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Table for Three

An uninteresting and delightful evening among friends

By Brandon LeverPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
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Table for Three
Photo by Siyuan on Unsplash

We gathered ourselves just beyond the single-doored entrance of the restaurant, ushered in under the harsh confluence of the dark and the cold that titled that ordinary winter evening. Or, perhaps, not so ordinary when considered in light of the occasion that brought us there that night. Ms. Sabel, our close friend of two decades, had just turned twenty-seven, and Sira and I, harbouring a semblance of appreciation and respect for social ceremony, had insisted on our taking her to dinner to celebrate.

The room was warm and busy and lit in a way that made everything glow with a hue of subtle amber. Our arrival was almost an imposition – the maître d’ went to at least a bit of trouble trying to place us at a table on account of our non-existent reservation. Inconveniences to the staff aside, after a few moments we found ourselves seated in the back corner of the room, close to the bar, with a spanning view of the entire restaurant – a coveted vantage point, no doubt, for those who delight in the theatre of people-watching.

It wasn’t long before we ordered drinks. The house red for me; a gin and tonic for Sira – her second of the night if you count the ‘after-work drinks’ she’d come from just prior to meeting us – and for Mia, the odd sip from Sira’s perspiring glass. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how I was caught delightfully off guard by the chilled, silky liveliness of the wine – a Sangiovese grape variety from the Riverina, flying under the radar of acclaim and notoriety with its pedestrian moniker: 2015 Maybe Frank House Red.

Our conversation – of everything and of nothing – coursed over the mess of discussions and scurrying waiters and jousting cutlery and the indiscernible hum of music that levelled the room. I would talk of health – particularly, perhaps solipsistically, of my health, and the diet and activity of which I had only recently begun to enforce on myself with a near tyrannical stringency.

After little deliberation in the form of predictable indecisiveness and characteristic agreeableness, we ordered between us the Salumi Misti, the Pappardelle Al Ragu Bolognese and a pizza that went by the name of Alba. Two of us would at one point don something of a Sherlockian inquisitiveness when it came to the matter of Sira’s new, high-profile job at some prestigious architectural firm in one of Sydney’s equally prestigious suburbs.

With the exception of the olive pips, we all saw to it that no morsal of food or fat was left idle on any plate that graced that table. The same could have been said for the dessert had the restaurant served such a thing. Eventually, we’d all riff on the subject of age, of growing older, and of the humorously depressing way in which we were all so aware of it – of how each year we grew slower and weaker and more languid than the year before. Sober topics such as this, though enjoyed while decidedly unsober, were always punctuated with laughter and a disarming levity.

Long after the meal had disappeared and our glasses had emptied and the table was left bare, the conversation lingered…and eventually petered with the unspoken and collective understanding of the evening’s conclusion.

Though our exit was not without complication – of the innocuous, well-mannered sort. For Mia, laboring under the fallacy that she was without celebratory exemption, attempted to pay her part. As decorous a gesture as it was, it was promptly thwarted by my and Sira’s insistence: “There’ll be none of that.” All told – a simple, tame, uninteresting, and immensely delightful evening. One that will likely find delightful iterations in the years to come.

Short Story
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About the Creator

Brandon Lever

What can i say? I like to write:)

Mostly about society and culture.

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