“Hey, Trev, how’s the sleepover going?” she asked. The concerned tone sparked Il-Su’s interest. “Good! I’m glad you’re having a good time. What do you need?” There was a pause as Trev talked on the other side of the call. “Yeah, of course, just not too much okay? I don’t want you to get an upset stomach. Yeah, uh huh, okay, love you too, bye.” The woman looked at her phone and breathed an audible sigh of relief. Trev must be a child.
“First time sleeping over?” asked Il-Su to the woman. She turned to him with shock on her face and he realized how bad the question must have sounded. “I mean, for your son, this sounds like his first sleepover.”
“Yeah,” she said. Her tone lacked the commitment to continue the conversation.
“Trying to decide if its a relief or worse with him away for the night? My sister was the same the first her daughter went to a sleepover.”
Evie didn’t care for the man prying into her life, but when she did look at him, she had to admit that he had a nice face and his kindness seemed genuine. At least he wasn’t hitting on her, just making small talk. “Yes, well Trev’s not my son. He’s my nephew. This is his first sleepover since his parents died so yeah, I guess I don’t really know if it's better or worse.”
“Fuck, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry. Wow, how long ago?” Il-Su felt like an idiot. All the irritation at the woman for disrupting his routine vanished. Suddenly, the sullen attitude and the lack of desire for human contact made sense. It must have been recent.
“About a year and a half ago. We moved here six months ago at the start of the summer break to begin anew. It’s weird, I never pictured myself as a single parent, but here I am. My name is Evie,” said Evie as she held her hand out to the man.
“Il-Su,” he said and shook her hand. Il-Su enjoyed her hand’s softness and how it fit right inside of his. Then he noticed the paint spots. “Interesting color choice.”
Evie looked at Il-Su confused and then saw her hand. “Oh! Yeah, Trevor went to the sleepover and I finally had some time to paint the walls. Ten-year-olds are great for painting their own rooms but living rooms are a bit out of the question.”
“Ha, yeah I can imagine. So what do you do?” he asked. Evie shrugged her shoulders.
“I do web design, but I’m independent so mostly I work on being a parent to Trevor. And you?”