‘No...’ Melania whispered, ‘We can’t... They’ll find out... He will find out... And then what?’
She stares longingly into the eyes of Ryan Gosling. They glimmer with the reflection of paparazzi flashes. Her hand slowly lifts up, quivering, to meet his cheek - but doesn’t make contact. Too scared to touch, too scared to ruin this perfect moment, she pulls her hand back and turns away.
‘We must wait, Ryan.’ She glances over her shoulder through a strand of loose hair. His expression is the same, his gaze unwavering. Her smokey eyes at half-mast in perpetuity. Deep pools of sorrow and longing in equal measure. They yearn for his touch as though weary travellers just out of reach of a forgiving oasis of cool water.
‘But always know, that... I ... I love y-‘
‘Mrs. Trump, this is your half hour call time for dinner!’ Evian, her assistant formerly known as Sarah but renamed by Melania’s husband Donald, calls through the door.
With a start, Melania rips the photograph of Ryan off her vanity’s mirror with the haste of a teenager daringly masturbating while their parents are home.
‘Thank you, Evian..!’
Her heart pounds in her chest. Too close. Much too close, Melania...! she admonishes herself for not hearing Evian’s approach.
Her eyes close and her ears focus, a skill she mastered during intensive espionage training as a child. There’s a moment’s pause and then she can hear the gentle steps of Evian taking her down the hallway. The girl’s heartbeat(audible only to the trained ears of Melania) fades with distance. Evian eventually settles down the hallway where she will wait patiently on an uncomfortable chair for Mrs. Trump. The old wood of the chair creeks almost inaudibly as she crosses her legs.
Clear of trouble now, Melania delicately smooths out the crumpled magazine cut out of Ryan Gosling’s face and whispers a lamenting ‘I’m sorry, my Love...’ as a soft kiss finds its mark. There is no more space on his face that does not already have lipstick, save for his eyes. She is always sure to leave his eyes unmarked. A tear escapes down her cheek and launches from her carefully crafted cheekbone like a professional ski jumper.
Quickly and silently she darts to the corner of the room, scaling up to the ceiling by ricocheting off of the walls until she perches just below the ceiling. She is suspended by the pressure of her feet against opposing walls - her legs in a perfect gymnast's split. With a gentle nudge, she pushes open a sliding compartment in the ceiling and retrieves a delicate copper box. The relic, given to her at the end of her tutelage under Master Gichen Funakoshi of the Shotokan martial arts, is from another chapter of her training. She places Ryan in the tin, closes the lid, kisses the top and whispers an ancient tantric mantra before stashing the tin back in its hideaway.
Somewhere outside of Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling is overcome by a rush of sexual energy and looks to the east.
With effortless grace and precision Melania falls backwards, checking her watch while doing so, and lands silently on the extremely creaky hardwood floor.
Now came the most challenging part of her day: dinner with Donald.
Unlike when she was training in the Himalayas, where she endured weeks of severe weather conditions and little to no sleep while completely naked(with the exception of a small blade attached to a strip of leather wrapped around her ankle), dinner with her husband was almost unbearable. Often while sitting across from him she would astral project out of her body. Travelling back to those sacred mountains in order to drown out the sound of his ketchup covered dentures slipping on and off his rotten gums was the only way to preserve her sanity and his life.
Melania steeled herself mentally and slipped into a pair of jeans, a somewhat revealing chiffon blouse that hung off of one shoulder and a simple golden necklace. Her hair, now loose and tousled, fell down around her shoulders and kept the secret blade(the same one from her time in the Himalayas) hidden carefully on the nape of her neck - clipped to a surface piercing. Her dear friend Rupaul had once told her, ‘Bitch, if you stay ready you ain't got to get ready, Okurrrr?’ and those, Melania truly felt, were words for a spy and deadly assassin to live and die by.
‘Good Evening Mrs. Trump!’ Evian smiled as Melania exited her powder room, ‘Are you sure about this outfit?’ the young girl was staring nervously at the jeans Melania had chosen.
‘Yes, Evian.’ Melania replied, grateful for her concern but confident in the clothing choice.
‘But... Mrs. Trump, you know how he feels about...’
‘Pants? I know. Thank you, Evian.’
‘Yes Mrs. Trump...’ The girl smiled, nervous for Melania. She really did like Mrs. Trump and had her best interests in mind. It had only been one week prior that Donald had had one of his female aides sent to Guantanamo Bay for wearing a pantsuit to work. Everyone of course knew where the President’s disdain for pantsuits came from (misogyny), but occasionally people still underestimated how much he hated anything that remotely implied men and women were equals.
‘Now then, shall we?’ Melania smiled, extending her elbow to Evian in an invitation to walk side by side with her. She smiled and obliged, taking Mrs. Trump’s elbow in her own. The two walked together to one of the dining rooms.
‘How does he seem today?’ Melania inquired, always sure to get a briefing on what she was walking into. These meals did not favour the unprepared... stay ready, bitch! Rupaul whispered in the back of Melania’s mind.
‘He is... In good form, lets say.’
‘Ah. He has been with Ms. Daniels, then?’
‘And their court case?’
‘Still underway, as planned. It has taken up most of the media circus’ attention.’
‘Well, that’s... Good. I suppose. I do not envy her... ‘ She shuddered at the memory of coitus with POTUS. Flashbacks of baby powder and a thoroughly filled adult diaper sent her gag reflex trembling.
‘And what about Delroy?’
‘Oh...’ Evian faltered, ‘It’s... As it was. There has been no progress made.’
‘I see...’ Melania sighed.
One hundred and forty seven million years prior, a star in a nearby galaxy had gone supernova. The shockwave from the initial implosion of the star had shattered several small moons and sent their pieces soaring interminably into the vastness of space. Delroy was a 900km wide chunk of one of these moons that was set to collide with Earth in approximately thirteen years.
‘Oh well.’ they both said in unison. At the rate the president was going, there was any number of things that would end up starting and finishing what Delroy promised far sooner.
Once they arrived at the dining room, Evian gave Melania an encouraging squeeze of the arm and tapped the back of her own neck with a wink, ‘Stay Ready...’, Melania smiled, ‘Okurrr...’ and tapped the same spot on her neck where the blade lay in rest.
Upon entering, the sweet vinegary smell of ketchup almost took up as much space as the sound of her husband’s open mouthed and breathy chewing.
Barely looking up from his $3,000 côte de boeuf, expertly prepared by his personal chef before being drowned in Heinz ketchup, he coughed ‘Sit.’ through a mouthful. Food shot out of his mouth and onto the table where he immediately snatched it up with greasy fingers and stuffed it back into the mound of chewed meat rolling around between his fake teeth. Indelicate was too mild a word for his table manners. Ogreish was more apt.
Melania floated to her chair on the opposite end of the ten foot long table. A fresh arugula salad, lightly sprinkled with vegan faux-goat cheese and locally grown cranberries comprised her dinner. Once her linen napkin had been placed on her lap she carefully began to eat, honouring each mouthful as she had been taught by a guru she met hitch hiking through the southern provinces of India when she was four.
‘I don’t know how you eat that rabbit food - that’s not real food, not in any way, not even a little.’ Donald leered over his plate at Melania’s salad.
‘And why are you wearing that Hilary Costume?’
‘They’re jeans, Donald.’
He froze, ’... What did you call me?’
‘Sorry. They’re jeans, Mr. President.’
‘... Better.’ he continued eating,
‘But they’re not jeans, they’re a Hilary Costume and I won’t allow my wife to be seen wearing them. I won’t. Will. Not. So, you’ll have Nivea bring you a change of clothing immediately.’
‘Nivea. Nivea, your personal assistant Nivea.’
‘Do you mean Evian?’
‘No, I mean Nivea - my favourite kind of water, your assistant’s name, that’s why we hired her - because I love that name. You know this.’
‘Mr. President... Nivea is a skin care brand...’ Melania informed him as she took a bite of her meal.
‘Fake news. Bee Ess. Garbage!’ he grunted, ‘Don’t believe what the media tells you Melania.’
‘Very well.’ she turned to the door, ‘Nivea?’
Nivea(Formerly Evian, né Sarah) stepped into the doorframe, ‘Yes Mrs. Trump?’
‘Would you get me a change of clothing? A skirt, something to go with this blouse.’
‘Yes Mrs. Trump.’ The young woman nodded and turned to leave, ‘Thank you, oh and Nivea - a bottle of water please.’
With a more mischievous smile and another nod she disappeared down the hall. When she returned she placed the skirt across Melania’s lap and a bottle of Evian on the table.
The President glared at the bottle, aware of the signal being sent by his wife, then cast his glare down the table to her.
‘Now, let’s see.’
Melania stood up to reveal the skirt for inspection. Using her feet alone, she had removed her pants and pulled on the replacement skirt beneath the table without moving her upper body whatsoever.
‘Better.’ he grumbled. She sat back down.
‘Mr. President, I wanted to speak to you about... Delroy.’
‘Love Delroy, great guy. What do you want to talk about?’
‘No, Mr. President... The... Other Delroy.’
Again he stopped chewing, this time his face burgeoned into the same shade of red as the ketchup covering most of it.
‘I told you...’ his voice was a shrill whine, ‘... I don’t want to THINK ABOUT IT!’ now, a shriek.
Down the hall, his son Baron, for all intents and purposes a child, glanced in the direction of the shrieking and sighed. He adjusted his reading glasses, shifting back into his reclining chair.
‘So immature...’ he shook his head and dove back into his reading of Carl Jung’s ‘Conflicts in the Child’s Soul’.
Back in the dining room, Melania held her position and stared blankly down the table at the tantrum unfolding. Her husband was no longer in his chair but on the floor, writhing and screaming. His small fists pounded the carpeted floor. She waited, as she always did, until this moment had passed.
‘Ketchup!’ he screeched. A young man dressed as a stereotypical butler rushed in with an enormous rattling silver platter full of ketchup bottles. ‘No, KETCHUP!’ the aid left, passing a stout older woman as she entered.
‘Yes, Sir?’ she said, exuding the confidence of a nanny replete with experience rearing horribly spoiled children.
‘Help me up!!’ Donald screamed, raising only his arms.
Ketchup (né Barbara) leaned forward and braced herself with knees hip distance apart before grabbing hold of his forearms and heaving back against the enormous weight. With several sputters, a squeal and a fart so drawn out and shrill that it mimicked a violin, he was back up and in his chair.
Donald settled himself in his chair. Ketchup remained nearby. It was not uncommon for him to have several temper tantrums in short succession.
‘Now,’ he picked up his knife and fork and held them in his fists on the table, ‘What were you saying...?’
Melania remained un-phased and replied:
Another tantrum. This one took less time as Ketchup was already close by.
‘... I’ll ask you again...’ he started, out of breath, ‘What were we talking about?’
A small vein on the side of his face erupted and a thin line of blood trickled down his face. Ketchup stepped forward quietly, dabbed the blood and applied a cauterizing agent to stem the bleeding.
‘Melania...’ he wheezed, ‘Can we ... Please... get through one meal without talking about... That?’
She’d let this one slide, knowing he would never acknowledge the impending apocalypse. This had been her 147th attempt at reasoning with him about the end of the world and it would be her last. Based on her observations(and her unparalleled powers of clairvoyance), it was her belief that he would most likely still be denying doomsday as the inferno from Delroy’s impact melted the glass windows of his bedroom, caught fire to his duvet and charred his hands and arms as he shielded himself against it.
Once her salad was finished, she quietly excused herself from the table and left Donald to continue slurping up his priceless steak and bargain bin ketchup.
Down the hallway she found Baron, still deeply ensconced in his Jung book.
‘How goes the reading, Baron?’ she cooed, gently running her hands through his hair.
‘Quite well, thank you Mother. How was dinner?’ he asked, still reading at least six pages every three seconds.
Her hand found a small space behind Baron’s ear where three metallic bumps were hidden. She pushed down on them and Baron sat upright.
‘It’s that time?’ he asked,
‘Yes, my love. It’s that time.’
‘He was not interested in preserving the planet, then?’
‘No, my love. He remains... As expected.’
‘Very well.’ the boy placed his book down and hopped up from his chair. With robotic precision he made his way across the room to a book shelf. A strange electronic noise emitted from his chest and the book shelf swung open to reveal an enormous hangar. Within the hangar sat a sleek silver vessel. It was cylindrical, smooth and seemingly without any sort of modern jet engines. At the front was a large circular port window where one could make out a pair of ornate wooden thrones. One large, one small.
Baron turned to face the woman who he had been programmed to perceive as a Mother figure, Melania, and extended his hand.
She smiled at his courteous mannerisms and walked to his side, taking his hand. Baron, a gift from her childhood friend Elon Musk, was her most prized possession. Though not even remotely an organic being, he was her son in every way.
‘It was a good run, wasn’t it, Mother?’
‘Yes.’ she replied, now speaking in her native Martian tongue. Baron understood the dialect perfectly, of course, as it was the mother tongue of his creator Elon.
‘Shall I alert father that we are leaving for home? And the palace on Mars, should they be informed of our early return? Surely they will want to have a parade prepared to welcome you back.’
‘Yes, my love.’ she smiled down at him and together they boarded the ship. Once inside, Baron set about sending alerts from a communication panel. The ship silently began to hover and then shimmered out of sight and into invisibility.
Across the continent in Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling’s hand shot to his ear. A signal had begun to chime in the back of his head. He turned and looked once more off into the eastern sky from his floating pool chair.
‘My love...’ he smiled expectantly.