“Well, I haven’t done that since I was a kid,” Leigh said. “Heh, I was such a little shit disturber.”
“Your parents must’ve had their hands full with you,” Angela said.
“I never knew them, actually,” Leigh said. “They… well, they’re not dead, exactly, but they’ve been out of the picture since I was a baby.”
Angela bolted from her seat.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“Dude, relax,” Leigh said, standing to face Angela. “It’s a total non-issue. Can’t miss what I never had.”
“I suppose that’s true,” Angela said, glancing down at the table. “Still kind of sad, though.”
“Didn’t you just tell me that you never talk to your family?” Leigh asked.
“Yeah, but that’s different,” Angela replied.
“How?” Leigh asked.
“It… it just is, okay?” Angela said.
“If you say so,” she said. “Anyway, I had my aunt so it’s not like I was out on the street or something.”
She slung her backpack over her shoulder and headed for the food court exit. Angela followed.
“Are you two still close?” she asked.
“Oh yeah, closer than ever,” Leigh replied. “I’ll bring her by the shop sometime. I think the two of you would hit it off.”
“You just want me to play chess with her,” Angela said.
“That too,” Leigh said. “All these years, I’ve never been able to beat her. I’m curious to see how your power would stack up against her.”
“So basically you’re roping me into a grudge match?” Angela said.
“Pretty much,” Leigh replied, laughing.
They reached the entrance to New Game Plus and lingered in the hallway for a minute.
“Good luck with your girlfriend,” Leigh said. “I hope everything works out.”