Denise watched Carol pour the orange juice into a cup. John grabbed a plate of food and slid it into the microwave. He walked over to the radio and change the station from classic rock to urban R&B music. Miguel's Adorn played lightly in the background. Carol gave Denise the cup.
"I hope you like pulp." Carol snickered.
Denise smiled and sarcastically said, "John has turned me on to pulp. I like it now."
Carol put a fake smile on her face. She turned to Matt. John walked over, with his plate in hand and sat next to Denise. Matt grabbed a piece of sausage from his plate.
Matt said, "So I wish I could just take off a day and not work."
John chuckled, "Shut up Matt. Denise and I are bosses at our jobs. We will be back bright and early tomorrow for work."
Denise agreed, "Yes, we will. By the way John, do you mind if Eve comes down with us?"
John finished chewing his food and said, "She's coming down to Philly with us?!"
Denise nodded, "yeah! She wants to take a break. Drexel is coming down too. But Eve is probably going to stay with me."
Carol interrupted, "Do you and Denise live close to each other?"
Denise took a sip of the orange juice as John finished, "Denise lives 20 minutes from me."
Carol continued, "So when are you going to move back up here... closer to people whom you love."
John smiled, "I love my family, but my business is booming in Philadelphia..."
About ten minutes into the conversation, John realized that Denise was only observing and silent. Carol continued to speak with John. John pulled out his phone and sent a text to Denise.
John (12:22 pm): Baby... what's wrong?
Denise (12:22 pm): Nothing :-)
John and Denise started to text while John held a conversation with his mother and Matt. Carol wasn't paying attention to John texting but Matt did.
John (12:25 pm): Baby, don't lie. It's written all on your face.
Denise (12:26 pm): Me and your mom was in a intense conversation when you walked in.
John (12:26 pm): What was it about?
Denise (12:30 pm): don't worry about it.
John (12:30 pm): Baby?! It's clearly bothering you. You haven't said anything.
John put his hand on her knee. Her hand topped his. Denise looked at him. John became defensive. He saw raw emotion on her face. She does a good job of hiding her emotions from people, but not John. John knew something was wrong but couldn't figure out what it was. Carol finished her sentence to realize that John wasn't paying attention to her. John placed his palm on Denise's cheek and a tear dropped from her eyes.
"Baby, what's wrong."