Bus Stop Stories: Margaret and Martin-A Man’s Stomach. She wins? or He Loses?

“I don’t care, I’m not going to like it.” Martin’s arms were firmly crossed in combat formation.

“I know, dear.”

He lifted his hands, shoulders up around his ears. The first crack in his battle formation. “Then why are we going?”

“Because we must. If we don’t, you know what they will say.” Margaret’s head bobbed with every other word.

Martin’s hand slapped down on his gray slacks. He shook his head and stared at the sidewalk. The shaking stopped, and he looked at me. “I will trade with you.”

I held my hands up in defense.

He nodded. “I thought so.” He turned to Margaret. “See, I told you. I doubt I could pay for someone to take my place.” His shoulders sagged, his eyes focused on the reliable cracks in the pavement.

“No one you ask will know what you’re talking about. Besides, if we don’t go then we won’t be able to stop off at Strom’s Deli on the way back.” She leaned forward, as if she were looking for the bus.

The shoulders straightened. Martin’s eyes lifted from the sidewalk. “Well, I guess it would look bad if we were the only ones not there. It’s not like I have any problems with it, it’s just that it’s so far away. But if it will make you happy, then okay.”

Martin stood up as he heard the whine of the bus, that sound only a bus makes. Margaret stood and looked down at me. She winked and put her arm in through the crook of her husband’s.

He helped her up onto the first step of the bus and then followed. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But so is his weakness.

 

 

© 2014-2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

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