Chapter 3 - Miles
I paced the living room at my sister’s house, back and forth, back and forth. She sat on the old plaid couch she’d taken from our mom’s house when she went off to college and never replaced. Watching me pace, she looked like someone at a tennis match.
“Sit down, Miles. You’re wearing a hole in my rug,” she said. “You don’t need to date someone named Mia. Mia, Mina, Miles, too much alike. It’ll get confusing.”
“Don’t kid about this.”
“Sorry, but it is a consideration,” she said. Graham, my nephew, must have scored on his computer game because he ran through the house doing a victory dance. Mina grabbed him and rubbed the top of his tow head until he squealed and ran back to his room. His Spiderman underwear and Green Lantern t-shirt said more about my sister than the kid.
“She wouldn’t let me explain. She thinks I have a wife and a kid and that I hit on her behind your back. Did she really think I’d introduce you as my wife?”
“Miles, she was probably in shock,” Mina said. She sounded reasonable, and her blue eyes, so much like my own, were more sarcastic than sympathetic.
“Shock? How do you think I felt? All I’ve thought about was what I’d say when I finally had time to call her, and now this. The one time I take off from hitting the books, and this happens.”
“It’ll work out. Doesn’t one of your bosses work with someone who knows her? Maybe you can get them to explain.” At least she had stopped with the kidding and was trying to help me figure out what to do.
“Nando probably does. She was in his back yard at that fundraiser Bess had,” I said. I decided to ask him Monday.
“Maybe you should call her.”
“Oh, like that’d work. She’d hang up as soon as she heard my voice.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I’m pretty sure of it,” I said. I wanted a beer. I never drink in front of my sister. Our dad was a drunk, and he died with a bad liver and cancer in his lungs from smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Neither of us would go near a cigarette. Mina included alcohol in her list of things to never touch, but I didn’t. Under normal circumstances, something like this would send me straight to a bar, looking for a cheap hook up for the night. Since I’d met Mia, I’d been ruined for that, though. No one looked as good. No one smelled as good. No one interested me like that woman. I had it bad, and now she hated me.
“I should have called her earlier. I could have told her about you and Graham. We could have all been going to that movie together. And who was that guy with her anyway? How dare she judge me? She obviously didn’t have the patience to wait for me to call.”
“How long ago did you meet her? Mina asked.
“It was at that...