Chapter 3, "The End of the World. For Serious."
I woke up the next morning feeling bad for some reason. It's not like I hadn't had a completely amazing night with Xlormp. Actually, we'd done things I didn't know could be done before, and when I awoke, I noted that there was quite a bit of slime on the ceiling. I hoped Lou wouldn't notice.
I rolled over to wake Xlormp up the way he liked best (which I would relate to you here, but there might be children listening). However, and also unfortunately, Xlormp was not in my bed. Oh, sure, there was enough slime that, had I the time and inclination, I could have crafted a very small replica of him, but that hardly counted.
I dragged my lazy butt out of bed and applied the appropriate clothing for the day. I wasn't looking forward to school, but I never did, so that wasn't really new.
Upon walking out the door flap, I felt moisture from the sky dripping obnoxiously on my face. "Hmph," I grumped, "Weather."
School was long and super boring. Xlormp hung out with me, shadowing my every move as usual, but he didn't seem as enthusiastic about it. What was the deal? Was I not wearing the right pair of socks? Should I, in fact, be wearing no socks?
No, socks couldn't have anything to do with it. What, then? My hair? Was Mr. Leader correct? Was it really, truly stupid?
I chose to spend the rest of the day worrying about arbitrary things. I wondered vaguely where Klaxie and Schmeertz were, having neither heard their girl-slaves' inane humming, nor avoided an attempted murder.
After school, I thought maybe I could talk Xlormp into running off with me to the storage shed behind the school. Yes, that is what we both needed, some time to not worry about making conversation and just worry about making-
But Xlormp interrupted my thoughts by appearing abruptly beside me.
"Hello, Frig, how goes your day?" he asked inquisitively.
"Crappily," I admitted dubiously. "I've got this weird feeling that something terrible is going to happen."
All of a sudden and with no warning, Xlormp's flipper slapped me firmly across the face. "Nonsense and balderdash, my little nubkins!" he said.
"Ow," I said also.
That slap. It had an air of distinct familiarity. What was it? It stung, of course, but I knew, I knew in my heart that it stung with love. And goo.
"Never mind, Frig, why don't we take a trip in my spaceship? I won't even make you clean it today." Xlormp liked it when I cleaned his spaceship, so this whole setup made me very uneasy. I felt uncomfortable, as if I were sitting on a chair but someone had secretly replaced the chair with a live volcano, so my butt was getting sweaty from all of the lava flowing out of it. Flowing out of the volcano, I mean, not my butt.
Nothing else in the whole world compares to flying in Xlormp's spaceship. I know this because, well, I don't mean to brag or anything, but I've done a lot of things. Also, since Xlormp does not originally hail from Earth, it's safe to say that flying in his spaceship was dissimilar from Earth-like things.
Xlormp seemed to have something on his mind. His eyes were doing the thing they did when he had something on his mind. His flippers flapped aimlessly in the breeze, as if he had something on his mind. His antennae did nothing of interest, they just sat there, being antennae. I wondered if he had anything on his mind.
"Xlormp?" I queried querulously.
"Mmmph?" he grunted in reply.
"Do you have something on your mind?"
Again with the slapping.
"Crazy talk, Frig, don't do it!"
That time I remembered. Xlormp had slapped me a whole bunch when he was trying to convince me that he wasn't really a space alien even though I already knew. He must be hiding something from me now! It seemed so obvious now that I had riddled it out.
"I think you're lying," I said, and this time, I ducked.
Xlormp wasn't expecting that, and ended up hitting himself in the face accidentally.
"Ha!" I cried jovially.
"Why do you laugh at my pain, Frig?" Xlormp asked balefully.
I immediately felt like the crappiest piece of flesh ever to have the nerve to crawl across the planet. Who was I to hurt the one I loved like this?
Suddenly, Xlormp sighed. "Here's the thing, Frig...I have something on my mind."
"You do?" I hinted emphatically.
"Yes. I have something to tell you."
"In fact, what it is, is that we need to talk."
"I can talk," I pointed out needlessly.
"Maybe we should have a private conversation."
I looked around at the empty spaceship. "I'm pretty sure we've got privacy."
Xlormp grasped my hands firmly, and stared deep into the soul of my brain. "I'm leaving you."
It felt like someone had cut a hole in my stomach and all of my innards dumped simultaneously onto the floor. In other words, I felt bad.
"What?" I asked, for further clarification.
"I'm leaving. You."
"But you said you wouldn't!" I reminded him.
Xlormp snorted. "I never said any such thing."
"Yes you did, last year, you said, 'I am never leaving you ever, ever again for any reason whatsoever.'"
Xlormp didn't say anything, or move at all. He just sort of stared at me. Then he said, "Oh, yeah." Then he sniffed with what may have been a nose, I was never entirely sure. "I lied."
I felt angry. And hurt. And pretty freaking P.O.'ed. I punched him in the face.
"Ow!" he shrieked, like a little sissy girl.
"What's wrong with you?" I hollered painfully. "Is this some kind of crappy alien joke?"
"I joke not at all, my Friggling. I, and the rest of my alien clan, have to leave. Direct orders from Mr. Leader. He thinks our presence here is too much of a threat."
His eyes seemed sincere. "Then take me with you," I demanded. I didn't see the point in living if I had no alien to grope on a nightly basis.
"I can't do that," Xlormp said.
"Why, because I'm not a girl-slave? I'll become a girl-slave for you, you know that."
"It isn't that," he sighed pathetically.
"What is it, then?" I cried.
"Mr. Leader says you bother him."
I sucked in my breath very hard, as if I were trying to suck up the word antidisestablishmentarianism with a straw. I held it for a very long time, just for the heck of it, then I hissed it out slowly, so that the only sound in the whole ship was the hissing noise I made. Xlormp eyed me cautiously through this entire process.
"So...is that okay with you?" he asked.
I guffawed a hearty guffaw. "No, actually, I think it sucks."
Xlormp shuffled around awkwardly. "Well, um, okay, then, I'll...never see you again? Have a good life?"
I hated absolutely everything in that moment. I might have thought in the past that I hated everything? It was a lie. I hated maybe thirty percent of things. Now? Now? Every. Single. Crapping. Thing. Including kittens. That's right. I said it. I hated kittens.
"Let me out of this ship," I growled throatily.
Xlormp seemed a little terrified. "Would you...like a kiss...first?"
"LET ME OUT OF THIS SHIP!"
"Okay! Yes. I will do that."
And within moments, I got deposited onto my front lawn, seething from head to toe with boiling, rancid anger.
Lou approached me, wearing a sailor hat and Superman boxers. "Soda popkins! I made you a poncho!" He held up a sock in front of my face.
I stared at him. I wanted nothing more than for him to leave me in peace so I could rage inwardly to myself.
He glanced at me, the sock, then me again, his wide, goofy grin never leaving his face. "Poncho?"
I snatched it out of his hand, and he flinched a little.
"Thank you," I managed to squeeze out from between my clenched teeth.
Lou looked as though I had frightened him a bit. "Will you...brush my teeth later?" he asked cautiously.
"Not tonight, Lou."
His lower lip quivered, then stopped. He turned sadly and trudged back inside.
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