An hour later, she came to me.

‘Done?’ I asked.

She nodded.

‘Well then, see you next time,’ I said.

She looked up. I realized despite the haphazard appearance, this girl was pretty. She was exactly my type: fair skin, blue eyes, and long permed hair.

I mustered a smile. ‘You’ll come again, won’t you? What’s your name?’


‘Hi Rhea. I’m Joshua, but you can call me Josh.’

She nodded, before walking away. Not very chatty, was she? I shrugged and closed the shutter, before taking the mop to clean up the mess she had left. Was it a good or a bad day? Well, I got to talk to a pretty girl, but not the way I wanted it to be.

Statement. First impressions count.

Girl – To some extent, I guess. He needs to be reasonably attractive.

Boy – OF COURSE. Men are visual creatures.

Question. So what do you usually notice?

Girl – The ‘look’ – you know, the whole package. His hair, his shirt, his shoes, things like that.

Boy – Face, boobs, legs. Unless you’re looking at her from behind, then it’s going to be hair, butt, legs. So legs are important.


Rhea came again the day after. The shop wasn’t even opened yet. She stood in front of it, seemingly oblivious to the slight drizzle. I ran to her and sheltered her with my umbrella.

‘What were you doing?’ I asked.

‘Waiting for you,’ she said. ‘There’s something I need to talk privately so I came early.’

‘And how long have you been waiting?’

She laughed nervously, but didn’t answer. I passed my umbrella to her, before unlocking the shutter. Walking in, I flipped the CLOSED sign to OPEN.

‘What is it you want to talk about, Rhea?’

‘I want to sign up for a membership.’

‘Hang on a moment, let me get the form.’ I took out a pad from the counter. ‘So do you want to go with bi-weekly or unlimited access?’

‘Unlimited access.’

‘Got it, that will be seventy bucks.’

‘Do you have a yearly rate?’

‘Yes, of course,’ I said, slightly surprised. ‘That’s five hundred bucks.’

She took out a cheque and scribbled on it, before handing it to me. ‘I want to sign up for ten years.’

I was about to blurt out, ‘Are you nuts?’ – but luckily managed to hold back.

‘But on one condition.’ She looked at me in the eyes. ‘I want you to reserve station number seven for me. No one else gets to use it.’