It was the same each time, when they returned, each from a different destination, hers for work, his for pleasure- though he had done much better with his time.
They would talk, annoying the server, without remembering to check the menu to order. She would peel away the layers, like an onion he would think. A hat, a scarf, a sweater, a shirt- down to the tee shirt and St.Christopher which adorned her neck, tarnished with too many wears, too few moments of attention.
He knew the jingle of those talisman, a simple cross she had worn when they were young, dents from the nervous teething of a teen aged traveler. She would run her fingers over them, smoothing flat the icon of a failed Saint, rounding edges of the Christ knot, and they would discuss the day, the night, the trip.
It was everything they needed. In the dark corners of a pizza chain, picking at pepperoni with their fingers, ignoring the grumbling staff. This night was theirs from mission and a field visit. No husband, no wife, no work or church or requirements.
Just them. In the ritual of return.
Flash Fiction, prompted by Daily Post’s Time after Time