“So, has Abbie already told you about my conversion to Islam?” he asked and drank from his cup.
Corinne almost choked on a partially swallowed bite of sandwich as it almost slid down the wrong way. She coughed and took a sip from her lemonade as Delsin gazed on in amusement. He’d done that on purpose – just to see her spontaneous response.
“I don’t know what I should make of that reaction,” he joked and smiled broadly, revealing the straight white line of his teeth and his eyes sparkled playfully. “That’s the second time in five days that you’ve almost choked in my presence.”
She cleared her throat and replied, “You surprised me, is all.”
And he had. She hadn’t expected him to come right out and mention his conversion to her. In all honesty, she hadn’t really given it much thought, other than to remember that Abbie had said that he doesn’t date because of it.
“Yes, she mentioned it to me,” she replied as casually as she could but her face felt hot again.
His grin broadened and he asked, “And what do you think? Matty thought that I was losing my mind and even my mother wanted me to visit with Billy for a one-on-one.”
Corinne laughed at the image of Ms. Annabelle trying to get Delsin to sit in with the local shaman after hearing that he’d converted to Islam.
“I don’t know, I think it’s good,” she answered and she really did. “Life is complicated, and I’ve heard people say that religion helps it make sense.”
He nodded thoughtfully, as if surprised by her response, and said, “That’s a mature perspective on it. Does religion help you to make sense of the world?”
She shrugged and pushed her plate away, stuffed, and answered, “In theory, yes. I can’t really say that I’ve had any type of personal spiritual epiphany.”
He continued to look at her as he drank from his coffee and she felt as if he were looking right through her. She wiped her mouth with her napkin, suddenly incredibly self-aware, and waited while he finished his coffee. When he was done he placed the cup beside his empty plate on the table and smiled again. . . .