Lauren Moore Creative Writing


Spoiled Appetites

"Two sodas, one regular, one diet?"

"The old standard, Bernice" Henry said and he smiled up at the waitress who he'd known for longer than many of his own friends.

Once Bernice had left them Sarah leaned across the booth and asked, "What would you say… if we came in one Saturday… and, like, Bernice had chopped all her hair off?"

Henry turned his head slightly to look at Bernice for a second and then turned back to Sarah, "All of it?" he wrinkled his nose in disgust.

"Well…" Sarah reached up to pull at a strand of her dark hair, twisting it around and around, "No, I guess not all of it. Like… most of it though. What would you say?"

Henry gave her a strange look, and then admitted with a shrug of his shoulders, "Well, I guess I wouldn't say anything, because it's not really any of my business."

"But what if it was your business?"

"It's not."

But Sarah wished it was, because she was planning on doing just that – to her own hair, of course, not Bernice's. The latter would require significantly more planning on Sarah's part.

There was silence between them for a few seconds until Bernice returned with their sodas.
"Here you go, you two," she said as she thumped the sodas and straws down on the table.

"Hey Bernice," Henry said, "Sarah told me you're going to be cutting all your hair off?"

Bernice shot Sarah a suspicious look, "Don't believe a word of it, Henry."

"I like short hair," Sarah said, "and I think you'd look great with short hair, Bernice."

This was a lie of course, for Bernice was a rather large woman in her later years, and short hair would simply do nothing good for her bone structure.

"I don't like short hair," Henry admitted, "I also don't like talking on the phone."

Bernice, feeling completely confused by the avenue of conversation, looked quickly between the two of them several times, and said, "You two are in rare form this evening," and headed back to her place behind the counter.

"You never told me that before… that you don't like talking on the phone," Sarah realized aloud. She found this peculiar, because she and Henry had been dating for several years, and she felt that she did in fact know everything there was to know about him.

"Well, I don't," he said. This wasn't quite true. What Henry didn't like was receiving important messages over the phone, which had happened that very morning when he received a call from his doctor saying that his blood pressure was abnormally high for a man of 26.

"I like talking on the phone," Sarah said.

"You're a girl."

She tilted her head to the left and nodded, "True."

Henry looked down at his regular soda and resolved that he wouldn't be drinking any of it. His blood pressure simply couldn't take the abuse.

"Can we go?" he asked Sarah, and she quickly agreed, for nothing spoils an appetite quite like a secret.