Just as they finished ordering their meals, Dennis caught sight of Nimue and Ren in their booth. He watched the intimacy of the two women in fascination, not particularly discretely.
Marianne gave him a sharp look, "Dennis, don't stare; it's rude. How would you like it if people stared at you because you were a little bit different?"
He hung his head in shame, but mumbled, "What makes you think that they don't?"
"Are you having problems in school, Dennis?" she asked him in a concerned tone.
He looked up at her, "Nothing that I can't handle, Mom."
They both played with the straws in the water glasses that the busboy had brought over when they sat down. After a few minutes of silence, Dennis broke the tension, "So Ms. Holloway was out of school again today."
"That's the third day this month, isn't it?" queried Marianne. "I hope that things are okay with her." Dennis moaned. "I know that you find her a difficult teacher Dennis, but she is actually getting her students to read and to learn something. Teaching them how to write well; that is important, especially when it is time for you to go on to college."
"IF I decide to go on to college."
Marianne ignored the comment. "You need to have good writing skills to succeed in a competitive university setting, especially if you are going to an Ivy League school."
"Mom, you know that I don't want to go that far away. All of my friends are planning to go to school relatively close to Angels Fall."
"Dennis, you are a talented student and a talented athlete. If that combination can't get you into an Ivy, I don't know what will. But I will tell you one thing, as much as I love you and would love to keep you close, you are going to school as far away from Angels Fall as I can send you."
They were interrupted by the waiter serving their nan and raita.