Since the meeting last week, I’ve been stuck on the comment that Terra made. A coal complexioned, statuesque woman with blond braids… That sounds an awful lot like my upstairs neighbor, Marsha. And after a week of dwelling on the thought, I had to look for proof. So far, every rumor that Ron has started has been true. Why should this situation be any different?
I make my way up the stairs to Marsha’s apartment. We had only spoken in passing, coming in and out of the building. But, we were neighbors – I should be able to knock on the door and borrow a cup of sugar, right?
Just before I knocked at the door, I heard a whole lot of screaming and a clank against the wall. I’m sure this wasn’t a good time, but curiosity was demanding. Add in the fact that I’m a bit stronger than anyone would think, thanks to my alter ego, I’m sure I won’t get hurt if there is trouble on the other side of the door.
I knock after a few minutes of silence, and Marsha opens the door immediately. She had a very strong presence. She looked me square in the eye, as if we were destined to fight right here and now. Then suddenly, Marsha changed her demeanor. She smiled. Almost hypnotic. It scared me.
“I hate to impose, but could I borrow a cup of sugar?” I smiled back.
“Sure, honey. Come on in.” Marsha stepped aside to let me in. “Just follow me to the kitchen.”
The apartment was pretty simple. There was a perfectly round, plush couch in the center of the living area. A stereo with surround sound speakers was just to the left as you entered the apartment, and a wet bar was on the other side, next to the balcony. A flat panel television was also hung on the wall, like a perfectly placed picture.
“You want brown sugar or white, baby?” Marsha seemed really nice. “I just baked some cookies – sugar and ginger bread. You are more than welcome to have some.”
I thanked her as I reached for one of the fresh baked ginger bread men. I notice next to the trash can was a broken cell phone. That must have been the angry conversation I heard before knocking. Marsha took two small containers and filled them with brown and white sugar. She ranted about throwing a party for a friend, and further about a grade she’d received in her creative writing class. I started to believe I had the wrong person. I couldn’t see anyone who bakes cookies and takes a creative writing class, some how scantily clad in leather and chains for a bondage session. But I was wrong.
Just as I took the two containers from Marsha, I saw the colorful letter magnets on the refrigerator. The spelled Big Bertha. Underneath were three pictures. All of which were Marsha and Karl, the new guy at work. He was stripped down to an off white pair of underwear and Marsha was digging a glass heel into his groin.
“Ouch.” I didn’t mean to react… but wow.
“Oh, the pictures? Karl is my favorite client.” Marsha smiled, and this one was more warm and innocent.
“We work in the same office.” I replied
“Oh, well please give him these pictures. I was saving these till his next appointment. But he said his therapist suggested he not visit so much.” Marsha spoke as if this were all normal.
Of course I couldn’t wait to get back to work the next day. Now, how do I present these photos to Karl? And more importantly, how did Ron know?