She set the knife back down and looked at him earnestly, “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, “do you have a problem with this?”
“Oh no, not at all,” he answered. “I know perfectly well that when someone eats meat it’s because an animal died. I just prefer not to be the reason for that death. Go right ahead.”
She raised an eyebrow at his answer, but lifted the knife to continue dissecting the chicken carcass. “You’re the most easygoing vegetarian I’ve ever met, Sam.”
He took another bite of his avocado salad and nodded. “I know. It’s a personal choice, and I don’t believe in criticizing another’s personal choice when they’ve respected my own.”
She laughed and shook her head, keeping her eyes on what she was doing so as to not become one with her family’s dinner quite yet. A knock at the front door caused her to set the knife down yet again, and she quickly turned to the sink to wash her hands, a moue of annoyance on her lips.
“Don’t worry,” said Sam, rising to answer the door, “I’ll get it.”
He returned with a fat envelope which he laid on the counter near her, far enough away to avoid the risk of contamination. “Just a messenger.”
“Would you open it for me? I can’t imagine that it’s anything personal, not that I have the slightest idea what’s in there,” she said.
Sam retrieved the envelope and cracked the seal with a fingertip. He pulled the sheaf of papers from inside and unfolded them to read the first one. “Um, Lydia? I think you need to wash your hands.”
She gave him a quizzical look, but seeing the seriousness in his eyes, she quickly soaped up her hands and brought the towel with her to take the papers from him.
“Oh no,” she whispered. “He’s back.”
She leaned into Sam’s embrace for comfort, and he wrapped his arms around her, trying to soothe the pain he knew she was in.
“I’m so sorry, Lydia.”
She wept until her tears ran dry and her shoulders heaved silently. Finally, she took a deep breath and spoke. “We have to go, Sam.”
They left, hand in hand, the pages forgotten on the table. As they slipped to the floor, one word stood out, handwritten over and over across the printed letter: Lydia.
Wed Stories at TBP: I didn’t follow the rules!
I’m curious how Thanksgiving is going to go this year. My mother plans to deconstruct the turkey, so let’s see how that pans out.
But I remember a great meal I once had. Ian made it for me.
Swordfish and broccoli with hollandaise and long grain and wild rice. Good stuff.
Tues Truthiness at TBP
I’m at work, with only seconds to eyeball each person who passes me. What do I do? I sketch them. Let me know if I should share more of these tidbits.
She takes her time walking through the mall, zipped up in her fuzzy green hoodie. She carries a bag with a shoebox in it as she talks on the phone. She smiles brightly, disingenuously, as she makes a date with a man who is not her husband.
Her boot heels tap out a quick rhythm, but in contrast, she leisurely pulls her phone from her pocket to see if her friend has texted back yet. She hasn’t, so she tucks the phone away and pushes her hair behind her ear as she continues on her way.
He looks around, lost and confused. The pointed toes of his cowboy boots angle left, then right. He hesitates, staring at nothing. His stomach chimes in, and he head toward the food court with newfound resolve.
Young love: his hair in a high ponytail, hers cascading down her back in long blonde waves. His hand tightens on hers as they edge ever closer to collision. His heart will break first.
She’s embarrassed to be in public with her mother, ashamed of her weight and her wrinkles and her general frumpiness. But it isn’t complete disdain; the smile and laugh are genuine when Mom cracks a joke.
I just validated 50,008 words!
Today was my day off. Was. We open at noon on Sundays, but the manager called me at 1247 to see if I could go in. I agreed because he told me no rush, just something had happened with the new assistant manager and security had to call 911 and they took her to the hospital.
So I got to work and I asked security what happened. Security said the assistant manager told them that she had a gas leak in her house last night when they found her on the floor of the kiosk crying. Security called 911. The EMTs said she needed to go to the ER, but she wasn’t out of it so much that she couldn’t give security the manager’s phone number to tell him that she was going. Also, her mom was at work with her for some reason.
I was not aware that a gas leak in one’s home makes one come to work to sit on the floor and cry. And she called the manager eventually, after I had already been at the store for half an hour, to tell him that she didn’t go to the hospital because she doesn’t have insurance. She assured him that she would be at work on Tuesday ‘no matter what.’ She’s off tomorrow.
And then she called the store ten minutes before close and acted like she was my best friend, all “hey girl” and shit. Like, seriously? I guess she thinks if you pretend something never happened, then it never happened.
Such a mess. The district manager is coming next week to make sure this situation is ‘handled,’ whatever that means in his world. But we at the store have had it with her.
Today I wrote 10,001 words. A good 10,001 words. I think tomorrow I will win NaNoWriMo. And then after a lot more work, I’ll have another completed novel.
And then I can get back to my regularly scheduled blogging commitment.