Posted Monday, October 26th, 2009
Even by candlelight she could see he was bored. She noticed something wrong about his mouth when he wasn’t eating or talking, not a tic, exactly, but a recurring expression of impatience.
“Finished?” he asked.
Caesar Salad covered half her plate. Cara sighed.
“Something wrong?” he asked.
“Do you think they use raw eggs in this dressing?”
“No one does that any more.” He paused and said, “Why did you order it?”
He’d ordered for her. Nobody does that anymore either. She hadn’t protested. He’d asked her to dinner, and he’d be paying. If he wanted to get her Caesar Salad, Caesar Salad it would be. She shrugged, “It seemed right at the time.”
“This was a mistake,” he said. His fork lay, tines down, in the center of his plate. He’d had enough.
She had, too. She’d eat the salad though.
“This is where my wife told me she wanted a divorce. Ex-wife. Almost.”
“She said I was...”
“I meant, then why come here?” She took a sip of water, ate a bite of salad. What would he have said if she hadn’t interrupted him? Anyway, men never told the truth about their wives. How could they?
“Not afraid of food poisoning any more?”
“Not afraid of anything.” She chose a pale piece of Romaine. Anchovies. This was the real deal dressing.
Cara tore off a small piece of her roll. She eyed the butter in the ceramic crock. It would be soft enough to spread without making a mess. Salt or sweet? She made a bet with herself. Sweet.
“She had blue eyes.”
“She was what she was. She had blue eyes. She was afraid.”
“They’re not the same thing,” she said. She had nothing to lose by disagreeing. The butter was colder than she’d thought. She put a curl of it on her plate, then spread a small amount on her roll.
“Look at me, will you?” he said.
She had been paying rather a lot of attention to her food, hadn’t she? It promised to be the best of the dinner.
“Brown,” he said. “You have brown eyes.”
“I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed. I usually do.”
Usually? She ate the morsel of roll. The butter was sweet. “It doesn’t matter, does it? My eye-color?”
“No,” he said, “I guess it doesn’t.”
What color were his eyes? From this distance she couldn’t tell. And it didn’t matter, did it? She was finished after all. She sighed and placed her fork on her plate, tines down.
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Donna Levy [ firstname.lastname@example.org
] on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 at 8:33 PM
Miriam, all I can say is I wish I had written this instead of you! Love, Donna
Posted by Nonnie Augustine on Thursday, October 29th, 2009 at 10:14 AM
Excellent, Miriam. You inspire me. xxoononnie