Growing Up with Infidelity

An Excerpt from Infidelity: A Memoir

This is my first restaurant meal with my father. I am between Daddy and Mother. I finger the thickness of the coarse white tablecloth and clink the empty glass with my fork. Mother frowns and shakes her head. The waitress, her dark hair a shining helmet, moves behind us to pour water. She spills a drop when she pours Daddy's, which seeps slowly on the cloth.

''Oh, pardon me. I'll get that right up.'' She dabs it with a napkin. She smells of roses and grease. Her fingers are poised around her pencil, pink nails curve at the ends.

''Ready to order?'' When she approaches my father, her voice slides down just a little. ''What did you think of the White Sox?'' he asks her. ''Catch any night games?'' He flashes her a broad smile.

''Whenever I can.'' Her laugh is slow and throaty and doesn't match her gentle voice. Daddy's eyes sweep her hips as she walks away. I see him watching her. And he looks away. She has such a slender, tight body, while Mother's is lush.

She wets her lips. ''Yeah. Well, I was supposed to go with my boyfriend, but …'' She taps her pencil point against her pad and raises her eyes to the ceiling.

''But?'' Daddy pursues.

''He was rained out.''

He laughs. ''I have some tickets for tomorrow night's game.''

''Lucky you.'' She raises one eyebrow. ''Well, can I get you anything else?''

''No. We're fine for now,'' Mother replies.

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