Grant preferred to call it “that old clunker.” But Rob loved it. It had been the first car Rob had bought after graduating from college, the the first car he’d been able to afford: some used car from the ‘90s with peeling paint and broken windows and more dents than Grant could count. Really, a new dent seemed to appear every day. But Rob loved it, so Grant tolerated it. After all, it did sit right next to Grant’s newer and more polished car in the apartment complex’s parking lot.
It was also the car they usually took to go grocery shopping. They had this deal where Rob would drive and Grant would pay. They had the same kind of deal when it came to double dates, going to the movies, going to the bar, but they always switched it up so neither was doing all the paying or driving. Since they usually spent more money at the bars, which Rob paid for, Grant wasn’t complaining. He couldn’t help it if Rob was generous when he was drinking and liked paying for a round. He wasn’t Rob’s babysitter. Besides, he liked to get a good buzz, too. And, other than a bunch of frozen dinners and maybe some fresh fruit and vegetables, their grocery list, and grocery bill, was usually pretty small.
What Grant couldn’t understand, though, was why they were going out looking for groceries today. Most of the chain markets and mom and pop stores had closed a few days before. Almost everything else was closed by one in the afternoon, though there were a few places that wouldn’t close until two. It was one of those elusive little shops that they were now cruising around for.
“Don’t we have enough food at home?” Grant asked. “I’m pretty sure we didn’t eat everything last night.”
“You never know, man,” Rob said with a shrug, sticking an elbow out the window, which had stopped rolling closed about a month before. “Besides, you know me. I like me my food.”
Grant glanced over at his friend as the air rushing in through the permanently open driver’s window ruffled his hair. It was true that Rob loved to eat, but, for some reason or another, it never showed on Rob’s lean frame. Yeah, he was a good looking guy. But he sure could be a slob. Which was probably why his ex-girlfriend had dumped him. For the past six months, Rob had slowly sunk deeper into being more of a slob.
“Why should I take care of myself when we’re all going to die in six months, anyways?” Rob had asked. “It’s not like I even want another girlfriend. Christa was enough of a girlfriend for me for this lifetime.”
Why, indeed, Grant had wondered to himself. It really didn’t matter if they took care of themselves or not. But Grant was adamant about grooming himself every day, if for no other reason than for himself. After all, he did hope to have a nice young woman by his side at midnight. And, in order to get said young woman, he had to look good.
His thoughts wandered back to that morning as he sat back and watched Rob drive around, up and down streets looking for an open market. He wasn’t even really sure of where they were anymore, or how they would get back home. Rob was still a little hung over from the night before, so he wasn’t at his navigation best. Even Grant’s head throbbed still, but that morning and that pretty young woman with coffee had helped.
Abigail. It was a beautiful name and she’d said to call him if he was interested in seeing her that night. He was definitely interested, but hadn’t yet worked up the courage to call her. He still carried her card in his shirt pocket and his phone in his pants pocket. Now he just needed the two pockets to meet.
Usually, when a girl invited him to give him a call, he waited a couple of days, at least, before he called. Sometimes it was what the dating world called for, but sometimes it was because he was just busy and hadn’t had a chance to call her. Or he didn’t remember he was supposed to call until, oh, a week later. By then, though, the girl had given up on him and had already moved on by the time he had actually gotten around to calling her.
But Abigail was different. And the timing was different, too. All the rules had been thrown out the window. There were no couple of days to wait, because there would be no tomorrow. He couldn’t say he’d been busy because, well, he didn’t have a job since there was no tomorrow. The only thing occupying him now was watching out for his roommate to make sure Rob didn’t go and get himself killed before midnight. And that really wasn’t more than just keeping the occasional eye on Rob.