It rang three times, then a long pause, then he heard her voice giggling and trying to say "Hello?"
"Hello? Hey. It's me, T."
"T? Oh my gosh, hello! I... Hello! I can't believe you called. I sort of didn't expect you to."
"Why?" He felt steady in the wake of her flustered sentences. And he liked the idea of being her ballast.
"Well, I missed our breakfast date, I mean I tried to make it, but the guy told me I'd just missed you. I am so sorry!" She rattled out her feelings like an overtime buzzer was about to disconnect their call. Her friendly desperation pleased him a little.
"Well, it happens," he said smoothly, "and I pity the fool who can't understand that."
"Oh, well thank you so much. And thanks for the spinach croissant too. That was so sweet of you."
He cleared his throat.
"It's almost lunchtime, are you leaving town soon?" He was excited to learn whether he had a chance of seeing her again. While he stood beneath that magnolia tree, chatting with her and avoiding eye contact with another po' boy customer, a tall willowy blonde woman wearing heels and a pencil skirt, he noticed himself standing even taller than normal and holding his shoulders even more squarely. Was he sucking in a little too? Nah.
"Well, I really should. Yes. I need to be home by tomorrow morning and had planned to drive to at least Shreveport by nightfall. The thing is, I met this girl and we are having so much fun! I kinda don't want to leave!" More giggling now, including some from another female voice in the background.
Does T interpret her answer as a brush-off?
or does he jump on the opportunity
to convince her to stay in town?
Or does he do something completely different?