Monday, November 21, 2011


She was late which was not her style. Five minutes late. But those five minutes unsettled her, meant she couldn’t dash into the ladies’ room to check her lipstick, her hair, make sure her mascara was on her lashes, not her cheek. She was the sort of person who was comforted by quick appearance checks. If she looked good, everything would go well.

You feel better when your makeup is fresh and your hair done. Her mother’s mantra and the one bit of advice she chose to accept and would pass on to her own daughter if she ever had time to have children. She winced when she saw that cartoon of the woman moaning, Oh, I forgot to have children. Forgot to fall in love, forgot to have sex, forgot to have babies, forgot to buy a house in the suburbs.

Well, she did buy a house, a condo, downtown, great location, good address. And men did come up. She hadn’t really forgotten to have sex, but always with protection.

She was well protected, this woman who strode in and took her seat at the head of the table, not really late at all because nothing could happen until she arrived. She spread a few sheets in front of her, smiled, nodded at the men closest to her.

“Shall we begin?” she said. She took in the perfect posture, the raised heads, the attentive looks, the susurration of papers up and down the table, the eyes turned to her, the anticipation, the readiness.

She was right on time.

© 2011 Kathleen Coskran

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