“Pancakes?” David said, sliding onto a stool at the kitchen counter.
“Observant.” Joel grabbed two mugs, set one by David’s plate, and slipped onto the other stool. His stool. It was undeniably his kitchen too, although technically, he was a guest. The condo was David’s.
Eyes on their tablets, they forked up the pancakes in silence. Neither one of them was much of a talker before the caffeine kicked in.
“You see this?” David asked, pushing his plate aside. “We’re starting Stage Two on Wednesday.”
“We can get a hair cut.” David smiled, waiting for the inevitable what-hair crack from Joel, but he got nothing, not even a smirk.
His mind obviously on something more serious than David’s ever-widening bald spot, Joel gathered up his plate and mug, and slotted them into the dishwasher. He snapped the door on the machine shut and leaned against the counter. “I can go home.”
No! This is your home. Here, with me. “You think that’s a good idea? A five-hour flight, recycled air, germs floating about in a confined space?”
“Air Canada is enforcing a mask policy.”
“Yeah, that will be comfortable.”
“No, but…” Joel shrugged, shoved his hands in his pockets, his eyes finding David’s across the space between them. “This was never supposed to be permanent.”
True. When the country had shut down in March it had been chaos, flights cancelled, stores and businesses closed, the government pleading with people to stay off the streets, to stay home. Joel, a sales manager from their Vancouver branch, had been stranded in Toronto, and David had offered him a place to stay. Sure, they knew each other. They’d hooked up a few times, but they weren’t a thing. Not then.
“It could be. Permanent, I mean,” David said, walking around the counter. He gathered a handful of Joel’s terry robe and pulled him close. “It could be very permanent.”