All Over Again
This Time, with a Little Help
By Khaliela Wright
I sat back in my chair and smiled at Bruce across the top of my wine glass. Outside, a spring squall was whipping up white-capped waves on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Inside, the comfortable rustic décor of the restaurant offered a quiet place to weather the storm. Beside me, Bruce was polishing off the last of my cherry pie. The pie was exceptional. The buttery crust blended beautifully with the cherries, which offered a delightful balance of sweet and tart.
A warm glow crept through my body, no doubt aided by the wine. It had been a perfect evening. Not only had the food, drink, and atmosphere been exceptional, but not once during the evening had Bruce uttered that dreaded phrase—the one that grates on my nerves every time I hear it. It was the reason for our trip up to Harrison for dinner. It is a phrase that I hope to purge from Bruce’s lexicon and its absence tonight meant that my campaign was succeeding.
I remember the first time Bruce uttered the phrase, burning my ears and searing itself into my memory. Our first few dates had been in Washington. In time, I invited him over to my house for a home-cooked dinner. Across the table from me, he thoughtfully contemplated a forkful of potatoes, and then said, “Have I ever told you how much I used to love Idaho?”
I raised my eyebrows. “Used to?” Here he was sitting at my dining room table, eating my cooking, and he was about to tell me how unlovable my state was.