Isabella McCall, Columnist • firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of pixabay.com
Work ended today on an unexpectedly warm note. Laurel, the elderly wife of the my boss and the only other female presence at the fish shop, asked me to go to dinner with her at the small place down the street. The Kadataan Lounge, was probably one of the most popular restaurants in the area because it did not serve only seafood and liquor. I thought it was smart marketing on their part considering the people who came to eat there were mainly fishermen who would down a whole shot at the mere sight of a menu with fish on it.
Though it was nice of her, I didn’t know why Laurel had extended the invitation. I had never spoken to her, I only politely waved at her when she wandered through on the way to her husband’s office. When she asked me she told me that she just wanted to talk and get to know the only other woman in the fish shop, offer a take on what was in town and give me a little company since I always looked lonely when I she saw me. I think she was surprised when I said yes, like she expected me to turn her down and curl even further into myself. Thinking about it, I was a bit surprised myself, but happily surprised.
She picked me up in a warm, scruffy old Ford Explorer. It was easy to see that the car matched her personality with the wool blankets covering every seat, a worn rosary hanging from the mirror, and tools covering the stains they created on the floor.
As we began our short trip she asked me the basics about myself. I answered pleasantly until she asked me what my parents thought about me being here. I looked out at the rain, quietly saying “my mom’s dead. She killed herself last fall, now I’m just lost.”
Laurel looked at me, her eyes filling with tears she reached for my hand and grasped it gently. “My mother did the same 32 years ago. I guess you aren’t lost after all.”