Dana, at Read Write Poem came up with a great idea… write bits of essay. One should be a lie, and one a truth. So, in the spirit of fun, here are mine. Can you guess?
My fingers traced a deep line in the faux-wood surface of the table. The fork and spoon were out of alignment on the thin tri-fold napkin. I nudged the napkin and slid the flatware so they were parallel. Roger sat on the booth bench next to me, his denim-clad leg inches from mine. Miriam, the waitress, kneeled in the booth opposite us. She smiled her usual pixie smile, ready to take our beverage order. Black coffee for him. A Coke for me. She hustled away to get us our drinks. Roger seemed nervous. I didn’t want to look directly at him, which was okay, since we were sitting side-by-side. To really look at him, I’d have to crane my neck or shift in the booth. I didn’t want to do either. I wondered if I’d made a mistake.
“Do you know where the restrooms are?” Roger asked, even though he knew I knew.
I pointed him in the right direction and let him out of the booth. He walked down the hall. Miriam returned with the coffee and Coke.
“Is that your new step-dad?” she asked.
I flushed in response, but she continued to look at me.
“No,” I answered a little too slowly. A look of confusion crossed her face for a half a second; then a different look entirely.
“Oh,” was all she could say.
The heat in the room had to be close to 96 degrees. The small grey fan in the corner worked its hardest, but could not circulate enough air to make a meaningful difference.
Roger sat across the room from me on my grandma’s new custom-made floral-covered sofa. The woman in the lime-green pantsuit sat next to him, her mouth opening and closing like a huge fish caught on a line. She was talking, but I had lost all sense of direction in the conversation. I was distracted by Roger.
His kind brown eyes met mine and he gave me that look.
I stood and smoothed my skirt, waiting for a break in her dialogue.
She finally took a breath.
“Can I get you something cool to drink?” I asked her.
“Lemonade,” she replied and then started back on another tangent.
Roger followed me to the kitchen.
“How can you be married to that woman?” I asked as his arms circled around my waist.