He couldn’t hear his wife because of his headphones. Just the way he wanted it. He nodded; pretended he could hear; looked contrite, apologetic, regretful…
She smiled, mouthed “Thank you,” and left to run errands. He had escaped the encounter unchastised.
Thirty minutes later, he smelled his birthday cake burning.
This story was based on the prompt “headphones” at TypeTrigger.