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It turns out that the human perception of time is relative. Yeah, I know. Not exactly the biggest insight there. We’ve all had good times fly by while those things we would rather not linger: class, dentist visits, etc. take forever. Those two days? They took around two years, minimum. My anxiety used that time to run amok. What would these people be like? What should I wear? What if someone from school found out? Thoughts and fantasies about it occupied almost every moment not spent on class or sleep.
Of course, when the time came it was all rushing and cursing the traffic for making me get home late. Then it was popping in and out of a shower and racing through my wardrobe trying to find any of the outfits I had spent hours planning. Not to mention what I had to do to make my hair actually behave. Somehow though, it all came together. I made it out the door in a style that was both cute and warm: heeled boots, tights, and a cute black dress bundled beneath a scarf and a gray tweed trench coat.
The place really was just a short hop from my apartment. I’m not quite sure what expected from a depraved sex dungeon, but I actually drove right past it at first because it was so unassuming. Sable was tucked away down a little side street in a slice of downtown more devoted to shopping and nightlife than business. It was the only business on that street, but it shared a building with a bar and a darkened, “appointments only” junk shop. The windows were heavily tinted and the name was spray painted on a stretch of wall to the left of the door in a metal album cover style. The only thing that really indicated the place’s true nature was the gaggle of black leather clad smokers crowding the front walk and hovering around patio furniture.
I flushed as I walked to the door, eyes on the sidewalk. I could feel people looking at me, making comments to each other, and I knew I should say ‘hi’, but it was taking all my focus to just tamp down my nerves as I made it to the door. As it opened, a gust of warm air teased my red cheeks and brought the smell of coffee, tea, and spices. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dim indoors and begins to take things in: tables, chairs, a long wooden bar; people in groups talking quietly or laughing boisterously; and a small stage space where a person patiently layered rope around an uncertain looking boy. Yeah, either this was it or I’d just walked into a really big coincidence.
My reaction got a laugh. I’m told I looked like a deer in headlights. The bartender waved me over with a grin. “Menu’s up there, byob, limited food. House rules over there. Any questions?”
“Yeah, a few…”