Excerpt from “Soliloquy” (Temporary Title)

Meryl finished the last sentence for her blurb for English class, and took another bite from her veggie sandwich. She looked at the seat across her and imagined her mother looking out the window, repeatedly tapping her feet, while she held a cigarette between her ring finger and pinky finger. Whenever Meryl asked why, she told her that it “kept the thumb and index fingers open for a good time and the middle for expression.” As a routine, every time they were at a restaurant for dinner, they sat across from each other. It was not planned or anything, but it just seemed like the natural thing to do: her mother would just take the menu and order food for both of them, while Meryl imagined a world where salt and pepper did not have to fight for where they wanted to be placed on the table. Meryl specifically remembered eating her egg Benedict while smoking second hand smoke from her mother’s Camel. It was a cold winter night and her mother was slouched, looking outside to the darkness with her foggy, green eyes.

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