Jane opens her eyes, and she finds herself asleep on the couch. She tries to maneuver without waking Peyton up. Peyton sleeps next to Jane. Her arm hangs over the edge of the couch. Jane stands up at the end of the couch. She steps off onto the floor, trying to be quiet. She grabs the blanket from the foot of the couch, and covers Peyton up.
Jane heads into the kitchen. She starts the coffee maker. She grabs the raisin bran off the counter, and heads to the fridge for milk. She pours them into a plastic bowl. She puts the box of raisin bran on top of the refrigerator. She puts the milk back into the fridge. She then grabs a spoon, and takes a seat on the counter next to the coffee maker. She finishes her cereal, and pours herself a cup of coffee. She grabs her phone out of her pocket. She dials a familiar number.
"Are you awake?"
"It's seven thirty, of course I'm up. Why do you need something?"
"Are you at work?"
"Not yet why?"
"Can you do me a favor?"
"What do you need?"
"I need you to stop somewhere and get cereal."
"Cereal? You want me to bring you cereal?"
"Maura I can't leave her, she's sleeping. She wants cereal for breakfast."
"Don't you have raisin bran?"
"She doesn't like raisins."
"What does she like? Coco puffs? Cinnamon toast crunch? Lucky Charms? Trix?"
"You actually know those cereals?"
"I like cereal. I know you think that I'm abnormal, but not in every aspect. So what do you want me to buy?"
"All of them," she answers.
"All four of them?"
"Ok," I'll be over soon."
"Bye," Maura hangs up.
Half an hour later Maura is knocking on the door. Jane opens the door quickly. Maura steps in and hands Jane the bag full of cereal. Jane closes the door behind her. Jane walks into the kitchen.
"She's still asleep?" Maura looks at the sleeping girl on the couch.
"Yeah. What do I owe you?"
"We'll call it even if you give me a cup of coffee."
"Yeah," Maura nods.
Jane pours Maura a cup of coffee. Maura joins Jane in the kitchen. Jane leans against the counter.
"Can I ask you a question?" Jane begins as Maura sips her coffee.
"I don't see why not."
"Do you think that it's normal for an eleven year old to use the word diaphragm."
"I did. That probably answers the question doesn't it."
"You were never normal were you?"
"Not really. Why are you asking me anyway?"
"She used that word last night."
"She could have picked it up from TV."
"Maybe, but... I think that it's something else."
"No!" Peyton moans.
Jane jumps into action. She puts her coffee cup on the counter, and quickly bounds into the living room. "No!" Peyton cries in her sleep. Jane is at her side in no time. She bends down next to the couch. She kisses her on the forehead, "Peyton wake up. It's just a dream."
Peyton's eyes pop open. "Good morning beautiful," Jane smiles. Peyton sits up, throwing the blanket. "Are you going to be cranky this morning?"
"That depends, can I have coffee?"
"What was the answer to that when you were four?"
"And it's still no."
"Grandpa used to let me."
"He also let you stay up on new year's and eat candy, and drink soda. Do you remember how sick you got?"
"I'll never eat stale candy corn again, as long as I live."
"What if you have some sugary cereal instead of coffee?"
"I don't want raisin bran."
"You don't have to eat raisin bran. Maura brought you cereal."
Peyton turns around, and looks at Maura. "Thanks," she smiles at Maura.
Jane returns to the kitchen to get her cup of coffee. Peyton follows. She grabs cereal, milk, a bowl, and a spoon. She fills the bowl with cereal and milk, and then jumps onto the counter. Her feet dangle over the edge.
"What are you doing on the counter?" Jane questions.
"You do it."
"It doesn't make it ok," Jane replies.
Peyton ignores Jane, and eats her cereal.
"I think that I'm paying too much for parking," Maura comments.
"What are you talking about?" Jane gesticulates.
"I'm paying 1000 dollars a month just to park my car," Maura adds.
"So you're paying two hundred and fifty dollars a week, or around thirty four dollars a day. That's only about a dollar forty an hour," Peyton recites.
"Maura you don't pay for parking," Jane comments, "You're allowed to park anywhere you want."
"So why would you say that?"
Without missing a beat, "She was testing me," Peyton replies.
"You're good," Maura admits.
"Anything else you'd like to know?" Peyton questions.
"What's your favorite subject?"
"I don't have one, I like to read about everything."
"How many phalanges do we have?"
Maura nods. Jane stares at the both of them questioningly.
"Fifty six," Peyton replies.
Jane looks to Maura, "Is that right?"
"Yes," Maura nods.
"How did you know that?" Jane questions.
"I read, all the time. Do you know how many overdue library books I've accumulated? No matter what town we live in I always have a library card. And once dad worked for a printing company. He would bring home books that were defective."
"How old was she when she started reading?" Maura queries.
"She could recite books from memory at two. I bought her Baby Farm Animals when she was two and half, and that was the first book she ever read. By the time she was three she had read fifty books. I remember because we bought them at a library book sale for a nickel a piece."
"How did you get her to read at such a young age?"
"I read to her from the time she was in-utero."