Walking toward the door of her apartment Shawn turned back to see if the woman was following her. It was only then that Shawn noticed how beautiful she was. The most beautiful woman that Shawn knew was Agnes Peach, secretary of the president of the shoe company where she worked. Agnes always came to work wearing fancy suits with short skirts and expensive shoes. But Agnes looked like a cow compared to this woman.
Classy was the word that came to mind when she looked at her. Like expensive crystal goblets, or more like the paintings that they kept in art museums. She looked around her dark messy apartment and rushed over to pick up a stack of clean laundry on the couch that she had never gotten around to folding. As she looked for a place to put it, the woman walked past her into the kitchen. She dropped the clothes back on the couch and followed her.
“I’m sorry for the mess.” she said, ” and the smell, I just burnt my lunch.”
“What were you having for lunch?” she asked in a high voice full of music and culture.
“Just a cheese sandwich. But I burnt it.” Shawn replied, and then went over to fish the blackened remnants out of the toaster oven to put into the trash.
“Do you have any tomato soup?” The woman asked shyly.
Shawn looked into her cabinets. “No sorry, but I do have chicken noodle. Would you like some?”
“Yes please.” She said smiling again gently. “I would like that very much. Thank you.”
Shawn pulled out a bowl and poured the soup into it adding a can of water and shoving it into the microwave. She closed the door, started it, and then turned to face the woman sitting rod straight in the chair beside the table. Shawn wiped her hands on her dress and then held out one to the woman.
“Hi, my name is Shawn Wood.” The woman placed her fingertips gently on top of Shawn’s hand and then gripped it more firmly.
“I am Anabelle Snow. I am honored to meet you. Thank you so much for inviting me into your home. You are so kind.”
“Think nothing of it.” Shawn replied a bit taken a back. The microwave beeped and Shawn spooned the soup into two identical bowls making sure that they both got the same amount of noodles. A habit borne of growing up with an older brother. She placed the food on the table then sat down. They ate in silence.
She looked up from her empty bowl to see that the woman, Anabelle, was finished. She took her bowl and dropped both of them into the sink to clean later before sitting down again. She tried to think of what she should say, but Anabelle spoke first.
“Are you going on a trip?” The woman asked. Shawn noticed that the tickets were still stacked on top of the magazines on the edge of the table. Was she going on a trip? Shawn dropped her head. “I’m sorry,” Anabelle continued, “did I offend you?”
“No, no” Shawn replied, “I just… I was going with someone, but now…I guess I’m going alone.”
Anabelle sat forward in her chair full of excitement “Can I go with you?”