“You just beat the eggs,” said Deb. She watched for a moment. “No, not like that.”
Leep had a big orange plastic bowl and a manual egg beater, which was bouncing off the edges of the bowl like stray bullets in a steel-walled room.
Beth (whom Leep called Lizzie, in his head) was sitting at the kitchen table reading the local newspaper which was spread out before her, and she looked up. “Show him, Deb. You weren’t so brilliant either, your first time. Leep, move the bowl away from the edge of the counter, would you?”
Leep was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, both now covered in egg splashes and smears of Bisquick. He probably should have taken the offer of one of Beth’s aprons, but he thought Deb was making fun of him when the caption was “Don’t Kiss the Chef, or I’ll See You in Court”.
He wasn’t interested in Deb, the widow of one of Leep’s co-workers at the mill, even though she was pretty and had nice legs. She was not interested in him either; in fact she treated Leep with the same kind of contempt and disdain that her murdered husband used to.
Ok, Leep would be the first to admit he lacked some essential social skills. But he’d actually been on a proper date and wanted another one, this time with a cashier called Lucy, according to her name tag. She had made a small joke when he sent the eggs and Bisquick and ham and cheese and a bottle of white wine along the conveyor belt so she could run it through the scanner.
“This looks like a quiche date,” Lucy said with a smile. Leep had never heard of a quiche date— was it a thing? He had used the Bisquick quiche recipe as a way to spend more time with Lizzie, and they completely believed him when he insisted a recipe wasn’t enough. They’d conceded that he’d need a personal demonstration.
Anyway Leep, not much further ahead on social skills despite his recent date, had blushed miserably under Lucy’s eye and attempted a laugh that indicated he knew what she was joking about, which he did not.
She had a dark complexion, possibly Persian? Leep thought she could be Persian. Her eyes were really a bit too big for her face and made her look doll-like. She was rather slim but extremely shapely. Leep had only seen her name tag by accident.
But she didn’t sneer when he blushed and made an incomprehensible sound, like a snorting baby rhino, while attempting to laugh knowingly. She just smiled warmly and reminded him which bag had the eggs in it, which he thought was a nice gesture.
Basically, she wasn’t repulsed by him, like Deb was, or completely and utterly out of his league, like Lizzie. Would she be interested in a quiche date? He would have to find out, somehow.
“Do you have an egg beater at home?” asked Deb.
“Nope,” Leep told her.
“Then you have to beat the eggs with a fork.”
“Or he could borrow ours,” said Beth.
“Or he could buy one of his own,” said Deb.
“Just beat until the eggs are frothy and bubbly,” Beth instructed, half standing up from the chair to see into the bowl.
Leep then added all the other ingredients he’d measured or chopped under instruction into the beaten eggs, and poured the whole thing into a greased ceramic pie plate. Much of the egg mixture missed the plate and spread like an oil spill on the counter. Leep was also not very coordinated, especially when Lizzie was watching him.
“About 30 or 40 minutes in the oven,” said Deb unhelpfully. Which was it?
“Test it with a toothpick,” said Beth. Whatever that meant.
It didn’t really matter. He had at least another half hour in Lizzie’s company, which could sustain him for the rest of the week, and might even give him the courage to speak coherent words to Lucy, sometime.