Begonia Séu was at loss for words. Ada Wong was in distress and she should have seen it coming. Her daughter Adriana was right that Art did not always lead to healthy thinking. But she did not want to think about her misstep with the Voight-Kampff empathy scale earlier and decided to amuse herself. After calling her friend Patricia, the both of them decided to have a girls’ night out. And she knew just the place.
At the local bar, The Crayoline Inn, Patricia and Begonia enjoyed the laid-back Jazz & soul music. They were already spotting some early birds. These men were not those they were looking for. Early birds were desperate and had no business talking to ladies like Patricia. Truth be told, Patricia had quite an interest in them, but pretended not to listen when one of them came forward and uttered a tantalizingly bad pick up line.
‘Are you always such an old sport?’ a not unattractive man said to Patricia, who had taken refuge in the corner. ‘No matter, I’ll get you talking, woman.’ Begonia knew that her friend was cornered. On the one hand, she felt sorry for Patricia. On the other, Patricia was the one that wanted to go and meet men; now, she’d get a taste of her own medicine.
The local bar was famous for the men’s night on Thursday. Infamously, it was called occasion night, when the ladies lined up like car treasures in front of their hunters. As a psychologist, Begonia disapproved of such heinous practices. As a human being, she rather liked this kind of risky evening. Earlier, she had pondered what to wear. Perhaps a silk dress? Or a green Versace dress? She may not have been J.Lo and had an hour-glass figure and a becoming booty, but she was a woman in her own right, nonetheless. And she always stayed the same girl. Not many could say the same, now could they?
‘Chin up, girl,’ Begonia almost yelled.
Patricia did not move one bit and was still impressed by the man that had just finished his monologue. He may not have sweet talked her like a Shakespearean sonnet, but his ramblings on Dutch architecture had an undeniable charm.
‘I think that it is most unbecoming of you to talk to other men.’ Begonia sighed demonstratively. ‘You are engaged to Antonio, the man of your dreams.’
Patricia instantly woke up and said: ‘You and your men. Please just drop it. Just this once. I want to have a little fun before my wedding, for Christ’s sake. Please.’
‘O.K. Miss Patricia, but have you considered that Antonio is of the jealous kind?’
‘I am fully aware of that and I do not care. He needs to be educated. That’s all.’
The man that had earlier made a pass at her, decided to up the ante. ‘I see right where you’re coming from, Miss.’ He gestured at a waiter: ‘Two beer, please.’
‘Thank you, Sir.’ Patricia winked and felt special, even though Begonia knew that this feeling was shallow and bound to be replaced by guilt.
Patricia and the man - who was quite desperate, to be frank - drank two beer and tried to have an honest conversation. Begonia had to see this one through and decided to give her friend the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps she could mingle with other guests. Who was that songstress with that angelic voice?
Walking towards the songstress, Begonia overheard her talking to her manager: ‘No, I am not content with you giving me ten percent.’
‘Everything peachy dory, Miss?’ Begonia said. She was not really the one that broke the ice with such plain remarks, but for this singer she made an exception.
‘And who are you?’ the singer said. ‘I am Amanda Apple. Actually, I wish to be called Ruby one day and find out I am an angel of God on a mission.’
‘That sounds lofty, Amanda. I am Begonia, a psychologist.’
‘Nice to meet you. Perhaps I can sing one day for you, but now I am still strangled and up in pieces over a debilitating contract.’
‘I know all about debilities. Please enlighten me.’
Amanda spoke softly: ‘My manager, Corey Rooney, has embezzled some money. Which is O.K., no hard feelings, but you know how it goes. At the end of the day, the star that shines so bright doesn’t get enough electricity to shine. You know?’
Begonia disliked this unfinished metaphor, but decided to nod. As a psychologist, she knew that everything was a matter of tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner. Cognizance made for a tolerant attitude.
‘What’s the matter? You all so quiet,’ Amanda said. ‘I told you my life story, now I wish to hear yours.’