Silver Lining


Another extra-long day at work at the end of a week of extra-long days, except they weren’t extra anymore, they were routine, and it wasn’t the end of his week anymore since he’d have to work Saturday again. This was the price of success, he thought wryly on the train home. No time for family or hobbies. No time to live life. Great pay, though. Work; always a silver lining.

Fifty minutes and two transfers later, he debarked at the Park-N-Ride station. Another advantage of working late was that the trains from the financial district all the way to suburbia ran on time. They weren’t crowded, either. And even if he didn’t remember where he had parked that morning, his car was easy to find in the virtually empty lot. Commuting; always a silver lining.

The sun was setting as he pulled up his driveway and into the garage. The kids’ bicycles were already put away, which meant that his wife bad most likely Led and bathed them an might even, at this very moment, be reading them a bedtime story. If he hurried he could be there for the ending and a quick kiss goodnight. Instead, with a bone-weary sigh, he trudged inside, tossed his coat and briefcase on top of the washing machine in the laundry room, and continued into the kitchen. He loosened his tie. Normally his wife would have a place set for him at the kitchen table, to eat the meal he’d microwave. Instead, tonight, there was note. He read:

“Please remain neatly dressed and join us at the dining room table.”

Curious, he pulled his tie tight and returned to the laundry room for his suit coat before venturing into the dining room. At the fully set table sat his two children, dressed yet washed. On the plate at his place was a yarmulke. In front of his wife was a pair of silver Shabbat candlesticks that usually gathered dust on the mantle, now polished and holding two long, white candles. Smiling, she waved him to his seat. As he put on the yarmulke, his wife said the blessing over the candles. Then his son proudly said the motze over the bread. His daughter served his salad.

Family. Always a silver lining.

Douglas A. Smith

Douglas A. Smith is a retired chemist, former professor and Department of Deense contractor. He has published in several venues including MidStream, The Storyteller, Aries and others.

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