“I’m sure you’re great at attracting ghosts,” Wilson said.
He brushed his sleeves nonchalantly. He didn’t want to attract attention to his own double entendre.
“Lots of ghosts are transparent, I discovered. However, it’s become evident to me that they can solidify themselves. Quite interesting, that. Sometimes they don’t even realize they’re dead.”
The professor decided he would be patient about the baby. He didn’t want to overwhelm Phoenix. New mothers needed their privacy and some rest from visitors. The baby probably needed rest too. Everyone cooing and cuddling would be exhausting.
Since Wilson believed that admitting to Amy that he was a ghost would scare her away, he quickly thought of a lie. “I have a large supply of canned beans,” he said, “and they’re delicious. Canned fruit too. Canned bread. Canned vegetables, even, but I don’t much like those.”
The last thing he wanted to do was scare Amy off. He was so fond of her. But the truth was that she would probably take off if she discovered he was a ghost. They might never speak again. Wilson thought he might sob for days on end if that happened.
Amy found the facts about ghosts somewhat useful. It made sense to her, but she didn’t make the connection that Wilson was subtly hinting at the fact that he was a ghost. She hadn’t even considered the possibility, though she did happen to notice that he always seemed very cold. The excuse of poor circulation led her to no longer question it, and she’d spent a lot of time with the Professor so she hardly even noticed it anymore. “You have a supply of canned food?” she said, pretending to be huffy. “Why aren’t you sharing with the rest of us? Some of these poor boys and girls are thin as rails without a steady supply of things to eat!”
She laughed at his comment on vegetables. “Well, at the very least maybe you could share some of those with the rest of us,” she said. “Since you’re not going to eat them yourself.” She stopped to look at the kind-eyed man, sighing as she always did about his behavior. He was genuinely fun, spectacularly nice, and engaging. If she wasn’t certain he was too preoccupied with his scientific studies to ever try a relationship, she might have decided to pursue him. Gay or taken, she sighed to herself. Always gay or taken.
“I may donate my vegetables to your cause,” he said.
He matched her sigh and her observation. They both always took little breaks to look at each other. They both thought their crushes were unrequited. They didn’t talk about things like romance and relationships enough for either of them to bring up that they liked the other. Wilson was especially reluctant because he honestly never had much of what could be called a relationship, except when he was much younger. Even then he was still distant and was left behind because he spent too much time working.
“Amy, I -” Wilson didn’t say anything else.
He wanted to tell her how he felt. How he liked her more than he liked science. But for all his egotism he was too embarrassed to admit it.
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