“Gutentag, y Bienvenue a BuffaGrill! E-iner Ein XXXXX!” She’d pronouced the ErrorGarble, “EeeX.”
“Schr–pecken Zi- R’aLAnglaissS?”
“Yes, yes, we speak English, thanks,” said Pam.
“It’s an opening line mom!” said Rachael, chagrinned.
It was a very small blonde Japanese girl on a levitating Segway. She had on the shortest little orange miniskirt, fake NeauTats, bubble GumLips, retro airbrushed mascara, and candy blue eyes. “Oh, ok, um, what’s the Offset today?”
Rachael chimed in. “She means the like, what is it, Projection Costs for the end of the meal.
Her Grandfather went off to the restrooms after making the long journey out of his booth.
“Ah–I think…Let me come back to you.”
“Fine,” said Pam, dismissively.
The waitress came back with news on her face.
“We are protected under First Privacy Rights or whatev, um, well, you guys have nothing to worry about.”
“Oh okay fine then,” said Pam, instantly reposing to her colorful Static cardboard menu.
“Wait, what do you mean?”
After a while the manager arrived.
“Hey you guys, is there a difficulty ordering, I ah–my Server Angela here told me there were some questions that you had…”
Both of them at once. “Yes,” “No.”
“–What’s the meal gonna be at the end of the stay here?”
“You mean…the price?”
“It’s fixed on the menu.”
“Fixed, meaning, it changes.”
“Well, it can change, but it doesn’t usually.”
“Why is that? What is this?”
“Well, we’re immune to Price Projections cause of Bitzeri.”
“Cause of Bitzeri, how?”
“She is still four years old good sir, don’t worry about it, go about your business,” dismissed her mom.
Rachael didn’t care quite enough to press on.
“Ok Rach and Nana, while we’re waiting… why don’t wait a little bit longer until your Grampy comes back and then we’ll ah, well, we’ll start opening presents…?” It was also her Nana’s birthday, or at least, they were celebrating it today.
When Grampy came back he still had nothing to say and looked sick. “You okay Grampy?” inquired her mom, formalistically. “He’s all right,” reassured Nana.
Unwrapping of presents had been going on in the meantime. Pam had actually given Rachael a set of NeauDice, and she was beaming out of it. “Thanks mom,” she was utterly surprised. How’d she remember, she never remembers anything important…?
In another, slightly larger box, Rachael again bolded her eyes and then squinted a out of what might have been shock. There it was, the holy grail: “NeauMaquillage!”
“Oh my God oh my God, thank you so much Mom!” The inside was nothing but a tini-black box that could barely be seen inside a clear white box. It had a large CAMBIAN insignia that burned its way to the top seemingly rising from inside some kind of invisible liquid. She touched it and it came to life, first turning a dark steel black, like some kind of molten liquid, after which it opened and gave a little Halo presentation of the assortment of different ways to make use of the little blue stick set in the center of the black steel.
Rachael picked it up and examined it as it were a little wounded bird, cupping it in her palm and raising it to try and make out details on the muted material. There were none.
“Remember Rach, when you go back to the presentation, touch instructions and it’ll tell you all about it. You gotta put it in its box every night now…”
“Oh, really why”
“Yeah, I don’t know, but that’s what it says…”
Rachael replayed the last part of the presentation.
“It says it needs to soak…” Rachael then turned to her mom and looked at her glassy eyes. She was trying to look in. Was it in her head or was her mom just impenetrable. At least she hadn’t stopped smiling, and that seemed genuine.
Pam even gave her a big hug after that when she said thank you. She held her tight and seemed to tremble slightly. No one else would have noticed, it was faint and subtle, but Rachael did.
“Okay folks, let’s start picking up this wrapping paper eh?” said Pam, Nana and Grampy had opened their presents halfway. Nana had indeed opened the first of three little boxes and beheld a set of incense candles and a Rap Music gift receipt.
“Nana you sure do like you’re ghettie rap huh?” Rachael was feeling generous. “Yeaahup,” said she, from another world, blank eyes.
Pam took up the baton. “So, we’re…we’ll this is what your Grampy picked out for us to see tonight…
The waitress decided to leave and come back. “It’s okay, he left abruptly, so…” Rachael said to the waitress, apologetically. Pam didn’t even think of it.
Pam distributed the brochure like pamphlets to everyone and left one sitting there for the ol’ Colonel on his place setting.
Rachael then faintly pantomimed all the actions involved, had she vomited all over the table when she thought everyone’s attention was securely sucked into their spectacles, reading… Her Nana, her Grandmother, caught it, sitting right in front of her, amongst the four of them at the round loud yellow table. She then gave her a brief smile, but then a half-joking look of warning.
“At Last, Something Wicked,” it read, a Playbill for some cheese-ass, as Rachael would put it– ‘old-people play.’ All the actors and actresses were featured as glossy crystal clear and colorful images and indeed, were all seniors of the Bitseri-Maryland Resort itself. The peppier ones. Or at least, Senior actors of the München District.
“So…” It was the ‘I have news tone,’ Pam always used.
But Rachael stopped thinking of that and settled into a weary feeling creeping down her spine…
“We have someone waiting actually!” said Pam, now beaming of some virginal light.
Standing there, right there, coming into her vision, was a tall attractive boy with dirty blonde hair. Beside him was Helen, directly in tow.
Rachael turned to Pam instantly. She’d already processed what she thought her mom’s root motive was in this.
“Mom, that is fucking not fair, you did not tell him there would be this kind of company.
She thought she was using her mom’s own sense of etiquette against her, but it was no use.
“I do not fucking care, you will take him and her away, as soon as we get a break!” She was whispering. Violently.
Her mom merely smiled, gloating. Then reached over to take Rachael aside.
“Give us a moment.” She had not ceased to beam light.
“Rachael, I know I just brought it up, but Helen contacted me because there’s a new event, soon, for engineers, and girls have a leg up being a minority…”
There was a dagger of betrayal engulfing Rachael’s throat, making it thicker and thicker, breathing harder and somehow clearer, profound gasps, though she was trying to hide the physicality of her indignation. Tears were welling up. Arms were cold and jittery.
Yet she could not in that moment muster the feelings of hatred for her mom at the likes of clear and rational Helen. Lone Helen, as of Troy? Maybe not, Rachael considered. But of somewhere better, and got plopped into this shit, this culture…then ended up believing half of it…
Such was Rachael’s theory anyway.
The betrayal in that moment, was mixing in, not like oil and water, but homogenizing into a distinct affection for Helen.
Girls don’t fucking have periods anymore, Camille! What the hell is causing these emotions!?
Rachael thought this, reproachfully, yet eagerly and in some way, unidentifiably greedy for it. Whatever ‘it’ was.
Andrew was an Adonis.