Plate of Probabilities

Photo by Max Felner on Unsplash

“Did you know you’re more likely to die on your birthday than any other day of the year?”

Her fork stopped halfway through its stab of another sliver of cake. “Why would you say that?” she said. Her eyes cast a cold glare over the candle in the middle of the table.

“I just thought it was interesting,” said Julian.

“You’re the only person who finds that interesting. Am I going to choke on this now?” She held the skewered tiramisu in the air.

Julian didn’t delay in his response. “Unlikely. Of the nearly five thousand choking deaths in the country each year, over half occur in seniors over the age of 74. And cake doesn’t come anywhere close to the top of the list. No you’re more likely to get drunk and do something dumb that gets you killed.” Julian tilted his head towards Leslie’s glass of wine.

She picked up the glass and took a long sip while she observed Julian over its rim. She hated the pair of ironic prescriptionless glasses perched on the end of his nose. She despised his stupid cardigans and deck shoes. That he was the youngest managing director in the insurance industry countrywide sounded impressive on paper. But the personality that came with that intellect made her want to puke.

“I want to break up,” she said.

Julian shifted in his seat. He didn’t make eye contact with Leslie. He rarely did.

Fact was, she knew it was over months ago. The turning point was when he explained there was a three percent chance the condom would break and she’d get pregnant. Since she was ovulating he said. Since she didn’t take his advice to go on the pill as an extra layer of protection.

“Well…” she pressed.

“The probability of you dumping me on my birthday was greater than 1 in 365.”

Leslie growled and got out of her chair. She took her jacket off the back of the seat and marched out the door without another word. Julian stared down at the bill and remarked at the disproportionate number of nines that dotted the receipt.

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