribly bad news. To call so persistently, when he knew today was deal brokering day, could mean only one thing.

His reason for calling was desperately important.Taking a long deep breath, Stella autodialled the number. Whatever was going on, no matter how awful, it was better she knew about it. The deal could wait, a family crisis mattered way way more.The phone rang for ages. She fearfully pictured him too weak to pick up the phone, too busy fighting off assailants, or worse. She rubbed her eyes, hoping that doing so would take those even-worse images out of her mind.

He finally answered. She felt tears of relief well up in her eyes.

“What happened?’ she asked, her breathless voice a mix of love, fear, frustration and relief.

“Oh that,” he replied. “I wanted a piece of toast, and I needed you to tell me how to make it.”