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Monday, August 5, 2013

So Happy


"Sir, I'm flattered. But, as I've told you before, I'm a married woman."

The man in Booth 9 was persistent.

"I've come in here nearly every night for the past two weeks. You never smile, which leads me to believe your husband doesn't make you happy."

His reasoning was weak. So was his chin. No, he wasn't conventionally handsome. Still, there was something attractive about the man in the bargain basement suit.

"Not that it's any of your business, but my husband makes me very, very happy," I said tersely. "Now, would you like your usual spinach omelet with the buttermilk short stack?"

"What I want isn't on the menu." He swatted my ass with the heavily marked up "help wanted" section of his newspaper.

"Sir, that stuff might work on Waffle House waitresses," I scolded quietly. "But it's not gonna fly here."

He devoured his food like he'd barely eaten all day. When he finished, I gave him the check. He paid in cash. Exact change. (He never leaves me a tip.) I was at another table when he left. He blew me a kiss on his way out. I met the gesture with a wink and a smile.

I watched him walk to the car. He had parked at the farthest end of the lot so my coworkers wouldn't see the mountain of clothes and boxes filling the back seat. He carefully placed his suit jacket on the back of the driver's seat.

When he leaves the restaurant, he goes to the free life center down the street to shower. And then he parks at the 24-hour Wal-Mart to hopefully catch some winks before picking me up at the end of my shift.

As I bussed his dishes, Sheryl stopped en route to Table 14. 

"Your hubby is so sweet. Can't believe he comes to see you every night," she marveled. "You two seem so happy. I'm jealous."

#

This week's Trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "weak," as defined below:

WEAK
Not factually grounded or logically presented <a weak argument>

Word count: 333

22 comments:

  1. Nice twist. I used to wait tables, so for the first half of the story I was thinking, "pig." Then I melted when I read the ending. That was sweet :)

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    1. Thank you, Janna! I dealt with plenty of pigs in my cocktail waitressing days.

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  2. Aha! Love this! :D If only all men were as endearing :)

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    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. Men like this are rare creatures indeed. I'm happy to say I have one. :)

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  3. I can't decide if this is sad or justified or funny...I'm going to go with sad. It made me feel sad, at least. But it's good.

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    1. Thanks, Draug! I was hoping it would produce a range of emotions. I was toying with the idea of a happy marriage even in times of adversity. Although they're living in their car, their love is something others envy. :)

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  4. I'm kind of with Draug--lots of emotions, but all of them really felt, which is a good sign. I like how, once you know the twist, you can go back and laugh even more at the Waffle House comparison. I like this one a lot. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  5. I melted when I read this too-all over that short stack, which I happened to "serve" in my story too! A well done piece of writing which only proves that sometimes the happiest people are the ones we'd never suspect:)

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    1. Thank you, Valerie! I LOVED your story. It's so cool that the prompt inspired us in similar ways.

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  6. What a lovely, romantic story--definitely not what I was expecting when I started reading. Life might be kicking the crap out of these two, but they still have each other. *happy sigh*

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    1. Thank you so much! I think these two could be happy anywhere in any situation as long as they're together. I'm so glad the strength of their love came across to you! :)

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  7. This was a wonderfully told tale of how so many families actually live in this country. the loveliness of their relationship is what separated their story from the sea of others.

    Well done.

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    1. Thank you! Your words warm my heart. I really wanted to touch on the issue of homelessness but with the love story as the focal point. Your comment gives me hope that I succeeded. :)

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  8. Lovely, bittersweet story, Ivy!

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  9. Awww. I had mixed emotions upon completing this. You've certainly done a great job of writing a fairly light piece that addresses a reality more people face than we can imagine. Very bittersweet. I hope he finds a job soon!
    -Alicia Audrey

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    1. Oh, thank you so much Alicia! After I finished this story, I thought about changing it to third person, but having her tell it seemed to keep the story light without making light of the issue. I'm glad to know it resonated with you. :)

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  10. Sweet and sad and funny. Read it twice and enjoyed it even more the second time around.

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    1. Your comment just made my day. I'm thrilled when someone reads my story once. Twice? Wow! Thank you for the wonderful feedback. :)

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