Chad downed his bottle and left it on the gym machine. There was an easy way to fix the situation. He called up his girlfriend who said she’d be over in a little while. She hadn’t seen the place yet and this would be the perfect time to impress her by kicking the guy out of his bedroom.
He went downstairs to wait outside and get some air. The security guard, the one who resembled a blobfish in the nicest way possible, was reading a magazine, now that all of the cameras had finally been busted.
“Do me a favor, Mr. Chad.” One eye met his while the other read the magazine.
He stopped next to the desk. “Huh? Me?”
“See if that tractor trailer’s still there.”
Well, he had nothing better to do, so he went out the back and peeked out. Sure enough, it was still parked there in the dirt visitors’ lot.
He shut the door and returned to the lobby. “Yeah, it’s still there.” The guard nodded and both eyes turned away from him to the front door. He scratched his chin and wondered if she would say something. One eye looked at him and darted away. He spotted a couple of saggy, threadbare armchairs near the desk and sat down.
A couple arrived at the the front door. The man went ahead and pried open what was supposed to be an automatic door, but had not worked for some time. The female stepped through and then the man followed.
For a split second Chad thought he recognized the female partner, but when he saw the male, everything disappeared except for him.
Brad, his brother teammate on the football team in high school. Brad, with the boyish grin and news anchor chin. Their eyes met, and Brad stopped and grinned wider and wider. “I don’t believe it!” he cried.
“Brad—” Chad stuttered and tried a few times, unsuccessfully, to cross his leg before he gave up. “Wow—it’s—”
Brad ran over, grabbed his hand and clapped him on the back. “How the hell have you been?”
Chad coughed and swallowed a couple of times. “Uh, not bad, not bad. Are you still playing—?”
“Yep. I’m playing for the Warthogs now.”
“Right, you were always a big fan.” Chad rubbed the top of his own head and remembered the long, hot showers in the locker room after practice.
“It’s been like forever, right! You’re gonna have to tell me what you’ve been up to. But first,” he said, putting his arm around the girl in the satin slip dress next to him, “I’d like you to meet my beautiful girlfriend!”
Chad’s face turned red, then white, then red, then a normal color. His mind couldn’t compute which was the worst thing here—to see Vanessa, to see her with Brad, or to see Brad with her. “Oh, hi Vanessa. I didn’t realize there were any football players left you haven’t dated.”
Brad pointed his finger back and forth between Chad and Vanessa. “Wait, you guys know each other?”
Vanessa crossed her arms and repeatedly tapped one of her heels on the floor. “Okay, can we just get going?”
They heard loud banging on the glass door. Chad stood up and looked over their shoulders. “My girlfriend is here.” He went over to pry the door open and who was standing there but Tiffany in her sunglasses, despite its being nine o’clock at night.
Tiffany stepped into the lobby and smiled, pulling her gloves off finger by finger.
“Tiffany!” Vanessa hissed. “What the hell are you doing here?”
She pulled off her sunglasses and folded them with a snap. “Is it 1B or 7B tonight?”
The security guard dropped her head over the back of her chair. “Here we go again.”