Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 183

arrangement is notable to him.

The waitress brings our food to the table, and before she can put the plate down, Bernard is reaching for his burger. The waitress looks shocked. She gives him a disgusted look and walks away. He doesn't notice. He is too busy eating, and making noises with his mouth while he eats.

‘This burger never gets old,’ he says, his mouth still full.

I give a half smile and then take a bite of mine. I'm not hungry, but if I don't eat Bernard won't be happy with me. He doesn't like it when I don't eat. He says that he likes me round and chunky and if I don't eat, I won't be able to stay that way. When he eats, I eat. That's one of his rules.

When we finish, the waitress comes back to take our plates and Bernard orders the killer chocolate cake, a slice for each of us. He tells her we are celebrating seven years of being together. She smiles and looks my way. There’s a softness in her glance, but I can tell it’s mostly pity.

When the slices of cake come, Bernard takes my hands into his sweaty grasp and kisses them with his greasy lips. He tells me how much he loves the fact that I'm his wife. He tells me that he has enjoyed his time with me. He never tells me that he loves me and I don't mind because I wouldn't know what to say if he did. He thanks me for staying. I say, ‘You are welcome.’ All the while, I'm thinking how I could go back to my country. I could walk away, and go back to my old life. Bernard makes it a point to remind me often that I haven’t received my Green Card yet, that the government would throw me in jail if I ever tried to leave him. I look out of the window and think how it is too late for me, how stuck I really am.