HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 104

She dropped her plate off in the kitchen on her way to the bathroom.

“Hey, you can’t just leave me hanging like this,” Kay said. “I need more details.”

“I’ll fill you in this afternoon,” she said. “If you behave yourself.”

She shut the door behind her, got herself cleaned up, then changed into some work clothes in her bedroom. It felt strange to actually have to be concerned about privacy in her own apartment. When she was ready, she returned to the living room.

“Well, I’m off,” she said. “If you want to swing by the mall around noon, we can finish our conversation.”

“Why the mall?” he asked.

“Because that’s where I work,” she replied. “At New Game Plus.”

“Oh, cool,” he said. “I’ll see you there.”

“Bye,” she said, and headed for the door.

She paused along the way, stepped into the kitchen. In a cupboard above the counter, she found a spare set of keys to her apartment. She dropped them in Kay’s lap and left.


The rest of the morning passed slowly, with few customers and not much work to do. Angela kept eyeing the hallway, half-expecting Kay to show up early just to watch her working.

But he didn’t. In fact, he was an hour late. She almost read him the riot act, but when he ran a hand through his dark, shaggy hair and chuckled sheepishly, she couldn’t help but crack a smile.

“So this is where you work, huh?” he said. “You must get hit on, like, all the time.”

“Yeah, it happens every other day, most weeks,” she said. “What they’re thinking is always worse than what they’re saying, though. That’s the really awful part.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t figured out a way to shut that out by now,” Kay said.

Angela shrugged.

“I gave up trying a long time ago,” she said. “It was easier just to avoid all eye contact.”