After Dinner Mint

There it was, slammed down on the table between them. Almost a living thing, begging for attention.

They continued their dinner, roast and green beans, and pretended they had neither heard it nor said it nor were hurt by it, and each hoped the other wouldn’t be so cavalier as to mention it and bring the whole precarious tower crashing down on them. A knife scraped along the plate. They winced in unison  and gave each other halfhearted smiles.

Later, she wiped the toothpaste from the corner of his mouth, and knew that everything between them would be all right.

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