Hell’s squeal pierced my ears. Typically, I would have shushed her and tried not to make eye contract with the other patrons around us; however, it was off-peak and the restaurant was desolate.
Hell, My husband, his mother, and I were having an early dinner to celebrate. Hell seemed to pay special attention the birthday girl, who also happened to be her favorite grandmother. She smiled, babbled, and even squealed as her grandmother shared her dinner with Hell. Hell’s own dinner forgotten because evidently food just tastes better when it is not hers.
We were halfway through our meal when an older man walked to the booth next to ours. He stood awkwardly as if debating his table choice. He looked at our table, inspecting each occupant. A huff and a puff later, he sat down seeming unhappy with his decision.
I understand children can be Hellish. This man honestly looked convinced our entire family would sprout horns. Well, I expect Hell to grow horns one day; after all, my mother has them, but that is a worry for another day. Next time I go out, I am going to make Hell wear a headband with little adorable horns attached, just to give people something to worry about.
The man never said anything to us. He looked over his shoulder and glared occasionally. I had the urge to invite him to sit with us, but I don’t think he would have liked that. Maybe we reminded him of some old hurt. Maybe Hell was giggling a little too loud. Maybe he just hates the smell to ketchup. I hope he found at least one thing that made him smile that day.