Howard stood in front Katherine, continually complaining about his neighbor, to the point of exasperation.
“Then,” he said. “Listen to this. You won’t believe what he did next.”
“I would believe it,” she said. “To be honest, tho. I’ve been talking to Thomas, and I think I have an idea for you that might just give you an edge, if you know what I mean.”
Katherine squinted her eyes, in a conspiratorial fashion, which only lent credibility to her former statement. Howard, intrigued with how to silence his neighbor, once and for all, leaned in to the conversation which was taking a mysterious turn, to say the least.
“What do you mean, exactly?” he said, turning his ear to her whispering lips, not wanting to miss a word of what she was getting ready to say.
“I found out something about Thomas,” she said. “Something you should know.”
Howard paused before speaking, becoming quite intrigued with a bit of information that could only help him conquer his neighbor’s antics – once and for all.
“And,” he said, squinting one eye. “What, exactly, would that be?”
Katherine leaned forward, taking the posture of someone who was about to divulge something very, very important.
“Thomas,” she said. “Has a fear that you should know about.”
Howard twitched. This is what he needed.
“What would that be?” he said, while a sneaky little grin appeared on his face out of, virtually, nowhere.
“The next time you see him,” said Katherine, as she leaned even further into the conversation. “Just say this.”
“Say what?” he said, in a low whisper that only Katherine could hear.
“Thomas can’t stand it when someone says the word…mayonnaise,” she said, then looked Howard right in the eye, defying anyone to challenge her.
“Huh?” said Howard.
“Just say it,” she said, then leaned back in her chair while looking from side to side, hoping no one else had overheard the conversation.
“The next time you two get into an argument,” she said. “Lean in close to him. Then, very quietly, say the word…mayonnaise.”
“Trust me,” she said. “You’ll be glad you did.”
Howard looked around him.
Then, looked back at Katherine.
“Thank you,” he said. “I’ll do that.”
Part One Here