Eleanor stood in the middle of her new living room and stared at the tall, tan woman standing in the home's front entrance. Wind blew through the woman's long, dark hair, causing it to flow over her shoulders in luscious waves. Considering this was the afterlife, natural wind wasn't something Eleanor had expected to exist since they were all dead and had no real need for. To be honest, it looked like the woman's hair was being purposefully blown by a giant fan, as if it to add to her physical appeal.
A whirling sound nearby caused Eleanor to look over to her side, where Janice - or was it Jessica? Jude? - aimed a large fan at the sexy skyscraper currently staring down at her. All the fan did was add a windswept look to her appearance, it didn't change the fact that she was already insanely gorgeous and didn't need any gimmicks or enhancements for Eleanor to be attracted to her.
Side note: Eleanor was definitely attracted to her.
A deep voice sounded near her right ear, causing her to snap out of her reverie and look up at the white-haired man smirking down at her. She'd forgotten he was even there.
"Eleanor, this is Tahani Al-Jamil, your soulmate." Michael told her, waving the other woman inside the moderately-sized home.
Tahani looked down at Eleanor with a smile faker than the spray tan she'd gotten a few months prior to getting crushed by those shopping carts. It rubbed her the wrong way, but it also rubbed her in…sort of the right way. Tahani seemed a bit snobbish and judgmental, but Eleanor was kind of into that. She had a thing for gorgeous, Amazonian women who could crush her under their stiletto. If Eleanor didn't know any better, she'd say Tahani looked more disappointed about their living arrangement than she did with their soulmate arrangement, so she took that as a slight win.
"It's splendid to meet you, Eleanor. I look forward to our time together," Tahani greeted in a posh, English accent.
Eleanor ignored the unwarranted butterflies in her stomach and nodded. "Ditto."
Eleanor noticed the woman's slight eye roll at her short response, and narrowed her eyes. Had she blinked, she would have missed it. Weren't people in The Good Place supposed to shit rainbows and radiate nauseating happiness? Tahani was polite, she'd give her that, but Eleanor was sure that, under that put-together exterior, was an insane body that she totally was not imagining right now and… something else that she couldn't quite put her finger on. But, as soulmates, was she allowed to put her finger on Tahani or use her whole hand?
And there went her train of thought. Tahani's knowing look only served to fluster her more.
Breaking the long, sexually charged silence, Michael clapped his hands together excitedly (a little too excitedly for Eleanor's liking) and smiled at the silent pair. "Well, I think it's time I head out and give you two a chance to get to know each other. If you need anything, call for Janet, and she will assist you with whatever your good hearts desire. I'll see you two at the party tonight."
And with that, he quickly left the house and closed the door behind him, leaving the two women standing in silence. It wasn't until that moment that Eleanor had noticed that - Nadine? Jane? Janet! – had left.
"So…" Eleanor started, attempting to break the awkward silence.
"So…" Tahani repeated, gnawing at her plump bottom lip, and then licking at the indented area to soothe it.
If Eleanor thought about what it would be like to take that bottom lip between her teeth, she refused to acknowledge it. Or, she'd tried to; it was a valiant effort. Tahani was frustratingly attractive and Eleanor's body was reacting to her presence a little too excitedly, and it was obvious Tahani had noticed, given her quirked eyebrow and knowing smirk.
"I didn't know dead people were capable of blushing," Tahani remarked, staring at Eleanor's beet red face in amusement. "Are you feeling hot, my dear?"
"Let's go for a walk!" Eleanor suggested instead, immediately heading for the door without waiting for Tahani's response, although she'd heard it, in the form of a quiet, husky chuckle.
The party had been eventful, to say the least. While on her walk with Tahini, who had eventually branched off on her own to investigate the spa on main street, Janet appeared to her with a note in her handwriting, telling her to find someone named Chidi. Eleanor wasn't sure who Chidi was, but she'd found herself asking every other person she'd encountered at the party if their name was Chidi.
"Any luck finding your mystery person?" Tahani asked, approaching her with two glasses of champagne in her hands, offering one to Eleanor.
Eleanor took the glass but made no move to drink from it, wanting to keep a clear head for her speech. She wasn't about to give away the fact that she was a fraud that didn't belong there. A small part of her got the impression that Tahani hadn't belonged there, either, but that was a mystery for another day.
"Nope," Eleanor responded, staring around the room at all the obnoxiously smiling faces. "Maybe Chidi isn't a person. Maybe Chidi is a nickname for a chia pet."
It wasn't until Michael had approached her about her upcoming speech that she'd learned that Chidi was, indeed, a person.
A clearly inebriated man stepped onto the stage, wine glass in hand, and began spouting out some remorseful speech about how he had used almond milk in his coffee on Earth, which meant that he didn't deserve to be there. He was high-strung, nerdy, wore glasses, and was probably the type of person who beat himself up over every little thing he'd ever done wrong in his life.
Ah, so that's why I wanted to find him; so that he could teach me how to be good, Eleanor thought to herself, cringing at the loud belch the man let out mid-speech. She'd need to find him when he was sober and decidedly less whiny.
"Chidi!" Michael harshly whispered to the drunk, rambling man, gently pulling the man offstage. "Pevita, can you take him home and watch after him?" Michael said through a tight, forced smile.
An Asian woman helped ease the man off the stage and placed one of his arms over her shoulders. Through clenched teeth, she said, "Let's get you home, soulmate."
Michael went up to the stage following the couple's exit and announced that the party was over. There would be a town meeting the following morning to discuss the night's events.
As everyone began to disperse, Tahani ran a finger through Eleanor's hair and teased, "Aren't you glad that you have a stable soulmate?"
Eleanor would later find out that things were not as they seemed. The one thing that would remain the same, however, was that she was legitimately into Tahani.