I was desperate to ‘spend a penny,’ as my nan would say. Stranded on a high street, my only option appeared to be a supermarket. I dashed in, grabbing a green plastic basket to give the impression of being a potential customer. Toilets were for paying customers only.
Meandering through trolleys, down aisles, past the bakery and dairy goods, this building was a maze. I found the lift. Second floor. It felt like being four-years-old, on a long car journey. You fear you might not make it.
It was a self-contained restroom with a hand sink on the right. I prefer ‘engaged’ privacy, as opposed to the aggressive hum of air dryers being used en masse every thirty seconds. Pulling my knickers past my thighs I listened to the piss pour out of me. I felt a faint glamour, decaying from an art deco era. The floor was checked black and white. Wallpaper peeled off the wall, musty and stained. Once upon a time it would have been pink, fragrant and floral.
A Ladies’ Powder Room.
Relieved, I rinsed my hands and reapplied my face in the oval mirror, making lipstick kisses onto rough paper towels. Scrunching them into the open bin I glanced a discarded pregnancy test.
It was electronic and positive. The electronic sort don’t lie. Given the location that confirmed she was with child, I concluded, it definitely can’t have been planned.
Maybe she worked here? Maybe she had come within these for walls, a quick rendezvous, cinq à sept?
Over the sink? Surely not on the floor? If that was the case, I hoped that he had been the one lying on it.
Wandering back down the staircase a woman sobbed into her mobile, the conversation echoing across the walls.
“You just don’t understand,” she said. He didn’t. He wasn’t pregnant.
I smiled gently at her, trying to empathize solidarity. She turned her back.