the short story project


A Table for Two

I sighed for the twelfth time. As always, her mind’s elsewhere. Like every Valentine’s Day for the past nine years –wait, no, today’s the tenth- we went to her favorite restaurant, sat in her favorite seat, ordered the same food, and listened to cheesy love songs that made me cringe inwardly. She enjoyed the ambiance and decor, so I kept my mouth shut.

“Oh!” She exclaimed and clapped her hands suddenly, “Do you remember this song, George? We danced to this when we first met!” She beamed and looked at me lovingly. The surge of memories seemed to make her glow. Her smile was sweet as she nodded her head in time with the jazzy beat I was very familiar with.

My heart broke a little at that. I sighed again, then took her hands and made her focus on me, “Nanna, I’m not Granpa George,” I paused and watched her eyes squint to inspect my face. A flash of sadness crossed her face and I held her hand through it. “Nan?” I checked and silently prayed that she wouldn’t tear up when she cast her eyes down.

She lightly squeezed my hand then said, “You’re a carbon copy of your grandfather, Simon,” she looked up at me with a cheeky smile, “You’re both handsome, but between you and me, you smell better,” she winked and I bellowed with laughter.

After we finished our food, like in the past, we promised to make a date again next year.

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