The Parting of Lot and Abraham

“Are you going to eat that?” He pointed at her plate where she’d carefully moved the mushrooms from the endive salad to one side.

“These? The mushrooms?” She shrugged. “Knock yourself out.”

“This place serves great salads, don’t you think?” he asked, making conversation.

“You know, if you’d wanted mushrooms, you could have ordered them for yourself.” She put her fork down beside the plate as he scooped up her mushrooms, pushing them onto his spoon with one thumb.

“You’re not eating. You okay?” The words tumbled out from around the masticating mushrooms.

“Not hungry,” she said. Looking out the window, she pretended not to listen, tried hard no to listen, as he made smacking noises while eating. Each click and pop sent a sharp knife through her jaw and down her spine.

“You don’t know what you’re missing,” he said, pointing at her plate with his spoon. “Good stuff here. Fresh, fresh, fresh.”

The reflection in the window showed her a couple heading in separate directions, etched into the glass like a mosaic, fixed railroad tracks branching, bifurcating into divergent territories.