Appetizers, by Natalia Krasovskaya

(F.F.F. Website Story)

She lays them on the dining table, always in the same order, always painstakingly attentive.

A photo from a Chinese restaurant; father, mother and daughter, noodles hanging from their mouths like beards, perfectly matching their wavy yellow hair. All three are trying hard not to laugh.

Her mother’s wedding ring with “ONLY YOU” engraved on the inside.

A tiny bear holding heart; mother’s name spelt in gold.

Each evening, as my husband’s daughter summons the ghost of her mother, my serenity shatters.

The first wife, whose departure will never be final, dines with us, eating up what’s left of the day.

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