“You two are always here. Maybe Saturn should be your home—not earth. Don’t you think, Vera?”
I watched my mother-in-law put more food onto my husband’s plate. Her angular, lime green face was stiff and carried no movement.
I took a sip of my drink and knew that she didn’t really want a response from me—folks on Saturn never wanted to converse. Saturnians weren’t a very social group of people.
That’s why when I met Khalifa I didn’t think he was from Saturn because he was so kind, but his green skin gave him away.
His mother eyed me up and down. “He’s always loved my Saturn chicken. Do you ever cook for him on earth, girl? He always eats like such a cow when he’s here.”
I massaged my temples and looked down at the space between my feet. I pretended I was just a small dot. Something with less consciousness. Something that wouldn’t have to validate any of it’s experiences with words.
“Vera takes very good care of me, Ma,” my husband Khalifa said. “And I love our home on Earth. It’s a lot more lively and positive than it is here.” He said all of this with a mouth full of food which made me cringe.
I was glad he stepped in to vouch for me, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that her culinary skills made me feel inferior. After all, I could barely boil eggs without messing something up.
BACK ON EARTH-The Next Day
“Sheesh…what’s for dinner tonight babe? That was a long trip.” He rubbed his stomach.
It took us a matter of days to get back to Earth which wasn’t long at all considering how long it used to take humans years to get there, but it was still a long time to be in a confined space.
I knew he figured I would just heat up a quick meal like I usually do. “Let me surprise you.” I winked at him.
“I like the sound of that! Let me know when you’re done. I’ll be in my cave.”
As he walked away I pulled out an array of cooking supplies. I was going to try to master that damn Saturn chicken. I knew I would have to make modifications on Earth, but I wanted to give it my best shot. I had never seen him happier than when he was eating that stuff, and I wanted to make him happy.
An hour later I checked on the status of the chicken. Khalifa brushed up behind me and squeezed my booty.
“You’re so cute.” He looked at the chicken once I pulled it out. I shivered and held my breath as he took a bite.
He instantly spit it out and the piece of chicken danced across the room and hit every wall.
My heart dropped down and seemed to have left my body completely. Why was I such an idiot? I crouched over and tried my best to hold back the tears.
He picked me up from behind and then flipped me around so I rested in his arms like a baby.
“What are you doing?” I said as he carried me up the stairs. His muscular arms made my body relax.
He smiled down at me and kissed me on my forehead. “Reminding you who you are to me.”
He kicked open the door to his man-cave and sat me down on his lap.
“I thought you said you don’t like me in here,” I said as I looked around at his futuristic decor. There were pictures of his friends and family from Saturn everywhere.
“Today is different.” As he held me on his lap, he opened his big palms and revealed a holographic album of our wedding photos.
He pointed his long green finger at a picture of me in my wedding dress. In the picture I wore a white dress made of metal with diamonds all over it and I held a bouquet of beautiful crystal flowers in my hands. It was beautiful and took me back to that unforgettable day. It was the best day I’d ever had on his home planet.
“You know who that is right there?” he said.
I chuckled through my tears. “Duh, Khalifa. It’s me.”
“Yeah. Damn right.” He wiped my tears. “That’s my wife. Not my mother.”
He pulled my face towards his. “I don’t need you to be like my mom, babe. Her chicken is great, yeah, but what we have is bigger than food. Besides—I make enough money to afford a chef if you want one,” he chuckled.
“Look. What I’m saying is…I love you for you.” He grabbed my chin and kissed my lips. “My mom makes great chicken—but I don’t know if you’ve noticed—she’s not always that fun to be around.” We chuckled.
He stared into my eyes. “You bring joy into my life, Vera. You nourish me not just with on a physical level with food, but with your kindness, your creativity, and just by being you.”
I wiped the tears as they fell. I felt like it was our wedding day again and I couldn’t hold them back.
“And one day,” he continued. “We’ll make hybrid Saturnian-Earthling babies and raise them to have those same amazing traits I love about you. Food can be manufactured—but a woman like you—is a rare treasure. You are my treasure. All I need—is for you to be happy, baby.”
I let my body fall further into his and then I turned around and straddled him. I kissed his smooth green skin up and down as he caressed me and I remembered how much this alien man of mine loved me. He chose me. He moved to Earth— for me. Why did I so often forget?