In time, John made his way across the room by hanging on to the granite countertop. It had been years since Donna studied Tae Kwon Do seriously, but somehow she managed to keep her feet in proper kicking-shape. He was moderately sure she didn’t rupture anything; he wouldn’t be moving if she had, except for screaming and flailing on the floor.
As soon as he cleared the door jam, Etty rushed to his side.
“Darling, are your testicles okay? We’ll still be able to have sex tonight, right?”
“Let me guess, your culture is more open about discussing anatomy and sex in public. Right?”
“Of course!” Etty looked at him as if he’d sprouted extra eyeballs.
“Let’s,” John groaned; the pain in his groin was slowly creeping into his abdomen, “make a family rule. Please don’t talk about reproductive anatomy or sex unless people are already discussing it in public situations.”
“Certainly. I’m sorry if I offended anyone!” She turned around to see how Logan and Donna were reacting.
They were deliberately ignoring the entire exchange. It might have been residual anger, or social discomfort. Etty couldn’t tell. It was obvious to her that she needed to learn more about typical human interactions and discomfort. Most of what she’d learned had come from peeping, interacting with the Thorson family—who treated her like family in the first place—and from watching television when no one was paying attention.
She felt like a child. Well, truth be told, she wasn’t as far from childhood as she would have preferred. The only cure for that malady was to take things day by day. In just a few months, she’d be 190, and everything after that would be smooth sailing.
“God! I really hate it when the ache reaches my stomach.” John bent over at the waist. He looked a little green around the gills.
“Serves you right.” Donna commented.
“Yeah.” Logan added.
“Uh. Oh. Ouch. So, when is the truck going to get here?” John tried to steer the conversation towards less incendiary topics.
Logan looked thoughtful for a moment, and then answered.
“If they took it to Langley—the CIA headquarters—they could have it here in about two hours.”
John stood up, carefully, and addressed his wife.
“If we stay for a little longer, I can show you our truck. Hey!” It suddenly occurred to him to ask. “Do you guys care if I tell her about our little adventure happening tomorrow?”
Logan and Donna waved at him to continue, so he explained the truck, and their “command performance” to Etty. She looked excited and impressed. It gave John a reason to forget the residual pain from Donna’s expert kick.
Etty was young, not stupid. She told John how amazing it sounded, and gave him a loving kiss on his cheek. Then she turned to Logan and Donna.
“I don’t know anything about food trucks, or how you all do what you do. Will you show me? I would love a tour of the truck when it arrives.”
“Wow. The girl scores for mending social awkwardness.” Donna brightened up considerably. “Come on, little sister. I’ll show you our facility. Then Logan can give you a tour of his fallout shelter cheese cave.”
She held out her hand. Etty took it, and allowed herself to be led across the lawn to the Manleigh Cheese facility in Logan’s backyard.
Logan got up and followed them, leaving John standing alone on the porch.
“Note to self: take notes from your wife on repairing interpersonal relationships.”