“No, I didn’t say a friend of mine has AIDS.” Mona looked up from the climatic-data summary. “At least not a friend I’ve already got. The AIDS buddy program matches you up with someone who has it, and you become that person’s friend and helper.” She gazed past Reid and out the window at a pair of reservations agents walking toward the airport’s main terminal, collapsible umbrellas dangling from their wrists. One word from me and the whole city takes an umbrella, she thought happily. And nobody was going to regret it. Thick clouds were moving in as if they were using her forecast as a road map.
“They think friendship can be dispensed on a need basis? Like food and clothing?” Reid was saying, and Mona admitted she had been tempted to ask that kind of thing herself, but she’d doubted it would go over well at the training sessions. “Anyway,” she added, “I know the answer. First of all, people who need AIDS buddies have nowhere else to turn, and second of all, yes.”
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