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from Welcome to My Garden by Barry B. Wright

Copyright © 2019–2021 Barry B. Wright

Chapter Forty-One
Two Weeks in January: The Sandwich

I glanced at the menu pinned on the wall. Digging deep into my pant pocket I could only come up with enough change, a buck twenty-five to be exact, to order a lousy rubber cheese sandwich on white with lettuce and mayonnaise. I watched as Sheila slammed the iceberg lettuce into the cutting board, cut-off stem down. Then she removed the stem’s stock and peeled off the lettuce leaves. I had never seen anyone do that before and, as a result, I found it quite fascinating. And I told her so. Sheila smiled and said, “I never did it that way either until I came to work here. Sara taught me.”

 Sara had what I thought was the ideal grandmother-type image—you know, huggable, filled with unconditional love and a heart of gold and all that. But she was also Sheila’s boss. Sara’s eyebrow raised as she scrutinized me. I glanced over my shoulder thinking she was staring at someone else. Nope. She was definitely staring at me. Not knowing what else to do, I mustered up by best smile for her. Sheila handed me what I thought was an oversized sandwich. As I counted out the change, my stammering attempt at conversation was going nowhere.

 “Hey, kid!” shouted one of the customers standing in line...

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