He thought she was crying. Polly lifted her head from the table, took one look at his befuddled expression, and threw her head back, gales of laughter pealing forth. She felt her face turning bright red. She was laughing so hard, she really did start to cry.
Joe, biting his lip in halfhearted irritation, presented her with his handkerchief for the second time of their acquaintance. This made her laugh even more. She buried her face in the handkerchief, inhaling the faint scent of sandalwood. From the corner of her eye she watched him sit down across from her.
She held his handkerchief to her face for a while longer, knowing her cheeks were as red as a beet. “That girl,” she finally managed to say from behind the cotton screen. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she b-becomes an actress someday. To make you fall for a load of m-malarkey like that!”
Another peal of laughter followed. Joe wasn’t laughing, but she could see that he was amused. Finally, she calmed down. She wiped a residual tear from her eye with one corner of the handkerchief before tucking it into her pocket. “I bet you think we really are crazy now,” she said.
“At the moment I’m just relieved that your mother isn’t dying after all. I like her.”
Polly gave a small hiccup of laughter. “I don’t know why you would. Unless you enjoy being manipulated. Watch out, Joe. She’s going to take over where Ellie left off, unless I’m able to drum it into her skull that you’re not the type of man I’d even remotely consider marrying. If I ever marry.”
From Her Ordinary Joe
Copyright © 2014 Margaret Desmond
This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: Laughter