C16: My Mary Jane Watson

“There’s a new smile on your face.”

Anja flipped her phone face down. “Hm?”

The Latino woman across the table forked another bite of tamales into her mouth.

“You’ve been wearing that smile all day.”

“Have I?” Anja said as she rubbed her sore cheeks.

“Oh, come on, honey. You’ve checked your phone ten times since we’ve been sitting here. What’s the good news?” The seventy-five-year-old woman scooted out a chair next to the Latino woman.

Anja tucked her hands between her legs, scooted to the edge of her chair and whispered, “I’m waiting on a message.”

“From who?” the Latino woman said.

“A man?” the elderly woman said.

“A man, yes.”

“Oh. A potential boyfriend?” the elderly woman said.

“A person of interest for now,” Anja said.

“What’s he like?”

“Yes, dear, tell us all about him.”

“Well, I just learned from a friend of mine that he works at a restaurant, and he wants to take me out to dinner so he can ‘inspire envy in others’.”

“Those are his exact words?” The elderly woman flung a dramatic hand to her chest.

“Oh, Anja,” the Latino woman said. “He sounds dreamy.”

“He didn’t look very dreamy when I spoke to him. He looked like a homeless person. He was all beat up. His face was swollen. One of my friends who met him said he was mugged.”

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