After spending the day at the Foxbury Institute, the Fiers returned home and Cabe Bheeda, a neighbor, stopped by. Deli, who found him attractive, went out to greet him.
Cabe: Hello—oh, wow, I never noticed how thin you were before. You would be prettier if you ate more.
What?! Was he asking her out to eat in a rude way? Deli had wanted to ask him to hang out at a restaurant or cafe as friends, but …
Deli: I’m naturally thin, not that you have any right—
Not listening, Cabe continued ranting and insulting her all at once, “It’s been so sunny here lately. I hate it! It’s too hot! But you’re so pale, it’s weird and kind of gross.”
Deli wondered if he meant to be so rude, and asked, “Are you okay? You seem stressed.”
Cabe: You’re only realizing that now—you’re not the brightest, are you?
Despite the insults, Deli tried to help him calm down and cheer up by quickly teaching him some simple relaxation techniques. Maybe he was just overwhelmed by something?
Cabe: That doesn’t work at all.
Cabe then picked up where he’d left off with his complaints. Sunali was too sunny. Deli wasn’t as pretty as she should be. The weather here was only decent at night, and why didn’t she eat more?
Deli: Look, I have to go.
Cabe: Did you want to tell me something?
Cabe: Well, I’ll wait here.
Deli: You’ll wait?
Perhaps thinking she would come back, Cabe had a quick swim. When Deli didn’t return and Cabe tried to enter the house to see where she’d gone, the bees got him. Karma?
Calanthe, who was visiting, noticed her younger sister’s distress and gave her a big hug.
Deli explained that she had been on the verge of asking Cabe out to eat something when he began insulting her, but maybe he hadn’t meant to be cruel. Perhaps he was just having a bad day?
She was beginning to have second thoughts about him, but still wanted them to go out together so she didn’t disclose everything he’d said and she had no intention of telling either of her parents about the conversation.
It wasn’t like he was necessarily wrong, either. Deli was thin and pale. Both may have been unattractive to him, but they were natural for her because she was a vampire. She’d recently learned that she could eat food for mortals without becoming ill. If she ate it consistently would she gain weight, become prettier? If she risked some time in the sun, would she tan or just burn? Should she even care what Cabe thought? She wasn’t sure, but felt she probably shouldn’t. It was too bad, then, that she did.