things like that but now everything is tracked. I go back and talk to Arnie. He tells me that if we give free food to every down and outer that walks in here, he’ll go out of business. I don’t plead my case because I know I can’t win. My receipts and the register have to add up, but I know what to do. I give her the bill and tell her not to forget her doggie bag. She looks at me quizzically at first then she understands and smiles. It’s one of those trembling smiles where you bite the inside of your lip to hold back a tear. I know because I’m doing it too. The boy doesn’t notice. She is driving down the dark road. There is the spot with the missing guardrail. The spot that drops off at almost ninety degrees. She was going to do it but she was still savoring the bite of glazed donut the boy, leaning forward against his restraints, had just shoved at her lips. She rounded the corner sharply and heard the change rattle in her pocketbook. She drove to the rest stop, took out the coins and put them in the payphone. At break time, I write down that I had chocolate milk and two donuts. I know it’s hunger I feel in my stomach, but it feels different. Maxine Kollar is a wife and a mother of three. Her works have appeared in SpeckLit and Tell Us A Story. More works are forthcoming in Mamalode, Funny in Five Hundred, Clever Mag, Gravel Mag and Rat’s Ass Review.