Rachel

The headaches. Oh, they just kept getting worse and worse. She put her hand against her forehead and just sat there, blocking out all thought. Random violent images tended to just appear when she least expected them, and a vicous stab of pain would pierce her head. Her eyes were only half-open, sore and bloodshot, and the dark bags under her eyes just seemed to sink further and further. She hadn't slept in days.

"Hey!! You!!" The fat man in the apron shouted. "Table 2 is still waiting for his English Breakfast! Can't you catch up on your beauty sleep in your own time!!"

After a moment she looked back up and composed herself, brushing some imaginary dirt from her pinny.  She had a beauty that was quiet and hidden, and almost so ordinary as to be quite profound. A wave of hair hung to one side of her forehead, almost obscuring one eye, usually quite bright and brilliant at any other time.

But not since that day when the sky had turned black and her husband had been torn apart by something no one saw or really understood. She hadn't been there.  She hadn't been there, but somehow the day was as vivid in her mind as if she had been.  Frank and her had been going through a tougth time. She had not been thinking clearly. Her panic atacks had got much, much worse.

A door slammed suddenly, and it shook her with the force of a thunderbolt.  The english breakfast, looking disturbingly greasy and swimming in fat, was pushed under her nose.

"Rachel? Rachel, hello? Are you gonna go serve that man before he gets so hungry he eats one of the waitresses?"

"Sorry. I'm just tired" she muttered.  Lloyd gave her a disconcerted look, handed her the tray, and after a few seconds thought, put his hand on her back.  "If you need the rest of the day off, just let me know.  I don't want you having a nervous breakdown".

She gave a sweet smile, thanked him, and laugthed gently, mostly to herself. She felt herself possibly already on the precipice of breakdown. No. Clinging by her fingertips to the edge.

Who else would believe that they had, during the event of one seriously intense panic attack, that they had caused the death of their husband?

'The lying, cheating bastard', a voice inside her head spat.

She shuddered at the unwelcome thought, and feelings of supressed bitterness and anger, and with customary smile served the large fellow on Table 2.  He had been looking anxiously around for some unsen visitor for the last twenty minutes, his brow perspiring, wiping his clammy hands on his jeans.

The End

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