"Maybe you should have some fun of your own. Have you met anyone since you moved out?"
Carrie nose turned upward. "The last one is causing me enough trouble."
"Doesn't mean that you can't shop a bit. I downloaded that new dating app, SoulM8. You can just see what's out there. It doesn't have to be fatal."
Carrie tipped her head back and cackled. "Is that what commitment is?"
"When it goes well."
The quickness with which her friend's spirits flagged concerned Alexa.
"Give me your phone. We'll set up your profile." Carrie hesitated. "Just do it fast. Like taking off a Band-Aid. She who hesitates is lost."
"Aren't these things just for hook ups?"
"They're for whatever you want them for. If you don't want hook ups then we'll say that."
Alexa held out her hand. Carrie unlocked her phone and handed it over. With a few clicks, Alexa connected to the restaurant’s Wi-Fi and started downloading the dating app Alexa used to amuse herself from time to time.
"Are these guys going to know where I am? I don't need a stalker."
"No. It only goes down to within a mile. You don't have to communicate with anyone you don't want to. It's just...interesting. Think of it as step one."
Carrie chewed her lip. "Okay."
"Let's see who we have within, say, a two-mile radius. Or two kilometers? Which is it?"
"Bit of both, but let's say two miles."
A spinning heart popped on the screen as the app located potential messages within the chosen area.
"Ahh. Here we go. Sanjit. God, he's only twenty-one." Alexa paged back to her settings. "What do we want? How low are you willing to go?"
"No younger than thirty-five."
"You're only thirty-eight."
"I don't need someone I have to burp after spoon-feeding."
"Thirty. You need to keep your options open. Thirty to forty-eight."
SoulM8 spun its heart thinking again.
"We have Ethan." A balding man wearing tweed and glasses smiled at Alexa from her phone with two rows of teeth lined up like broken tombstones. She tilted the image toward her friend, who leaned in.
"I'll bet he's nice." Alexa tried for an encouraging tone but tapped the thumbs down, bringing up another profile.
"No. Look on your own phone. I can look at my own guys." Alexa sighed in relief that her friend had—at least momentarily—embraced the fun of it all. She dropped the phone into Carrie's hands and pulled up her own.
"Jesus. This guy doesn't even have a picture. It's just some weird painting with a naked woman, and she's got lasers coming out of her eyes."
Alexa flipped her phone over for her friend to see.
"This could easily get addictive. But it makes me wonder how you ever find the one when it's so easy to flip through men like a catalog, and for the guys, please. It's hard enough to get them to stop thinking the grass is always greener."
"There are some nice guys on here though. It's no different that anything else. Sure, most of them are losers or not right for you, but then, just maybe."
"I guess." Despite her hesitance, Carrie kept flipping.
"Are you liking any of them?"
"Work up to that maybe." Alexa shrugged, then her brows shot up. "Oh. I like this one. Adam. He’s sexy. He's probably married. A lot of the really hot guys on here end up having something in their profiles about 'discretion' and 'no strings attached.' Trust me. There are strings somewhere."
The words flew out of her mouth before she could think.
"Sorry. God, I'm so awful." Alexa seized Carrie's hand, bending over to kiss it.
"Don't be. You're probably right. Besides, I hardly found the only cheating asshole in the world. I can't avoid the topic. You should give him a thumbs up."
“I don't even live here. Plus, he looks kind of uptight in that suit. Or maybe he's a player?" She showed Carrie another picture of "Adam." Alexa noticed the waiter heading toward their table with a tray of items they had ordered. The distraction gave Carrie just enough time to tap the screen of Alexa's phone.
"Hey! I'm just browsing. What the hell am I going to do with a match in London?"
"It's for fun, right? Maybe he'll message you."
"I cannot believe… Shit. We matched. Oh, good Lord."
Carrie grinned. "Well, you said he was hot. The feeling is mutual. Cheers!"
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