“Gym Buddies”

David sat staring at the seatback ahead of him. The small screen was dark, and would remain so unless he wanted to pay another six dollars for a movie. Well, five ninety-nine. He supposed, with the past two months of watching, he had saved a good sixty cents. One tenth of a movie, he thought to himself.

He considered connecting to the onboard wifi – only two ninety-nine for a full day of use – but decided against it. He looked at the seat pocket in front of him, his book making a rectangular bulge. A bookmark peeked out of the top, about a hundred pages in. He left the book where it was and turned to his right.

“Hey, Pamela.”

Pamela looked up from her own book. “Oh, hey Dave. What’s up?”

“Not too much. Whatcha reading?”

Pamela closed the book on her finger and held it up to him. “Tolstoy. I figured with the long flight, I might as well force myself to read some classics, you know?”

David laughed. “Yeah, I hear ya. I keep thinking I should read more, but then something else catches my attention.”

Pamela smiled politely.

“So, uh, what are you doing for dinner?”

“Dinner? I was just going to have something in my seat, I think, then go and do some exercise. You know prevent the muscle atrophy and all that.”

“Right, right. I should probably do that too, I haven’t in a week or so.”

“Mm.” Pamela looked back down at her book.

“Want to, uh, be gym buddies? I can order us food, we could go work out. Maybe later we can watch some SpaceFilms and chill?”

Pamela pursed her lips and looked back up from her book. “Uh, that sounds nice and all, but I should probably just, uh, go wash off after my workout. Use my weekly cleaning so I don’t, uh, assault my neighbours’ noses, you know?”

“Oh, I’m not assaulted!” David said. “I think you smell just fine. Probably better then me,” he chuckled.

“Well, good to keep it that way, right? At least until we reach the Mars base.”

“Right, right. Well, after your washing, if you want to watch something let me know, I can spring for it.”

“Sure. I’ll let you know.”


Pamela went back to her reading. Another attempt failed, David thought. Maybe I should go do some working out. It’s been almost two weeks. I could wash down after, then she’ll want to snuggle up for a show or something. Yeah, that’s a good idea.

He unbuckled his seat belt and pushed up to the ceiling ladder. He started the climb toward the workout room, his limbs complaining already.


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