Just Having Lunch

Jerry knew that he looked ridiculous. He was wearing sunglasses and fedora, but he didn’t want his wife or her ex-husband to see him.

He was sitting several tables away from Louise and her ex-husband, Jacob, at an outdoor café. The sun was shining, which Jerry was grateful fro, because otherwise he would have looked even more ridiculous in his fedora and sunglasses. The song “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” came into his head. Louise would chuckle at that, if he told her, but of course he couldn’t tell her. He didn’t want her to know how paranoid he was.

It wasn’t that he didn’t trust his wife, he told himself. It was that he didn’t trust her ex-husband. Jacob was a slimy little bastard, from everything he had heard about him. And he was indeed little. Before they saw down, Jerry had stared at them partly because Jacob was at least two inches shorter than Louise. How could she have married someone shorter than her?

They had been ordering earlier, but now they appeared to be deep in conversation. Jacob was leaning across the table as he spoke to Louise, who was still sitting back in her chair, shaking her head. What were they talking about? Jerry had assumed that most of the conversation would be about their kids, who were 8 and 10. Was he trying to get more visitation time?

“Would you like something to drink?” The waitress’s voice made Jerry jump. He didn’t really want anything, but he needed to order something considering he was a customer at this restaurant.

“I’d like a coffee,” Jerry said, “with cream and sugar.” He took a quick glance at the menu to decide what to eat so that the waitress wouldn’t disturb him again. “I’ll also have the turkey and swiss sandwich, no mayo.”

The waitress nodded and scurried away. Jerry refocused his attention on Louise and Jacob. Now they were both leaning forward as they talked. Louise was gesturing quite a bit with her hands, as she always did when she was passionate about something. Jerry was leaning forward, too, but he couldn’t hear anything. Maybe he could just casually walk by and pretend to drop something…

No, that idea was ridiculous. They would both see him for sure, and then his wife would be upset that he didn’t trust her to have lunch with her ex. And he couldn’t blame her for being upset with him. After all, this was really an invasion of her privacy. But, then, she was his wife. And she was having dinner with her sleazy ex-husband. He should be there in case something goes wrong, right?

Apparently the lunch was going very well, though, because Louise had just tipped her head back and laughed. He could even hear her a bit. She had always had a loud, distinctive laugh. What on earth had he said that was so funny?

Then, his wife grabbed the purse from the back of her chair and got up. She was starting to head his direction. He quickly grabbed the wine menu from the center of the table and stared at it to try to hid his face.

It was no use, though. Louise stopped right in front of him.

“Jerry, if you’re going to spy on me, at least don’t wear that stupid fedora.”

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