"Jakob," Pierrot said, not even glancing up from the pile of datapads on his desk, "you're going on a date."
Jakob Petrush sat in the imitation barnaby leather chair across from Pierrot. The ceiling fan in the small Prince Gable office tried in vain to cool the air. Jakob stared at his friend who was some forty cycles his senior.
"Yes," Pierrot looked up and rolled his eyes in feigned irritation, "oh, may the Almighty please permit my friend Jakob Petrush to understand even a single word I say!" he waved his hands in the air and then brought them to the desktop with a loud thump, "a date! You know, a boy and a girl go out and have a good time, eat something, talk, laugh, maybe hold hands...Fuck. A date!"
"What's her name?" Jakob asked after patiently waiting for Pierrot to finish his rant. As obnoxious as they were, Pierrot's rants were always a true sign of his affection.
"What? Suddenly the macho gear pilot gets all sensitive? Who cares what her name is!"
"Pierrot, come on," Jakob was already grinning, having been inured to this sort of ribbing from his close friend a long time ago. A little patience went a long way with Pierrot.
"Her name is Julia," Pierrot's eyes gleamed. He smiled warmly at his young friend, "she is a musician."
'I can't believe I let Pierrot talk me into this,' fumed Julia as she sat on a park bench. The saguaro trees of Douglas Park provided ample shade, but Julia sat in the hot sun. In her present mental and emotional state the last thing she wanted was to be relaxing in the shade, 'no, this guy will have to contend with me at my worst,' she sighed, "as if he'll take me seriously anyways," she said aloud.
Julia stood up and smoothed her blouse. She sighed again and sat. Barely one hundred fifty centimeters tall, it seemed that there were very few people over the age of six who took her seriously. Except for Pierrot. Pierrot went to all her concerts. Pierrot respected her playing and more importantly, respected her opinion. Pierrot set her up on this date with some caravan security gear pilot. And he was a Jerusalemite-probably some religious nutbar. Well she knew where he could go with his fanaticism.
Julia checked her watch. They were supposed to meet at 24:00 here in Douglas Park. He was already half an hour late.
"Pierrot, I'm going to give you a piece of my mind," she muttered and turned to leave. She nearly walked right into Jakob.
"Oh, excuse me!" Julia exclaimed, looking up at Jakob, who was a full thirty centimeters taller than she.
"That's alright," Jakob smiled nervously at the petite brunette in front of him. There was an uncomfortable silence, and then, "are you Julia?"
"Yes," Julia kept a straight face as she shelved her anger, at least temporarily, "Jakob?"
"Yeah, uh. Hi!"
"I am? I thought we said 24:30?"
"No, definitely 24:00. I've been here for half an hour waiting."
"Well, do you want to go for a cawfee?" Jakob knew he was pushing his luck. Then again, Pierrot would have his head if he didn't at least try to salvage this situation. 'Besides,' he mused, 'she's quite the looker!'
'The nerve, even asking me! Pierrot must be out of his mind, setting me up with a shmendrik like this! He hasn't even shaved! And he can't dress himself to save his life. Combat fatigues? On a date?' she had a mind to laugh in his face.
"Sure, let's go for some cawfee," she heard herself say.
"So Jakob," Pierrot shouted over the din of the Hunter's v-engine, "what did you think of Julia?"
"She's great!" Jakob shouted from the open cockpit, "beautiful, smart, funny, opinionated, talkative, talented, " he paused, happily reminiscing over the entire afternoon he spent with the petite Julia, "and we must have spent six hours together!"
"Good, good," Pierrot smiled to himself, "now shut up. You're making me sick with all the lovey-dovey. How's the hydraulic pressure?"
"So," Pierrot began as soon as he saw Julia's face on the vidphone.
"Don't you 'so' me, Pierrot!" Julia's face lit up with fury, "what's the big idea setting me up with that guy? He even talks more than you! He could use some help in the looks department and he doesn't even know anything about modern art music! He's a damn gear pilot! A soldier!"
"Did he tell you he studied history and mathematics?" Pierrot calmly replied. He had to stick up for his friend.
"Yes," Julia certainly respected that.
"He must have raved to you about his love of classical music," Pierrot knew his friend Jakob well.
"Yes he did Pierrot. He's not a complete waste of space," she conceded reluctantly.
"So," Pierrot went in for the kill, "you'll see him again?"
'Why should I?' Julia thought, hesitating to answer, 'he'll be traveling with caravans. We're from entirely different worlds. He doesn't know how to dress, and he doesn't know music from a brick wall.'
"Sure, I'll see him again," she blushed.
Pierrot shut off the vidphone and reclined in his seat, his hands behind his head and a big smile on his face. After forty years, he could still call himself a matchmaker.
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