Love Needs Translation

“Does Lars speak your love language?”

Rawa’s chewing gum beeped. “Hold that thought,” she said and sprinted to the closet bio receptacle to spit it out before rejoining her best friend.

“So, does he?” Rawa searched the wrinkled lines on Lola’s forehead. They reminded her of her mother’s cursive, a writing style illegible to most now.

“Well, I don’t know about languages, but those eyes. Honey colored, and wide as collection plates. All I want to do is keep making donations.”

Giggles from both girls as they inched towards the Translation Station, a kiosk flanked by pink neon cupids. An electric arrow arched back and forth between the pair. The line to the kiosk extended past several clothing bars, a shoe-mold fitting booth, and the popular liquid lunch restaurant, Swillies. No matter, Rawa was determined to help her friend wait it out.

“Nobody makes a heart move these days without a translator. I mean, what if you’re incompatible?”

Rawa had been surfing connection sites for months without a nibble. Standing in line with her friend, she wondered if she would ever have a love match.

“Isn’t there a common thread in all languages?” Lola’s statement interrupted Rawa’s thoughts. “I mean, isn’t love universal?” Lola asked.

She had spent the last couple of years studying hydrophytes in full dive gear. Every day nurturing plants underwater. Clearly, Lola had lost touch.

“There’s no Rosetta Stone for love, Lola. If there was, I would most definitely have downloaded the deluxe version.”

The pair passed by a clothing bar full of hopefuls waiting to be served new outfits. The menu today looked appealing: business sportswear. Maybe if they got done in time, they could sit down for a proper pairing.

“Well, don’t leave me in suspense. I want all the dynamite.” Rawa had little desire to hear the sizzling details of her friend’s date, but she was willing to suffer through the retelling if it helped her friend pass the time.

Lola’s face lightened. “Well, first we sat on Saturn’s ring. Let me tell you, the view is surreal. Lars paid for an hour of interplanetary play, and I know we did not actually interlace our fingers, but it felt so real.” Lola interlaced her fingers with Rawa’s as she spoke. “He picked the perfect asteroid shower to make a virtual move.”

Rawa’s mouth puffed. This Lars character must have a massive digital piggy bank. “Be sure to send me the replay.” She hoped there was no such thing.

“Next, we went on a hike in Payne’s Prairie.”

“Where?” Rawa grabbed Lola’s arm. “You took a stranger home on the first date?”

Beside them, twins entered the shoe mold booth. Their parents waited as the machine fitted them, one in navy blue and the other in neon green. High fives all around. Why couldn’t find the perfect pair be as simple?

“No, nothing like that. That would be dating suicide, right? No, I just wanted to see what he thought about where I live, without him knowing where I live. Make sense?

“I suppose,” Rawa said, loosening her grip. If Lars was out for information or identity theft, it was too late to prevent disaster now. “That’s a dangerous game you’re playing my friend.”

“He put on Vivaldi.” Lola said with a dreamy smile, changing the subject.

“Classy.” Rawa said as she rolled her eyes.

“Exactly what I thought. Lars is fascinated by the local flora.”  

“I bet.” Rawa couldn’t help but smirk.

“He asked me all sorts of questions.”

“You heard his voice?” Rawa was salivating now. She reached for another square of gum, popping the last piece in to keep from drooling.

“No, we had our automates on. Can’t be too careful with voice data these days.”

“But he gave you his heart ID?” Rawa asked. She waited for some sort of answer to assure her Lars wasn’t some creepy cyberstalker.

“Right at the end, he brought us to this waterfall, higher than anything I’ve ever seen. He said it used to be called Angel Falls before it dried up, that is.” Lola’s cheeks brightened. “He told me I was his angel.”

A gasp escaped Rawa’s lips, then she added, “How romantic.”

Rawa tried to keep her jaw steady during Lola’s virtual replay.

When she paused the tape, Lola said, “That’s it. That’s the moment he whispered his heart ID.”

Rawa was forming her gum into some sort of masterpiece in her mouth.

“Sexy,” she said between strokes.

“If our love languages are compatible, I’m all in.” Lola gave her friend a huge hug.

“He’s the one, Rawa. I have a feeling.”

When the embrace was done, the girls moved up in the line. Right in front of Swillies. The sounds of blenders made any more intimate conversation impossible. Rawa wondered how people found time to eat before liquid diets. Or how they found true love before heart IDs. It must have been so exhausting.

“Next, please.” The lady at the translation station wore a red stewardess hat. She smirked when she saw the pair.

“Both heart ID’s, please?”

“No. It’s not for us. I mean, it’s for my friend and her long-distance date.”

Lola gave the stewardess the numbers. After viewing them, her smile vanished.

“Below twenties. Are you sure you want to have this translated?” The attendant waited to see if the girls might reconsider, but Lola extended her phone to scan payment.

 “Give me a couple of minutes, and I’ll be right back with your results.”

Lola clinched her fists. “This translation cost me a week’s salary.”

“Try not to think about it. Hey. Wanna eat at Swillies afterwards? My treat. I’m kinda feeling a lasagna shake.” Rawa heard the blender in the background, and her tummy rumbled.

“Results are in.” The translator returned with a single QR code.

“That fast? Are we compatible?”

The translator held out the code on a small square of paper. “I can explain the translation if you’d like, for a nominal fee.”

“No need. I can’t read it.” Rawa scanned the code and waded through the first few paragraphs of legalese.

 “Well, it’s not the worst news.” Rawa said, as she bit her lip.

“Tell me how bad it is.” Lola said, shifting her weight from one leg to another as if gearing up for a race.

Rawa read from the report. “Long-lasting love unlikely. With a five-year congenial courtship, your love languages can be synched, for a nominal fee. Then, you can choose to enter a state of legal matrimony.”

“Five years?” Lola snatched the code from the translator.

“I’ve heard worse.” Rawa lied. She’d never heard anything so depressing.

As the girls headed towards Swillies, Lola held out the code.

“Give me your gum.” Rawa spit her gum on the paper without comment.

 “Five years is forever.” Lola said, and balling up the translation, she tossed the wad into a receptacle as the two hurried past.

Rawa hooked arms with her friend. They’d meet partners that spoke their love languages and live happily ever after. Lola would get over Lars.  A schnitzel shake would help.

2 responses to “Love Needs Translation”

  1. I have enjoyed reading this piece. K’s creative insight is brilliant. Hope you’ll enjoy this one too. Make sure to visit her blog for more amazing writing by her.
    And if you would like to share your works with Fictionary, don’t hesitate to reach out.
    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

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