The Ladies

It always happens when you least expect it.

Well, maybe that’s a little obvious. People don’t exactly do it on purpose. A simple accident that’s all.

But let’s get serious.

When all you have is that lame excuse for a consolation, the main thing you’re going to ask yourself at the end of the day is how you could do something so immensely stupid.

I think the end of the day might be a little too far down to start the story, so let’s go back to beginning.

It’s a hard place to start, the beginning.
I never know where to go from because I’m never sure what it is exactly that lead to that particular stupid decision. Fortunately I’m pretty sure I know what did it that day.

It’s the Floors.
They all look the same. The spectacularly congruent entrances, the well placed corner design and the black and white tiling that forms our makeshift red carpet. But now that I think about it… Maybe its not such a spectacular entrance. And that dumb corner design is exactly what screwed me over in the first place. Someone should sit the contractor down for a very serious discussion.

The contractor.
I’ve gone too far again.

See? The beginning is a rather complicated place. Let me try again. What really started it off, that had me barreling towards that fatal error, was the call of nature.

In other words: I really – needed – to take – a piss.

It was late in the morning and I’d been sitting in the same spot since 8 am. I’d also been ignoring this burning desire in the pit of my belly, or rather a touch below my belly, since 8 am and finally decided that for health and safety reasons, I should join some of my friends as they left the room to go and do… whatever it was they were going to do.
Granted we were all going in the same direction, they did me no favors by walking painfully slowly to where my burning desire was directing me. But lets go back to the contractor’s Floors for a second.

It’s a simple design. In fact the design was probably meant to help me. So calculating on who’s side the stupidity really falls on is a little hard. The layout looks like this: there’s a washroom by the main stairs on each floor, but they alternate. Ladies on the Ground Floor, Gents on the First. Ladies on the Second Floor, Gents on the Third.
I’ve never actually been to the Fourth Floor, but I’ m sure you get the hang of it.

Back to my friends – another probable cause of my stupid decision. We hit the stairs on the Third Floor and the conversation unconsciously dragged me down with them to the next Floor. But as soon as my toe touched the last step, I’d had enough and I silently slipped away behind the closest washroom’s well placed corner design.

Now, in case you’re like me and you weren’t paying attention to where I was going, let me just clear things up: I was in the washroom on the Second Floor – Ladies territory.
And I had no idea.

I really wish I had Harry Potter’s Grand Staircase to blame. But I didn’t.

Everything was normal.

I don’t know why, but I hit the cubicle instead of the usual urinal.
Strike 1.

When you’ve been to the washrooms in a building a few times you know what they all generally look like. Your brain memorizes almost every cubicle like the songs on your iPod (if you still have one). I remember feeling a little strange in my cubical. It looked different. Not off, or lopsided, or a different color. Just different. I didn’t think much of it and just let the world fade as I drained away.
Strike 2.

I zipped up and went over to the sink for some general hygiene. Then I looked over my shoulder and this – in all honesty – drop dead gorgeous girl walks right in to the washroom.

I looked at her.

She looked at me.

Then I got back to the business of washing my hands.
“She’s probably lost, she’ll leave when she figures it out” – I thought.

I’m sure you’ve now realized I made more than just one stupid decision that day.
Strike 3.

Everything was normal. Just a guy and – again, gorgeous – girl sharing a washroom. I washed my hands as she fixed her hair. We all do one of those things right? So there’s clearly no problem in doing them side by side.

For about 5 seconds.
Then we decided to look at each other again. I mean really look at each other.

I looked at her.

She looked at me.

And at midday, the spell broke.
It was no longer okay for a guy and a girl to share the same washroom.

One of us was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now I’m not one to point fingers, so I won’t. I’ll tell you how this girl and I figured it out.

It’s strange how time works when something is about to go down. Like really go down. Everything suddenly slows. We carefully turned to face each other, and then I stood there, staring at the girl, completely mesmerized. And we were both thinking the same thing. I just know we were. I could see it in her face. Every alluring detail. Her instantly rigid caramel skin, the dimple that pressed into her left cheek as her mouth cringed in disbelief and, most especially, her eyes. They just kept – getting – wider.

Her expression, was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. To date.

But I was literally in no position to laugh, and I doubt my face gave her much to look at either. Without a word, we both instantly sprang into action. She was closest to the entrance, so she ran to check the washroom sign. I on the other hand did the only other useful thing a man can do in that situation. I ran to check for the urinals.

And shock on me. There weren’t any.

We both turned back to each other to present our findings. Having found no cause for concern but my presence in the Ladies washroom, her expression was a little more relaxed. My face however decided to practice something new.

I call it, the: “oh-shit-I-can’t-believe-I-just-took-a-piss-in-the-Ladies” face.

Its super easy. Just permanently drop your jaw, raise you eyebrows to the maximum, and you’ve got something petty close to it. It also comes with a sound if you can manage. My throat also decided to freestyle, and made this continuous “ha-haaa-haaaa” sound like I was somewhere between trying to laugh and reacting to my arm on fire.

Thank God I wasn’t loud.

For some strange reason my hand slowly  raised itself and pointed back at my chest, like it was trying to apologize and make up for my dumbstruck vocals with sign language. Then, after all we’d shared in the last few minutes, I walked out on her.
I didn’t even say goodbye.

And that’s how it ended. My finger pointed back at me, and my oh-shit face permanently stuck on so the whole world, and everyone in the hallway, could know of my sin.


Featured on:
Sed Africa 4: Stories
Daily Prompt: Mistake

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