She looks so pretty, but the martinis are a bad idea. She hasn’t eaten all day and is already halfway through the second one before the waiter comes by for our order.

She’s in her ebullient stage, laughing out a story I’ve heard before. I laugh along, watching for the change. I know it’s coming.

I know that later all the forgiven arguments will come roaring back as though we’d never stopped fighting, all the healed wounds reopened and fresh.

The waiter opens a bottle of wine. She tells him to let it breathe, to bring two more martinis in the meantime. I smile, my palms damp on the tablecloth.

How will it end this time? On the drive home,  her snatching at the wheel and screeching at me to pull over?  Will she fling her rings into the gutter as before, stomp into traffic on unsteady heels, clutching her coat and yelling obscenities?

Or maybe she’ll she wait until we are back in our living room, the sitter gone home and the kids sleeping upstairs while she paces with balled fists, her face mottled with bottomless rage?

She lifts her glass. “Cheers,” she says, eyes glittering.


Sunday Photo Fiction