A woman called to reserve the table. She called three days in advance. It was difficult to tell from the even tone of her voice what the occasion was, but she seemed eager for Friday to arrive. I was working on Friday, so I carefully laid out the white table cloth, paying attention to smooth out the creases and line it up evenly. I set out a tiny silver “Reserved” sign and waited. She never came. Nor did her companion. All night, I stared at the table, wondering about the empty spaces. Had she changed her mind? Was there an accident? Was her heart broken? Or had she simply decided on another restaurant?
It was one empty table. But an infinite number of lives outside our own.