On the way back to Riley’s house, both she and Andy decided to get to know each other by chattering about their lives. She went first, explaining that how hard it was for her to move to San Francisco from Minnesota. She was upset at first but she learned to move on and embrace the wonderful city. She would go back to catch up with her friends some times, mostly Meg among them, but she’s not been able to visit her for a while since she devoted her time to her ice hockey business.
Then Andy started with how most of his childhood was spent with his beloved toys. Even though he had real friends and he was that kind of person who was easy to make some, he always thought his best ones were his toys, especially Woody and Buzz Lightyear among them. Then when he was heading for college, he decided it was time for his beloved toys to move on as well. He gave them to a little girl called Bonnie who promised him that she would take care of them. Even though Riley said that was very sweet of him and he knew the toys were being happily played with Bonnie than being locked in the attic, he still missed them. He sometimes wished he never gave them away, but kept them to comfort him after a hard day’s work. Then he would always remind himself that he wouldn’t have time for them anyway and he got home so tired and late that he wouldn’t have time for them so he reminded himself that he did the right thing.
Finally, they arrived at Riley’s house. As taking their roller skates off, he followed her up the steps to the door. After unlocking it, she welcomed him in. He went in and saw how wonderful it was. He liked how clean it was and he loved all the beautiful walls, pictures, and furniture. “I like this house already.”
“Well, it’s not much,” Riley told him. “But then we don’t need much. It’s just the three of us.”
Well, it’s better than my flat. Andy’s flat was a one bedroom flat with one bed, one tiny kitchen, one dining table and the smallest bathroom anyone has even seen. That wouldn’t be so bad if he could even afford to keep the rent as easily as he could, but he earned just enough to pay for a month. He was working and pushing himself harder than he could, yet no one would promote him or given him a well-paid job.
Then Riley’s parents came down and she introduced Andy to them. He happily shook hands with them.
“How long have you known my daughter?” Mr. Anderson asked.
“I met her three days ago,” Andy replied.
“It’s only been yesterday since she broke with Jordan,” Mrs. Anderson whispered to her husband. “I would never dream it would be that quick to – ”
“Mom, we can hear you,” Riley said.
“Oh, sorry,” Mrs. Anderson apologized. “Dinner will be ready in two hours. Andy, feel free to use the shower if you like.”
Andy thanked her and turned to Riley. “Would you like to shower first?”
“I’m not desperate,” she said. “You’re our guest. You use it first.”
“Okay.” And he went to the bathroom.
Two hours later, after a lovely shower and changing into his smart clothes of a blue shirt and creamy trousers, Andy sat down with the Andersons. Riley, wearing a beautiful sleeved orange dress, sat on the other side of him. Then he tucked into the tastiest blueberry pancakes he had ever eaten.
As they ate, Riley told them about how the stadium had been burnt and needed a week’s worth of repair, but Andy came up with a clever plan to help her keep practicing for the Olympics: roller-skating in a basketball court.
“It’s not the same as being on the ice,” she said, “but it’s better than doing nothing.”
“And at least you have a new friend,” Mrs. Anderson.
Riley gave her a stern look. “What’s that suppose to mean, Mom?”
“Because you don’t tell me enough about what’s going on in your career, we don’t know how you are or if you even have friends. The only thing I know about you after you come home is that you’re tired. I know I only just met him, but I feel like Andy is such a very trustworthy fellow.”
“Well, I try my very best,” the young man said modestly.
“So, Andy, apart from you ice cleaning job,” Mr. Anderson said, “what else do you do?”
Andy explained that he had been volunteering for at the World Vision orphanage for two years and he liked helping out there. Trying not to blow his own trumpet, he said as modest as possible he was a reference for every one of the kids that got adopted there. Then he went on saying how he helped in the office and how he helped to take the kids out on day and night trips, which was his favourite part.
“Very nice,” said an impressed Mr. Anderson.
“Do you have any future plans?” Mrs. Anderson asked.
“Well, I’m planning to get married and have kids on my own,” Andy said.
“Well, I’m sure you’ll find those things,” Riley said. “I have faith in you.”
They exchanged smiles.
Soon it was time for Andy to head back to his flat. Riley headed out of the door with him.
“So tomorrow at the same time or earlier?” he asked.
“Just half an hour earlier, if possible,” she replied.
He smiled. “Consider it done.”
Riley smiled back. “And thanks for everything today, Andy. See you tomorrow.”
Then Andy headed off back to his flat. He was feeling happier than he had been since he moved to San Francisco. Despite his two jobs and he got on with every employer at each of them, he didn’t have anyone that he could call a true friend. Even though he only met her three days ago, he was beginning to think that Riley was his first friend from this city. Just thinking about her was enough to make him happy.