8. Talk

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Are you lost or incomplete? - Coldplay

7:32 p.m. Tuesday, October 5, 2021

She looks so soft. How is that possible? Earlier he'd been thinking about how sharp her edges are, but now he contradicts his own opinion.

"Coldplay?" she asks, pointing to his shirt. "One of my favorites. I have one from Love in Tokyo."

"Where you've never been," he comments softly, and then feels like a wanker. Why had he reminded her of that when he knows it will cut close to the bone?

"But you have. Tell me about it." She leans forward on her elbows, resting her face on her hands. "It's near the top of my list. I so want to go. The history. The complete shift in culture. It's what my soul craves. And you've been there! What's it like?"

Ah. Wow. Instead of feeling pain at his careless comment, she's asking questions, wanting to know more. Her appetite for knowledge is voracious, and he spends his time regaling her with tales of the city he loves. In fact, he talks so much that twice the server comes and is sent away with only drink orders. When she returns with their drinks. Harry does have the wherewithal to order the antipasto platter, dying to try the dolmas.

"But what I love most about Tokyo is that I feel I can be myself there," Harry ends his lecture on the pleasures of his favorite Japanese city. "Kind of like here in Nowhere."

"Except without the foreign language," Michele tacks on. The two smile at each other. "I suppose we should choose entrées. When Melody returns with the antipasto, she'll want to take our orders."

Harry watches as she peruses the menu, her hair framing her face with its soft waves. She's not a conventional beauty: her nose is too prominent, lips too thin. Yet there's something about the totality of her face that draws him to her. She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear as she glances up at him. "I think I might have the moussaka. Will it bother you if I eat meat?"

She's thoughtful too. "Not a bit. I choose not to eat it, and sometimes I miss it, but it doesn't matter to me if someone else has chosen to sacrifice a poor, innocent animal like a lamb for the sake of a meal."

Her mouth drops open. "Harry!" she admonishes, "Please tell me that was a joke!"

He stares at her as long as he possibly can without cracking up, but there comes a point at which he can't hold out any longer and giggles gleefully.

==========

8:22 p.m. Tuesday, October 5, 2021

That high pitched snigger! Michele wants to cover her ears. How can someone so handsome have such a horrible laugh? At least he was teasing about her carnivore tendencies. That would have been a deal breaker for sure. No way could she share a meal with someone who didn't allow her to indulge in meat. Well, maybe for one night. Or two. But not consistently. Wait. Why should she care about dining with Harry more than once? This is a one-off of course. No reason for the two of them to eat together more often. After all, he's only in town for a short time.

"Very funny, Mr. Styles. I happen to enjoy meat. Quite a bit," she states as his laughter dies down.

"Oh, don't worry. It's not a big deal. My mum and sister are attempting to be vegetarians, but they still enjoy a quality Sunday roast. I'm fine with it. It's a choice I made, but that doesn't mean everyone I'm around has to make the same decision."

"Thank goodness! Cause I adore lamb, and Greek Week is full of it," Michele's relief is evident to her, so Harry probably picks up on it too.

When the server delivers the platter of delicious olives, dolmas, and cheeses along with the psomi bread, Harry frantically examines the menu as Michele orders first.

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