I knew I should have worked through lunch. I’m at Starbucks trying to enjoy a caramel macchiato, and Saturn is sitting across from me savoring his cupcake creme frappucino and trying to convince me that he never ate his children. Too bad this guy is so strange, because he really is sorta hot. And really, he says, the mythologists have it wrong. I’m a good guy. I keep excellent track of time, and there’s a festival named after me. You know, Amy? Saturnalia?
One of my colleagues has been telling me for a couple of months that there’s this guy she thinks I should meet because we have so much in common. He’s so intelligent, Marcie says. And he loves to read as much as you do. So I agreed. Here we sit. I thought, what could it hurt to meet him for coffee? Except Marcie said his name is Stan, not Saturn. Is Saturn his nickname? Maybe Mythology is a hobby? He likes to talk, that’s for sure. StanSaturn finally gets around to asking me some questions.. like, do I have any pets. Do you like cats, Amy? I love them! I have two tigers named Tabitha and Thomas. Very rambunctious. And I picture two orange tabbies wreaking havoc around StanSaturn’s house. I’ve gone off to Rome in my mind when he asks what I like to do on the weekends. I say, I like to run, swim, read, write.. And I think, well this talk, at least, seems normal. I just have to get that StanSaturn thing cleared up, and I’ll feel better.
Then I get this from him.. you like to swim, Amy, you’d really like Neptune. And that’s when I decide I’ve heard enough. I smile and say, I need to get back to work. This has been interesting, but…
No, please. Just give me three more minutes. I’ll explain. I can be a little socially awkward down here .. Down here? .. Here, let me show you something. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a beautiful antique silver stopwatch with a gorgeous, glowing lavender face. He hands it to me and says, this will only take a minute. If you don’t like where we go, we can come right back! .. Where we go? And I think, oh, why not? We’re in a Starbucks full of people.. what can happen?
He says, just push the button on the top, close your eyes, and slowly count to fifteen. Then open your eyes and let go of the button… And I think, all righty then… here I go. I open my eyes, and I’m definitely not in Starbucks anymore. We’re in a very chic restaurant. I’m not drinking a macchiato, but a bee’s knees.. one of my favorite cocktails. StanSaturn and I are the only customers in this place. The bartender..and I think the bar is mahogany.. is wearing a tux. There are lovely lavender lights strung around the mirror and the bar. And I have never seen such a well and expensively stocked bar. The artwork on the walls is spectacular. And to top it off, there are two real tigers lounging on the bar. They must be Thomas and Tabitha. I say to StanSaturn that I think we’re underdressed. And he says, this is my office, we can dress however we want. And because I promised you only three more minutes.. here’s this. He slides a parchment folder across the table. I have a mission especially tailored for you if you are inclined to accept it….
By M. Raynes