(Continued from Whirlwind, Part Eight)
I went in to Adrian's. I went in early enough to make sure Stacie was there. I had been in a couple of times recently, but she had either already left or wasn't in on that particular day. It was busy and there was a line, but I saw that she was the first person making sandwiches.
At least until she saw me.
She turned and said something to her friend/co-worker, Jenny, and then went and hid in the office before my turn in line came up. Jenny, who has always been friendly with me, asked if I would be eating there today. I've never gotten an order to go and she's never asked me that before, so I suspected she was fishing for information for Stacie. As I was moving past the office, Stacie turned and caught my eye and turned back away.
I paid for my sandwich and sat down at my customary table. I made a conscious effort not to look over to see if she was looking my direction and instead focused on eating my sandwich and reading my book. I decided that I didn't want to push the issue any further than what I already had. She knew I was there and if she wanted to talk to me, she knew where I was. I could hear her voice most of the time I was there, so I eventually looked over to see if she had left once I didn't hear her voice. She was still there, talking with Jenny and made eye contact with me. I went back to reading my book and she went back to talking; there was no one in line so she wasn't busy.
I finished my lunch and my chapter and she still hadn't left. She was talking to someone in the office, so I went up to the counter to say hello. She turned and saw me standing there and immediately looked away. I could tell that if she could have avoided talking to me, she would have. But she turned around and came over and said hello. She smiled and was pleasant and asked what I was reading, just like she used to do when all this craziness first started. I told her and we made some small talk and cracks about the size of the book I was carrying. Occasionally, she would quickly look over at Jenny and grin and immediately look back. I asked her how she's been and she said she's been fine. She just finished Finals and was on break from school. And this afternoon, she and her mom were going up to Lawrence to bring her brother back from KU. She asked me how I was and I said that I was fine but that I wasn't unpacking anyone's dorm. There was a pause and she said,
"Well, I guess until we meet again."
And I said,
"Ok, whenever that may be."
She turned back to the office and I turned and walked out.
(To Be Continued...)