Conch Shells

“Pop quiz: what’s your favourite pasta?” Joey looked across the breakfast table, intent.

Alice looked back, meeting his gaze with an expression of confusion. “Sorry, how is that a pop quiz? I mean, usually a quiz is about some piece of knowledge, isn’t it? Testing what I know? Or maybe using it as a tool to find out what I’ve understood, and all, but still…that’s just a question.”

Joey sighed. “Okay, pop question.”

“No, I think it’s a bit early for us to think about marriage,” Alice grinned.

“Alice! Come on! What’s your favourite pasta?”

“Why? Planning for dinner tonight?”

Joey sighed again, louder. “I’m asking about you. I want to know more about you. Trying to, you know, build a relationship and such.”

“Oh, relax, I’m just teasing. I’d have to go with shell pasta.”

“Shell pasta?”

“Yeah! You know, little shells? Look like conches?”

“Why shell pasta? Why not fusilli, or penne or something?”

“For what I just said: they look like little conch shells.”

“You have a thing for conch shells?”

“Yeah, they’re super cool. Ever since I read Lord of the Flies, I’ve wanted to get one.”

Joey looked across the table as she lifted a fork and knife, cut of a chunk of breakfast sausage, and placed it in her mouth, drawing the fork out slowly. She started to chew, then looked up at him, grinning, a glint in her eye he hadn’t seen before.


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