TITLE: SUMMER'S ALMOST OVER
“Here you go.” Sophie smiled as she leaned out the window of her taco stand—The Sandy Tortilla—and handed an order of carne asada quesadillas to one half of a newlywed couple.
She’d been working the stand for enough summers to recognize the glow of the newly hitched. The way they looked at each other with moons in their eyes; how the men couldn’t stand more than two inches away from their wives; the tightness of the women’s bodies under their two-piece swimming suits.
Yes, Sophie had seen enough newlyweds to overdose on sweetness without even getting a taste of sugar. Her stomach lurched as she returned to the orders hanging above her grill.
Every couple reminded her that she was alone. Very recently single, in fact. She focused on tossing the chicken onto the flattop, slathering the cilantro spread on the tortilla, and crisping up the chips.
With her utmost concentration on her cooking, she didn’t have room to obsess over Mark.
“Chicken verde,” she called out the window, and a teenage girl stepped forward. At least she wasn’t in her mid-twenties with a wedding band on her finger.
Sophie glanced down at her left hand, where, until recently, she had worn a gold band with a single diamond on it. With a little imagination, she could see a tan line where the ring sat—because she had worn it for nine months.
Mark didn’t want to set a date, something that frustrated Sophie. She liked deadlines, and making lists, and meeting goals.