I'm working on a serial for you entitled "The Saga of Steve and Joy". Every Monday I will put up a new chapter in the lives of Steve Rogers and Joey Matheson. It starts with how they met and will progress through their relationship. Some will be stand-alone snippets of life, while others will be longer events told in multiple parts. But they will all be told in chronological order.
So who are Steve and Joey? Well, they are two characters previously featured in my short story "Life's Little Troubles." The story is set many years after Part 1 of their saga, but there was something about them that I couldn't let go. Which is why I choose to write more about them. If you don't remember the free read I'm talking about you can find it here.
So I've talked long enough. I hope you enjoy my new endeavor, starting with Part #1, which tells how our characters first met.
The Saga of Steve and Joey
Why am I doing this? I’m on no sleep and I’m probably going to fall asleep at any minute. So why did I agree to go on a blind date? And, more importantly, why the hell had I agreed?
Leaning forward, I brace my hands on the sink and close my eyes. I can’t do this. I’m going to collapse. I should just call and cancel.
But even as I think it, I know I would never do that. Med school is kicking my ass. Because of it, I haven’t been out in almost two months. Honestly, the whole thing is starting to depress me, which is why I let my friend Lucas set me up on this date.
Splashing some water on my face, I try to wake my tired body up. I can do this. It’s only dinner, after all. Shouldn’t take more than two hours. I can do this. And then I will sleep for twenty-four hours or so.
I finish buttoning up my purple shirt and make sure I look okay. The black pants are a little long, but they look alright. And after being up for about forty hours, it’s not getting much better.
Satisfied, I head out of the apartment I share with two other med students and start to walk down the street. The restaurant Lucas chose for the date is only about five blocks away, so it’s an easy enough to walk. Plus, the physical exercise should help keep me awake.
I can see the bustling restaurant from a few blocks away. The place is packed, although that isn’t surprising considering it’s a Friday night. All of the tables outside on the patio are full, all of the people enjoying the warm California air. There was also a long line at the door, people in their nice clothes, hoping for a seat.
Thankful Lucas already got us a reservation, I gently push my way past the crowd and head straight for the bar. It takes me a few seconds, but soon I see Lucas sitting at the bar, nursing a beer. He looks as good as ever, like a Greek god or something with huge muscles and a chiseled face. If he wasn’t my best friend, I would consider dating him. But I’m not willing to risk our friendship and, thankfully, he agrees.
“Hey,” I say as I walk up to Lucas.
“Hey,” he responds with a smile. “You look like shit.”
“Thanks. I know. It’s amazing what no sleep will do to a man.”
“Are you up for this?”
I smile at Lucas’s concern. He always was really sensitive to the needs of the people around him. It’s one of the reasons I like him so much.
“Not really. But I think I need this.”
Lucas nods. “Okay. Well, he isn’t here yet, but he should be soon. You wanna drink?”
I shake my head. “Nah. A depressant would be bad for me right now. Maybe a Coke?”
Lucas smiles and waves to the bartender. He orders the drink and soon I have enough sugar racing through me to give me diabetes. It’s just what I need in this moment.
“So tell me about this guy,” I say to Lucas over the din of the crowd.
“What do you want to know?”
Lucas smiles. “Okay. Well, he works at the newspaper with me. But he’s a journalist, not a sales guy like me. He’s out at work, obviously, but he’s not shouting his orientation from the rooftops. He’s cute, but in a dorky way. His hair has a little length and curl to it and he wears glasses that add to the whole nerd vibe. The guy is very nice, willing to help anybody and is more than willing to share a lunch table with anyone. He doesn’t seem to have any really close friends, but he is friendly enough. He’s very good at what he does and he’s single. Has been for a while. Anything else you want to know?”
I shake my head and take a sip of my soda. I can see why Lucas set us up. I always did have a thing for nerds.
“Oh. Here he is now.”
I turn around and see an adorable man walking towards us. He is just as Lucas described, but cuter. Although that might be because his argyle sweater screams nerd. I love nerds.
Lucas stands up from his stool and holds out his hand to the man.
“Good to see you, Joey.”
“You too,” the man says, his voice barely heard over the noise.
“Steve,” Lucas says, motioning for me to come closer. “This is Joey Matheson. Joey, this is Steven Rogers.”
“Nice to meet you, Steve.”
I shake the hand Joey extends to me. Something in my gut tells me this is the man who’s going to change my life forever.
So that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed it.
Next week: Steve and Joey continue their date over dinner.