“So, what’s your deal?” I sat down, swinging a thin gold chain around my finger. Irma had told me to leave him alone, but I just wanted what was best for her, and I’d never been very good at following her instructions anyway.
Thomas looked up from the page he was reading, drawing his eyebrows together questioningly. “What’s my what?” He still sounded sweet, as kind as if I didn’t just come at him with a potentially insulting question.
“Your deal.” I put down the chain and looked at him sternly. “You look at Irma-strangely. I don’t know. It’s not love, or like or anything I’d ever seen before. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t think it’s what you say it is, causally dating or whatever the bullshit you tried to sell me and Mae. So, I ask again, Thomas, what’s your deal?”
Thomas set his book down gently, and I saw the metaphorical shutter close down behind his eyes. That’s what I was talking about, something wasn’t right with him. “Irma and I have an understanding. What she does and doesn’t tell you is up to her—not me. If you feel you are being lied to, I suggest that you take it up with her, because my story stays the same. Now, may I go back to my book?”
“Just, one more question.”
“Thomas—have you considered going into politics?”
Thomas laughed as he flipped his book open again, something a little colder than his usual life. “Oh, Dora. I already have.”