There are certain things Mary can’t explain, and most of them go back to Matthew.

Genuine and selfless concern for other people’s well being for instance. Matthew, quite infuriatingly, brims with it. The way he will give up the rest of his night out because Mary got too drunk to find the exit, let alone walk home from the pub. Somehow, even though he will be having the hardest time cleaning the stench of her vomit from his new shoes later, he still manages to care enough to arrange for her to wake up in her own bed with aspirin and a glass of water waiting for her on the nightstand.

Inexplicable.

His permanent friendliness is another one of those things she doesn’t understand. Like that time when she kicked him out because he more or less suggested that he liked her, which clearly was way over the line, and he came back the next day with flowers. As though it was his fault.

Which it was, but.

You know. He didn’t have to buy flowers.

But he did, and it was friendly.

And while she studiously refuses to call whatever they have a relationship, even within the safe confines of her mind, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the notion that Matthew perhaps actually does classify their fling as such.

Because of the way he eyes the picture, and his tone of voice when asks, “How did this get here?”

Mary is a little annoyed that she didn’t prevent him from seeing this photograph of herself, but only because she is vain. It has absolutely nothing to do with how attractive Matthew deems her. His opinion is utterly unimportant to her. Mary really, truly couldn’t care less.

When she tells him she was going to get rid of the picture because she never liked it, he takes the liberty of asking if he can have it instead. Now, if they had been in a relationship (which they aren’t) that would be acceptable. Thankfully Matthew comes up with a reason for him to have it before things become awkward. While he calmly explains the fundamentals of said reason, Mary has to admit that his argument is perfectly legitimate, and her willingness to agree with him so readily has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he is smiling at her in that way—that way that makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, because Matthew really is just that friendly.

He was just being a rational, is all.

And as she watches him slip the photograph into the pocket behind the lapel of his jacket, that is what she tells herself.
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