“Do you need to charge your phone?”
I am debating something and trying to maintain his eye contact without break at the same time.  I had a jar I needed opening. Maybe I can learn to fire a gun. What can I safely say?
“Yes, that would be great. I just have to shut the burners off. I have a gas stove,” I said.
“We’ll wait. You can use our car charger. An iphone?”
“Oh, sure I have a cord,” I sort of sing gliding away.
Hopping over to the stove, leaving the door cracked, not wanting them to enter or witness but know I was coming back, I see Genevive huddled in a corner, afraid.
“Good,” I whisper. “I’m glad you didn’t play friendly cat today.”
I shut the burner off, disappointed as it has come to a full boil and I can quickly make the beans. No, this is better. Appear stalwart. Give him a name. Ask a question only every pause. Be patient. I am hopping back to the door and trying not to rush. I never untie my shoes, I just slip them off and I try, at first, to shove my whole foot in the right shoe. This will fail. I have to pull my sock. I have to temper. Calm down. I’m excited by prospect, any prospect, of information. Relax. I am untying my shoe. Bring the man the jar of applesauce. I am slipping my right foot back in. I can’t because my boyfriend is strong enough. I am feeling the foot hit the cushion. Tell them you don’t know many people here.
“Stop it,” I accidentally hiss out loud.
Untying my left shoe, I am also closely listening to see if they are making any conversation. Not a word passes between them. When I throw the door back open they are in the same exact posture as I left them: stoic, sturdy, waiting.
“K. Ready. Oh the cord. I mean my phone. I have to grab my phone sorry.”
“Don’t worry. Take your time. We have a charger.”
I close the door completely this time. It is much too cold. I am debating something but I walk over and grab the phone off the end table without going back upstairs for the other phone.
“I could say it’s my boyfriends.”
Your boyfriend would have his phone on him.
Before I open the door one more time, I practice in my head. My name is Samantha Liss. I have lived here for three years, my friends have been checking on me intermittently and my parents are in perfect health. I work as a software technician and my boyfriend is a carpenter. He built all the shelves in our house. I feel well taken care of by him.
“Ok, perfect,” I sing opening the door wide.

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