Ocean View
Suzanne Lamb

He brought her gourmet coffee in filter packs, and a lemon bar that would satisfy a sumo. They were staying at some resort with an ocean view, where the room was too small, with corners too sharp for kids, not the chain where they usually stayed, visiting relatives in the Midwest, that was all suites with free breakfast and sofa beds. He kissed her head, headed downstairs to read papers so she could study while the kids slept off the sun on sleeping bags. Her oldest son stirred, muttered something about crabs and kites whose arcs were rainbows. He'd be a poet like his father.

She started coffee, decided to check her email before memorizing mental disorders. The first asked, Do you live near a toxic coal ash site? She deleted, tired of fear, and vowed not to renew her Sierra Club membership. The next was from her abnormal psych professor, praising her paper on neural plasticity. He said he was recommending her for the fellowship, that he had no reservations.

She had reservations for four more days, which her husband had made, wanting time together. Soon he'd be sliding his card in the door, wanting her, while she wanted the abnormal psych professor. She remembered the way their arms brushed after class, that his eyes were ocean colored. She remembered an antibiotic she'd failed to administer. She remembered she wanted coffee, but had forgotten to add the water.

Suzanne Lamb's work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, NANO Fiction, Keyhole Digest, and other journals. She lives in western Kentucky with her husband and three children.

Read another story of hers in the archive.

Detail of ink drawing on main page courtesy of Andrea Joseph.

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