Standing at the Door

Greta raised her fist, then wondered if the bottle of wine was enough.

The invite had been unclear. Just come, it said – or rather, she paraphrased it to say. Come to Arthur’s place, have some baked goods. Bring something if you want, but not necessary, as everything would be provided.

Greta looked at the wine. Red wine, to match the sticky buns she had been told were Arthur’s specialty. Maybe it would match. Does red wine go with sweets? Or white? Maybe I should have gotten a rose, she thought.

She turned to go back to the liquor store, when she heard the laughter inside. Things had started. I should go in, she realized. But maybe I should have baked something. Shouldn’t I? Is it okay that I didn’t? Is that anti-feminist for me to think? Will Arthur care?

She raised her fist, then lowered it again. She considered going to the grocery store to get some cookies, maybe pass them off as her own. Make Arthur not feel to effeminate for baking. But no, she thought. That’s stupid. He had invited her, had said he would be baking. Why am I even thinking all of this, she asked herself. I’ve had boyfriends who liked to be the little spoon, who wanted to knit, who washed the dishes. It’s not a big deal.

She raised her fist and knocked. A moment later, the door flew open.

“Greta!” Arthur shouted with a smile.

“Hey Arthur! Sorry I’m late,” Greta said, holding out the wine.

“Not at all, you’re right on time! And thank you so much, you shouldn’t have!” He reached forward and hugged her. “Come in, please,” he said, stepping back.

Greta entered, and Arthur closed the door behind her.

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