Sunday, July 22, 2012


Roger was late, but she knew he would come eventually, slightly out of breath, almost apologetic, blue eyes momentarily cast down as if he were actually sorry that he had her pacing, looking out the window, looking at her watch, looking at her phone for the exact time, not calling him, but wanting to, looking, looking, looking. He’d breeze in, breeze past, rifle through the magazines on the coffee table, say something, and she’d listen, neither of them looking at the other.
            She looked at her watch. 10:08. He said he’d be there at 9:30 if traffic weren’t bad. Coming into town at that hour would be bad, he predicted. His predictions were always right, and now he was right again.
            She should learn, go to the grocery store, do something, so he’d have to wait, have to sit on the stoop—he always forgot his key—knew she’d be there waiting. She was just getting her keys when he pulled in the driveway.
            Shit, she said, out loud where nobody heard her, and opened the door, smiled, let him breeze past, his lips barely a memory on her cheek, let him rifle the magazines, drop his bag on the stair, and now sit at the kitchen table like a customer in a coffee shop waiting for her to reanimate herself and bring him something. He knew it took her a minute to recover from his entrances, and he always waited.
            He was waiting now, punching buttons on his phone as if he had something to do, but really waiting for his cup of coffee, for the cookies he knew she’d baked, for the news of the neighborhood, waiting now, his turn to wait—so she let him.
           And then she’d get the coffee, the cookie, and tell him about the Mason’s divorce, the lost cat from the corner house, and how, just today, when she stood at the bathroom window in the early morning a doe was grazing in the backyard and, after several minutes of waiting, a fawn trotted up to join her.
            “Mother and son,” she’d say.
“Just like us,” he’d say.

©2012 Kathleen Coskran


  1. It's always the last sentence or two that makes me read it again at once. Thanks.

  2. I love it when you don't know exactly what is happening until the last sentence! Beautiful!