A lot has happened since I last ate protein bars over the fire, frustrated about my son’s development. But as it turns out, my son really just needed more attention from me.
So now, everyday after I come home from making clothes with the other human women on this planet, I am sure to spend some time doing my little boy Roy’s favorite thing…carve figures of monstrous beings into the sand. So far it is working well.
The only thing that isn’t going well is how I feel about Koff. He’s been distant, and I’m not used to it. I’m used to him being all over me, touching me and begging for my attention. I sigh. I miss it.
When I awaken Koff has already gone hunting. I walk Roy to his school in the hut a few houses down, and then go to my job. I love what I do in the sewing circles, making clothes for the community. I’ve always loved working with my hands, besides, it feels good to contribute to this new society on this planet. It’s cold here and we need as much warm apparel as we can make.
The other 12 human women here with me on this planet all came for a similar reason, the destructive nature of planet earth was too much for us. We were ready for an out, and so when the big aliens sent a notice seeking manually skilled childless women, we were the few crazies that signed up. And really, I’ve never regretted it. At this point all I regret is falling in love with Koff, because now it hurts so bad when he isn’t fondling me every time he comes home from hunting, or sending me mating blows through his sea shell from the other side of the beach.
Harmoni, the first woman I met here, is beside me crocheting a long-sleeved light-pink cardigan.
“What animal did you get that yarn from?” I ask, peering at it.
“Same as yours. A sprak.”
My eyes widen. I’m not surprised, since we get most of our yarn from a popular animal on this planet called sprak. I’ve just never seen a pink one before. In this rural area the spraks are plentiful, and friendly enough.
They don’t even mind when we take the shears to their beautiful furs and use it to make our clothing. They are quite a beautiful animal and look like a mix between earth’s llamas and horses with thick brown fur. Some of us even use their long tails for hair extensions. I haven’t veen brave enough to do it yet.
“Really?” I say. A pink sprak?”
“Yep. It was a baby.”
I chuckle. “Wow. You scalped a baby.”
Harmoni laughs. “Guilty. It’ll grow back.”
“I didn’t realize speaks are pink when they’re young. Will you make me something? I love the color.”
Harmoni nods. “I love how quickly the judgment melts off of you. That’s why you’re my favorite human here.” She smiles.
”Aww, that’s sweet of you to say.” And I feel my heart lighten for the first time in a few days. I’ve been so burdened and alone with Koff steering clear of me.
“So are you excited yet?” she says, her long dark hair and bangs hiding her forehead. I can always only see the bottom half of her eyes. She has a goth-chick look, but her vibe is the opposite. Shinier than the three suns on this planet combined.
“About?” I look at her through my own thick bangs, and nervously feel my tight braided bun to make sure it’s as tight as I formed it this morning.
“Your son is almost five, right? Little Roy is getting so big!”
“Oh, yeah! He is.” I slap myself playfully on the head. I’m not used to people remembering things like that. I hate that I’m so bad at it. I never remember stuff as specific people’s kid’s birthdays. My brain can only handle so much.
Then the silence sets in. I focus intently on the dark brown yarn in my hands. I’m working on blankets for the many hybrid children coming. Three women are pregnant with their alien children, and the winter is rapidly approaching. We will all need some coverings.
“So…what’s troubling you. Do I need to stab Koff to get him to act right?” Harmoni says.
I laugh. “It’s fine, I guess. Just seems like his head has been elsewhere lately. You know what I mean?”
Harmoni leans into me, knocking me to the left. “Which head?”
“Girl, you are bad today! The one on top of his body, Harmoni.” I don’t have any energy for his other head with working all day and the new play routine with Roy. “But no, usually he comes home and goes straight to the mini-shed he built. Sometimes I wish I had somewhere to run to.
“It will get better.” Harmoni rubs my shoulder.
I hope she’s right.
Five hours later I walk to the school hut and pick up Roy. We head home and I prepare him a light snack while I work on dinner. The house sounds too quiet. Where is Koff? He’s usually here by now. I huff, throwing around the cookware with frustration. What is up? He couldn’t have told me he would be late? He’s always earlier than me!
The door creaks open and I can hear the thump of Koff’s heavy feet. “Honey, I’m home,” he roars.
I don’t even look up.
“Daddy!” Roy’s footsteps patter over to him, but I keep my face singularly planted in the steaming cooking bowl.
“Would have been nice if you told me you were coming home late,” I say with my back still to him.
He steps closer to me, I can smell him. I know how he smells after hunting. Like dirty foliage and sweat. It’s usually charming. Today it’s just annoying.
“I know, I should have told you. But I was working on something.”
“Huh?” I swing around and he’s holding out his palm. It’s covered with leaves.
“What is this?”
“Move the leaves,” he commands.
“I pick up the giant orange leaves and underneath I see a shiny rock attached to curved metal. It’s a ring.”
“I feel like such an asshole! Is this for me?” I’m on the verge of tears.
“Of course, my Jezebel. Try it on.”
“Ooo you said my full name. You must really be feeling some sort of way.”
“I am always feeling ways about you,” he says huskily. “We’re having our wedding next week.”
Not only did this alien male go through god knows what to procure such a luxury on this scarce planet, but he’s planned and gathered resources for a wedding?
“I’m speechless, Koff,” and the tears start to flow. We hold a long, tight embrace.
“Whoops. The meal is burning,” Koff laughs.
“I smelled it,” I laugh. “I just didn’t care.” I now have so much more to care about now. I’m going to have a wedding!