Sandwich by Sara Cappell Thomason
This morning I watched my ex-husband assemble our daughter’s lunch on the hood of my car. He was grocery-less and late to drop her off at school. He called to ask for help, begged me really, and I thrilled at his desperation—went so far as to picture him here, on bent knee. I was invariably prepared, ripe for gloating.
Yeah, yeah. Sure.
It has been eighteen months since he left and still, I am so often surprised by these fragile moments, stunned into silence by a slice of provolone, or a packet of turkey, my car still wet with dew, the notion that this man who once kept a pair of my sandals at his office as a talisman, would stand in the driveway rather than join me, if even for a moment, at our old kitchen counter to make a sandwich.
Let’s just do this out here.
He carefully rolled lunch meat and cheese in tubes like little horns of plenty, while our daughter began a discourse on bowling. I stood nodding and aching as if I had somehow sucked down a bright balloon and was forced to hold it in my throat. Frustrated that I could not summon a smile, or properly employ the trick of rapid blinking, to keep water from snaking my cheeks. Because, of course I hadn’t been there to see her strike, to clear the lane, to crush a nacho with her knee.
And when he was done?
He said this and bowed—hand on his heart, head low. It was a thing he used to do right before bed to make me laugh. And against my own will, despite everything—I did. I laughed. Because of course this is how the whole thing would end. With a curtain drop.
Fin. Fin. Fin.
Sara Cappell Thomason holds an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She was awarded second prize in the Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Contest and has been long-listed for the Wigleaf Top 50. Her work has previously appeared in Electric Literature, Tin House, Witness Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, and The Citron Review, among others. Currently, she lives on Isle of Palms, SC where she is hard at work on a novel about prehistoric monsters. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter @saracthomason