When Gavin arrived at his flat, as usual, it would be dark, Marie conserving electricity.
He knew his way, so didn’t turn on a light, just went to the bedroom where Marie would be.
“Good evening,” he said politely,
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
“Yes…” he replied, taking off and hanging up his shirt.
She went out, put on the lights.
When he emerged in shorts and a tee shirt she had his meal warming. He didn’t say anything to her. She told him something about watching a video. He didn’t reply.
If he didn’t speak he didn’t trigger her. If he didn’t trigger her he would avoid a production of hysteria. So he kept silent.
Marie served him.
He took a bite.
“How is it?”
“It is very good.”
They exchanged smiles.
His hope was that conversation with Marie was over for the day. His intention was to eat, brush his teeth and spend the next hour on the computer, then go to bed.