If you haven’t read January 9 yet, you can do so here.

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“Today, we’ll be preparing a herb crusted barramundi fillet served with grilled vegetables.” 

“Why did I agree to this?” Kara leaned across the workplace she was sharing with Lalannah. 

“The smoke is making everything gross outside so we switched to something inside.”

Kara glanced out the floor to ceiling window to her left. “The sky is blue. There is no smoke here.” 

Kara was interrupted by their instructor, Lalannah shushed her.

“First off, we’re going to get the barramundi ready.” Kara tuned out. She hated cooking. That was half the appeal of a 365 day cruise. No cooking.

The woman at the front began a demonstration that Kara made no efforts to follow, instead she watched Lalannah whose attention was fixed on the instructor. Did she have some kind of crush on the instructor? No, that wasn’t possible, they’d just met her. Kara thought on it for a bit longer. They’d been scheduled to go on a tour of Darwin until Lalannah had changed it to the cooking class at the last minute. 

Maybe, it was someone in the cooking class. Kara scanned the other workstations looking for anyone Lalannah might be interested in, or anyone she’d seen Lalannah with. She dismissed the very cozy couple at the back immediately, but that left eight other women it could be. She looked to the bench on their left, had Lalannah picked it on purpose? She said the light was better, which was true. The two women there were both possibilities in terms of looks, either one could have been Lalannah’s type. Tall, at least a little bit muscular, would definitely look cute on Instagram. Neither of those women were paying the slightest attention to Lalannah though. 

The next bench included another pair who weren’t as cozy as the couple at the back, but there was definitely something between them. 

Eventually Kara’s gaze fell to the workbench right behind them. One of the women there was very quick to look away when Kara made eye contact. Bingo. 

“Now, I’ll give you a chance to do all that and come around to check on you. Remember, a little herb can give a lot of flavor.” The instructor seemed to have finished instructing for the moment. Perfect.

“Hi, I’m Kara.” Kara looked to the other woman at the same workbench in an effort to be subtle.

“Gabi.” The woman practically grunted her name before turning back to the fish in front of her. Kara shifted to the other woman. 

“Your friend isn’t very friendly.”

“No, she isn’t,” the woman agreed. “I’m Ruby.”

“Nice to meet you Ruby. Where are you from?”

“Canada. Quebec actually.”

“That’s cool. Do you speak French? That’s all I know about Quebec, they have some dual language thing happening.”

The woman laughed. “Yeah, I speak French. Et toi?”


“It means, ‘and you,’” Lalannah cut in.

“Oh.” Kara turned back to her friend

“Sorry to cut your new friendship short, but could you grab a photo while I herb this fish.”

“Oh sure.” She swiveled back to Ruby. “It was nice to meet you.”

“Kara.” Lalannah was getting impatient. 

“Coming. Sorry.” With a last glance at Ruby, Kara turned back to Lalannah. 

She grabbed Lalannah’s phone, almost as familiar as her own and began snapping photos. She zoomed in on the barramundi, got a couple of Lalannah holding the herbs, the instructor came around and they got one together. All the while, her brain was considering Ruby. 

“I know why we’re here,” she told Lalannah as they tasted the final creation. 

Lalannah coughed, choking on the fish.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“No? So that woman, Ruby, she wasn’t looking at you? You didn’t switch us from the city tour just so you could be closer to her?”

“Okay, so I did meet her the other day when I was getting photos of the spa, but if she’s looking at me then I have no idea why, except that I told her what I do.”

Kara gave Lalannah a look that said ‘I don’t believe you, but I’m going to drop it because I have no proof.’

“Great barramundi,” she said instead.

“Way better than a city tour.” Kara wasn’t convinced, but the smile on Lalannah’s face as she snuck a glance at Ruby was enough to stop her from disagreeing.

Read January 11 here.

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