Part Ten “Can you see why I have forsaken solid foods?”
Douglass flexed his forearms. Amanthra shuffled in her seat.
“Um, no, why have you?” she asked unenthusiastically.
“Juice is all the sustenance one needs to survive. All the flavor, vitamins, it is all in a single glass. It is quite a beautiful concept is it not?”
Amanthra observed the clock positioned above a dreary mountain landscape painting. It was 11 am. She had been in Douglass’s house much longer than she had anticipated. Normally her meet and greet sessions lasted no longer than 25 minutes to an hour. As much as she knew she should leave, she knew her mission was unfinished.
Who was this man? His interrogations had silenced her. She had not yet asked him where he was from, what it was he did for a living, whether or not he had children or pets. She imagined asking him questions slowly, so not to scare him off; she would rather not provoke an unnecessary misery based on a few words spiked with a question mark.
“Let me ask you a question Amanthra Peterson. What were your parents thinking when they named you? What does Amanthra mean anyway?”
Amanthra placed her thumb inside her jacket pocket, searching for response via lint.
“It means nothing. My parents wanted to name me Amanda and the birth certificate administrators misspelled the name on my birth certificate. Rather than changing the spelling of my name on my birth certificate, my parents changed my name.”
Douglass belched softly. “And how did you feel about that Amanthra Peterson? How did you feel when your parents later told you Amanda was supposed to be you real name? Amanthra is much too exotic of a name for a face as lackluster as yours. I think Amanda is much more suitable. Do you disagree?”
“Well it is true! You cannot blame me for thinking the things I do and honestly depicting those thoughts. I am anything but a liar Amanthra Peterson. Would you rather I tell you blatant lies about your appearance? I am sorry Amanthra Peterson, but I refuse to be dishonest with you. You are a plain looking woman with an unbefitting name. You should change it, promptly, before you grow old and even plainer.
And that was the moment Amanthra forced her lips onto Douglass’s, which retaliated at first, then systematically, as though he were typing numbers into his adding machine, invited her tongue, teeth, and saliva into his own.