We were eating seared tuna and grilled asparagus one night when I dropped my fork beneath the dining room table. As I kneeled down to pick it up, I noticed her panty-hosed legs beside me.

Her calves were nothing like they’d been before. They were small, almost feminine—little lumps of high-heeled tension.

“What’re you doing down there?” she asked.

“Just looking for my fork,” I said. “Went under your chair.”

I scooted closer. Her shins smelled like lemons. I wanted to squeeze the meat of her legs, to massage them like I had when her calf muscles were the size of cantaloupes.

“You’re not looking at my calves, are you?” “I’m trying to find my fork.”

I moved closer. I wondered if she could feel my breath.

“I’ll get you another one,” she said, and she slid away from the table, her legs drawing away from my face.

I returned to my chair. I tapped my knife on the rim of my plate.

When she came back, she pushed a fork across the table.

“I know what you were doing down there,” she said.

“I wasn’t doing anything.”

“I bet you’ve got the tape measure in your pocket. Just waiting on the chance to see how much
smaller they’ve gotten.”

“They still look pretty good,” I said, even though I knew it was the wrong thing to say.

I focused on my tuna, spearing it with my fork and slicing it gently with my knife. She stared down at her plate. The room was quiet, save for the nylon whisper of her pantyhose, the sound of her calves rubbing together beneath the table.

Woody Skinner grew up in Batesville, AK, before attending four different universities in three different states. He’s currently an MFA candidate at Wichita State University, where he serves as fiction editor of mojo. His work has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Necessary Fiction, and Euphony.