She studied while they ate, paying more attention to diseases of the digestive system than to her dinner. Natasha tried to construct conversation with scraps of the day: Did you see the car accident on Lenin Square? What classes did you have today? But Sonja didn’t believe in small talk and answered in monosyllables, a fact Natasha would remember when, sitting at the same table four and three-quarter years later, Sonja tried to convince her of its therapeutic qualities.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra