Recap: Last time, Della called on her friend Dax the archaeologist to help her solve the mystery of her parents' death. They only got as far as figuring out that the bullet came from the most popular gun on the planet. Also, Dax is cooking food for Della.
Della took the casserole from his hands and put it on the table, then opened the door for him to come in.
So the door was closed when she took the casserole from his hands? That's a bit freaky.
"Come and eat it with me," she offered, waving her hands in the direction of the kitchen.
He took off his hat and stepped inside, wiping his feet on the mat and nodding. "I suppose I should," he said. "Where's the kitchen?"
She directed him to where they would eat, and pulled a chair out of the table for him. "You can sit here," she said, and then hurried to her own seat, which she pulled back and sat it. They carved the casserole and ate in silence for a few minutes. The casserole tasted so much better than anything Della'd eaten in the last twenty-four hours, she just gobbled it up. Dax ate slowly, savoring every bite and sneaking looks at Della. She thought maybe he thought she didn't notice, but she did. She wondered what he was thinking.
They were just about done with their dinner, and Della had gotten up to start clearing her own place, when the doorbell rang. Della shot a quizzical look at Dax and said, "I wonder who that is?"
"I'll get it," Dax offered, wiping his mouth with his napkin and standing up, pushing back his chair. "You just do the dishes."
Della nodded and turned to the sink, filling it up with soapy frothy bubbles. Her hands were plunged deep in the frothy mess
I was apparently REALLY into the word "frothy."
when Dax reentered the kitchen, sounding a bit puzzled. "There seems to be a young man who really wants to talk to you," he began saying, but just then Della heard a familiar voice demanding, "Della? Are you in there?"
"It's Jeff!" Della squealed, grabbing a towel from the sink and wiping her hands. She ran into the other room, where Jeff stood, angrily thumping his feet on the mat
That sentence conjuress up images of Thumper from Bambi for me.
and looking very glaring at her. "Where have you been?" he snarled at her as she rushed toward him. Taken aback by this rude gesture, she stopped short and snapped back, "Where have YOU been?"
You tell him, Dlla! I guess.
He looked askance at her. "I thought we had a date last night?" he said. "Or was I mistaken?"
Della's jaw dropped. She had forgotten entirely of the day and couldn't believe she'd forgotten to even let him know what was going on. "I- I'm sorry," she began to stammer. "I can't believe I didn't tell you about it."
"About what?" he demanded, leaning one arm against the wall lazily. "I want you to tell me what you're talking about."
So Della explained about her parents, and when she finished, Jeff was awfully silent. "Oh, well, I guess that's a good excuse," he finally said. "But don't let it happen again!" And with that, he turned and walked out the door.
So, uh, Jeff seems like a really good guy...
Della breathed a sigh of relief, but then she turned to Dax, who was standing watching in the doorway, and said, "What did you do? Didn't you let him in? Why didn't you come get me?"
"But I did," Dax said, "he said that-"
At that moment, there was a pounding on the door, and when Della turned to open it, it was Jeff again. He had snow on his boots. "I also have a question!" he said, waving his hand in the air. "I want to know who HE is!" and he pointed threateningly at Dax, who took a step backwards and tripped over the dog.
Sometimes during speed stories, dogs just appear out of nowhere.
"Is he some new boyfriend?" he asked Della. "Are you replacing me already?"
"No, he's not a boyfriend," Della reassured him. "He's just a friend of the family. He's helping me out."
"That's all right then," said Jeff, and he turned and left.
For being someone who's super suspicious about everything, he accepts her answers without question.
Della shut the door again and leaned against it with a sigh. "Phew, that was close. He almost guessed."
"Guess what?" Dax said.
I see Dax and I think alike. Which is actually not really a good thing...
Della shrugged. "I don't know. I'm going to go finish the dishes."
Just give up on conversation and do some chores. Good idea.
She wandered back into the kitchen and plunged her hands back into the filthy froth
and began to scrub away. Dax came back into the kitchen and sat at the table and began to converse with her about various things. They talked about animals for a long time and she found she was laughing as she did the dishes. Finally all the dishes stood alone,
Did the cheese stand alone?
and she could relax. She pulled off the gloves and hung up them above the seat,
Nothing like dirty dishwasher dripping onto your chair!
and then she said, "Shall we go into the living room?"
Dax shook his head. "Actually, I should probably get going," he said. "If you want me to find out anything about the investigation for you, I need to get to work."
Apparently Dax has a plan. I don't know how, but good for him.
Della nodded enthusiastically. "I definitely want you to keep working on that. Don't stop if you can help it."
Dax nodded. "Okay, I can do that." He picked up the casserole, hesitated, then thought of better and so left and walked out the door.
He should probably think of better and not help Della in her weird quest at all.
Della shot the door behind him,
Is Della in the habit of shooting the door after visitors leave? Cause if so that explains how they passed the casserole through without opening the door...
and then leaned up against it as she thought of how the evening had progressed. It had been interesting, to
say the least. She hadn't expected Jeff to show up and really, she was obliged at his graceful behavior today.
Della has an odd definition of "graceful"...
She wished he wouldn't call, because she wasn't going to call him either.
She looked at the clock. It wasn't time to go to sleep yet, but she wasn't hungry either.
Well, that IS a dilemma.
She tried watching TV and it was just news, so she flipped through more channels to see if there was a good show on. There wasn't. She remembered Mom and Dad again but told herself No, she wouldn't cry, and she didn't.
She picked up a magazine that was lying on the floor and thumbed through it, reading a few of the fashion tips - like those would ever help her! she thought dourly - and reading a bit of the gossip columns of the celebrities. She really couldn't care less who so and so was dating and who they were interested in. She wished she were famous so people wouldn't write that stuff about her because she wouldn't let them.
She is even defiant about hypothetical situations.
She tossed the magazine back onto the floor, without a glance at it.
...Well, aside from the LOTS of glances she gave it just a minute ago.
What should she do in the long hours? And the evening longer hours tomorrow, when she hadn't school again? She would have school on Monday, and that would fill up a long time of the day, but now what? She couldn't sleep, she couldn't watch TV, she couldn't read, she couldn't eat, and those were all her choices.
Holy crap. My English was clearly just draining out of the back of my head here.
Maybe the computer could work. She went to it, plugged it in, and turned it on, and it flashed an ERROR screen, like it almost always did. With a shriek of disgust, she threw it on the ground and walked home.
Overreacting much? And when did she leave the house?
She finally fell asleep about 10:30 and woke up at 5:00 the next morning. "No," she told herself firmly, "I can't wake up at five," and she tried to fall back asleep but nothing worked and so she rolled up in bed and slowly climbed out.
It's easier to climb out of bed once you've rolled up in it, you see.
She wondered idly if Dax would bring a breakfast casserole before,
So many casseroles!
and no sooner had she wondered this than the bathroom door rang
If you're looking for awesome renovation tips, I do NOT suggest installing a doorbell outside the bathroom.
and she ran downstairs to see if he was there. He was, according to the glass window in the plate front of the door. She opened the door, still in her pajamas and blue bathrobe, and told him to come on in. He didn't have a casserole, he had a steaming plate of waffles. "Just out of the toaster," he told her. "I cooked them last night but can heat them up in the toaster."
"That's very clever," she told him. "Put them on the table."
Dax and his clever food-making tricks!
The two of them shared the syrup over the table, and Della ate three waffles. She felt so full when she cleared her plate she wondered if she was going to burst. Dax told her she ate three waffles and she said, yes, she knew.
This is such riveting dialogue.
When time ran out, she simply put the table in the sink, and somehow that wasn't at all what I meant to type.
A little fourth wall breaking as even my subconscious realized this didn't make sense anymore.
She did the dishes again, putting the dishes back in the dishdrainer when she finished, and then she went into the living room to look over anything Dax had found.
He had managed to get a list of all the people in the city who were registered with one of the guns that made the bullet that Della's parents had been killed with. Della eagerly poured of the list, hoping she would recognize one or two of the names. She did, and maybe they were angry at her parents. She decided to call them up. Dax warned against it, but she wouldn't listen.
Dax has at least a LITTLE bit more sense than Della does.
The first people on the list were the Stevensons. Mom hardly knew them but Della knew they went to her school and that her dad and their dad were friends sometimes. She called them up and the first thing they said to her was, "Oh, yes, Della, sorry about your loss."
"I have a question," she said. "Do you hate them?"
There was a pause, and then the person on the other end said, "Of course I don't. Or didn't. Why do you ask me such things?"
And this is why this interrogation technique is not likely to work.
Della hung up and tried the next number she knew, the Jorgensons. Mr. Jorgenson had once worked for Dad at the factory, but then he had been fired. Maybe he held a grudge. But Mr. Jorgenson didn't even recognize her name once she said it, so unless he was lying - and he COULD be lying - she didn't think it was him either.
Finally, she hung up the phone in disgust. "None of these people seem angry!" she said frustrated to Dax.
"That's good, though," Dax reminded her.
"Yes, much better, this way it will be harder for us to find the killers!"
Tune in next time to... well, we might actually unravel some of the mystery next time. Kind of. I can't remember when the next big plot point happens.