That Table

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She opens her eyes, lying on her back in her old, brown oak bed. Lying on her back is the only way she does not feel the pain in her brittle bones and thin muscles. She stands from her bed, and takes the few steps from her bed to the small kitchen attached to the miniature living room. She walks over to the counter to start her one pot of regular coffee she is allowed a day. She sits at the table. The table she’s sat at for some 70 years now everyday to drink that one cup of coffee. She moves her skinny fingers along the wooden table, looking at all the nicks and scratches, thinking of where it has been, who has eaten at it. The many times it’s been stained, the moving and roughness it’s endured. Hush little baby don’t say a word. It was a bright spring day, probably mid May. Clear skies, flowers blooming, white fluffy clouds, finally green grass and full trees. It was her 19th birthday, and she had only known him for two months. Yet he insisted on having her over for a special birthday dinner. She walks to the front door, with a few butterflies rushing in her stomach and her brunette curls bouncing as if she is on top of the world. Her skirt nicely hemmed and her blouse ironed, she knocks. The dog barks and suddenly the fire alarm starts to screech. She stands at the door quite worried for a moment, and then decides to let herself in to check it out. Hush little baby don’t say a word. A gust of smoke rushes out the door and she can barely see through the smoke. The alarm finally stops and there he is, standing in the cloudy air, laughing, most likely of embarrassment. She walks toward him, laughs and gives him a quick awkward hug, laughing. She walks further in, only to see the dog licking the mashed potatoes off the wall, the burnt black chicken on the white, laminate floor, and corn on the cob perfectly cooked on that table. Hush little baby don’t say a word. He runs around, trying to get the house clean and in shape for his guest. She begins to open windows, keeping a content smile on her face. She walks over looking at the table, and sits down. The table was brand new, no scratches and nicks or stains. She was impressed to see a perfectly grilled corn on the cob lying in the middle of the table. She picks one up, and begins eating it. In the midst of him running around trying to clean up and feel less ashamed, he stops. Finding her enjoying the corn without him, he looks at her and smiles. She catches his eye from across the room, and both let out a loud gust of laughter. They’re happy. Hush little baby don’t say a word. He sits down across the table, and they enjoy the food together. They enjoy their time together. Hush little baby don’t say a word. Little did they know, at that same table the two would raise a beautiful family, make everlasting memories, and remain deeply in love through the rest of their life. The old lady sat at the table, just now finishing her coffee. Two knocks at the door and the nurse walks in. She takes her pills and goes about her day, confused about everything she does and everything going on. Her day ends with a meal at that table. She goes to bed, only to think more and more of him, to dream of him, and to wake up and have the same experience; over and over again.





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