I was spooning in bits of mashed potatos and watching him sop up his spaghetti sauce with the last piece of his garlic bread and since I was sitting next to him I handed him one of the two of my pieces. J's mom and dad were eating slower than him too, his dad kept stopping in between swallowing spaghetti to talk about his secertary at work leaving for two weeks vacation after giving him only five days notice. He was asking J's mom if she knew of anyone at the church who could fill in in the in between time and his mom touched her napkin to her lips and said she'd have to see. She was busy too sewing ornaments on sweaters for the upcoming holiday heap leaving behind her knitting needles on the counter in the kitchen where everyone could see them. The both of them only looked up at me twice after I'd given them one worded answers about how school was going and about how I'd liked my teachers. Since then J had turned towards me twice watching me splitting up the noodles with the side of my fork and I kept looking left towards him so he'd stare at me again. Eventually J's mom got up when there was a moments worth of silences at the table with only the spoon and the forks making noises against the blue and white bone China. She'd turned up the dial on the small black and white television with the antennas lopped towards the right and cleared her throat when a news anchor on CBS talked extensively about the wildfires out of control in San Antonio , Texas. J had been done with his dinner now for over ten minutes and he was getting restless kicking his legs up and down under the table until eventually his mother said that it was about time for him to walk me home. He got up right away leaving his plate behind him and when I tried to pick up mine he said just to leave it and I studied everything in their library/living room that I could until I'd walked slowly up to the front door walking out the screen part that was being held for me by him. I'd passed a piano with a piano book opened to "the Rose" by Bette Mydler, a bench with a green cushion, an oblong glass coffee table with heavy brass legs, a couch in front of the picture window that was grey with pruple tuft pillows, and soft soft white carpet that made every step take longer to walk through.
Eventually we got up to my house and I was reluctant to get up to the door where the light was on in the living room where my parents were probably watching Dateline on their favorite places on the couch. J was standing there watching me and I deliberated and stood against the wall to the right of the porch swing that was going back and forth with this fall weather. And then J said to me that it was weird that I didn't want to go in but it was obvious to me that why would any person want to get inside just to get ready for another day of a long high school morning so early at 7? And then that's when he invited me back up to his room, upstairs with the window open and with a way to get up there without his parent's knowing.