The Lunch Date

He asks the hostess for their favorite table. The one off to the side with giant smiling suns carved into the backs of the chairs. She loves this place. Everything is so colorful, like being in the middle of a Mexican fiesta. He helps her with her chair and then sits across from her. He is so tall and rugged, she thinks, so very handsome. She is proud to be with him. A pretty young waitress appears at his side, saying something about being their server and would they like to order drinks.

As she starts to shake her head, no, he pats her hand and says, “Have just one, it won’t hurt.” “Well,” she says, “only one.” It’s the same ritual whenever they come here. She says, “no.” He says, “yes.” She always orders the same drink – the delicious one with salt around the brim and a lime on the side. The waitress leaves to get their drinks. She is happy and nobody else exists, except the two of them. He always makes her feel young, like a teenage girl out on a date. He is the best son ever.

She asks him about work. He asks her if she needs anything. “Where did he get those eyes,” she wonders? “So blue and his hair so thick and curly.” She wonders why he isn’t married. Secretly, she doesn’t mind. For now she doesn’t have to share him.

He asks her what she wants to eat. The same thing as always, she says. He watches as she enjoys her drink. The margarita is in such a tall glass that she practically rises out of her seat to take a sip. He laughs to himself. She was always good to him. After all, she helped him get his first car. He loves his mother very much.

Their meals arrive. He’s already slicing into his chicken burrito. He’s always been a big eater. There was plenty of food in her house. Neither of them wanted for anything. Of course, she couldn’t afford luxuries like the other kids had. It was hard after his father died. She got a job in the shoe factory and they managed to get by. She never remarried. There was one man she did like, but not enough to marry. But, that was a long time ago.

Lunch is almost over. She tries to prolong it. The waitress silently appears and collects the dishes. Yes, they will have another drink. Anything to keep the afternoon from ending, she thinks. He takes her out to eat every three weeks or so. He always comes over if she needs him. He’s very busy, but he always calls her. She never feels easy asking for help. She is lucky to have such a thoughtful son.

He helps her unlock the door. Her trailer is small, but comfortable. He helps her into her favorite chair. The cat jumps up on her lap. He got her a cat so she wouldn’t be alone. She’s sleepy. He leans over and kisses her on the forehead and tells her they’ll do it again real soon. She tells him she loves him as he closes the door. As she starts to nod off, she thinks how lucky she is to have such a good son.

Before my husband’s mother passed away, he would take her out to lunch at her favorite Mexican restaurant. My husband loved his mother very much.