A Change of Circumstances


Davis walked in the door, straight to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. He pointed at the couple seated at the table across the room.

“Don’t get up,” he said, “stay put and nobody gets hurt.” They sat, but put their forks down on the table, apparently their appetites were gone. They watched him.

Davis scoured the refrigerator, clearly looking for something specific. He reached in and pushed some yogurts around looking behind them. “Don’t you have any juice?” he asked and picked up a carton of 2% milk. He shook the carton, sniffed it, shook his head, and put it back.

“What are you doing here?” the man at the table asked. “I’m going to call the police.” He picked up his i-phone and did something to the face of it, to wake it up.

“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll put that back down.” Davis said, without looking at him, still searching the fridge.

He set it gently back down and then the lady spoke up, “There’s cranberry juice on the door,” she said. “I just bought it yesterday.”

“Where do you keep the glasses?” Davis asked.

She pointed. He got a tumbler and filled it to the rim, then came over and joined them at the small table.

“Thanks,” he said, “I’m really thirsty.” He downed about half the glass. “Damn, that’s good. Not too sweet. I like that. Where do you get it?”

“I got it at the farmer’s market,” she said, “its organic.” She paused and everyone looked at one another. “It is good, isn’t it? I think it has a hint of some kind of ‘earthy’ flavor. Just a hint, though.” She smiled and Davis took another drink, just a sip this time.

“I think you’re right, uhm… I don’t know your name.”

Her man stood up next to the table. “You don’t need to know our names.” He blustered.

“I’m Iris,” she said, “and this is Foster.”

“Goddamnit Iris,” Foster said. His face was beginning to turn a bit red.

Davis raised his arm, palm down, and lowered it gently, motioning the man down, he said, “Sit back down Foster, you’re making me nervous. Foster lowered himself back in the seat and Davis turned his attention back to Iris.

“Iris, my name is Davis, and I’m not going to hurt anyone but I need to spend a few hours with you guys. All the commuters are on the road, and there’s a tremendous traffic jam on the parkway. There always is this time of day. I want to get out of town but I have to wait for the roads to clear up. I can’t afford to be stuck in traffic, you know?” He suddenly realized that he had interrupted their meal, “Oh sorry, you guys keep eating or your food’ll get cold. You don’t have to go on a diet just because I stopped by. What are you having there?”

“It’s a spinach frittata,” Foster said and he picked up a ketchup bottle and poured it generously on his eggs, “My favourite.”

“It’s not really a frittata,” explained Iris. “It’s a quiche. I tell Foster it’s a frittata because he thinks he doesn’t like quiche. You know, ever since that book came out.”

“Goddamnit Iris,” Foster said again, he was beginning to sound a bit like a broken record.

“Calm down Foster,” said Davis, “Iris is making you food that you love, and she cares enough about you to give it another name so that you’ll enjoy it and not have to sacrifice your machismo. You ought be nice to this lady and thank your luck stars that she puts up with you. Tell her you’re sorry, go on.”

“Sorry, Iris. I love you, you know, even if I don’t tell you that enough.” He went back to his breakfast and Davis smiled.

“There’s plenty left, if you want some, Davis.” Iris said.

“That sounds great. But you keep eating; I’ll get it. Is it in the oven?” she nodded.


“Next to the glasses; silverware’s in the top drawer on the right.”

Davis got his food and poured himself more cranberry juice.

“Damn, this is a good quiche, really creamy. What time do you guys have to leave for work?”

Foster looked at the digital clock on the range, “I should be leaving in about 30 minutes if I’m to be there on time.”

Drumming his fingers on the table top, Davis studied Foster, “What about you Iris?”

“It’s my day off.” She responded.

“If I let you go to work, Foster, you won’t tell anyone that I’m here will you?”

“Hell no, Davis! Your secret’s safe with me. If anybody asks I’ll just tell them that an old friend stopped by at breakfast. If they press for details I can say that you startled me when you came in but that’s only because I didn’t realize you were going to stop by. It’s been great to see you and I wish I didn’t have to go to work, but I have that Dithers presentation due. Is that OK with you Iris? You’re OK staying here with Davis?”

“I’m fine.”

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