Last night my wife ate dinner with a friend. I decided to go to Arby's and come back home to watch the Die Hard Trilogy. I used the drive-thru. I raised my voice at the box, asking for Mozzarella Sticks, curly fries, a Beef 'n Cheddar, and a Dr. Pepper. There was only one person ahead of me. I smiled.
"I'm sorry sir but we're out of Dr. Pepper can I get you something else to drink," the box said.
I felt like someone kicked a soccer ball into my stomach. I didn't panic.
"Umm...that's okay," my voice said. It was good at lying. "Could I just get an extra sandwich instead of a drink. Please."
I had never decided something with such brilliance and force. I was going to be happy.
I paid for my food and grabbed the bag from the bottom to fully appreciate its warmth. Instead of turning right out of the parking lot I turned left. This confused me. I realized I was headed next door to the Wendy's.
I got to the drive-thru. I ordered a medium Dr. Pepper. I drove to the first window. I started panicking. Did they know I had already gotten food from somewhere else? I hid the bag of Arby's underneath a sun-visor. I rolled down the windows so the smell wouldn't give me away. I was so nervous I dropped a nickel trying to put it in the cashier's hand. She accepted my payment and nodded me on to the second window. A woman handed me a straw. This was working. She handed me the Dr. Pepper. It was bigger than I could have imagined.
My hand was shaking. I pulled over in the back of the parking lot. I stuck the straw into the drink. I took several sips. I opened up the Arby's bag and looked around to make sure no one was watching. I bit into a roast beef sandwich. I could feel hot melted cheese run across my tongue and out of the corners of my mouth. I quickly grabbed a couple of fries and shoved them in my mouth.
I turned the radio up loud. I hadn't blinked in a while. I was trying hard to keep this moment. I knew I would never tell my wife about it. How I didn't care about that suspicious mole on my thigh or her depression or being two days late on our power bill. How I knew God was watching me just a little bit closer. How when I cried I let the tear hit the melted cheese around my mouth and waited almost a minute before tasting it with my tongue.