It was the night before he went back to Korea. Well, maybe two nights before, but Cindy distinctly remembers Jimmy saying,"I'll be right back, hon. Just gonna go see Auggie a bit."
By "a bit" he meant he was going to the corner tavern for a few beers. Being that she wasn't done cooking, Cindy figured the extra time would come in handy and he could say goodbye to his bar buddies.
When he didn't come home until after midnight, she regretted the gamble she she took on loving a gambler and all that went with along with it.
"How much did you lose?" she asked.
He lifted his sleeve. "It's not like that, Cindy. Look..."
She started sobbing.
"I got your name on my arm," he said. "Doesn't that mean anything."
"Not when the meat loaf and mashed potatoes have become as cold as the Löwenbräu in the icebox," she said, whipping the dishrag his way.
"I don't get you," he said, half-laughing. "I figured you'd be over the moon. This is forever."
Cindy reached for the camera and quickly took Jimmy's picture to remind herself of his smug smile. It needed to be captured right there. In the moment.
About three months later on a rainy Saturday night, she read Jimmy's letter and it said that he was safe and dry. For the time being at least. He also wrote that canned beans kept him full and between the smokes and scotch, he was more than warm at night.
She took a slow drag of her Winston before ripping the picture in half. Just then, her stomach and back began to ache. It was time.
All throughout the painful delivery she hoped just one thing -- that her baby boy wouldn't have his father's smug smile.