When that someone came, it was a slow Thursday afternoon. With fewer tourists than usual, the Venus decided to step out of her pose on the plinth and wander. No one seemed to mind. In the main area, where patrons were sitting, there was a noise, a noise of silent people with their incidental sounds like those of blood pushing out through veins, and denim swishing together between knees crossing and uncrossing, and slow, even breaths, or else quivering, uneven breaths. The Venus stood and enjoyed the silence, and she missed the time before sentience, when she was only half-finished in a workshop. It was so troubling to be. All the fuss and thought and questioning that went into existing left her exhausted and not to mention the—
“Excuse me,” said a small voice behind the Venus.
A girl, or more accurately a young woman, looked up at her, bundled up in a mustard yellow coat and thick scarf. Under her arm, she clutched a folded newspaper and a worn book, the spine of which was fraying and bore the words “Les Fleurs du Mal” in gold, flaked lettering.
“Hello,” said the Venus.
The girl nodded, standing straighter. “I’m here to answer your ad.” She pulled out the newspaper and showed it to the statue. “This one. This is you, right?”
The Venus blinked, processing the girl’s words slowly. “You’re answering my ad.”
“That’s right. I’m not too late am I? This is last week’s paper.” Folding the paper again, the girl stuffed back into the crook of her elbow. She moved her hand as if she meant to hold it out for a handshake, but thought better of it. “I’m Clara.”
“Venus De Milo,” said the statue. “Nice to meet you. I wasn’t expecting a human to be honest.”
A single delicate brow raised on the girl’s pink face. “What were you expecting?”
“A statue. One from the parks or graveyards nearby maybe. I guess I wasn’t too specific in the ad though, was I?”
The girl shrugged. “Should I go then?”
“No,” the Venus decided after a moment. “Walk with me. Read something from that book to me, if you don’t mind.”
Clara opened the book to a random poem and began reading in a low voice so as not to disturb the other patrons, but no one seem to notice the girl and statue as they passed. By the end of the day, the Venus was overwhelmed with a familiar feeling of incompleteness. If only she had her arms still; the girl’s hand swayed so invitingly at her side, and there was nothing the Venus could do about it.