Seatmates

Pamela loosened her seatbelt, shifted her bum in the seat, then retightened it. She had long since grown used to the lack of gravity, but the cheap cushioning material of the W.S.S. Low Prices had, after three months’ travel, compressed down to a thin sheet over the metal chair underneath. Sitting was a pain, sleeping worse, and she took every opportunity she could to go to the workout room, the washroom, or the dining hall to escape the confines of the chair. The opportunities were low, what with twenty-five other passengers around her.

“Hey Pamela!” came the voice above her.

She had been hoping she would have a little longer without David. Three months beside someone was bad enough, but when he kept trying to hit on you, or flirt with you, or just try to get you to “SpaceFilms and chill” when all she wanted was to read her book…

“Hey David,” Pamela said. “How was the gym?”

“Oh, it was good. Though I think I should probably go more often, I could barely use the resistance ropes!” he chuckled as he lowered himself into his seat next to her.

“Mm,” Pamela grunted, looking back to her book.

“I mean, I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but I never seem to get there, you know? Too much else to do.”

“Mm.”

“Yeah. So, you want to watch a movie or something?”

Pamela looked up, then glanced around the cabin for the thousandth time. “No thanks. I’m happy with my book.”

“Right, yeah. I should read mine too.” David reached forward and fished his book out of seat pocket. It was the same one he had been reading since the trip started, the bookmark having moved about a quarter of the way in. “Have you read this one before?” he asked her.

“You asked that this morning.” Pamela said.

“Oh right. You hadn’t. You can borrow it when I’m done, if you like.”

“Mm.”

“Cool.” David looked down at his book, feigning reading.

Out of the corner of her eye, Pamela saw him continually glance over at her. She finished her chapter, then closed her own book and unbuckled her belt.

“Heading for a workout?” David asked.

“Yup.”

“Have fun! Oh, that reminds me, I might not have wiped down when I finished. I’ll come with you to – ”

“It’s okay, I’ll get it,” Pamela said. She pushed herself up to the ceiling, grabbed the ladder, and pulled herself toward the back of the cabin as quickly as she could. As she passed the rows, she noticed Mena was also studiously avoiding her seatmate. Maybe she’ll be up for a trade, Pamela thought to herself, and continued on to the gym.

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