LIKE A MANGO-BASIL SMOOTHIE by T. L. Sherwood
The blender frightens the baby, excites the dog. The barking cries drive Evan from his bed, the one he wants me to consider ours. In the kitchen of many windows, I let him smooch my cheek, caress our newborn’s hair.
Before his waking yawn, he asks, “You’re adding basil to your smoothie?”
“I wouldn’t think it would go with mangos.”
“My odd cravings continue.” I offer my grin, beaming with dimples.
“No.” What comes out of my mouth isn’t a lie; I’m still mad about her calling when I was in the delivery room. By the time I’ve forgiven her for that, I will have forgotten about last night. I remove the blender’s lid, pour the contents into a glass, wonder when this will be a distant memory. Soon, everything in his house will match my apartment. Plastic, covered in bumper guards, safety-latched everything for parental frustration. If. When. Unless.
“She needs more money.” He wipes his hands over his hair, rests them behind his head, fingers linked, eyes closed.
“Didn’t you both hire lawyers to discuss things like that?” I smile again, focus on our son.
Ethan’s eyes blink open, his hands drop to his side. “You’ve worked with her. You know how she gets.”
I thought I did. She thought she knew me, too. Cutthroat with the competition, not with each other. That’s not with who we turned out to be.
“I’m taking a shower.” He drinks straight from the pitcher, replaces the lid. “This isn’t bad.”
Calmly, I nod. When the door shuts, I allow the truth. “No, it’s awful.”
Among other places, T. L. Sherwood’s work has appeared in New World Writing, Jellyfish Review, Elm Leaves Journal, Page & Spine, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Her work was recently nominated by Milk Candy Review for Best Microfictions. She lives in western New York, blogs here: https://tlsherwood.com/ and tweets there: @ TLSherwoodTheW1