tilly with the others: part 22

Tilly dunked her shortbread into her tea too hard and splashed. She put the soaked part of the cookie into her mouth with more care, catching it just before it fell off and dropped into her teacup. It was odd, she reflected, how dunked biscuits tasted so good, but crumbs in the tea tasted and felt so bad.

Owen had called yesterday and apologised for the phone call from Beth, which was nice. He didn't actually say so, but Tilly got the distinct impression that Beth didn't know he was going to make the call. They'd had quite the lovely chat. Owen had even told her he was top seller for the month again at work.

"You're lucky. You got along with your in-laws. Oma and Opa Zondernaam liked you," he said at the end of the conversation.

Tilly laughed. "They did not. I wasn't good enough for them, and they thought anyone with an art history degree was... I don't know, I guess you'd say 'flake' nowadays."

"But you were always so friendly to each other. How did you deal with it?"

"We emigrated."

Owen made a noise like he was going to say something else, but just said he had to get back to work. They made vague plans for Tilly to go to Brampton for dinner and rang off.

Tilly leaned over so she could see the kitchen clock from where she was sitting at the dining room table. Her next Pizza Tela shift started in half an hour.

 She finished her tea, put the cup and saucer away, and got the computer desk ready for another shift. Fifteen minutes before she had to log on, she used the washroom.

Tilly sat down at the computer, logged into the order-taking software, and stared at the roll of tinfoil she'd set out for a long time. The alarm she'd set on her computer chimed, telling her she had three minutes before she had to set her status to "active". She frowned and quickly made herself a fresh tinfoil hat, hoping all the while that no-one would order a Hawaiian with hot peppers.