The next morning I came downstairs at 8:00 for breakfast. I should say, that, as someone who’s far from a morning person, eating breakfast at 8:00 AM in a roomful of strangers is very much my idea of purgatory. I would not talk to anyone ever before 10:00 AM—best friends included— if I could manage it. I was wearing my fun pink pleated skirt with the flip-flops that match exactly, but preferred that no one took any notice at all—did not look in my direction, attempt to strike up a conversation, or force me to rouse my still-slumbering social skills. I would have given anything for an invisibility cloak, actually. Most especially, I didn’t want to admit the possibility that something romantic could exist here, at least not before I’d had coffee and a decent plate of something substsantial.
When I walked into the room, the fire alarm went off. The whole room smelled of toasting bread (alas, no bacon or eggs to be had). Jack was sitting right by the door, looking very good and incredibly awake. He smiled at me and said, “You walk in the room and bells ring. You did good getting up early this morning.” I thought to myself, Crap, he’s still here
. And like a schoolgirl I couldn’t eat my toast.