“Sometimes the truth can be
“Are you going to tell Bob your real name today or wait until Tuesday?” I quietly asked Franny as we headed back to our booth.
“Oh, I’ve already told him. He thought the whole ‘fake name thing’ was really a cool idea.”
“Oh, yeah?” I said. “Well good for old Bob.”
Yes, yes, I know…I sounded just a little bitter.
As we approached the table, Hank jumped up right away so I could get in and sit down…so very courteous. Whatever…
“Everything okay?” he asked, again sounding a little worried…
“Peachy…just peachy,” I said with a big (maybe a tad phony) smile.
The bartender had brought over the drinks while Franny and I were in the Ladies’ Room. I took a swallow of my Coke. I was so thirsty. It was icy cold…perfect. Who needed beer anyway?
I glanced sideways at Hank. You know…I could play games too. Maybe I would have a little fun with ‘my married date’.
“So…Hank…” I asked. “What are your plans for tonight? Franny and I were going into The Friendly Inn when we met you guys…want to come in with us when we get back? Play some bumper pool?”
I was trying to sound normal and friendly but I know I wasn’t carrying it off very well…but like I cared…right?
Hank looked at me and tilted his head…almost as if he was debating what to say…it was odd…but then he laughed a little and said…
“Well, actually…” and then Nan appeared with our food and Hank didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence.
The food was really great and nobody talked much while we were eating.
I popped a last fry in my mouth and said, “Wow, that was excellent!”
“I wonder what that sauce was the cook put on the hamburgers?” Hank wondered out loud. “I’ll have to ask Nan when she collects the bill. It was really different…but good.” Bob nodded in agreement.
I gave Franny a look. What an odd comment from a guy about his burger. It seemed strange to have a guy so interested in the food.
“What…are you a cook or something?” I asked Hank…a little bit sarcastically…for no other reason…than because he was “a married rotter”.
I wasn’t usually sarcastic to people…in fact I was never sarcastic to people…so it came out a little heavy-handed.
I instantly felt bad…but oh well…if you’re going to “cheat on your wife and abandon your babies”…you get what you deserve.
He paused…obviously feeling the sting of my remark…but then said…
“In fact, yes. I worked for a couple of years at the Leamington Hotel in Minneapolis as a sous chef. Then I moved over to the Nicollet Hotel. I worked there for about a year.”
“It’s what I do. I cook.” He gave me a tentative smile…maybe wondering if I was going to stop him from talking…again.