“What’s up, big brother?” Khalil said when he answered.
“Hey. Just came across your report. You’re looking to add more equipment?”
“Actually, I want to create an area in the gym to put machines that have braille on the plates and install a special type of flooring that feels like a mat, but without the uneven surface.”
Khalil chuckled. “My mind is always working, but I had a client with low vision and she mentioned there not being any gyms that allowed her to work out without a trainer, so I asked her what kinds of equipment she thought would be useful, added my own ideas and voilà. I have some sketches of what I want and can show them to you when you get here. You are still coming?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there.” Brandon and his brothers got together once or twice a month to play basketball and work out. The game had expanded to include his two brothers-in-law. Khalil typically played as a substitute or when he had time. “I’ll get there about half an hour earlier, if you’re available.”
“I can do that. I don’t have a client until later this afternoon.”
“I’ll see you then.” Brandon disconnected and finished reading through and making notes on the other reports.
The gym was crowded, as it was usually on a Saturday. He headed directly for Khalil’s upstairs office and knocked on the partially open door.
Khalil looked away from his computer. “Come on in. Let me finish logging in these fitness testing results and we can talk.”
Brandon took the chair across from the desk and nodded.
A few minutes later, Khalil retrieved a manila folder from a locked file cabinet and handed it to Brandon. “These sketches are still pretty rough. I’ll have better ones when I get ready to submit to the design team. I already purchased a handheld braille labeler, but I want the plates to be shaped differently so they’ll be a little more user-friendly with the labels.” He pointed out the details of each.
“You know you could have gone the art route.” Along with being a model and fitness buff, his brother was also a skilled artist.
Khalil shook his head and made a face. “No way. I didn’t want to get stuck having to draw fruit, abstracts I don’t understand and other crap I can’t stand. I’d rather draw or paint what I want.” He favored landscapes and people, but could also draw vehicles and, apparently, gym equipment.
Brandon laughed. “Well, just let me know when you’re ready and I’ll set up a meeting. Is this only for the second gym?”
“No. I’m rearranging some of the equipment here to create a space, as well. With two floors, I have a little flexibility.”
Brandon stood. “Okay. Are you playing today?”
“I don’t know. I have a few things I need to finish, but I may poke my head in the door. Are Malcolm and Omar coming?”
“I got a text from Malcolm yesterday and he said he’d be here. I’m guessing he talked to Omar.”
“Dad say anything else about when you’ll take over?”
“What are y’all old men doing up here? We playing ball or what?”
Brandon and Khalil turned to find Malcolm standing in the door. Brandon said, “Who are you calling old?” He noticed Omar, Morgan’s husband, standing off to the side chuckling. “What’s up, Omar?”
“It’s all good,” Omar said, entering the office and doing a fist bump with Brandon and Khalil.
The men filed out of the office and went downstairs to the basketball court. They shot around while waiting for Justin to arrive.
“Do you think the Cobras will take it all again this year?” Khalil asked Malcolm and Omar. The LA Cobras football team had won the championship last season.
Omar sank a jump shot. “I think we have a good chance to repeat.”
“We still have our key offensive and defensive weapons, and my brother over here,” Malcolm said, gesturing to Omar, “is moving to the wide receiver position permanently this year. With Marcus Dupree at receiver on the right, we’ve got the two best in the league. Of course, with me at running back, what do you expect?”