Loading... Chapter Six
Off the cuff, Owen found himself dialing Andreah's number on Friday night. He had some idea of where to take her, just needed to make sure she was up for it.
"Hey, it's Owen." He stared at a fan that slowly turned above his bed as he laid back. He had been home a while before deciding it was time to finally get that date.
"Wow. Hi there." She sounded genuinely surprised, which made Owen lean up onto one elbow in uncertainty.
"What is it?"
"The only person who ever actually calls me is my landlord, and my mom. How old are you? I'm really not looking for another old dude again. Always so controlling." He could hear the grin in her voice. Her tendency to mess with him never let up, it seemed.
"Are there perks to dating old dudes otherwise?"
"Well," she trailed for a moment, clearing her throat. "There are some."
Owen paused for a good moment, assessing what had just happened with a purse of his lips. Not something he wanted to talk about just before officiating their date. "So, are you busy tonight?"
"Mmm, nope. Just opened up my order of Chinese, though."
"Well, good. You'll have some extra energy to burn."
"Oh?" Her voice was ringing with a smile again, and Owen knew exactly what went through her mind at that moment.
He could feel the redness traveling up his neck. "There's this alternative fitness center in Brooklyn. Would you want to meet me there?"
"Isn't that like a gymnastics center?"
"In a sense, yeah." He fidgeted with the comforter on his bed, and wondered if it was a good idea at all. She counted as the athletic type, right? It shouldn't be that bad.
She let out a small hum, and he could hear her fork pushing around on the plate he imagined in front of her. It was interesting trying to place her somewhere personal. Apart from the chaos of New York and settled in an apartment somewhere, probably with a rescue cat. He could imagine her with a cat.
"Sure. What time?"
He pulled his phone back to check the time quickly. "How about eight? The place is open till midnight, so we'd have plenty of time."
"Sounds good. I'll see you then."
"See you soon," Owen said before they hung up.
The gym wasn't really that far from where he lived. Walkable even, if he wanted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. But being late to a first date, or whatever this was, wouldn't be a good idea, so he got ready and opted for a cab.
Owen waited outside the gym, nervously checking his phone once or twice before Andreah walked up. "Hey." She smiled briefly upon seeing him, and tucked her hands into her coat pockets. Andreah's eyes drifted over to the generic name of the place as she raised an eyebrow. "So, why did you pick here?"
"Well, you said you didn't want anywhere boring, so I thought I'd show you one of my favorite places."
Andreah shot him a cautious expression before pulling the door open and heading inside. What she expected was various kids standing in line for the pommel horse and uneven bars, but what she saw was an energetic free for all. People, mostly their age, were flipping off faux rooftops, and free running over small dividing walls that were painted to look 8-bit. There were some of the things she had expected, like an open floor for gymnastics and a foam pit, but both were used as an excuse to get more jumps in.
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Bone Diggers (Paperback out now!)Science Fiction
When everyone IRL lies, the only person you can trust is an NPC. Dirty little secrets can't be hidden behind player avatars, because Bone Diggers like Owen expose the lives behind the code. When his two worlds blur, he must decide which is more impo...