Ethan stops talking long enough to take a sip of the coffee he grabbed from the vending machine. He can’t help thinking that he might as well be drinking the heated mud from a natural hot spring for as bland as it is. He swallows the light, semi bitter swill and starts to flip through the pages of a Sid Vicious biography. There is a thin layer of dust on the book and the pages feel rough against his fingertips. It’s been such a long time since he opened an actual book. It reminds him of when he was a teenager and read old horror books before bed. Before his reminiscing turns into a full on daydream though, a sickness suddenly starts in his stomach. Like knots being pulled tighter and tighter.
He was drinking booze before, remember? Well of course she knows. No, you just made me skip that part… ugh I’ll go back…
…visibly, he seemed okay, sturdy even. Verbally, the slightest slurring of an occasional word would come forth, but not enough to suggest that he was inebriated. No, the sole thing that gives away his physical condition would be the pungent aroma of the booze permeating from his sweat tinged pores.
See, drunk. I don’t why he used the word permeate so much. I guess he likes it. Now, can I go back to the… really? So drunk and aliens are what draws you in. Okay I’ll go to the alien stuff.
“You know the middle east has a rich history of art and music?” Ethan said innocently enough.
“I hate Muslims!” Esmeralda blurted out with a hint of chaos in her eyes.
Taken back by this unexpected, bold proclamation, Ethan responds without thinking, “Have you ever known any Muslims?”
“Well…” her hesitation gives away the answer.
“How can you hate a group of people without ever having met any?”
“It’s—it’s not that I actually hate them. I just hate hearing about them all of the time.”
Ethan looks at her for a moment and realized he has accidentally embarrassed her. It wasn’t his intention to do this of course. It was just his…
I’m getting to that part Doc. Just give me a chance. So… It was just his natural way… you really want me to go right to where she says she’s an alien? With no knowledge of what brought that into the conversation. Okay, you’re the boss…
…I’ve never told anyone this,” she bites her lip and looks away as if she feels shame in what she is about to say, “but I’m not like everyone else.”
Ethan silently nods his head in agreement. In his mind, she is not like anyone he has ever met in his life. She is completely unique in every way.
“Do you know what I mean,” Esmeralda ask.
“I think I do,” Ethan replies. “But that’s why I,” he pauses for a second to think if what he is about to say can be taken the wrong way, “that’s why I like you.”
The corners of her lips turn up a bit and form a little smile. “Well, I don’t think you understand what I really mean.”
He furrows his brow for just a second in confusion. Wanting to say something to further the conversation, he reaches in the farthest corners of his mind but comes up empty-handed. Without anything meaningful to respond with, he just shrugs his shoulders and gives a faint smile.
She leans in towards him, her piercing eyes fixated upon his. Her lips part just the tiniest bit as if she is about to say something. The anticipation eats away at Ethan. What possibly could this strangely unique girl have to reveal about herself that she hasn’t already?
“Ethan… I’m an,” she pauses. Then sits back up straight and starts to shake her head side to side. “This is going to sound so stupid,” she follows up with a nervous laugh.
“Oh come on, I told you about the time I got the Hershey squirts at the water park when I was seven,” he grimaces at his own remark, wishing he didn’t bring it up again. “There isn’t anything you can say that I’d think was stupid.”
“I’m an alien,” Esmeralda blurts out before stuffing her face into the palms of her hands.
Stunned, Ethan can’t think of anything to say. This was the last thing he expected to hear from her, or from anyone really.
The two sat in uncomfortable silence for a while.
Of course she’s not really an alien. If you would let me finish… fine. Her saying she is an alien is like, one of them metaphors or something about her being a stranger in a foreign place. Like, she doesn’t feel she belongs at the college or anywhere else. She has mild Ass Burgers and it screws up her… Asperger’s? No, I’m pretty sure it’s Ass Burgers Doc. I think I’d know. My old man was a proctologist for 20 years. Anyway her butt meat or hemorrhoids, however you wanna put it, makes her socially messed up and feeling like she’s from outer space. The writer waxes real poetic on the subject Doc. The readers will love it, trust me. So let me just finish… are you serious? The ending? You barely know what’s happening in the story yet you want me to read you the ending? Fine Doc. Have it your way…
With their fingertips delicately touching, they lay motionless in the soft snow mound. Never have either of them felt such a strong connection to another person. It’s as if fate had brought them together into this single, perfect moment.
“Can we watch the sunrise together?”
Ethan inched his fingertips across her smooth palms until his whole hand is on top of hers. “I’d like nothing more,” he said as their fingers interlocked tightly.
It is usually under a series of odd circumstances that leads people to each other. In this case, it was a lonely young man who was unsure of his future who randomly made a promise to a beautiful, yet fragile young woman from beyond the stars. In this crazy random world, there are an infinite amount of unique moments occurring every single day. And if only one of those crazy, random moments could be deemed perfect, it would surely be this one.
“Hey do you want to hear why Kurt Cobain would still be alive today if he played the guitar differently?”
Esmeralda looks up with her enchanting emerald eyes and without saying a word, smiles just a little bit.
That’s the end Doc. Right. Right. Sure. Right. Well, it’s… right. Doc, you didn’t… yes. Okay but… Doc you don’t… Doc! Sweet mother of Moses would you let me get a word in. You didn’t let me read the whole thing. You didn’t even let me read you half of the blasted story. Of course you didn’t understand what was going on. There’s no way the tone can match up if you don’t even know what parts of the story set what tone. You seriously had me skip over almost every important part of the story. You can’t… THE ENDING WAS BORING!? You don’t even know what the ending was about. Well sure, two people finding each other in this crazy world. That might be a little cliché but you wouldn’t think like that if you actually read the damn thing. It really shifts away from what other stories… what does the word count limit have to do with anything? I mean, of course it’s over. This is a pretty long… You knew the word count was over yet you still had me read it? What the hell for? You did? Wait… you’re telling me you read it before I got here and just wanted to bust my melons, for what? Giggles? You’re a real piece of work Doc. This was such a waste of my time and… wait, does that mean the magazine wants to buy it? That’s great! My cousin will be… you aren’t just messin’ with me are you? Good. But you shouldn’t mess with me like this. My ticker don’t need the aggravation… speaking of which, how about you give me those extra vacation days for bringing this to you. I sure could use a break to relax… oh come on… you’re really killing me Doc.