by Sarah Henry
“He’s a sales associate,” she said, liberally shaking more vinegar onto her fried fish. She added extra salt for good measure.
Her father carefully avoided making eye contact. He only did this when he disapproved of what she was saying. His parenting style was more laissez-faire than authoritarian.
He made a noncommittal noise, raised both eyebrows, and then gestured the waitress over for more oyster shooters, an appropriate way to get a little drunk before 5:00. Besides, she loved the tangy taste of cocktail sauce combined with the meaty oysters. That, or she had a zinc deficiency.
“We met at a friend’s wedding. It was great to find someone I was actually attracted to, you know? Weddings can be such a drag otherwise. Seems like everyone is getting married now.” She used her finger to wipe away the condensation marks left on the table by her warming beer.
Her father looked up at the mention of a wedding. He was currently on wife number five. Two before, and two after her mother. Symmetry.
“I just want you to be happy,” he said finally, his concession to her dating someone, in his opinion, below her status. Her father did believe in coincidental romances, having followed that fairy path several times himself.
Lily leaned back in the wicker chair, finally satisfied. She knew her father was right about this guy, that she was forcing him to be something he could be in her mind. She also knew that inevitably his dirty socks would gradually find themselves further away from the laundry hamper, and that beer rings on the coffee table wouldn’t seem so endearing when she was doing the dusting. She sighed, took a drink of her sweating beer and watched the sailboats make their slow progression out of the harbor.
About the Author
Sarah Henry is a high school English teacher living in Fort Collins, Colorado. She enjoys writing flash fiction because of the challenge it provides of saying so much in so little. Two of her stories, “Violet and Gray Teeth” and “Phyllis” have been shortlisted in Mash Stories Competitions 5 and 7. Her story “The Shadow Figure’s Philosophy” won The Other’s Award for Needle in the Hay’s writing competition, and her try at cyberpunk climate fiction, “Batteries,” was shortlisted there as well. She tweets @SAnnjelee.