Chapter 23, "Sappy Love Crap"
When we made it back home, Schmeertz beamed Christopher up onto his ship (after many an awkward and uncomfortable hug, seriously, it started to make me nervous), and they zoomed off, back to the Haberdash's.
Lou had already proposed to the string, and he hung it on a nail sticking out of a piece of plywood, declaring it "Queen Strudel" (the string, not the nail). He stroked it lovingly as I dragged Xlormp past Lou and into my bedroom for a more private conversation.
As soon as I had forced the door into a closed position, I picked up the nearest chair and whapped Xlormp over the head with it.
"Hey!" he cried. "What was that for?" He ran a flipper tenderly over his noggin.
"You know what that was for," I shrieked.
"Yes! Leaving me! Like a complete jerk butt!"
Xlormp glanced at the floor. "I know," he said softly, sadly, wistfully. When he looked back up at me, one of his remaining eyes drooped pitifully on his face, threatening to fall off. I guess it was true, that crap about the crying. "I'm sorry."
"Xlormp, seriously, pull yourself together. You look so weird right now."
He wiped his face, pulling off his eye along with a bunch of slime. "I know! Schmeertz kept telling me to suck it up, get over it. But...but I missed you so much!" Watery junk erupted from a bunch of disturbing places. I figured this must be what alien crying was like.
"Xlormp!" I yelled firmly. "Oh my goodness!" I tried to wrap him into a hug, but with these added tears, he was extra slippery. I kept falling over instead, so I just called out to him, "I'm right here, you can chill! You're making my floor all muddy." One of these days I would lay down hardwood flooring, I noted to myself.
"I'm sorry," he whimpered, sniffling noisily. "It's all Mr. Leader's fault. I wouldn't have gone if it weren't for him! I missed you every day, and then I found out we had angered the Blobbersons, but it didn't even matter, because you weren't even with me, and then, I thought you were dead, and then I just wanted to die."
He snuffled and sniffed some more. He sounded so truthful and pathetic, I felt a strange tug at the corner of my eyes, as if I, too, might cry like a whiny baby. How odd! How different! I stared in aching misery as the love of my life, the slimy, glowing beacon of joy in an otherwise emotionless world, wept freely all over my bedroom. I felt full of something, something filling, like a really good steak, only better than that, because it didn't fill up just my stomach. It filled up my heart.
"Listen, it's okay!" I tried again. "I-" The words I prepared to speak felt odd. Strange and unfamiliar. But I would say them. For him. "I - forgive you."
His blobby eyes (now only two left, this was getting serious, here) looked up in to mine. "You do?"
"Yes," I delivered eloquently. "And also you really need to grow back your eyes."
Xlormp responded by grabbing me up in a wiggly and tentacle-y hug. "I will never leave you again, Frig," he gushed lovingly.
"And I will never let you out of my sight for a single moment, just in case!" I gushed back.
He pulled himself away to look into my eyes again. "You won't have the chance to. I bought us some tracking devices to install on each other just to be safe." He reached into his slime folds and pulled out a couple of small boxes that read, "Never lose your dog or cat again!"
"Oh, Xlormpykins!" I quivered at the romantic gesture, wanting nothing more than to pull every tentacle off and rub it on my body. Xlormp seemed to have the same idea, and we fell on top of each other, but seconds later we heard a disgruntled "Ahem" from the skies above us.
I glanced up to see a space ship hovering above my room. (Which had a roof now, but it still had lots of gaps. Hobo craftsmanship.)
Mr. Leader's voice seemed perturbed. "We need to talk, Frig."
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