Something had been on Steve’s mind. Amy could tell. She knew Steve well enough to know when he was trying to forget about something without any luck or success.
“What is it?” Amy asked.
Amy just knew him. Amy could read Steve better than Steve could read himself. Ironically she just had to look at his face, which was sort of a picture. So she wasn’t really reading him as much as looking.
Amy could look at Steve’s face better than Steve could look at his face.
“You know that dog your friend’s got?” said Steve, grating his top teeth against his bottom lip in thought.
“Mr Cuddles?” asked Amy.
“Yes, I still think that’s an odd name for a friend.”
He looked away… then glanced up at Amy out of the corner of his eye. Amy laughed. She didn’t want to. It only encouraged him.
“Well,” said Steve, “Because he’s so hairy, I always find his fur on my clothes days later.”
Steve had a drink and looked down at his sleeve.
“How do you spell sleeve?” He asked.
“Like that,” Amy said.
“Why isn’t it like Steve?”
“Well, why isn’t Steve spelled Steeve?”
Amy waited for the reply. Maybe this would take whatever was on his mind, off his mind.
“You’ll have to ask my parents,” Steve answered, still staring down. His eyes had moved to his cuff now; presumably because that didn’t sound like his name.
“Mr Cuddles….” Amy decided to bring him back.
“Ooh, stoppit you,” Steve raised an eyebrow. Then he just decided to go with it. “This fur from that dog, it’s dog hair isn’t it?”
“Well I’d hope.” Amy encouraged him, staring over the rim of her flat white, which was now brown because it was essentially a cup of coffee.
“And cat fur is called cat hair,” Steve continued.
“Yeh-es…” said Amy, in a way that is hard to write onomatopoeically.
“So what animal is a mo?” Steve looked at Amy, his eyes wide and expectant.
“A mo?” Amy thought. “Isn’t it rabbit?”
“No, that’s rabbit hair. Actually, is a hare’s fur, hare hair. Hare hair.”
“That’s why their ears are so big, because they always think they’re being agreed with and they want to hear it.”
With that, Amy was fully on-board.
“I love you,” Steve laughed.
There was no better feeling than when she went with him on the silly line. He loved that. Steve really bloody loved that. He took a sip of tea and looked at Amy, holding her stare with smiling eyes.
Steve was having peppermint tea today. He drank it when he wanted chewing gum but was hungry, because he knew that chewing gum would make him hungry, even when he wasn’t hungry. And he was already hungry.
“I’m going to Google where does mohair come from,” said Steve as he picked up his phone.
“It’s a rabbit. I’m sure it’s a rabbit.” Amy was sure. Amy wasn’t the sort of person to lie about that sort of thing.
As Steve was trying to get his phone to recognise his face, the waiter came over. Or barista. They weren’t sure which.
“Excuse me,” said Amy as the warista wandered past, slapping a spoon on his thigh. (Which was surely unhygenic.) “What animal does mohair come from?”
The bariaiter blew out his cheeks, looked up at the sky, then bit his lip and screwed his mouth up. This was a very facially creative bariwaiter.
“Very slow cows?”
Steve put his phone down.
“I don’t even want to know if that’s wrong,” he said.
Then they got up and headed back to work. Like I’m doing now.