There was something about knowing one another for twenty-four years that just made you know when something was up with that person. An action or habit that fit together perfectly to let someone know when something was wrong.
For Rose it was seeing Oleana pick at her food or space out at random times as she used to when they got high together as teenagers.
For Oleana it was seeing Rose’s nails bitten down to nubs or seeing him eat or drink more than usual when they ate dinner together some nights.
“Dinner was lovely Ollie,” said Rose as he placed his fork on his plate.
A chill of surprise went through Oleana as she darted her head to look at Rose, “Thank you, that’s very nice of you to say Satya,”.
Oleana stood up and began to clean off the table from their meal she had cooked tonight, an oddity considering that it was usually Rose who cooked dinner during the nights they stayed together.
Rose stood up and stretched out his limbs, “I’ll put everything away, you go get cleaned up,” Rose pecked Oleana on her cheek, “Besides, you had an awfully busy day today with all those meetings,”.
“Are you sure? After all you were on your feet and making public appearances all day,” asked Oleana with a raised eyebrow, “If you need to get washed up first then do it, I can wait,”.
Rose shook his head, “You first, then you can relax longer,”.
Oleana nodded, as she handed Rose the Tupperware “Then I supposed I will,” and with a quick kiss to Roses’ forehead she left the kitchen.
As Rose cleaned up the kitchen Oleana got ready to shower. Swearing as she realized she’d forgotten her pajama shirt at home.
“Oh for fuck sakes!” she muttered as she pulled open one of the oak drawers on the Chairman’s dresser, “I guess one of his t-shirts will have to do,”.
There was a musty scent that emanated from the drawer, clearly, the stale smell was an indication that the drawer had not been opened in a long time. She ran her fingers over the fabric of the t-shirts before she plucked out a navy one that read Wyndon University on the front, she immediately recognized it as the t-shirt she had gifted him during the Christmas of her freshman year there. She thought about how good it had looked on him all those years ago, just how good it had made his muscles (then newly more defined, thanks to his work in the mines) look. How he had smiled upon opening it.
Oleana signed dreamily as she had shut the drawer, now imagining his current self wearing it and still absolutely swooning over the thought alone.
Her handsome boyfriend in her mind, still as handsome as all those years ago.
She got herself all washed up and then stepped out in front of the mirror. She pulled the navy t-shirt over her torso and her sweat-shorts over her long legs. She quickly began to brush her wavy long blonde hair then put it into a ponytail.
She took her hormone therapy out of the small box and took out the vial and needle and went back into the bathroom and cracked the door ever so slightly, she began to go through the same routine she did every night as she placed the estrogen shot into the front of her thigh. Shutting her eyes tightly as she injected it and pulled it out and placed a small, circular band-aid over the place of injection.
She had just finished disposing of the needle when she heard Rose enter the bedroom, “Ollie? Are you there?”.
Oleana poked her head out of the bathroom to look at her boyfriend, “yes,”. She then went fully out into the bedroom.
“There you are!” Rose said with a smile on his face as he walked toward his girlfriend, “I got everything put away Ollie, you can relax for the rest of the night,”.
Rose then started to walk towards the bathroom before he turned his head, “You’re wearing that old t-shirt you got me, it looks nice on you,”.
Oleana just nodded, her mind spacing out a bit again. Next thing she knew she heard the shower turn on which broke her out of her trance and she climbed into the bed she and Rose shared.
Her thoughts then turned to Rose and his behavior at dinner. Had he talked, or had she spaced out like a few minutes ago? He had seemed so cagey when she had first arrived at his penthouse for the night.
Something was wrong and Oleana knew it, she had already shoved what happened to her that day away, to be dealt with later when she was alone. Not now when her beloved needed her to help him.
She kicked off the covers as she thought about how to start off the conversation.
“Satya, is everything alright?” Oleana thought, “No, too straightforward. What about “I’ve noticed you’ve been feeling a little down tonight is there?- No! No! No!”.
Oleana then caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She paused as she studied her appearance top to bottom, brushing her skinny fingers over her thigh. Why had those words gotten to her so badly?
They were just words after all and she had had plenty of nasty words thrown at her since she had been young. It had been years since words like that had gotten to her this badly. So why did some comment get to her so?
“She’s too skinny, I mean just look at her, it’s a miracle she doesn’t blow away in the wind. Maybe if she were a little less flat-chested or had a little more in the ass she would look less like a twig. And then people, especially that chairman would- ,”.
That had been what she had overheard while walking out of a meeting that morning and it had been weighing on her mind ever since, in fact she barely remembered anything from the day besides that. It was though her brain was TV static.
That comment had made her stomach flip, “You shouldn’t be so hurt over this comment, people have made comments like this about your body at least a thousand times over, you shouldn’t feel bad over this,” Oleana told herself.
“Ollie?” Rose broke the train of thought in her head, he sounded worried.
Oleana nearly jumped out of her skin in terror and surprise, “Satya! I didn’t see you there! You nearly scared me out of my skin!”. Which was quickly followed by a nervous laugh.
“Are you okay?” Rose asked, his concerned expression resting upon his girlfriend, his vice chairwoman, his best friend, and his confidant.
Oleana nodded quickly, not speaking.
“Are you sure? You’re crying,” Rose said, “If anything is wrong you can tell me,”.
That’s when Oleana felt the wet streaks on her face. How long had they been there? How long had Rose been watching her? How long had he been standing there?
Oleana nodded again as she tried to dry her tears with her arm, “Yes, it’s nothing, it was just some silly comment by one of those business executives. It’s not like I haven’t been told my chest and behind are too small, and that I resemble a stick a thousand times over. I should have thicker skin than this, these comments-,” Oleana chokes back tears, “They shouldn’t affect me as they do. They shouldn’t make me feel bad. I am one of the most successful women in Galar and yet they pick over and shame my appearance before they even say anything about my accomplishments,”.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Rose wrapped his arms around his girlfriend and nestled his head underneath her chin.
Oleana wrapped her arms around Rose as her tears fell into his wet, dark hair, “I didn’t want to worry you, and besides I want to know if you’re okay, I know something’s wrong,”.
There was a long and uncomfortable pause between the two, which to any outsider may have indicated that something might be wrong. But between Rose and Oleana it indicated a period of thinking.
“Something is wrong, but I think we have the same problem,” said Rose, “We do so much for Galar but what is the first thing people ever seem to notice or talk about with us is our appearances, every time I give a speech or make a public appearance. At least one tabloid mentions my weight or whether or not I’ve gained or lost it. I’ve gotten better at loving myself, but like with many things there are good days and bad days. Today just happens to be a bad day for me,”.
“And a bad day for me too,” said Oleana as she ran her fingers through the Chairman’s hair, “We just have to hope tomorrow will be a better day,”.
Rose nodded, “Right, and this may sound cheesy, stupid, and you may think it sounds dumb but you are so much more than just your body. You are an intelligent mind, a powerful soul, your wit can’t be matched, and you are by far the most determined woman I have ever met,”.
Oleana felt warmth flood her heart and some of the static from her mind lift away. That had helped, however small that piece of help was.
Oleana gave a small smile to Rose, “Thanks Satya,” she said in a tiny voice, “It certainly helped,”, she then kissed Roses’ forehead and saw him blush a little.
Rose chuckled “I want to dance with you, to get our minds off of the day,”.
“Yes, that sounds nice,” Oleana said in a soft tone and laced her fingers into the Chairman’s.
And for that moment, she didn’t care about what she did or didn’t look like, or that her eyes were red and puffy from all the tears, or even the comment that had now floated to the back of her mind as the slow and jazzy music began to play.
The two lovers danced around the bedroom, lazily and happily, their foreheads touching and a small smile etched onto both of their faces.
“I love you Ollie,” whispered Rose as the song drew to a close.
“I love you too,” said Oleana as she kissed his forehead once again.
And after that the two danced in the filtered moonlight for as long as pleased. The memories of the day fading away into the night.