Lukas had been walking to his room in the house he shared with four and at the very least unbalanced people when he heard the conversation in the kitchen and stopped, the cup of tea in his hand rippling gently as he paused, staring at the beam of light issuing from the opening in the door.
“—how do you manage it?” Mathias had asked from around the corner as the scrap of a chair on tile and a creak as someone settled into it.
“Manage what?” you had replied, and there was a loud slurp as someone drank a cup of coffee; the bitter scent wafted out of the door.
“Dating Lukas.” Mathias replied. He chuckled, the chair creaking again.
“What do you mean?” you responded. Lukas waited, listening intently.
“I mean, isn’t he a bit distant at time? Doesn’t that make it awkward?” Mathias plied.
“Mathias Kohler, what are you trying to get at?” you asked, your voice cold and accusing. Lukas felt a surge of pride at how his girlfriend defended both of their honors—at least for the moment.
“Look,” Mathias said, going onto the defensive, “I just want to know if you’re happy with him.”
There was a brief silence and Lukas clutched his cup so tight miniscule ripples began to pool out and dance in the now-cold liquid.
“Yeah,” you said, sounding rather thoughtful, “I think I’m pretty happy with him. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Okay, I don’t need a ballad of your love for him. Just checking. He’s been happier in these three months than he has been in a while.”
Lukas heard the smile in your voice as you responded, “So have I.”
Satisfied, Lukas breathed a silent sigh of relief and continue his silent walk down the hall, taking a sip of his disgustingly cold tea, which had suddenly tasted like the sweetest drink in the world.