I’m never going to leave this bathroom. I’m going to lock the door, build myself a home, and wait until my next lifetime to see what life is like outside of these smelly walls.
I get a whiff of the toilet seat beneath me and I cringe as I remember it was *I* who made these smelly walls so smelly.
And that guy—he just sat here, stink and all, talking to me.
I’m not sure which part is more surprising: that he actually wanted to talk to me or that, after talking to me, he actually wanted to stick around.
I wonder the history of his name. I would ask him about it, but I’m never going to see him after tonight anyways. Oh no, after this impression he’s formed of me, I bet he’s had enough Venus to last him several lifetimes.
Though he did invite me to eat…
I shake my head to brush off the thought and my earrings gently rattle. I love these earrings. They were a present from my mother back in the days when I loved presents from her. Two silver snakes that slither from side to side when I walk or whenever there’s a strong wind.
I’ve always found snakes enchanting, and even though my mother does not, she bought these for me anyways.
I shake my head at the thought of how much these probably cost. With the way my mother shops, though, a stranger’s guess is as good as mine. Back in those days she could still get credit cards, so her reach extended from the clearance bin to behind the glass counter.
When was the last time I called Mom?
No--I shake my head again. I’m not gonna do this—spend my night worrying about her and if she’s eaten more than her microwave meals. I can barely take care of myself and I was serious when I promised I would never take care of her again.
Plus, I’ve got my own problems, like figuring out how to get out of this bathroom and make it past the break room, which is obnoxiously centered in the middle of the office. Why would they put the break room there??
Why didn’t whichever fowl architect who erected this monstrosity foresee this evening and know, in that instinctive, architectural way, that I would need shadows and side corridors instead of a bright, open expanse of land?
I sigh—it’s not the architect’s fault; it’s mine.
Why did I have to drink so much coffee? Why did I have to enter the men’s room? Why in the name of all things holy did I ask Mars to get my dinner??
My stomach grumbles and I look at the clock—it’s already 8:30 and I’m starving. To have had to wait for the delivery guy to come back after his rounds would have been catastrophic.
Then again, a catastrophe sounds better than the conundrum I now find myself in.
To go or not to go?
I don’t know why I’m even asking this question; of course I’m not going. I’m not going to let this guy, this Mars, get the satisfaction of knowing what I look like.
I look at myself in the mirror and my eyes widen at the sight—I look tired and yet…also a little more alive?
I’m not sure what the difference is, but surely there’s a difference.
Even if I do look—dare I say it--cute, I’m still not going to meet Mars. I’ll just spend the night starving and eat the instant I get home.
That’s it; that’s my plan.
I have decided and I shan’t be deterred!
My phone buzzes beside me—maybe it’s the delivery guy and Mars didn’t catch him after all!
“Everything good in there?” My breath catches when I hear Mars on the other end. “The food’s getting cold.”
“How did you get my number?”
“How'd the delivery guy get it? Receipt.”
I try my hardest to sound authoritative: “Look, Mars, I’m not going to make this more awkward than it already is—”
“This isn’t awkward.” He sounds sincere.
Well…I’ve got a lot of work to do and I really can’t be away for my desk long—”
“So don’t stay long.”
“What, have you got an answer for everything?”
“Just about.” He pauses, then asks, “Are you coming?”
My stomach grumbles again and I wonder if I’m imagining the hopefulness in his voice.
Against my better judgement I hold back my smile and I reply:
I don’t know why I’m feeling this way, but I feel a little nervous—like maybe Venus won’t actually come.
Or maybe I’m more afraid she’ll come and will immediately want to leave.
I can sometimes have that effect on people…
I hear footsteps approach and see a quiet woman appear.
She’s got warm brown skin and her black hair is pulled in to a neat little bun.
I scurry to my feet and my chair careens to the ground behind me.
“Are you alright?” Venus asks, stepping in a little closer.
“I’m cool…cool,” I lie.
I can’t believe I blew my entrance—you know what they say about first impressions.
Then again, this isn’t the first impression she’s made of me, and she’s still here so—
Venus shuffles in place and shrugs: “Well, I’m here so…”
“So we should probably eat.” I motion for her to come sit beside me and smirk: “You must be starving.”
Venus touches her stomach and I kick myself for being insensitive. She probably thinks I’m making fun of her.
I guess I kind of am…
I know I can be a real jerk sometimes, but this time I'm just trying to be real.
Clearing my throat to shake out its cobwebs, I try to sound as sincere: “Are you feeling better?”
Venus smiles and plops into her chair, looking at the feast before her.
“With a table like this?” her eyes graze over every plate. “I feel I don’t have a care in the world.”
Venus smiles up at me and I stand, mesmerized.
It’s like looking at nothing and everything all at once—like feeling everything and nothing together—not as a separate sensations but somehow…one.
Venus speaks softly: “Shall we begin?”
I seat myself beside her and, silently, we begin.
Tune in next time to find out just *what* is beginning.
‘Til then, I wish you Love, Light, and Peace of mind.