By Jen Schneider
Two strangers sat at the diner’s counter. Music filled the otherwise quiet air as metal cutlery kissed ceramic dishware. One patron had a slice of coconut cream pie. The other a serving of blueberry with a side of vanilla bean ice cream. She wore a forest green cardigan and a long, slim skirt. He was dressed in a tweed blazer and denim pants. Each had a small burst of cranberry red. On her, a glistening barrette secured long curls. On him, a cotton handkerchief peaked from his front right pocket. As the pie slices slowly dwindled, she raised her head at the same time he raised his. Both smiled then busied themselves with the pie plates before them. Bites became progressively smaller as curiosity grew. Head again raised and smiles were again shared. Soon, stories spilled. Next, slices were swapped. Ultimately, the two traded slices of pie and life.
Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. She is a Best of the Net nominee, with stories, poems, and essays published in a wide variety of literary and scholarly journals. She is the author of A Collection of Recollections, Invisible Ink, On Daily Puzzles: (Un)locking Invisibility and On Crossroads and Fill in the Blank Puzzles (forthcoming, Moonstone Press), and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups.