1:00 pm – continued
Now, though, he hurried into the market, hoping Rob wasn’t getting himself in any trouble. He went up and down each row until he finally found his friend in the refrigerated aisle, chatting it up with a slim young woman who was just a few inches shorter than him. Her short shorts put her long legs on display and her tight T-shirt emphasized everything else. She had waist-length chocolate brown hair that hung in a straight sheaf down her back and dark sunglasses perched on top of her head. She was a beautiful woman and he couldn’t figure out why she was talking and laughing with Rob, who had a couple of cartoons of beer tucked under his arms and a tub of French vanilla ice cream dangling from one hand.
“Hey, Grant,” Rob called as he caught sight of his friend hurrying down the aisle towards him. “Hurry up. Come meet someone.”
The woman turned and gave him a bright, white smile. She had large, dark, almond-shaped eyes and a perfect tanned complexion.
Rob nodded towards the woman he was talking to. “This is Ellie. We just met. She’s pretty cool. Ellie, my roommate Grant.”
“Hello, Grant,” Ellie said, extending a hand of long, slim fingers. “It’s a pleasure.”
“Nice to meet you,” Grant returned as he quickly shook her hand.
“Ellie and a bunch of her friends are heading to the party tonight, like us. We were talking about how we should all meet up.”
Ellie smiled again. “That’s right. We’re all single and hoping to end our lives with some nice, cute guy by our sides. Rob seems nice, and funny, so I think he’ll be a great companion for me.” She laughed. “I sure hope Morgan’s already up and out looking, the slow poke. Abigail and I have, apparently, already found our guys. She just texted me to say so.”
Ellie waved her phone in front of their faces as she said that last sentence. Grant was more struck with what she had just said than on watching her wave the phone around. Nor did he care much that this beautiful woman had just said she wanted to spend her last night on Earth with his slob of a friend.
“You said Abigail?” Grant asked as Rob cast him an odd look, which looked strangely triumphant.
“Yeah. We’ve been pals since we were kids and she’s been dying for a boyfriend for years. Though, come to think of it, it’s really all her fault because she was always so busy with one thing or another. But now that’s changed since it’s the end of the world and all. She met this great guy at Magic Beans this morning and told him to call her. I guess he just did.”
Rob cast his roommate another look. Grant cleared his throat as he caught his friend’s look. Ellie had apparently caught that last look and now cast a curious glance in Grant’s direction.
Grant cleared his throat and offered a small smile. “I’m the guy Abigail met at Magic Beans this morning. I actually just called her from the car. I guess she must have texted you right away.”
Ellie laughed. “Oh, so you’re the cute guy! Well, it’s very nice to meet you and we look forward to seeing you and Rob tonight. Now, tell me, do you have other roommates or friends? We’ve got two more single girlfriends.”
“Well, we’re meeting up with a bunch of friends tonight,” Grant said. “If your friends haven’t met anyone by then, I’m sure we could match them up with one of ours.”
Ellie nodded. “That sounds great. I’m sure Morgan and Courtney will be ecstatic.” She glanced down at her phone. “And I really hope Morgan wakes up soon. She loves to sleep into the afternoons when she can, but today is the last day. I can’t believe she wants to sleep away half the day.”
Grant and Rob glanced at each other and shrugged. Who were they to say why women did some things and not others?