She thought of the more random options for juice: aloe vera, pomegranate, tree bark, lychee, tiger palm, wheat grass, beet, and endive, none of which titillated her palate the way a simple glass of orange juice would. “I’ll have orange juice,” Amanthra announced as though she had just remembered a long forgotten Spanish phrase.
Douglass poured her a tall glass of orange juice and motioned her to sit at a table facing a window with an eastern view.
“This is where I sit and watch the birds. There are so many of them, it is difficult to keep track. Especially the finches since they are so small. Do you enjoy bird watching Amanthra Peterson?”
She thought about his question for a second while sipping her juice. She did like birds, she thought they had their place in the world, but she wasn’t overly excited about watching them. She thought about saying exactly this to Douglass, then changed her mind thinking it might provoke him to toss her out of his home. Something about this man made her uneasy. His greasy mustache now caked with pulp, framed his mouth into a perfect circle, making it difficult to decipher his emotions.
“I like birds, but I don’t know that much about them.”
“Yes, I find that is the typical sentiment amongst young folks. You like things, but you know very little about them. So tell me, what do you know about, Amanthra Peterson?”
She gulped down the remainder of her juice, swallowed hard, and cocked her head to one side. Douglass was quite obviously challenging her, and she wasn’t sure how to respond. The social barricade between them thickened by the second.
Amanthra placed her glass on the table, wiped each corner of her mouth, and cleared her throat.
“I know about strangers.”