“You can’t mean it!”
“Two,” she said quietly, like I love you whispered in the dark.
“Come on, who’s it going to hurt?” her lips started to form the number three but she paused, giving him one last, undeserved, chance. He took his fingers away from the plate of still sizzling bacon.
“We are not animals,” she said. “We can wait until Toby sits with us and together we will pause for a moment of thanks.”
He accepted her leadership and refolded his napkin. He slid it under the edge of his empty plate. “So where is Toby?” he asked.
“Who wants to know?” Short, red headed, overweight Toby limped into the kitchen while he stuffed one tail of his wrinkled shirt into the front of his elastic waste band with one hand and rubbed his eyes with his other hand. He saw the pile of bacon and a grin covered his freckled face. Toby picked up a length of the almost too hot to touch pig meat and stuffed it into his mouth, chewed twice and asked, “you guys waiting on me?” He scraped his chair across the polished floor and grabbed for a couple slices of toast as he sat down. Before Toby had finished adjusting his seat one of the slices of toast was wrapped around a second strip of bacon and a full half of the hastily made bacon sandwich filled his mouth. Mom and I bowed our heads and took a second to offer thanks while listening to the sound of Toby’s open mouthed chewing.
Raising my head I looked her in the eye, “you’re right Mom, we are not animals.”