The hostess showed them to a white-clothed table by the windows. The light fell across her as she shed her coat onto the back of her chair, set her purse on the table, pulled her black Sunday gloves off, finger by finger and lay them neatly over the purse. She used her right hand to hold her skirt in place as she sat down on the chair he held for her. As he moved it forward, tucking her into the table, she folded her naked hands in front of her.
He sat across from her. They looked at each other. The waitress came and went, delivering a glass of water and two soda bottles, leaving coasters in front of each of them. The pins on his uniform glinted. Sadness passed across her eyes. She surrounded his right hand with both of hers. She wished she could surround him with more. Safety. Guarantees.
But she knew there were none. Fifteen months later, when they delivered the letter, told her he’d died a hero in the South Pacific ocean, she clasped the baby to her chest. At the funeral, she wore the same black gloves, the same worn coat.