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by Michael Sams

This broccoli is bland, like him, she thought, reaching for the salt. He used to look at me differently. It amused her to think he has more salt than pepper in his beard nowadays. She remembered back when she called him pumpkin, and he called her sugar-plum. The memory was pleasant and painful.

He watched as she added yet more salt to her meal. She barely acknowledges me anymore, he mused. “I want a divorce,” he said.

She delicately placed the shaker down, stuck her fork into a broccoli stem, cut off a piece and chewed.

He gently pushed his plate away.

She continued slowly masticating.

He momentarily pondered quipping, You should add some broccoli to your salt. Then he remembered she was his one-time sugar-plum, and he her one-time pumpkin. He still loved her.

She stopped chewing and gazed into her pumpkin’s old eyes and saw reflected the happiness and the sadness.

“Pass the salt,” she said.

Michael Sams is a writer of award-winning, internationally performed short plays. His first writing love was short stories, a format to which he has recently returned and is thoroughly enjoying.