My hand shook. I stared as it carried vibrating forkfuls of food towards my mouth--too quickly, I thought. I could barely swallow in time before having another bite to chew. I didn't feel control over my own movements, so they happened anyway; I simply observed. The clichéd tremble amused me, and I chuckled to myself, which I'm sure came across as puzzling to my mother who sat across from me, leaning back from her empty plate as I continued to work at my food--barely touched.
The need to fill the silence between my mother and I was a desperate itch. I ached to scratch it, but I bit my food with vigor and stared at my stupid, shaking hand instead.
I had just told her I was an atheist. She'd listened to my story, and now she sat silenced, glossy-eyed, and buried beneath her thoughts. As I inhaled my food, I tried to imagine what she felt. Disappointment came to mind first. Probably a caring sort of pity, too. Perhaps she was praying. No, I knew she was praying. My mother always prayed. This is probably the first time she thought twice about praying aloud in front of me.
"I can see how it would be hard for you to deal with all of that alone," she said.
No more silence.
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