Short Story


I don’t care what my friends say about Jean being way out of my class. Sure, I may be a looks 4 and she is a 9, but if I round up, I’m a 5. And yes, she got her Ph.D. in Mesopotamian culture and I got my associate degree in motorcycle mechanics. Her being a professor at some hotshot university isn’t that big a deal. I’ve moved up from short order cook to manager at my restaurant. There weren’t any openings for motorcycle mechanics and I needed a job, but I’m doing fine now.

Regardless of the naysayers, we have been tight, and it has nothing to do with what I said about the lottery. She may have somehow gotten the idea that I said that I won the lottery, when I believe that I said I will win the lottery. I’ve got a system based on the Zodiac. She pesters me a little about when I’ll start spending my big winnings, but she’s probably just kidding me.

I may have been a bit dishonest by wearing earplugs to the opera and closing my eyes at the French movie we went to, but I was sincere about my love of and expertise about food and fine wines. Maybe I’m not too crazy for some forms of culture.

I was sure she would be impressed when I prepared a fancy dinner for her at my restaurant. Unfortunately, we don’t serve wine, so I had to pick it up elsewhere, and brought everything home to serve her at my place. It wasn’t so bad when she threw the Mexican pizza, chalupas, tacos and crunchwraps at me, but the box of Fortified Royal Bris Chardonnay September Vintage, my favorite wine, really hurt. She plays for the Oswego Owls softball team and is a great pitcher. She caught me with a speed box. Making it worse was the Fire Sauce that got in my eyes. It burned! Could I have let the food get cold? Would she have preferred a red wine?

Taco Bell doesn’t have good health coverage. Well, it has none. I hope Jean is willing to overlook that misunderstanding about the lottery and loan me $23,000 and counting to cover my medical bills.

I suspect that she hasn’t come to see me because she is ashamed of her behavior. Or, could student conferences take up all of three weeks?

She will probably have a reasonable explanation for me when I get out of the hospital. I think that we are both sensible people and can put this behind us. She will certainly be impressed by the zircon wedding ring I’ll give to her when she says yes.

In my mind I can just picture our wedding. I’ll close down my “Bell” early that day. The counter guy has a preacher’s certificate from Weddings Are Us. The rest of the staff can put on their cleanest uniforms. Happiness forever after.