She was a waitress at the Waffle House and he was a regular customer. She greeted him every day with a seductive grin as if she would happily split the bill. Standing on the adjacent booth she often noticed him staring at her over the brim of his coffee mug. Perhaps everybody in the café thought they were lovers. But they weren’t actually lovers, just two unloved strangers.
On one evening he initiated a casual conversation. They talked and talked. She asked her lover who was not yet her lover if he wanted to go to her place. Her voice struck him like a lusty yell of womanhood. He didn’t deny. Back in the apartment they kissed and kissed until their lips hurt. A storm shrouded the city, they held each other and hoped the storm to continue forever. Next morning they confessed about their lives. Both were married to strangers. He had a distant wife and she a lecherous husband. Nobody summoned them with love.
He said he couldn’t leave his wife, “My kids…”. She said, “We can’t keep doing this”. But they did it again under the threadbare cotton sheet. It was a snow globe world of their dreams.
She knew morning sickness was a siren of impending disaster. She was preparing for the MFA programme where she needed to enter child-free. She apprised him of the news that evaded everybody else’s attention. “Abort it” his outraged words filled the café.That was the last sight of him, bundled in a coat, slamming the café door. She didn’t follow him.
Life is hard when you don’t have a plan. Back at home, she wanted to gulp down a bottle of sleeping pills to let out her frustration and stretch flat her water-melon sized baby bump. The radio was full of static, windows rolled up. The radio sang the refrain from the Civil Rights Anthem “We shall overcome. ”