From the book
I watch as Emma’s screen turns green and a deck of playing cards is spread out. “Are you playing solitaire?”
“Four suit spider,” he corrects me. “I have to wait anyway, see?” He shows the stagnated installation bar for half a second. “What were you demonstrating?”
I’m distracted by the rapid movements of the cards. I don’t know this game, but it looks easy enough. “Is it any fun?” I ask him.
“Four suit spider. It looks like solitaire to me, and that’s even more boring than having lunch with people that only speak Dutch.”
“Seriously? They don’t stick to English for you? Maybe you should put Emma on the phone after all. I still owe her a good shouting at for not sharing that umbrella anyway.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, the reception’s bad. There’s a storm coming, I think.” I’m not giving my phone to Emma. “What were you saying?”
“You were about to tell me what you were demonstrating.”
How am I supposed to explain that? “One guy was being stupid, saying it’s impossible, so I showed him girls can do it, even if he can’t.”
He laughs. “Good for you. It’s usually the men that can’t. Anyway,” the card game is finished. He clicks continue so that the installation bar starts moving again. “You’re welcome to show me wrong anytime.”
“That continue was waiting the whole time, wasn’t it?”
“Mayhaps,” he smiles, by way of confession. I like the way he smiles.
“Why didn’t you click it right away?” I ask suspiciously.
“I still plead the fifth. I’ll be back in Leiden next week, I think. Could you overload your computer then too?” He’s still perky and starts whistling that tune again.
“Don’t be ridiculous. And what’s that song?”
“And if I never see my own reality, I’m okay to leave it all behind. Fine weekend, Eva.”