He pauses, a piece of aubergine halfway to his mouth as he looks up at the woman sitting across the table from him.
“I said, you could just get rid of all those shirts. It’s not like you ever wear them.”
“Actually, I do.” Annoyance ripples across his face for a brief instant. It vanishes as he schools his expression into something attempting to resemble calm.
“Well…” She doesn’t elaborate, instead taking a small sip of her beer, avoiding his gaze. “Anyway, I need the space for my work things. You know I’m starting that new job soon, and I just want to get everything sorted out before the weekend.”
“I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal out of it, it’s not that stressful.” His tone is deliberately casual, throwaway. He knows it will annoy her, but it’s his way of getting back at her about the shirts.
She glares at him, poking at a solitary coriander leaf lingering at the bottom of the aubergine bowl with her fork. “Maybe not for you, but it is for me…”
“It really isn’t.”
“Listen, why do you always have to fight with me about this? I just wanted to have a nice lunch…”
Suddenly, the waiter appears at the table with their mains, setting them down with a cheery grin. “Is there anything else I can get you guys? Any sauces or anything?”
Taken unawares, they look up at him and shake their heads, smiling politely. As soon as he is gone, they instantly resume their argument over the plates of fried chicken and pickled cucumber salad, their conversation melting into the general noise of the small dining room.