The doorbell rang.
Lon stood still by the dryer. He was waiting for his jeans to dry. He was just in his briefs. It felt like the most awkward two minutes he'd ever spent. The doorbell rang again. He jerked his jeans out of the dryer and put them on. They were fresh and warm so was his white T-shirt. He leaped up the stairwell, barefooted and answered the door.
"Who are you?" The woman gave him a stare as if she would call 911, immediately.
"Oh, uh-" There was no point in even trying to be cool about it. After all, he was the only one home. He pointed, kind of toward the basement. "Roommate. I'm the-the new roommate."
"Oh." She smiled, gave him handshake then and came right in. "Ellie must have been surprised."
"Kind of." Lon just smiled, scratching his forehead. God, why hadn't he thought about Ellie's mother until now. "Actually, I'm a friend of Ben's."
"Ben's?" Now she looked puzzled.
"Yeah, I uh," Lon sighed. "Thought I'd come up here and see if I can take a few classes this summer. Hear they have an awesome animal science program here." He smiled then thinking that was about the best story he'd come up with in quite a while. But would she buy it? "It was a surprise to Ellie, too. Sorry, she hadn't had a chance to tell you. She's um, at work, right now."
"Already?" Her mother squinted as she unloaded a bag of goodies on the kitchen table then. "I swear she never calls me, and I refuse to call her everyday."
"Yeah, I dunno if they'll know what to do with themselves back home since I'm not around." Lon fidgeted as he rubbed his cheek wondering if her mother thought he needed a shave. Why did he say that, he thought. They seriously weren't worried. They couldn't be.
"How about I make some iced tea?" He offered then, wondering just how long he'd be alone having to entertain Ellie's Mom.