Dinner by Alex Eichen

My lover, Lindsey, walks into the Bella Milano with her husband, married two years. He wears an out-of-style Valentino suit and she has on a white, white dress. Silvery blue shadows move over its surface as theyre led to their table. My girlfriend, Sarah, talks to her dinner, a garlic Alfredo linguine while I fork my vegetables. I ordered steak, though Im not hungry for it. I try to read his lips to see what hes boring Lindsey with. Her perfect gray eyes travel the room, moving slowly along the outsides of the rails and electric candles before coming painfully, sadly to me. They quietly move on.
She orders chicken flamenco with red wine sauce; he has fish. I turn to Sarah and listen for a while about her day, about her mom, and the other day at work when so and so did such and such. Im wondering about Lindsey, and whether shes looking at me, and thinking about our night last night. Im thinking about her clothes hitting the floor, snow on the veranda and white smoke rings curling against city skylines. I think about how perfect wed be together. Im thinking of going up to her, just to say hi, when Sarah suddenly points out a spot of black pepper on my collar. As she turns my head to clean it, dotting it with a napkin, I see Lindsey touch her fork to her dress, leaving a red stain thatll be hard to clean. Only I notice.

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