After my date with Raine, I spent some time on Ancient Tribes of Earth, helping preparations for Friday’s battles. We were going to take out the remaining four demons in one day, which was likely to be incredibly rough. The game’s non-player characters were exceptionally adaptive, making them every bit as difficult to beat as an actual person. The first five demons were taken out pretty smoothly, but reports claimed the remaining four were grouping in pairs, creating much more deadly encounters. To make matters more difficult, I inadvertently accepted a date for midday tomorrow, probably because I was stressing over the idea of having two dates today. I really needed to stop panicking so much where girls were concerned. They were people too, albeit strange people who enjoyed torturing guys through suggestive motions and other feminine wiles. That’s why I accepted my first date today with Isis Calder.
Isis was raised on a farm and only recently moved to the city. Her profile spoke of down-to-earth values and a real love of life. Previously, I always pictured farmers in overalls, but Isis looked quite fashionable in her profile pictures, half of which appeared to have been taken on her family’s farm. She seemed far more into country music than I was, but she did like some other stuff as well. The way she described country life was poetic, leaving in my mind images of green meadows undulating toward the sunset as a cool wind tickled the grasses. I could easily picture us sitting in such a place, laughing and talking as we enjoyed a peaceful life. Surely there were far less worries away from the city life. I frowned as I considered how difficult getting business in such an area would be, but I reminded myself that Isis lived near the city, near enough for us to go on a date in fact. I really doubted a girl like her would ever want to leave the farm, and I couldn’t imagine myself leaving my home, my business.
There really was no point in worrying about such things before our first date, but I couldn’t help considering possibilities, even the long shots. I was actually ahead of my date today, despite the ridiculous notion of meeting at 8 AM. I always heard that farm life started early, but I couldn’t imagine waking up in time for chores and then hurrying through rush hour traffic to make an eight o’clock date. Unlike most people, I had Mila to find quick routes no matter the traffic. Though I sometimes questioned the legality of her information collection, Mila had real time updates for traffic congestion, accidents, and other issues. Even after months of having her at my side, I still marveled at how Aaliyah devised such a beautiful A.I. Of course, Aaliyah did have certain advantages that often escaped my mind. I didn’t really understand how her brain interacted with her cybernetics, but I was certain that the speed was dazzling. I flinched as I remembered the knives seeming to teleport from her hands into the would-be mugger. Being able to move like that would be so amazing, but I didn’t understand how she stopped the knives from penetrating the bodies. I needed to spend more time studying through my business’ training program, having barely touched on physics.
“Hey there, handsome. Ready to get this show on the road?” came a girl’s voice beside me. I looked up to see Isis standing next to me, wearing a pink shirt that hung off both shoulders and showed a bit of stomach above her blue jeans. I stared too long at her belt, a highly ornamental thing with pink semi-spheres dotting the length from the buckle clear up to the silver piece at the end. “Like my belt? Talked my daddy into buying it for me the other day. Princess pink to match my shirt and boots. It’s not every day a girl can find things that match so well.” she told me as she did a little spin. “Oh. Yes. You look lovely.” I responded somewhat dumbly. She really was wearing pink cowgirl boots. Though she truly did look nice, I wasn’t accustomed to anyone wearing boots at all, much less ones of that color. “Still up for breakfast, cutie? I’m starving. Jimmy was all worked up this morning, and I had to rush a bit after I finally got him calmed down.” she explained. Jimmy? “I’m hungry as well, but who is Jimmy?” I asked, worrying about a jealous guy.
Isis explained that Jimmy was her prized sheep as she drove us to breakfast in her truck. We hadn’t met at the restaurant because she was worried about getting lost, so I had been waiting near a well-known monument. When I offered to drive, she declined, expressing that she felt far safer in her truck. As we waited for our food to arrive, she told me about Jimmy’s birth and how cute he was as a lamb. Throughout our meal, she continued explaining how perfectly formed he was and how hard she worked preparing him for various competitions. When asked by our waitress, I said I’d cover breakfast without thinking about it, but Isis declined, saying, “A gal’s gotta earn her keep, but ain’t you a sweetie.” Then she took me by the arm and continued explaining Jimmy’s temperament, wanting me to understand the great range of emotions sheep possessed. We then took a stroll back at the park, and I listened for a good hour about the numerous qualities of sheep.
The Calders raised numerous animals on their farm as well as growing various crops, but sheep were obviously a favorite for Isis. No matter how I tried to steer the conversation, she went back to talking about one sheep or another, each having a name. Frighteningly enough, they even ate the sheep they named. I couldn’t imagine naming something, raising it like a pet, and then talking about how wonderful he or she tasted as I bit into it, but Isis had no such qualms, casually talking about which ones tasted best. By the time she finished explaining the differences of sheep breeds to me, I was more than ready to be anywhere else. I explained to her “Meeting you has been a pleasure, but I really must be off. I need time to change for my job today, since I’ll be helping with an addition on my friend’s house.” She smiled and told me “Golly, you’re a handy one to have around. We can meet up after you finish if you like. I don’t mind seeing more of the city.” I hesitated a moment before saying, “I’m sorry, but I already have plans tonight. If I didn’t, I would still have to decline. You’re a wonderful girl, but I don’t really feel we suit each other. After learning about your average day, I don’t feel I’d do too well on a farm.”
Isis kicked at the ground with one foot and gave me a smile that looked all too sad. Then she hugged me and said, “You have my number if you ever change your mind. Who knows. Maybe I’ll turn into a city girl one of these days. It’s not like I live that far away.” She turned and started walking away, and I felt distinctly uncomfortable watching her. I headed back to Mila and wondered if I could’ve handled things better, but I didn’t want to give Isis the wrong impression. As beautiful and kind as she was, I just wasn’t remotely attracted to her after listening to her passion for sheep at length. I really didn’t believe things would be best left with her hoping for a call that wouldn’t come. What if she would’ve called or emailed me in hopes of another date? Then I’d be letting her down over the phone, which didn’t seem remotely better. I went home, changed, and continued worrying all through work if I did the right thing, leaving me far from ready for my next date when the time came.