The silent treatment


hestor and morley

Photo by Kae Ng on Unsplash


Over the course of their forty seven year marriage, Morely had become quite adept at using silence as his weapon of choice when it came to exacting revenge. 

So when he withheld conversation over breakfast, and then during the entire hour long commute between Queens and Manhattan, in retaliation for Hestor’s having committed both of them to meeting his least favorite sister Muriel for lunch that afternoon following a doctor’s appointment he was not keen on having to attend in the first place, Hestor just did what she always did. She pretended not to notice.

Not speaking to each other over lunch was easy, as Muriel could carry on a conversation with very little help.

Before they ordered dessert, they knew what Muriel paid to get her hair done, her dog groomed, and her husband’s suits pressed. They knew her daughter was an ungrateful bitch. Her son was finally divorcing his goyim wife. And her neighbor, Mr. Klineman, was in arrears to the Homeowners Association to the tune of $8000.00 and well on his way to getting tossed out on his ear. 

They knew Muriel rarely if ever ate bread. Every gory detail surrounding Rachel Sapowitze’s botched face lift. And that Muriel’s neighbor’s husband had gotten himself hooked on Cialis and run off with a tramp half his age.

When Muriel finally ran out of gossip, made her excuses and left the two of them alone, Hestor pushed the rugelach she had ordered, but no longer felt the need to eat, around on the plate for a moment or two before throwing her paper napkin over them, and pushing the plate to the center of the table.

She then sat quietly, staring into her empty coffee cup, as she waited for Morely to make a move signifying he was ready to go. 

Instead she felt his hand come gently to rest just above her knee.

“You gonna eat those?”

This was written in response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge‘s call for work inspired by a rhetorical question.

16 thoughts on “The silent treatment

  1. with utmost respect and admiration, this is reminiscent of those dime paperbacks my dad used to bring back from his travels, classic story writing style, loved every line.


  2. Muriel made me laugh. I had lunch with a similarly loquacious friend yesterday (I do love her to bits though). You’ve also introduced me to a new dish – I had look rugelach up!


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