Nora rang the doorbell and waited a full anxious minute before it swung open.
"Hi." She said, soft and tentative. She pressed her clammy palms against the fabric of her jeans and tried to force her racing heart to slow down before it made her cheeks flush.(more) "Hi." Rose replied, leaning, aggressively nonchalant, against the door frame. "If you're here for the toaster, you can't have it."
"I'm not." Nora hoped Rose wouldn't notice the lonely, desperate shadow behind her words. "I was hoping that we could talk?"
She hovered nervously, looking anywhere but at Rose as her clever eyes tried to search out truth and weakness.
"Can I come in?" She tried again when she was finally brave enough to look at Rose.
Everything about the small apartment was distantly familiar, though Rose's mess was sprawled over the spaces where her things used to be, and Nora felt with acute clarity the small hole in her existence that Rose used to fill.
"Cold coffee?" Rose asked as she threw dirty plates into the sink and old newspapers onto the couch.
"What happened to the warm coffee?"
"It died three hours ago, so all we have now is its cold, disgusting corpse."
"Lovely." Nora missed this, she realized, as she stood there, awkward and out of place. She was wearing too many clothes; her coat should be lying over the arm of the couch, and her jeans should be resting in a pile in the corner of her room. She should be sitting on the kitchen island, getting in the way as Rose danced around the apartment.
They stood in silence punctuated by the clinking of a spoon against the edges of a mug.
"I'm sorry." Nora blurted out. The spoon clattered and stilled.
"Me too." (less)