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Bette pulled on her jeans and zipped up her sweatshirt. She raised her hand to her nose and smelled the sweatshirt’s sleeve. The clothes still smelled of prison. She needed a new set of clothes. Contemplating on doing a little shopping after the meeting with her parole officer, Bette grabbed her rucksack and marched toward the door.
Bette had heard sounds coming from the kitchen when she had been waking up and now as she left her room she could see that Ayola was the source. Bette smelled the air – Ayola was cooking something tasty.
”Good morning,” Bette smiled at the woman.
”It is, isn’t it?” Ayola beamed at the brunette. ”Sit down, breakfast is almost ready.”
”Hey, I’m not really–” Bette started to protest, but was immediately cut down.
”Oh, come ooon. I’ve already been cooking for two, so you have no way out of this.”
Bette thought for a moment, then shrugged and took a seat at the table. Even though she was sure that she wasn’t even a little bit hungry, her stomach growled in disagreement. Thinking that the reason of such inconsistency was most likely the anxiety upon her forthcoming re-entry into the society, Bette took a calming breath and tried to convince herself that everything would go just fine.
A plate of fried eggs with bacon and vegetables was put down on the table in front of Bette.
”Wow,” she shook her head in amazement, her smile broadening as she raised her gaze at Ayola. ”It looks mouthwatering.”
”I rarely cook, so it might only look mouthwatering,” Ayola said self-consciously.
Taking her spoon in an emphatic manner, Bette gave the woman a challenging stare before taking a big bite. ”Mmmmm…” closing her eyes, she moaned as she chewed slowly to get every ounce of flavor. ”Oh, trust me. It tastes as mouthwatering as it looks.”
Ayola snickered and smacked Bette with a kitchen towel.
”No, seriously. This is so delicious, my goodness… I haven’t eaten home-cooked food in forever,” Bette said in honest enthusiasm.
Watching Bette with interest, Ayola smiled to herself and proceeded to eat. ”Just so you know, I intend to remind you of how beautiful the free world is.”
Bette stopped chewing for a moment as she regarded her new friend. ”I like your intention,” she then said, taking another bite of the food. ”There’s one thing I still can’t comprehend though.”