Arial® lives in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver in what was formerly her parent's house. Her parents had died too young, one soon after the other leaving Arial with a house much too big for her, but comfortable and hard to leave. The four bedroom, split-level house sits on a quarter acre lot on a street named Perry (as are many streets in the neighborhood, Perry St., Perry Court, Perry Circle, etc.) Like many neighborhoods of it's era, only a few houseplans were used by the developer(s), so from the outside her house looks the same many others.
On this Sunday, she was reading the Sunday Denver Post which, like many papers consists primarily of advertising with a few articles inserted for good measure when her phone chirped a notification. It was an email from her friend Anna asking if she wanted to join her and some other folks for a beer at the Mill microbrewery that evening. Having nothing better on the agenda, she replied "yes" and went back to the paper.
The Mill is actually an old mill, on the edge of "downtown" Littleton. A stream that could have fed a millwheel but never did was now a drainage ditch, usually dry heading to the South Platte river nearby. It is about a 15 minute drive from Arial's house.
Entering the garage she thought "Which car to take?" Her mother's car was a Land Rover, not the luxury kind like most American's drive, but the old fashioned "drive through the desert" kind that are usually found in Africa and similar remote places. Her parents used to use it to go "four wheeling" in the mountains. Her father's car was a Honda Civic, more comfortable and easier on gas. She got in the Honda at 5:45 and headed to Bowles Ave and east, across the river and Sante Fe Rd. to the brewpub.
Arial parked in the lot in back of the pub. She entered via the side door and saw her friend with several others at a raised table beside the bar at the front near the patio doors. She joined them.
"Everybody this is my friend Arial. Most people call her Ari," Anna called out when Arial got to the table. "Ari, this is Jim, Sue, Carl, and Fred," Anna continued waving clockwise around the table as she spoke.
There was an empty chair between Carl and Fred and Arial sat down there. She had forgotten the names already, names were not her strong suit.
Carl was the first to speak to her. "Can I call you Ari?" he said smiling
"That's what everyone does, except those who call me Red, for obvious reasons," she replied, smiling back at him.
"I think I like Red better, actually, suits you pretty well, I'd say," he continued.
"Sorry, I missed your name in the introductions," Arial said a bit timidly.
"Carl, Carl Casinheim actually. Most folks call me Casy," he replied.
"Nice to meet you Casy," Arial replied.
Arial had an early morning appointment, so she did not stay too long at the bar. But before she left, she scrawled her email address on a cocktail napkin and handed to Carl/Casy. After she left, he looked at it, then crumpled it and left it in his glass. He already had a girlfriend.
In the morning Arial awoke early to find an email to her from "Casy."