Karl was having a bad day. He’d had a bad night in fact, not that it was fair to blame it on Anders but Maker the young man was a restless sleeper! He’d tossed and turned and mumbled in his sleep, Karl had eventually fallen asleep about four in the morning and when the alarm went off at seven he’d been very tempted to throw the blasted thing out the window and just not turn up for class for the day. But of course he didn’t. People were relying on him.
So here he was in the staff kitchen, about to make his morning tea when DISASTER! There was no milk for his tea!! Well, to be fair there was milk in the fridge but it was not the right kind, it was not the organic, 2%, happy cows’ milk that he always had with his tea. No, his idiot colleagues had bought generic, own-brand skimmed milk instead! How could they be so irresponsible, really! Karl made sure he bought only free-range woodland eggs and responsibly-sourced fish and organic, open-pasture meat and vegetables that were free of chemicals - people should want to save the planet, not destroy it! He would have to write another memo.Karl sighed. He would have to drink his Earl Grey without milk then, until he could go to Whole Foods at lunch hour and get some. At least he had some of the nice local honey left in the cupboard, that would make up for the lack of milk - a little bit at least.
Everyone noticed when Karl’s routine was broken, he was cranky and short with the students, snappy with his colleagues and walked around with a frown. Lunchtime arrived and Karl was ready to have words with the next person who handed in their homework typed in the wrong font. He collected his bag and was about to head out the door when he was stopped by Anders.
“Anders, I don’t have time for anything right now. I only have an hour to spare and I have to get to Whole Foods and back in time to have lunch and I really don’t have time for your shenanigans right now. Please?”
Anders just smiled in return and held up a canvas bag with the Green Earth logo on it. “I know you didn’t sleep well last night and it’s all my fault so I wanted to make things easier for you. I went to the store this morning and got your milk and some of those stone-ground wholewheat rolls that you like for lunch, thought we could have some ewe’s cheese and honey-cured ham with them? Have a proper lunch sitting on the green together? I even made scones and brought jam and clotted cream to have with them. What do you say? We have a date?”
Karl could only gape in astonishment. “Anders…what…you are a treasure, you know that? What did I ever do without you! Yes, lunch on the green sounds lovely - you’ve just made my day infinitely better.”
It did not escape notice that Karl was a different man for the afternoon classes. He smiled, he even let it slide when Jowan turned up at the lecture without having completed his assignment! There were winks and friendly claps on the shoulder for Anders, calls of ‘well done mate’ and ‘thanks for the easy afternoon’. And Karl didn’t mind so much when Anders stayed the night again and burrowed himself in the duvet leaving nonw for Karl, instead he fetched the spare blanket from the cupboard and wrapped his arms around Anders to keep him from tossing and turning. And slept.