We ate our french toast sitting on the steps of the deck, plates balanced on our knees. The eggs had been relegated to Gavin and Tame, and for this reason I think they quite liked me. No one had made any mention of the fact that I tried to run, or made me feel in any way uncomfortable, but as each minute passed I feared more and more of being that girl. You know that girl, the girl who hangs around until four o’clock in the afternoon the day after a one night stand, despite repeated and increasingly obvious hints to feck off from both the boy and his many flatmates, who are keen to play some Halo without a girl sitting on the arm of the couch and asking them to teach her how to play. No, I lived in terror of becoming that girl.
We watched each other through askance eyes as we ate, passing the bottle of maple syrup back and forth between us. Neither of us bothered to make small talk, but the silence was nice, relaxing. Birds swooped from the hard grey sky, and my bare arms were cool in the morning air. Again I could smell the sea. As we ate Gavin and Tame left the lounge and retired to their respective rooms, I can only assume, to leave us in private. I couldn’t believe how civilised this flat was.
It looked as though there were families living either side of the house, I could tell by the trampolines and swing sets on the lawns. Either that or this was a raucous party neighbourhood, and if Lucas invited me out back I would be greeted by an over sized bouncy castle and a pool with an Audi parked at the bottom of it. Families were more likely, I thought.
We had been eating for a while before the taste registered in my brain. ‘This is good.’ I smiled up at him, to show that I really was genuine, and he laughed.
‘You sound so surprised. Didn’t you think I could cook?’
‘It’s just, unexpected, that’s all.’ I speared a piece on my fork and wiped it in the maple syrup. I brought it to my mouth and paused, a sudden thought slicing through me. ‘Do you cook french toast for all of your one night stands?’ I was genuinely curious. ‘Is this like, your thing?’ I used my fork to outline his face in the air, as though to physically demonstrate his ‘thing’.
He laughed again. He seemed to find me very funny, and it was quite gratifying.
‘No.’ He chewed his mouthful thoughtfully. ‘My thing is usually eggs. But since you screwed that up…’ He gestured to the plate. ‘This was the best I could rustle up. My one night stands don’t usually run out on me though.’ His eyes roved across my face, searching for a reaction, some clue as to whether or not he could joke about this yet.
‘That was very asshole-esque of you, you know.’ He chewed again, thinking. ‘One of my mates does that, to girls, usually.’