“John, about last night . . . is there anything I can do for you?” The concern in her voice was obvious, even to John who was slightly distracted at the moment. He immedialtely gave her his full attention.
“Oh, luv, you don’t need to worry about me. I’ll be fine.” He tried to look sprightly, or at least cheerful, and failed miserably. He looked away again. “Don’t worry about me, luv.”
“You don’t seem to understand that I will anyway. And I never said I was in love with you.”
John burst out laughing. Mary didn’t understand what was funny, and said so. That only made John laugh harder.
“I keep forgetting you’re not from around here. Luv -- it’s a general term of endearment. Oh, Lord!” Mary, finally understanding the joke - and not finding it especially funny - burst into giggles in spite of herself. Just as she thought she had herself under control, she happened to look at John, who was having difficulty keeping his face straight. This sent her into another giggling fit.
“Mph! . . It’s not funny, John! Hmphheehee! No, stop it . . .” John began to waggle his eyebrows in his usual mischevious way, and hobbled in her direction.
“What are you doing - NO! Don’t you dare tickle me! I mean it!” Mary dodged and hid under the coffee table. “Ack! EEK! Now, look -EEK! You’ve given me -heep!- the hiccups! Heep!”
John could no longer breathe properly and collapsed onto the sofa.
“You’re right, luv,” he said. “Truce?” He held out his hand.
“Truce,” Mary agreed. She leaned out from under the table and shook the hand he had offered.
There was a moment’s pause.
“I guess I had better be going and finish that book, eh?” John said, trying to excuse himself.
“You do that,” said Mary. “I need to straighten up anyway.”
Written by The Walrus. May not be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. Permission may be obtained by e-mail.
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