The Official Writing Challenge
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Oooooh, love the zinger in the last line.

A few little errors--"decaf" spelled wrong, and an apostrophe in "merger's" that doesn't belong...little nitpicky things like that. No big deal.

I like the comfortable dialogue between two obviously caring spouses.
This kind of thing happens every day and you brought it to life. Good dialogue between the couple. Like the last line "everything's fine." Very well done.
I saw the little typos, but we all make those. I agree with the others that the conversation between the spouses was really good and relaxed. I also liked how you portrayed the charade with the husband at work, then again with the last line. Well done!
Wow... you hit it right on the nose! I'm sure this is happening everyday. Well written. (I hope you don't lose you job over
Characterization is great, the conversation very natural. I was really feeling for this couple! And the last line really clinches the topic.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. It is hard knowing that everyone in the company is being laid off and not being allowed to tell. My husband was offered more severance pay if he stuck it out until they closed the doors than if he left before that.

The worrying about the friend and his reaction is so realistic. Great entry.
This was very enjoyable to read. I felt as if I were in the booth right next to them listening to the whole thing. Wait, maybe I my name Karl? Oh no! :)
Great opening line… love the image of the waitress hanging over the table. :) I see you slipped some "sweet tea" in too. This felt so real, like a scene from today's corporate world.
I love how you put the 'dirt dauber' part in there--so subtle. The last line sums it all up. Nice job with the topic.
Loved the dialog in this piece. Very real. You hit the topic wonderfully!
Oh yes, life can be a charade, can't it? This couple at least shared their thoughts with each other. The real charade is when one partner tries to hide the truth from the other. This is a good example of the charade of life. I liked your title. Doesn't a smile hide a lot of things?--a smile and a hurting heart...Good piece...Helen