Maria had made a chicken and biscuit casserole. She had a lovely table setting. Even the napkins were of a beautiful floral pattern that matched the baby blue crockery.
"Really, you shouldn't have." But Heath was famished.
"I could have done your laundry," she said.
"Um, no, I really like doing my own laundry." He tried to grin, but really, that question was just a little too close to his comfort zone.
"But its not a bother." She assured him.
"I wouldn't dare, you know, not my laundry." He tensed. Couldn't they stop talking about this. "This looks so good." He just wanted to eat and go. If only it could be that easy.
Her place was cozy and sweet and books everywhere. He felt a little shy being here. Possibly ashamed, as well, he had to put this to rest before she thought she might have a chance with him. But he'd eat first. No need to let hot comfort food go to waste. So he ate.
"How was your Christmas? I know you said it was great, but you know, how was it really?" She asked.
"Good, very good, more than good, actually." He nodded as he bit into the last bite of the biscuit. "I-I, well, I made up with someone and well, I think we're great now. Actually." He sighed.
"Oh." She nodded.
"We're going to try this long distance thing, you know." He slightly smiled.
"Good for you." She was even lipped as if she'd been let down.
"How about you?"
"Well, it was just me, myself and I." She smiled with a shrug. "Got lots of reading done, don't think its going to work out with the Principal's son."
"The Principal's son?" Heath almost laughed.
"Yeah, I can hardly stand him. She has another one, too. A professor she wants me to me. I really hate being set up, so much."
"They mean well." Heath nodded.
"Yeah, I suppose. But I don't want to be stuck here, forever, you know." She took their dishes then to clean up. Heath helped her.
"I know exactly what you mean." He told her getting the suds ready. He'd wash if she'd put it away since he didn't know where her dishes went.
"I'm hoping to get to Denver." She told him.
"Denver?" He looked at her, knowing it was much more expensive to live there, but lots more to offer and do.
"Yeah, I've been trying to meet someone from Denver, online." She looked him in the eye, as if he might wonder if she were crazy.
"How's that working out?" He rinsed the last dish then and put it in the drainer.
"Its not. Not really." She shrugged.
"Then maybe things will be better than you think with that professor you've yet to meet." Heath grinned.
"Fat chance. He'll probably have a neck beard and a red neck too." She wasn't counting on him being all that great.
"Good, you're not setting your hopes, high here." He laughed. Maybe Maria wouldn't be a bad friend, after all.