A Secret Grave 111: Ladies Room Buzz


“Yes, I’m so glad to finally meet you, too,” I said, smiling back at Janet in the ladies room mirror. She really was pretty. She wore tiny diamonds in each ear and a pearl choker around her throat that brought out the rich tones of her skin. Her eyes were dark, slightly almond-shaped and hard to read. And her mouth was voluptuous, like her sister’s.


Biracial woman

Janet Johnson (or is it Fairchild?)


“Are you really moving here?” I asked.

Janet finished washing her hands and began to apply lipstick, Tarte, a good stay-on brand just like the one I used. “Yes, uh huh. Tell you a secret –” she mushed her lips together and glanced around the bathroom, but there were only two other women at the line of sinks and neither showed any interest in us. She lowered her voice anyway. “I got fired from my company two weeks ago. It was all very political and I was so sick of that job that I almost don’t care, but it still…” she trailed off, biting her newly glossed lower lip.

“Hurts the ego,” I suggested.

She nodded at me in the mirror. “That’s it. So I thought, why not move to Austin where my big sister lives. Beats Miami and I’m free as a bird, I can go anywhere I want.”

“Are you going to try and work in the same industry?” I asked.

She shrugged her pretty shoulders. “I’d rather not. It’s very lucrative, but so cutthroat it could kill you. Speaking of which, I thought Betsy was going to drop dead of shock when she saw me walk in.” The image of her sister’s white face made her giggle and I have to admit, it amused me too, snooty Betsy suddenly confounded, her usual composure melted down to zero. What would happen now, I wondered. If Betsy was outed, her whole life could go down the tubes.

“Let’s make a date,” Janet said. “I’d love to see your studio.”

“Great idea,” I responded, wondering how involved I wanted to get with this woman whom I suspected was up to no good. We left the ladies room together and headed back down the corridor toward the ballroom. I was eager to see if someone new had bid on my portrait commission and quickened my steps, even though my feet in goddamn high heels were killing me. Janet, I noticed, whizzed along in her stilettos without a problem. When we got to the silent auction I told Janet I’d see her inside and headed for the table where my self portrait stood on a small easel. I cannot pretend I wasn’t nervous about whether or not the price had gone up to a more respectable amount. Just as I was pulling my glasses out of my evening bag to have a look, someone tapped me on the shoulder.


Oil portrait austin


I swung around. It was Alicia in a gorgeous almond pink backless gown. “Boy do I have something to tell you,” she said. “You’re not going to believe this.”


To be continued…


Cover photo ~ http://www.looptt.com/content/12-weird-things-happen-ladies-room

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