“I want more of the red sauce,” the annoying little cunt said. She was a blonde with an upturned nose. Or, perhaps that was her constantly upturned head looking down on people.
Persephone eyed her. Hard. Then she stuck her big spoon inside the red sludge and poured some more red sauce on the annoying little cunt’s plate. She forced a smile and made it as fake as possible. “There. Happy now?”
“I am. But I will file a complaint next time if there’s the same injustice,” she said, rolling her shoulder.
Persephone’s eyes widened. She gripped the edge of the food warmer. “Injustice? Pick up a history book once in your life, you miserable-“
“Persephone,” Hara said calmly, squeezing her shoulder. “You’re doing it again.”
Persephone panted and turned to look at her. “I am,” she agreed, and rubbed her nose with a sniff.
Hara winced and her voice went up a few octaves. “Well, mayyybe this job isn’t the best fit for you…” She corrected immediately. “Not that I don’t like working with you, but you get too worked up about all the people.”
“They keep asking for food!” Persephone shouted and she realized how stupid it sounded on her own as soon as it left her lips.
“Yeah…” Hara pressed her lower lip. “It’s kinda the whole reason for coming here. You know, socialize, have somewhere to eat.” She chuckled. “I mean, they’re not coming for the cuisine, that’s for sure.” She held up her spoon in one hand, and twiddled a knife in the other.
Persephone snorted at that. “Yeah…” She picked up a big sack of red sludge with a grunt and held it up on the counter. “I still don’t get what the big deal is.”
Hara slashed the side of the sack and placed the knife at its proper place, held tight on a magnetic slot. She shrugged, drolling her words. “You know… Bring someone over. Meet someone, that’s always exciting! Even having dinner with some family, that makes it worth it.” She propped herself up on her arms and looked up, daydreaming.
“What a LOAD OF CRAP, HARA,” Persephone shouted in the chipper girl’s face and started to pour the next batch of sludge in the warmer.
Hara poked Persephone’s tit with her spoon. “Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you try it out yourself?”
“Try what?” Persephone frowned, controlling the flow of the sludge.
“Invite someone over. Try it out. See what the fuss is about.” Hara suddenly broke into a wide smile. “Hey, that rhymed!”
Persephone squeezed the sack and emptied out the sludge. “I don’t really have anyone,” she said with a tiny voice.
“Come on, sure you do! You can invite your sister, or that boyfriend you never talk about, right?” Hara said, blinking furiously like a person on drugs.
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Persephone said in the tone of voice of someone who has said the same thing a million times already and she doesn’t wanna talk about it, dammit!
Hara put her hands up in surrender while still holding the spoon, spreading food on the side wall. She didn’t seem to notice. “Okay, okay. Jeez. Just, invite someone. Have people serve you food. Sit beside the windows, watch the view of the stars.”
“It’s not a real window,” Persephone drolled, rolling up the empty sack. “It’s a big monitor showing us the outside, which is a starry night. Always. The same. Day in, day out. Stars.”
Hara’s voice pitched higher. “Some find that romantic, you know.”
“Only the dumb ones,” Persephone said, leaning into Hara’s face.
Hara frowned. “I like it,” she said quietly.
Persephone bit her lip and looked away. She had done it again, mocking and insulting the person who had spent two days trying to be her friend. Why was she being such a bitch? Sure, it was the fight with Trip. And the fact that her best friend was on the other side of the solar system. Oh, and by the way, that same best friend was only hanging around because her and Trip’s unusual relationship circumstances. If that was gone, then she’d be gone too. And Persephone realized that she didn’t want her gone from her life.
Not when she’d be asked to-
Gosh, she was terrified of losing Demeter. Yes, she cared about losing Trip equally bad, but usually losing a boyfriend didn’t mean you lost a girlfriend as well.
What a mess.
She turned back to Hara who was going through the motions quietly next to her, cleaning up the mess they made on the counters. Sludge-pouring was not a clean affair, that much was certain. “Hara, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to call you dumb, and I didn’t mean to call the cafeteria dumb.”
Hara turned back to her, hands held together on her chest. “That mean you’ll try it out?” Her eyes were wide, expectant.
Persephone sighed. “Yes. Yes, I’ll invite someone to the cafeteria. Why the fuck not?” she said, throwing her arms in the air.