The tall dark girl is visibly unimpressed by her words, though still politely attentive.
This surprises her for a second or two, a sting, a hunch, a pang, but then – well, yes, why should a language student lose her impassive ways simply because a hungry fortune teller is taking time between bacon rashers their hostess provided to announce she may find love but would have to go away, far far away for that?
No, of course not: strictly speaking, it is not her social duty to open her eyes widely in astonishment, to chirp and gush away when told about a distant love. A face so openly revealing travelling ancestors will be told to go away often enough. Will have been told: in words, below and beyond them.
Surely it will.
At least that’s how it’s done here.
“You really like yourself, don’t you?” A last try when the fat hostess enters, checking the bacon plate swiftly.
Now the girl does look surprised, a shadow of unhappiness hurrying across her face for a fleeting moment.
So this is actually news to her? Well.
She looks at her cards for the last time and finally sees it: “Oh, this card’s important, too. It stands for art. It means you have art in you.”
“What about me?!?” the fat hostess barges in, “Why didn’t I get the card!?!”
“Well, you already are an artist, so the card was not necessary.” A logical explanation, if there ever was one. The girl seems worried now. Pensive. She leaves the room quietly. And is still not impressed by her cards, so much is clear.
_ _ _
When the expected moment of reckoning finally arrives, the fat artist has her full attention.
“Remember that dough you put into the freezer? I thought it was going to go off so I ate it for lunch. You didn’t seem eager to, anyway.”
“That’s OK, I forgot all about it.”
“And it would seem you hadn’t been writing down your phone times accurately, because the phone bill is bigger than I expected. So you still owe me.”
“Well, I’ll drop by the bank on my way from work and bring you the money, no problem.”
Nothing else follows, no need to continue lying, so she leaves the room, tired, unhappy, relieved and defiant at the same time.