---Sonya sat alone at her table, eating her breakfast and drinking her tea. She smiled as she felt the baby kick her stomach. She was pregnant, first time, the father long gone; a man named Jack who couldn’t bear the thought of children.
Sonya was happy, but she wasn’t content. A growing dread had been passing over her these past few months. She was pregnant. That meant no more partying, no more hanging out late, she would be a mother. But that wasn’t what bothered her. What bothered her was her figure.
What if her hips never went back to the way they were before? What if stretch marks were left behind to mock her once perfect body? She had spent hours in front of her bathroom mirror, looking at the shadows under her eyes, at the bags beginning to form.
For weeks this single idea had haunted her. She loved her child, she wanted one, but sacrifices, of course, would have to be made. It was at this moment she noticed the neatly folded note lying on the edge of the table. She never wrote notes, she prided herself on her memory.
Reaching out, she took the note, and slowly dragged across the table to where she sat. The note was from a spiral book, the side had been neatly filed off, the edges perfectly aligned. She slowly unfolded the note.
It took her a while to actually read the words, as she noted the first word she realized that someone had been in her house. Someone had slipped in and placed this on the table.
“I know how you feel. I know what it is like, to lose such beauty. But there are ways, special ways, to help this. Come to this address, we can have tea together, just the two of us.”
Written below was the address the author of the not spoke of. In a few seconds Sonya had it memorized. She quickly crumpled the note and tossed it away. Leaving her breakfast unfinished, she grabbed her coat and left through the front door.
---Sonya stepped out of the yellow taxi, and turned to the driver.
“That’s $23.50 miss.”
“Here you go, keep the change.”
The taxi roared away, leaving Sonya in front of the small restaurant. She could see the tiled floors lined with black metal chairs, nothing remotely unique about it. Maybe that’s why it had no customers inside.
Sonya slowly moved to the door, placing her hands on the cold, glass entrance. She stood and looked into the glass, watching it twinkle as the lights of passing cars flew by. Then she pushed the door open.
Inside was a small room. The tiles were gone, replaced by a blood, red carpet; shag carpet. The black chairs and wiry tables were nowhere to be seen. The room was bare, save for the thousands of tiny trinkets that lay along the walls. Crystal bears, glass people, porcelain plates, all arranged as though they were watching the room, waiting.
“Take a seat,” Came a voice, from behind the curtain of beads that led into the next room.
Sonya looked around the room.
“There’s no-” She began, turning to see a blue Cedar chair at her side.
Sonya took her seat and waited. Finally the beads pushed back, and a young woman carrying a tray of tea cups and a silver teapot entered the room, setting the tray down at the table in front of Sonya. She herself didn’t take a chair, even though there was no chair to take, she sat down, crossing her perfect legs.
The woman’s face was perfect. Every curve of her face was perfect. Every lash on her eyelashes was perfect. Her lips were of the finest red Sonya had ever seen. Her nose, petite, yet delicate, matched with her slender cheeks. And her eyes, her eyes blazed with fiery blue, deeper then any storm at sea.
“You expected someone else?” The woman asked, noting Sonya’s stare, “A man perhaps?”
“Well...the note was a little misleading.”
The woman nodded. “Ah yes, I see. But answer me this, have you ever met a man who wished to serve you tea?”
Sonya shook her head.
“Exactly,” the woman whispered. She straightened herself up and began to pour the hot tea into the two cups of white china.
Sonya reached for her cup but the woman slapped her hand away.
“Not yet Sonya.”
“How do you know my name?”
“Must I answer?”
Sonya shook her head and waited.
“Now let me put this in as simple a phrase as I can. 'I have what you want'. I have what you need. I have what every single woman in the world has always dreamed of having.”
Sonya stared, the small woman before her seemed to have grown, yet she remained as petite as ever.
“I have the secret of eternal life.”
Sonya would’ve burst out laughing if the woman would advert her eyes, but she wouldn’t. She held her gaze, as if hypnotized, her eyes flashing and swirling in their sea.
“I know you wish to be beautiful. I know what it is you need. You want to be perfect. And there's nothing wrong with that. Follow me into the back room, bring your tea with you.”
The woman stood, and gracefully sailed past the beads into the next room. Sonya took her cup and followed her lead, pushing aside the light Mojave beads that formed the doorway.
The next room was different. The red carpet remained, but no trinkets stood along the shelves. No furniture. Just a single glass mirror, hung on the wall.
The woman stood beside the glass, waiting for Sonya. As Sonya approached, she noticed that a single wooden door stood beside of the mirror.
“My storeroom,” the woman said, as though she had read Sonya's mind.
Sonya stopped in front of the mirror. She felt another pang as she looked at the tired face in the mirror. She was beautiful, but compared to the woman beside her, she was an insect, a lonely cockroach.
“Now drink the tea.”
Sonya raised the cup to her lips, slowly draining its contents. As she looked into the mirror her heart leapt into her throat. The cup she had held fell to the floor, freed from her grip, where it shattered.
Her face was changing, her wrinkles began to fade. Her brow marks thinned. The shadows in her eyes were filled. Her pores were swept clean. And her light lips roared with a fiery glow.
She was perfect.
“What-what-how did-how!?" she managed, turning to the perfect girl.
“I told you. Eternal beauty. I myself, am eighty years old.”
“How did you do this?”
“You wish to know?”
The woman mover to the side, and slid from her pocket a chain of silver keys, as she flipped through them she spoke.
“The tea will not last you forever though.”
“It will not last. Your beauty will fade.”
“How can I get more?”
“By giving me something that I can no longer bare.”
The woman slipped a long silver key into the lock, with a click the door unlocked, and the woman pushed it open.
The door swung wide and Sonya saw what was inside the small room. She let out a shriek.
Flour, salt, rice, all the normal contents for a storeroom, sat along the shelves. But to the back lay the secret ingredient, the thing the woman could no longer bare.
Along the shelves sat row after row of small jars, filled with a clear purple liquid. Inside each of them, floating in peace, was a dead fetus.
“Oh my God! You crazy bitch!” Sonya screamed, stumbling away from the storeroom, and past the beads.
“In the first trimester the skin is too soft, too waxy, by the third it has toughened, by the fifth they are the best. Their little wiggling hands and fingers, like little frogs,” the woman said gleefully.
“Oh my God...”
“You are surprised, I see,” the woman whispered, following the cornered Sonya.
“I’m insane?” the woman countered, “to have eternal life you must take the life of one who has never lived.”
“I was drinking...”
“Yes, and you loved it, didn’t you!? A part of you wants it, even now! Doesn’t it, Sonya?”
Sonya turned away and walked to the cold, glass entrance. As she opened the door, she saw her face, her old face, back to normality. The shadows, the wrinkles, all of it.
“Come back soon, Sonya,” the woman whispered, just as Sonya closed the door.
She backed away, slowly raising her hand to hail a cab. A light yellow taxi pulled up, a young kid with greasy hair poked his head out.
“You coming lady?”
“Yes,” Sonya whispered, opening the door and stepping inside.
As the taxi drove away, Sonya glanced at the building. It was tiled again, filled again with the black chairs and wiry tables.
--- “So where you heading?” the greasy haired driver asked.
“Hey I been there, nice place, you live there?”
“I don’t mean to pry but, I see that you’re expecting, congratulations.”
“Thank you,” Sonya replied.
The driver nodded and focused back on the road. Sonya stared out the window, glancing at the people the cab passed by. So many perfect.
“Wait,” she whispered.
---Sonya left her bathroom, washed her hands and took her seat at her table, starting on her breakfast. She slowly ate in the silence, rubbing her flat stomach, and sipping her tea...
| I have no clue how you manage to think of the ideas for you stories.This was so out of this owrld and it totally worked. It is so true that women want perfect beauty forever. THis was kinda creepy and I know that is what you were trying to convey. THis wsaexcellent. Great job..|
|| Posted on 2006-10-06 00:00:00 | by Caotic_Disaster | [ Reply to This ] |