Happy International Women's Day!

We sit at single tables facing each other, each against the wall. Her white knit hat and my own black hat. We awkwardly make eye contact then look back down, each reaching for our water glass and taking a sip. Her soup is served and she begins spooning mouthfuls of lentils, occasionally dipping her bread into the soup as well. I tear a slice of bread, mixing it in oil and balsamic vinegar. We shiver, pulling our scarves tighter. My soup is served and I sip. We alternate sipping and drinking and dipping bread, nervously looking around at others around the restaurant, careful not to look at each other. We glance up at each other, smiling, then back down to our soup. She has about 50 years on me. Her boat neck striped sweater, my white sweater. I tug at my short hair and she slips off her hat, pulling her elastic out and letting her long hair down. She twists her hair and refastens it into a top knot, similar to how I would have done mine last week. There we sit. Her without a wedding band. Me wearing a fake wedding band. Her dark purple nails. My light purple nails. We stir, and the lentils turn. People chatter loudly in the restaurant and we sit quietly. Quietly wondering. Me of my life one day. Her of her life before. She keeps her hands still when she is not eating. My own busy hands tap against the keys on my phone. Maybe she enjoys writing, too, perhaps a pen and paper are buried deep in her purse. We look on. I wipe my mouth with my napkin as she coughs into hers. Our checks are delivered. We reach for our wallets, each present our cards, wait for the waiter to return, and then sign our names. Slipping on our jackets we squeeze between tables and step out into the cold, a sea of people encompass us. We disappear.