She dipped her hands in the sudsy water, feeling around for the loose silverware on the bottom of the sink. Placing them one by one onto a freshly cleaned linen towel to dry, lined up like soldiers off to assist in satisfying the appetites of the day. Counting the air-dried forks, spoons, and knives with her eyes, continuing to feel around in the sink as water sloshed onto her ankle length, candy stripe socks. Slowly pulling her hands from the water with a steak knife in her right hand. It was her favorite, easily distinguishable from the others by a missing screw that held the plastic handle the the stainless steel blade.
The table accessory had been to her what a Swiss army knife was to a Marine. After careful inspection, she held it up to her usual sullen scowl. The crow’s feet around her eyes stretched further along her face. The knife was missing its tip. She hadn't noticed it before.
She felt a slight sting in her chest, a most inappropriate reaction for such a common object. Tears spilled down her face like fresh rain over a cracked desert floor. With damp hands, she brushed
the tears away as if they were insects crawling on her skin. The clock on the stove read quarter to ten. Margret would be over for breakfast soon. She had invited her over an hour ago. She set the table for two, walked over to the refrigerator, and grabbed a fresh carton of eggs. She reached for something in an unconventional wrapping along with a tube of Italian sausage and some onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. After sautéing her vegetables, she added her egg mixture. A few minutes later, everything was ready.
There was a knock on the kitchen door. It was Margret. "Something sure does smell good, Evelyn" she said, hugging her curmudgeonly host. Evelyn haphazardly slung an arm around Margret's back and got a face full of her well-styled hair. It smelled amazing! Who in the hell gets all gussied up just to have breakfast? Evelyn thought. The bleached-blond Margret Smalls did. I bet all the girls wanted to be friends with her back in high school. Her nails and makeup were always flawless. Her ample breasts were more apparent now days. The “girls” needed little assistance from the rather pricey bras she probably wore. Rumor from the scamps around the crochet circle was that some slob bought her a new pair of boobs, as if she needed them.
“Is Bill still here?" Margret inquired. Evelyn frowned. "Bill?"
Margret pointed with her well-manicured thumb towards the driveway.
"Yeah, his truck is still parked outside. I thought he usually works on Saturdays."
"His truck," Evelyn whispered, focusing on the door. She looked from the door back to a statue-like Margret, then held her head down as she brushed past to the stove.
"He's sleeping in today," she mumbled.
"Oh." Margret raised her tattooed eyebrows and slowly closed the door. She pulled a chair from the table to sit down, pitying Evelyn's roadside-diner-like attire with her eyes. “Evelyn, are you OK? You seem a little frazzled this morning.”
Evelyn gazed into the gaunt set of eyes reflected in the silver coffee pot while she poured Margret a cup. "Yeah, I'm fine. Didn’t sleep much last night. Damn dog next door." Margaret poured cream and sugar into her coffee. "Well, I didn't hear a thing. I usually sleep like a baby." Evelyn rolled her eyes. Dumb bitch. Babies don't sleep soundly at night. She prepared a plate of scrambled eggs for Margret, then placed them in front of her. She sat down across the table. A plate absent of food lay untouched in front of the rather aloof Evelyn. She was having just a cup of coffee. Margret eyed her fork; the obvious hadn't escaped her.
"You're not having anything?"
Evelyn placed loose strands of her hair behind her ear, looking a bit uncomfortable.
"Later. I'm still trying to shake the cobwebs loose" Margret managed a smile through the masked tension, and picked up the fork from the table.
Taking a careful sip of coffee, Evelyn's eyes fixed on Margret’s fork. She barely breathed as she watched the fork dig into the eggs, pause a bit, then carry them to the moist, lip-sticked lips of the twice-divorced diva. Strands of Evelyn's hair hung like graying drapes in her eyes, obscuring the harsh glare of contempt as her wrinkled lips part slightly. "Mmm," Margret moaned, closing her eyes and savoring the eggs as a slow menacing grin spread like corrosion beneath the long, unattractive nose of Evelyn Thayer. "Oh my God, Evelyn, these eggs are delicious.” Slowly Evelyn ran her tongue over her dry, chapped lips. "It's no wonder why Bill's been putting on so much weight," Margret laughed, bringing a genuine smile from Evelyn. Her eyes relished the motion of Margret's perfectly squared jaw, fascinated with every morsel of food her buxom dining guest swallowed. Margaret chewed her food slowly, visibly taken by the flavors that tumbled over her tongue. She stabbed at the brown bits with her fork. "What type of sausage is this? It's wonderful."
Evelyn’s eyes widened slightly. For a glimmer of a second, they appeared to hide a stifled laugh. She lowered her cup of coffee to the table and whisked strands of hair from her eyes. "It's homemade, from my sister and her husband." "Speaking of which, are they still interested in some land down in Monroe? I've acquired some from my divorce and I'm looking to sell, if I can get a pretty good offer for it.” Evelyn brushed her graying hair with her hand.
"I don't keep up with their finances," she offered with a harsh glare. "But I'll ask the next time I speak with them.” Money, that's all she cares about. What’s wrong Margret? Running low on funds for your lavish lifestyle? Her recent divorce from second husband Peter had left her well off. He had owned a successful construction company, but after the divorce, she owned a large stake in it, along with two of the four homes he owned and six hundred thousand dollars from a savings account. But Peter should have known better. He was god awful ugly; he should have known that someone as pretty as Margret was only interested in his money. Margaret was talking, but Evelyn had stopped listening.
With her eyes she enviously fondled Margret's breasts, which bounced with each breath and jiggled from her slightest movements. Evelyn took note of how Margret leaned in toward the table as she spoke. Apparently it was a force of habit, probably
something she did often while conversing with men, offering a peek at her deep cleavage in her low cut blouses. Not a man on earth could resist the witty musings that spilled from her self-indulgent head like candy from a busted piñata. She was an honest hard working woman's greatest nightmare. A man would trade in a clean home and hot meals for a woman like her any day. She spoke with her hands. They were soft, delicate. They seemed regal, never allowed to hold or touch the tools of the commoner. Evelyn's eyes fell upon her own rough and worn hands holding the coffee mug and clasped them neatly in her lap, frowning upon them like way-ward children. A woman shouldn't have unattractive hands like a man.
Margret had never worked, had never had a real job, unless you considered swinging around from a pole an occupation. A fool with money didn't stand a chance against the cunning charms of the sultry temptress. She was slutty enough to bait them, but too cleaver to be considered a whore. You either admired or hated a woman like Margret; but whatever you did, you never left her alone with your husband. That is, if he was successful.
Now she understood why after all these years she didn't have any women friends. They talked too damn much! Damn, woman! Breathe! A simple invitation for breakfast was turning into the torturous rants of a narcissist.
Every so often, between the hopeful elusive pauses in the conversation, Evelyn
found herself glancing at the clock. 11:00. Time couldn't move fast enough. Margret wasn't educated, but she had managed to turn ignorance into an appealing charm. Men loved women who posed no threat to their sense of superiority. It was one thing to be beautiful, but it was another to be beautiful and street smart. If she had been frugal in any way it was in retaining the second hand knowledge that she stored. If a guy was a bank manager then suddenly she was an expert on mortgage rates. For her, wisdom must have rested on the tips of the many cocks she blew. Obviously for the former stripper, it was the fastest way to transmit the vast knowledge that successful men possessed. She was a locust; she used every inch and centimeter of a man's mind, body, and soul before moving on to the next. Evelyn recalled how she had taken a sudden interest in cement work, telling Bill how she could take his cement company nationwide. Idiot! He actually believed she knew what the hell she was talking about. Why are men so damn stupid? The sound of her fork being placed onto the empty plate brought Evelyn's mind back to center. Margret carefully dabbed her mouth with a napkin.
"Evelyn Thayer, that was delicious," she said, smiling over at her not-so-sociable host, who held her cup with both hands now and simply nodded. "Glad you enjoyed it.”
The chair scrapped against the linoleum floor as Margret stood up. "I have to get going" reaching into her expensive handbag for her Louie Vuitton sunglasses. Evelyn stood up and neatly brushed the crinkles from her apron. "You have to let me take you out for breakfast sometime." Margaret smiled. It was a kind gesture that Evelyn had not anticipated, which inspired a rare softness in her usually stony veneer. Her rough hands were folded courteously in front of her like a waitress. She willed herself to smile. "A cup of coffee will do just fine." After another uncomfortable hug, Margret Smalls left. But the smell of her perfume still lingered in the small kitchen. It reminded Evelyn of something, and Evelyn’s attempt at a smile was soon washed away. Standing over the stove with a fork, she meticulously removed pieces of sausage from the skillet. Stealthily placed them in a napkin then inside the pouch of her apron. Cleared the table, and placed the plate and cups in the empty sink before heading up stairs.
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