Monday, September 28, 2009

Dinner

A short story

They sat across from each other.  Neither said a word.  The restaurant was busy, conversations filled the room.  From their table, nothing.  They glanced around, looking everywhere but at each other.  The table was wide; it seemed appropriate.

He was tired, sat slouched over, leaning on his arm.  There were a few times when she thought of something to say, questions she wanted to ask.  But she knew it would only be fruitless small talk, and so she said nothing.  They both ordered soup.  It was a cold, blustery night, outside the restaurant and inside their hearts.

She wondered what had happened.  How had her life become this so quickly?  A strange hollowness, nothing but empty repetitions.  Who knows if he thought anything as he sat there.  He seemed to be able to sit for hours without thinking.

The restaurant began to empty, conversations leaving with the customers.  Their table remained silent.  Only the occasional clinking of silverware against the ceramic bowls, the slight slurping of soup.  She ate all the broth from around the fillings, leaving piles of vegetables on the bottom of the bowl.  He ate all the fillings from within the broth, leaving the bowl almost full of silky brown broth.  Opposites, as usual.

The bill came.  They both looked at it, neither at each other.  There was no discussion.  No questioning of whether one should pay or the other.  It was handled and they left.  Through the door and into the cold, windy night.  Both wishing they could go their own ways.  Neither having the ability to do so.  Lost.

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

I hope this was a short, ficitonal story.