"Well, Balin, would you like to come home with me?" Alvin said as he stroked the glass in front of him.
"How long will that take?" he'd asked the human resource manager at the hospital.
He could hear her clicking away on her computer. "I really can't say, Sir. It could take anywhere from a week to a month."
Alvin ran his hand through his hair, thoroughly frustrated with her stock response. Thanking her, he hung up the phone and then glanced through the want ads. The only thing that caught his eye was in a gaming call center as support staff. He was way overqualified to do this, but at least it would bring in some money.
Alvin came home and felt like a little stir crazy. It'd taken him a few days to line up the call center job. Maybe I need to celebrate, he thought to himself. Dialing Jansen, Alvin was disappointed to find out that Jansen already had plans with Carlye.
"I'm taking her home to meet my folks," Jansen said excitedly, then added as an afterthought, "Would you like to come over and join us? You're more than welcome!"
Alvin hedged, "No, that sounds great. But, I think I'll take a rain check..."
Flipping through his phone, he looked at all his contacts and thought about who he could invite over. He really hadn't made all that many friends in college. He spent too much time studying and researching and not enough time playing and socializing. Sighing, he thought about how close Jansen and Carlye seemed. Then, he thought about Michelle.
"I shouldn't call her," Alvin said outloud. "No use stirring up trouble." So who do I call?
The answer was solved when his phone rang in his hand. Startled, he almost dropped the silly thing. "Hello?" he answered when he managed to get a grip on the phone.
"Hi. This is Calista. Carlye's friend. From Sim State..."
Alvin tried to picture a face, but failed miserably. He didn't know if this was the red-head or the pony-tail girl. "Oh hi! How'd you get my number?" he asked.
"Well, Carlye gave it to me to call. She said that we might hit it off, so I thought I'd see if you were busy."
Alvin grinned. "Actually, no. I'm not. Would you like to come over for dinner?"
"So," Calista said as she looked around. "This is where you live?"
Alvin looked around and tried to see it from her eyes. Was there something wrong with it? Frowning, he answered, "Yes. It was my Aunts' house and it was left to me when they passed away."
Calista murmured her apologies for his loss and then began tapping her fingers on her legs. Alvin flipped through the book faster, racking his brain for something clever and witty to say. Panicking, he spit out, "The adult human brain weighs about 3 pounds!"
Calista glanced over at him and laughed. "How did I not meet you before today?"
I must have said something right, Alvin thought.
"Yes!" Alvin cried as he swung Balin around the room. "I got the job at St. Agnes' Hospital!"
Balin just meowed loudly in protest.
"Things are going to change around here! That's for sure!"
Feeling proud, Alvin called up Jansen and told him to invite a few friends over to celebrate.
"What are we celebrating?" Jansen asked.
Alvin shook his head. "Nothing... everything... Things are just going great. I got the job at the hospital, I fixed up a clunker and I feel like I'm on top of the world right now!"
Jansen smiled and gave Carlye a thumbs up. "Great! I'll see about inviting over a few people. Do you care who I bring?" Jansen asked.
"Not in the least!" Alvin said.
Jansen leaned in close and said, "I didn't know I was bringing that Michelle. My kid brother, Sean, was just itching to go to a party and he happened to invite this girl he like...d...." Jansen trailed off. "Okay. I can see this is awkward. But it doesn't have to be! She doesn't look upset to be here!"
Alvin waved him away. "You're right. I'm fine. I'm just being silly," Alvin said as Calista approached.
"Hey, Alvin," she said. "Nice party."
Jansen walked away and threw Alvin a thumbs up sign.
Alvin rolled his eyes. "Thanks Calista. I'm glad you could make it."
"Do you want to dance?" she asked.
"I really don't dance," Alvin said, thinking of any excuse to keep him from looking like a fool.
Calista touched his arm. "Oh come on, one little dance won't hurt you!" She grabbed his hand and led him into the livingroom.
Alvin felt like a fool. He couldn't believe he'd just let Calista talk him into acting ridiculous.
Calista suddenly leaned forward and hugged Alvin tight and swayed to the music against him. Alvin was about to peel her off him when he heard a slight gasp.
Turning towards the sound he saw Michelle's eyes widen as tears brimmed in her eyes. Alvin watched her turn and run from the house.
"Excuse me," Alvin told a confused Calista as he extracted himself from his arms. Alvin glanced out the kitchen window and watched Michelle disappear down the street with Sean running after her.
"Well, Balin," Alvin said, getting up from the table. "Let's get this day started. First day of the rest of my life, and all that!"