“Knock knock,” I said.
“Who’s there?” Whistler had told knock-knock jokes at me through the bathroom door for five minutes earlier. Clearly, she wasn’t done. Only this time, I was on the outside of the door, butting in on her quiet moment.
“Sock delivery,” I said. That wasn’t a joke. I really did have an armful of socks. She was strong enough to carry her own laundry upstairs, but wasn’t quite strong enough yet that she could do so without spilling socks all over the stairs.
“Sock delivery who?”
“Sock delivery sock delivery sock delivery,” I said.
“That’s a bad joke.”
“Not a joke. Sock delivery.”
“I don’t need any more socks,” she said. There was a smile in her voice. I paused and knocked on the door.
“Knock knock,” I repeated.
“Basket of kittens.”
“We already have a cat, Pepper.”
“But this is a whole basket. A basket of kittens.”
“Nope. Don’t want them.”
I knocked on the door again. “Knock knock,” I said.
“Chocolate bar delivery.”
There was a moment of hesitation. A long moment. “I had lots of chocolate this weekend. No thank you.”
Committed to the bit. “Knock knock,” I said.
“Gold bar delivery.”
“Gold bars in the shape of chocolate bars.”
“Gold bars in the shape of chocolate bars in the shape of kittens.”
The emphasis hung in the air, as firm as the door between us.
I knocked again, one last time.
“No. Whatever you say it is, it’s just socks.”
I smiled. “Don’t you want your socks?”
“They’re warm and fuzzy.”
I waited as the joke with no punchline drifted away, and the door cracked open. Whistler’s eyes were sparkling, and a cross expression was doing a terrible job hiding a smirk.
“Gimme the socks,” she said, a smile cracking through. I handed them to her. Sure enough, they were fuzzy.
The door closed, and somewhere behind it, I heard a giggle.