He was late. Again. It might not have been so bad if it weren’t for the slight, cold, drizzling rain that felt like a storm of tiny mosquitoes against her skin. Phoebe had thought about sitting inside where it was warm and dry, but was too anxious to sit and decided against pacing in the entryway. So, she stood and shivered and waited.
She looked at her watch; it was about a half past three. If he’d shown up now, it would be the earliest he’d been late. Sometimes, she wondered why she put up with his chronic tardiness – along with his other shortcomings. It was easy when it never seemed to be his fault. He’d always managed to convince her of that.
If there was one thing she could count on consistently from him. Excuses. It wasn’t much but it was a start.
She turned around and glanced at the invitingly warm-looking interior of the diner she was standing in front of, her gray-green eyes reflected sadly back in the glass at her. A dark ringlet of hair, weighted down by the rain, strayed across her vision and she brushed it back. She sighed and looked back out towards highway 15, the road that ran through the heart of Aporia without ever really stopping to acknowledge there was a town there at all. Aporia was a small burg a stone’s throw from the Canadian border cleverly disguised as a lot of trees. Sometimes, it was like it was hiding, holding its breath, to keep from being found. Sometimes, she wondered about it.
At almost 3:40, the boy showed up. He was barely out of the car before he started with the tale about how the clerk at the gas station had stopped to talk to him about the latest Yankees’ trade and what he’d do if he’d been paid all that money to play baseball. She smiled and she walked into the diner with his arm around her. His words droned on as she nodded her head and, inside, sighed.
It will always be the job of a woman to keep a man in line.
And a woman’s work was never done.