I turn my head round, aubergine still on fork, trying to gauge how much irony has been placed on the second word.
There's a slight pause.
"I could hear you in the toilets".
My hands immediately cover my mouth, a futile and rather ineffective attempt to claim the words back. Words that have been heard in the gents toilet, a whole floor below where we are seated. Crikey, I need to adjust my volume.
I am, for once, shocked enough to not be able to grasp any more words from my brain. Now it seems I have decided to be quiet.
"But -" I eventually manage "I wasn't...I didn't...it was them".
The last recourse of the desperate. Shifting blame.
I gesture across the table where the real culprits sit, laughing at my predicament.
"Oh, I couldn't hear the words - just that it was your voice".
As relief washes over me I realise that I have almost betrayed myself. Almost.
"It has been noted before - " I begin as my mouth begins to function again. "I have a problem with volume control".
I smile, return to the aubergine and pretend that I haven't just revealed more than I ever intended to.