She was looking bored, with narrowed eyes cast eternally to the phone screen she held just below the table's edge.
"Thanks for coming over tonight, I uh..." he began awkwardly and trailed off when she gave him no response. "I think you're fit!" he blurted all of a sudden in an effort to catch her attention. It seemed to work, as her rate of tapping momentarily slowed, but she didn't bring herself to look up.
"I just wanted the free food. I thought your mum would make something better than this." Without looking up, her shoulders gesticulated toward the food upon the table; her tapping resumed its regular pace. "You promised me she was a good cook."
"I think she tries hard," he stammered, "but she's a bit slower these days, what with the cancer and all."
She brought her phone above the table as if she was about to make eye contact with him. "You don't know anything. My dad had cancer one time and he didn't suddenly get shit at cooking."
"No, no. Of course not. Mum, in future, please cook something better. Next time we'll want..."
"There won't be a next time," she cut him off with a sidewards glance at his mother who sat silent and emotionless at the end of the table.
"Oh. Mum, i-in that case, never mind... never mind about that."
"Help me up," she said, "I want to leave now." She raised her two bulbous arms out as if she was riding an invisible Harley Davidson, or as if a shag on a rock with its wings outstretched. He dutifully ran around the table to help her to her feet, lifting her bulk like one would an invalid, with his elbows hooked under her armpits.
"A-are we still on for Thursday?" he asked.
"Thursday?" she repeated.
"My hair appointment, you know, I get my hair cut by you every week on Thursday."
"I don't book appointments, you have to talk to the receptionist."
"It's already b... you're right I'll ring her, thank-you, th-thanks for coming. See you on Thursday! Maybe. Maybe on Thursday."