When She's Lonely (Risdaverse) - Page 15

I still get it. And she's wise to realize that there was definitely one time I pushed too far. Thinking about it even now gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach to think how reckless and foolish I was. "When I'd just turned eighteen, I decided to celebrate my birthday with a very large party. Unfortunately the party was on the star-yacht of my lover's father, who also happened to be a very important politician. About seven ooli brews in, I decided I should not only party on the star-yacht but also take it out for a flight. You can guess what happened next."

"Seeing as how I smelled ooli brew once and I thought my nostrils were going to singe off, I can only imagine." Ashley smirks up at me. "Let me guess. You drove the family car and crashed it."

"I crashed it and injured everyone on board," I agree, and hold out my hand, where I have two bionic fingers. "I lost this and a chunk out of my scalp, but that part just left a scar near my horns. My lover was not so lucky. She ended up losing an entire leg. Several others were badly hurt, too." I grimace at the memory and the shame I felt when I'd woken up. "It scared me sober but the damage was done. My family was shamed and had to pay an apology fee to her family. As soon as I was healed, I was entered into the militia. My family name had enough clout that I was never sent to the front lines, but I did spend far too many nights cleaning latrines and directing port traffic."


"Ouch indeed. This is an improvement." I gesture at my surroundings. "It might not be a post that many want, but I like it. It's quiet here and calm, and when I help people, I feel like I'm making a difference. And I haven't yet had to clean a single latrine."

She doesn't laugh at my awkward joke. She just gives me a knowing smile, as if she understands. "It's hard to pick yourself up when your life heads in a direction you didn't expect, isn't it? But you have to smile and make the best of it anyhow, because the only thing you can do is keep moving forward."

My throat feels like a knot. "Exactly."



I lie in bed the next morning, hugging the weirdly textured alien blanket to my chest, and smile up at the ceiling. For the first time in a long time, I feel…happy? It's a strange sensation, but after last night's “date,” I feel so good. Relaxed. It didn't go like a typical date, either. There was no awkward kiss at the end, he didn't insist on coming inside or demanding sex. He just dropped me off, checked my house to ensure no one was lurking, and then headed back to Port.

And that was it.

It was just a nice, friendly outing with a buddy. What was nicest was that I didn't have to make excuses or try to angle my ear towards him. He talked loudly enough that I could hear at all times, and when I had him repeat himself, it didn't seem to bother him. Our conversations were about our lives, not about my hearing loss or how we had to work around it.

Maybe that was the nicest of all. I felt like I could be myself for once, after years of constantly being on alert and having to pretend otherwise.

It was nice to have a friend. Nice to go out and enjoy the change of scenery. Sometimes I feel trapped on this farm as much as I was trapped in space, serving a master that didn't particularly want a human around. It makes me feel like I'm less alone, even if that friend was Khex i'Yani, the too-loud, too-annoying Port custodian who just yelled at me a few days ago over my barn.

Ugh. A barn I have yet to tackle after the nightmare with the machinery. The crops and crop-bots I figured out. The elderly male that came out and showed me how to run them had a strong voice and was quick with his instructions, so I got them down quickly. But the barn is going to be a problem, especially if I'm supposed to be cloning and growing livestock to sell later on.

Well, that's something for future me to worry about. Today I'm just going to relax and focus on having a good day.

I hop out of bed and take a shower, and when I get to the kitchen for breakfast, I notice my data pad is flashing. Uh oh. I pick it up, and to my surprise, English words fill the screen.

Greetings Colonist ashed lee. This is cacks and yawn deeds.

Tags: Ruby Dixon Fantasy
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