Nothing more was said through the meal, and it was only when the President was removing his tuxedo in the private apartments two hours later that he asked the obvious question.Five hours after that, in the near darkness of the bedroom, with only a sliver of light from the permanent glare over the city of Washington seeping through the bulletproof glass and past the curtain, the First Lady became aware that the man beside her was not asleep.The San Cristobal turned her nose and entered the outer roads of the estuary of the Elbe.Sixty miles later she would be guided into Hamburg, Europe's biggest river port.In response to a couple of gentle questions, waitress Maybelle explained her extraordinary lapse.The police had found the body of her only grandson, the boy she had raised since his father died among the rubble of the Trade Center nine years earlier when the child was six.He nodded urgently to a nearby waiter to take the tureen before there was a disaster, and eased the elderly woman away from the table toward the swing door to the pantry and kitchen.As the pair disappeared from view, the First Lady dabbed her mouth, murmured an apology to the retired general on her left, rose and followed.
So it was slightly embarrassing when the elderly waitress began to cry.The First Lady gestured to him that he should return to the soup serving.Then she stooped over the weeping woman, who was dabbing her eyes on the edge of her apron and still apologizing.C., of which the city is not proud and which tourists never visit. THE LATE-SUMMER DINNER at the White House was small by the standards of presidential hospitality.
If the boy had known his death was going to start a war, he would neither have understood nor cared. Just twenty diners in ten couples sat down after drinks in an antechamber, and eighteen were most impressed to be there.
She glanced up from the guest being served and saw the tears running quietly down the cheeks of the waitress.