Chapter 16: Nosy
As Edie had expected, her parents agreed to go out to the Asian fusion place, and after a little persuading, Corrie and her family decided to come along as well. Dawn and her family were still off somewhere, so they went without them. It was starting to get dark, so they decided to walk over to the parking lot and drive to the restaurant. “I’m pretty sure it’s just as long a walk to the parking lot as it is to the restaurant from Gilkey,” Edie muttered to Corrie as they walked.
Corrie grinned and shrugged. “You’re probably right. But it is better lit on the way to the parking lot. And you know, as long as our families want to pamper us, who are we to complain?”
“Oh, I’m not complaining!” Edie quickly said, smiling.
The restaurant was busy, but not too crowded; they didn’t have to wait for a table, even one big enough for all seven of them. Looking around, Edie could see that most of the diners were also her age, Chatoyant College students with their families. She wondered if the college warned the townspeople ahead of time when it was Parents’ Weekend. The restaurant staff probably didn’t mind—her town didn’t have as many restaurants as this town did, and that had to be because of the college traffic.
The menu had even more variety than Edie had thought. There was Chinese food, Japanese food, Thai food, and even a little Korean barbecue. She looked over the menu carefully and decided on shrimp pad thai and dragon rolls before turning her attention to the conversation going on at the table.
Corrie was talking to her grandmother about someone they both knew from home, which didn’t catch her attention, but something her own mother was saying to Corrie’s mom did. “…about Corrie’s father?” she asked. “I tried to ask Corrie about him earlier, but she didn’t seem interested in talking about him.”
Edie bit her lip and stared down at her menu. Curious as she was about the answer herself, she sort of wanted to yell at her mom about not asking nosy questions. The subject of Corrie’s father had come up, if obliquely, a few times since Edie had met her, and she had always shied away from it. There wasn’t much that made Corrie uncomfortable, so Edie figured she would also keep away from the subject.
She risked a glance at Corrie’s mom. Thankfully, her expression was calm, and she didn’t seem to be as uncomfortable with the question as Corrie was. “That’s probably because she’s never met him. We weren’t together for all that long, and he left before she was born.”
Edie turned back to her menu, hiding a small smile. Corrie’s mom was diplomatic. She had carefully avoided specifying whether they had been married or not. Her mom would want to know, but that, at least, was something she knew it would be impolite to ask.
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. It must have been so hard.” Her mother’s sympathy was genuine, if perhaps laid on a little thickly.
“We manage. My mother helped out a lot when Corrie was little, and she’s always been very independent.”
“Do you have any other children?”
“No, it’s just the three of us.”
Edie reached for her glass to drink some water and realized that Corrie had stopped talking to her grandmother (now, in fact, the two grandmothers were talking) and was staring at Edie’s mother. Her usual permanent smile had been replaced with lips pressed together in a thin line.
Edie turned to her. “So have you told your grandma about Byron yet?”
From Corrie’s surprise, she could see that the answer was no, and from the return of her grin, she could see that she had succeeded in her goal of distracting her. “No, I never thought of it,” Corrie said. “I guess I should. Grandma, has Mom told you about Byron?”
“Who’s Byron?” her grandmother asked, raising her eyebrows.
“He’s her boyfriend,” Edie said before Corrie could respond.
“He’s the guy I’m dating,” Corrie qualified, rolling her eyes at Edie. “He’s a theater major.”
“Oh, the same as Edie’s girlfriend?”
“That’s right,” said Corrie. “Actually, Byron sort of introduced them. We both went to a party and Byron thought that Edie and Leila would get along.”
“Well, he must be a nice boy, then,” said Corrie’s grandmother with a smile.
“Oh, he is! Very polite. I don’t think you’ll have a chance to meet him, unfortunately. I guess you two will have to leave right after the concert.”
“We need our beauty rest,” her grandmother agreed.
A moment later, the waiter appeared, and the conversation turned back to food. Edie relaxed, hoping there would be no more nosy questions tonight.