“What can I get you to eat, honey?” The waitress smiled at him, all dimples upon dimples upon dimples.
Death dramatically flung the single-side menu down. “I don’t care. The tuna. Is the tuna good today? No onions. Does it come with onions?”
“Strawberry milkshake for me,” I said sweetly, because it was pink. After the waitress had gone, I turned to Death. “You’re so unattractive when you pout.” I pushed a pink nailed finger into his bottom lip and wiggled it. “Fish lips. It’s what you get when you pout.”
Death glowered around at the other people in the diner. His words were slurred because my finger was still pushing on his lip. “Why do they have to come here to die? This was my place. They’re ruining my happy memories.”
I removed my finger and smiled at him. Death was so sentimental. “So, who is it?”
The waitress pushed our milkshakes in front of us. Death seized his and circled it with the cage of his arms. “I just want to drink my milkshake. If I think about it, I won’t enjoy it at all. And God knows I deserve a few small pleasures, right?”
“I should’ve been Death,” I observed. I stirred my pink shake. It was the exact same color as my lipstick. And that made me very happy. “It wouldn’t put me off my feed a bit.”
“Well, Love is cruel.” Death glowered past me at a young couple in one of the booths. They were laughing and feeding each other french fries. The boy leaned across the table to playfully blow the girl’s bangs up. Death mashed his straw into his milkshake a few times and looked away.
“Oh. So they’re the lucky ones? Boy or the girl?”
“Please be quiet. You’re giving me an ulcer.”
I leaned over and sang in his ear, “Which one iiiiis it?”
He growled at me. “Unfortunately, not you.”
I smiled at him. Death was so melodramatic.
“What is that?” he demanded. He was looking at his plate, which had just arrived.
I took it. “Pickle.”
“Remove it from my sight before I’m ill.”
I ate it and leaned against him. “Delicious.”
He clung to his stool to keep from falling off. “You disgust me. This diner disgusts me. Why did I get a milkshake? Why are they getting up? They’re not supposed to get up yet.”
But the boy and girl were getting up, tossing their napkins down and taking each others’ hands. And they were looking at us.
“He’s supposed to choke,” Death told me. “On a hot dog. Where’s his hot dog? Why didn’t he finish his hot dog?”
The couple walked straight to us, and the girl rested her hand on Death’s arm. “I just wanted to tell you that you two are such a cute couple. So cute the way you are together.”
Death stared at her.
“Thanks,” I told them. “Have a nice day. And loads of babies.”
Death watched them push out of the diner, leaving the uneaten hot dog on the table. The hot dog was pink, too, which also pleased me. It sort of rounded the day out.
“You’re welcome,” I said.
“Love is insidious,” Death told me. He pushed away his chocolate shake. “Let me have some of your milkshake.”
Death is predictable.
Author’s Note: I love diners. Mmmm milkshakes and tuna fish sandwiches . . . this is heaven.
*photo courtesy MBK (Marjie)