“Look. Behind you. No, don’t look. They’ll see you. Just turn your head in a minute and you’ll see. But don’t let them see that you’re looking.”
Carol’s eyes sparkled. She delighted in scandal and gossip and lunch with Sandra was filled with heated whispers and darting, mischeivous eyes. They did their best work when they were together.
“What?! Ok, I’ll pretend I’m getting something out of my purse.” She’d perfected this technique after a lifetime of practice. “Oh. My. God. Can you believe they’re here? It’s disgusting! How can she be with him? It’s so unnatural. Imagine what her mother must think.”
Sandra took small, testy bites of her salsiccia panino. Her stomach was turning, but they only come to Vivoli’s once a month. She wasn’t going to let the couple across from her spoil her sandwich.
“I KNOW! There should be a law against this. AND THEY’RE IN PUBLIC. If my daughter ever brought home someone like him, I’d disown her. I’m serious. I don’t want my grandchildren to be half…ugh. It’s just not right. Her parents obviously didn’t raise her right.”
Carol leaned in close so she could speak quieter. She didn’t want anyone to think they were rude. With her perfectly manicured nails, perfectly pressed suit, and perfectly coiffed hair, an air of anything but perfection would be unacceptable.
“I don’t even want to think about what their offspring would look like,” she whispered. ”What colour would they be? Talk about setting them up for a lifetime of hardship. Why can’t they just stick with their own kind?”
Sandra mimicked Carol’s pose, leaning in to speak low. “Right? And it’s not even about race. One of my best friends at work is like him. I listen to their music in the car sometimes. I love people of all colours. It’s just not natural for the two of them to be together like that.”
Carol watched Sandra’s face scrunch up in revolt. Well, as much as it could after years of botulism injections and having her skin pinned back, tight like rubber.
“Oh, God. Gross. They just kissed. This whole thing is ruining my appetite. I might complain to the manager.”
“No, let’s just leave. I can not wait to tell Mel. He’ll love this.”
“You know, I heard Mel dated one before, but they broke up because of, well, issues in the bedroom, if you know what I mean.”
As they got up to leave, the two gave one last glance at the couple sitting behind them. They seemed in love. If they weren’t so different, it would almost be sweet. But some differences are too great to overlook.