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Again, the race to the elevator. But no, he remembered what happened the last time he did it. He needed to calm down, he knew he had a very weak "fitness". Maybe someday he could start making some exercises... yoga or something "soft". Anyway, he did not run to the elevator, he used the stairs. Weird, but he needed some exercise. He only went down 10 stories; it was nonsense to get down the whole 30. So, he took the elevator. "Don't run", he said to himself. He entered it. He felt a vacuum in his stomach when the elevator got down. He thought he could faint again, he was feeling very weak. But he touched the wall and tried to stay calm... and standing up, fortunately.

There was a woman there. He thought he liked her. She looked like... No. It wasn’t like any of the actresses he liked to download pictures and worship. She looked better than that. She looked at him but when he tried to look back at her... did she look the other way? She seemed frightened. He moved away from the wall. Well, maybe his appearance was not friendly, who knows. He wanted her to think he was fit and healthy. That limp became obvious, so it was pointless to try to appear as something he was not. She looked concerned,
“Are you OK? Can I help?”
“No, I’m fine” he said. Then he thought "no! now she has pity for me. How I hate that."

Mark could bring himself to speak to the woman, in spite of himself. They agreed to go to the shops together but before long she told him firmly he wasn’t fit to be out. She helped him back to his apartment. He was too weak to insist on switching the computer on. He kept looking at her, she was beautiful. He wondered if it was not a dream. A woman in his room? Her hands felt so gentle as she tucked him up in bed. How long was it since he last felt a woman touch him like that? Years... or maybe since he was a kid because his last girlfriend never treated him that way.
“Shall I get a doctor?” she asked.
“No, I’ll be fine. I just need something to eat and some rest”
He knew he couldn’t afford a doctor, not unless he mailed dad for yet another check.
“What’s your name, I’m Angie.”
“I’m Mark.” That really was his name this time.

Mark and AngieEdit

Mark told Angie how to get to the kitchen. She was shocked when she saw how little food Mark had but she managed to get something together for him. She had to beg/borrow milk and cookies from a neighbor. Mark felt a bit stronger after he'd eaten. Angie rushed off to her apartment for better stuff to prepare a proper meal. She really told Mark off when she got back.
"What are you doing at that computer? You need to lie down. You're not strong enough."

Mark let her lead him back to bed. He felt a bit stronger after the sweet coffee and cookies but he wasn’t strong enough to resist even a woman, besides Angie could be the best thing that had happened to him since ....well since he discovered wikis. The computer wouldn’t walk out and leave him. Angie just might. The meal wasn’t what he’d have prepared himself. Mark preferred white pasta to brown but the olive oil was OK. That was just like the greasy stuff he was used to from the Chinese take-away shops. Anyway Mark was too hungry to mind what he ate.

Angie sat on a chair by the bed and ate her portion. Was it too soon to sit on the bed beside him she wondered? Last time she did anything like that so early that awful man took advantage of her and afterwards called her a slag. Mark finished eating then tentatively she reached out her hand. Mark responded. Angie longed to do more and so did he. Mark sat up and made to embrace her, he could feel her yielding. Angie drew away frightened.
“No. I mustn’t spoil this she thought.” Mark looked at her,
“Please, just once, you’re so beautiful.”
Angie was tired of men flattering her and telling her she was beautiful. All they ever wanted was to get laid. Angie was realistic about the way she looked. No amount of healthy brown pasta or olive oil helped her to lose weight. When had anyone last called her beautiful and meant it? Soon they were kissing. It was very hard to stop before things got out of hand.

"I've got to stop this." Angie thought. "I'll go down to the shops and get some stuff for your kitchen." Angie said.
“Please don’t leave just yet.”
“The shops will be closed later.”
“Do you have to?”
“Have you got pen and paper? Let’s write out a shopping list. ”
They looked for pen and paper. When they couldn’t find any Mark started the printer, sat down at the computer and typed out a list of things he wanted Angie to buy. Angie suggested a few good healthy food items. Mark started writing expensive, sensible stuff and hoped that would impress Angie. Then he remembered his dad’s check was late. “Damn it” Mark thought, “Angie can’t find out that I’m poor. I’ll get by if I have to eat boiled potatoes till Dad’s check comes.”

Mark surprised himself when Angie was leaving. He got up from the computer and wanted to kiss Angie before she left.
“No, not again” Angie said.
“But you let me before!”
“We can’t let this get out of hand, it’s too early.”

Before Angie had reached the elevator Mark was back at the computer. Was there a Wiki for love, romance? He only found one in Portuguese. He could start an English language Wiki about love. Mark logged into World of Wikis Central to request a new wiki. Among the advertisements he just glanced at a small notice, “We’re hiring.” Mark looked at it and thought. He remembered vaguely he’d wanted to see if there were jobs at World of Wikis. Was there a career perhaps? Mark so wanted Angie to respect him. Mark clicked onto the link. He read carefully what they were looking for from those they wanted to hire and wrote out the best job application he could.

Mark clicked Send. He felt he had done all he could for the moment about the job application. Eagerly, he went over to one of his favorite wikis to see if there was anything new he could write there. Then he thought a bit more. He should make a good impression at World of Wikis. He was an admin on wikis there. Now he did not just want them to make him a bureaucrat. He wanted them to give him a job. He thought. He tried to think clearly and logically the way he had before when he was doing well at university. Where could he write something that would impress them? Angie must not find out that he was unemployed. Buddhism Wiki? Mark knew hardly anything about Buddhism. The doorbell rang. Mark could just bring himself to shut the computer down before he opened the door. He remembered she told him off last time. Angie was there carrying heavy bags filled with shopping.

Chapter 2: Angie

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