Sometimes, Erkan thought about things too much. Like… why he was going on a date with Savina. However, once he thought about it he couldn’t help but come up with an actual reason for his actions.
First, she was cute. Second, they shared schedules. Thirdly, she laughed at some of his jokes. Fourth, she was at least somewhat interested in him as well. All of those were just surface level reasons, however. The bigger reasons were because he was lonely and wanted things to change.
Were any of those reasons bad? No. He just wondered how he hadn’t realized how things were sooner. Maybe it was just that everything had become so routine. Even just the slightest change had made him think about things more.
Erkan picked up Savina at her apartment and they drove to a nearby place for breakfast. Finding breakfast at dinner time wasn’t hard. There were at least a half dozen restaurants catered to all day breakfast, both chains and independent places. They could have just had normal dinner, but it was easier to eat something mild shortly after waking up.
“Those waffles look good,” Savina commented.
“They are.” Erkan nodded, “Want to try a bite?” He offered his plate.
She cut off a bite. “It is good. So, you work at a lab doing… what, exactly?”
“That’s a good question. I’ll let you know if I ever find out the answer.” Erkan grinned, “Mostly we watch how various bacteria react to different medicines and stuff. Things on that scale, anyway. Lots of microscopes… and waiting. So what about you?”
“Well, working as a Barista isn’t exactly my dream job. I actually have a math degree, but there aren’t exactly an abundance of jobs around for that. Unless I want to be an accountant or something but that’s rather different.”
“What about teaching?”
“Ehh…” Savina shook her head, “Not really interested. I’m actually most interested in research into geometry and stuff. I like seeing visual representations of things.”
Erkan scratched his chin, “We do have a math department, but I don’t know if they have any open positions. Well, I can check later. So, do you have any family in the area?”
“My family… parents and a little brother, plus one of my uncles and his family. My little brother just finished a degree in business.”
“Oh yeah? I hope that’s good for him. I’m not good at dealing with that kind of stuff.”
“He’s pretty decent with people. So what about you? Any family?”
“Oh, yeah. My parents… like a dozen cousins… and about a billion others that are vaguely related. I’m Armenian so my parents keep careful track of that sort of thing, though personally I barely even recognize half of them.”
Erkan shook his head, “Nah, it didn’t work out. My parents wanted more but after me it never happened.”
“Aww, that’s too bad. Without siblings there’s nobody around to pick on.”
“Eh. I had cousins.”
Movies had both pros and cons for dates. The pros were that you got to be close to your date. In a way, there only being a single armrest between each seat became a benefit instead of a detriment.
However, other interaction was limited. Talking could ruin the movie for others around… but that only applied when there were other people in the theatre. Technically there were, but since they were in an entirely different section, and only a few people.
“So unrealistic,” Savina shook her head.
“It’s superheroes, what do you expect?”
“I expect realistic superheroes! It doesn’t matter how strong you are, nobody can hold up a building. The building itself would give out.”
“A good point. What about cars?”
“Sometimes they get that right. I mean, they’re strong enough to be pulled along by a hook so there are some single points where you can hold up the whole thing.”
“I guess so.” Erkan nodded, “At least there aren’t any diseases with instantly effective vaccines- which don’t help if you already have something- or research on anything being finished in a day.”
At the end of the night, Erkan had very much enjoyed himself. It wasn’t any sort of magical experience, but he couldn’t really expect more from dinner and a movie. It wasn’t a trip to Paris or a visit to the Grand Canyon or anything.
He’d been standing talking to Savina outside her apartment building for a handful of minutes. “Well…” she said, “I should get going. I still have errands to do tonight.” She leaned in and kissed Erkan on the cheek, “See you again soon!”
She scurried off before he could do anything, but if that wasn’t a hint that he should ask for another date, he didn’t know anything about women. And if it was, maybe it was the only thing he knew… but one thing was better than nothing.
“So… “ Akio asked, “How was it?”
“How was what?” Erkan tilted his head, “The sample is still pretty much the same…”
“The date, idiot!”
“Oh!” Erkan nodded, “It was good.”
“Is that it?”
“What did you want me to say? That it completely changed my life forever? We went to breakfast and a movie, and we’re going on another date next weekend.”
“Tch. How boring. Your story, at least.”
“Well, there’s not much to say about it. It’s not like we stumbled across a murder site.”
“Hey Justin,” Erkan stood in front of the counter, “Why is this place still called George’s? Is it out of respect for the former owner? Worried about losing business if you change?”
Justin shrugged, “He was a great guy, but honestly I hadn’t even thought about it. You think I should change the name?”
“Either that or change your name to George,” Erkan grinned.
The bell on the door behind him jingled. “Hey, welcome!” Justin nodded, “The usual?”
“Yeah, I used up more than normal.”
Erkan recognized a voice and turned around, “Savina? What are you doing here?”
“The same thing as you, I bet,” Savina smiled.
“I guess that’s an obvious answer. This is the best place open at this time.”
“Hey!” Justin yelled from the back, “This is the best place, period!”
“Right right, sorry,” Erkan shook his head, “This is the best place around period. And it also happens to be open.” It was somewhat strange seeing Savina unexpectedly in a new context- but they both lived nearby, so it made sense. “I’d love to stay and chat but I have to get home.”
Savina smiled, “Yeah, I get that. See you Saturday, okay?”
“Sure thing!” Erkan waved as he pulled open the door, “Eight o’ clock sharp!”
Seeing people he liked- both Justin and Savina- put Erkan in a good mood. That was why he was still smiling when he stepped around the corner and got shot in the chest.