People of the Heart – Lovers

Zana Sherman checked herself over a final time in the mirrored closet door of her bedroom in her university apartment. Everything was nicely in place, everything was covered that needed to be, and the tips and tricks she had picked up from her mother’s makeup artists at The Land of Fantasy Theatre had allowed her to “put on her face” in under 10 minutes. Well, that and a ‘borg’s speed and accuracy, she added with a smile. Never let it be said there aren’t any advantages to being a member of this species.

She tapped at the panel, switching its surface back to a door instead of a mirror, grabbed her ident fold and slid it into a carry-pocket on the inside of a feathered sleeve, dabbed a few drops of cologne on her throat, and swung out of the bedroom. Thankfully, the 48th Century C. E. didn’t require university students to live in hovels; everyone had a personal set of living and sleeping rooms, with a mini-foodsynth for eating. It still wasn’t luxurious … especially compared to what Zana was used to at home … but it put a decently comfortable roof over one’s head, and good enough food, if not up to the same standard as, say, La Paloma Azul in downtown Vidran. Each living room in the complex even had an electric fireplace.

Zana paused and smiled as she glanced at that fixture. On its top edges … you couldn’t really call it a mantel … sat two holographs. Those ‘graphs meant more to her, in the final tabulation, than anything else in the room. Her mother and father had raised her well; between their own experiences growing up in their own families, and their natural love for the children of their own intercourse and gestation, Ariel Sherman and Adam Sandhara had done a fantastic job instilling the values of a family into all three of their children … and would surely do it with baby Bran as well. Family, whoever you defined as a member, and the love they deserved as family members, came before any material thing, any mundane concern. You shared in times of joy, you helped in times of pain, and you stayed together as a unit.

Zana rejoiced daily in the closeness between her and her family … even between her and her “knucklehead” brothers, Shem and Shaun, to use an old, old term. One of these days, we should all sit down for a family holo … although, the way Mom talks about having more children, it’d probably be out of date in four or five years … again!

Another quick glance at the second holo reminded Zana of something as vital as family to a good life: friends. This ‘graph was of her and Dara Furtano-Fa, her “big sister” since Dara’s own early days as a convertee to a cyborg, just over 20 years ago. It really had been more of a “big and little sister” situation back then, with Zana taking the place of Dara’s own younger, organic sister, back on her home planet of Aldine. But the relationship had deepened over the years into a true friendship … indeed, since Zana’s mother had “adopted” Dara as a clan-sister, Dara was as close to a true sister as never mind. Dara had babysat Zana at times, explained things to her that Zana hadn’t wanted to talk about with her mother, had shared secrets and thoughts and dreams with her. Zana had many close friends at age 24 standard, both ‘borg and organic … but Dara was the closest.

Then a popup warning jumped into Zana’s vision field, reminding her of the time and her date. Time to stop woolgathering, girl, she grinned. She tapped the “dismiss” with her “interface eyes,” as she called them, and stepped out the door for the lifts. The restaurant she was heading for was all the way across the city from the university campus; but both her apartment and the club were near high-speed transit stations, and she could arrange a ride-hail pickup while en route.

And there wasn’t any danger at all of not getting a table if she was late. The club, after all, was The Starlight Room, which was run by a woman named Ariel Sherman ….

Zana’s time management proved as sound as ever. She walked through The Starlight Room’s doors within 35 minutes of leaving her apartment, the doorman tipping his hat to her in recognition of who she was. The maître d’ also knew Zana well, and said yes, a gentleman was waiting for her in the bar. Zana smiled and thanked her, and slid past the host station.

She quickly spotted the man in question. Alon Cohen was rising from his tall chair; he must have been watching the door for her. She had known him as far back as secondary school, and he was still as easy on the eyes as before; indeed, they had been lovers off and on over the years since then. His garb suggested he was finding success in his work … assuming he wasn’t attending university himself. She came up and wrapped him in her arms, as one old lover to another, saying, “How’re you doing, Cohen? You must be improving; the hostess called you a gentleman.”

“Just shows I know how to make a good impression, Sherman,” Alon replied, returning the hug with interest. “I was back in town, and thought you might be interested in dinner and a drink or two.”

“Maybe other things as well, if you’re interested yourself,” Zana said, smiling in a knowing manner.

“Well, let’s see how the evening develops, and we may both get lucky.”

“Good enough. C’mon; I think I can get us a table ….”

Continued in Part 2 ….

I’m wearing:

  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Gold
  • Head: LAQ Ana 3.05 Bento
  • Body: Maitreya Lara 4.1
  • Eyes: NeurolaB Cyber Eyes EX-5 2.5
  • Hair: Firelight Kara (Thick Edition)
  • Outfit: Diram She (body suit, top, belt and feathers; currently available at Access)
  • Shoes: Bax Coen Regency boots (Candy Metallic)
  • Accessories: Masoom Esther Bento gloves; Kunglers Delilah necklace
  • Eyeshadow: Zibska Innes (03)
  • Lipstick: Zibska Mara (08)
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