Monday, January 20, 2014
It’s funny. Just when I think I’m done weeping over my home planet, a new wave of grief comes over me and I have to cry all over again. The pain isn’t as horrendous as before and it doesn’t hit as often, which is good. I still feel the loss, though. Maybe I always will.
Anyway, I delivered my news as soon as I saw Dad transmitting his big, teddy bear image into the medical department next to Dr. Tep. I gave him a shy smile. “Congratulations, Dad. I’ve decided you’re going to be a grandfather.”
Tep smiled right away, but he waited the twenty seconds it took for Dad to get the message and respond. The first of my Kalquorian fathers beamed, and his rolling chuckle tickled my ears. “Wonderful, my daughter! Do I get to share the news with your other fathers, or would you prefer to com them yourself?”
“Go ahead and let them know,” I said. “This time lag stuff is a bit of a headache.”
More seconds of waiting, then Dad nodded. “We’ll send you a message later after I’ve told them. I know they’ll want to share their delight with your decision.” Dad fairly bounced with excitement, quite a sight to see. “Grandfathers! What I wouldn’t give to be there when the baby arrives.”
“Just as long as you get home in time so your grandchild knows you,” I ordered. “The sooner the better. How am I supposed to vet prospective clans without my fathers there to give me their advice?”
Dad grinned at that. “I’m so glad you’re going to do this, Shalia. I’ve lost sleep over worrying about you. We’ll get home as soon as we can, but it still might be awhile.” He scowled. “If you do find some clans that you think are worthwhile, send their information to us. Your father Rak can do a check on their backgrounds more in depth than what you’ll be capable of. We’ll see to it only the best clan gets to claim our daughter.”
He’s such a dad, isn’t he? I had a sudden image of Nayun, Bitev, and Rak sitting in an Earther living room, doing maintenance on plasma rifles just as a young man showed up at the door to take me on a date. Whoever thinks Earthers and Kalquorians are too different to coexist should let my parent clan adopt them.
After a brief conversation, Dad’s transmission ended. Tep gave me a going over and transferred some information from his computer to the one in my quarters as to what to expect as the pregnancy progresses. I realized it’s a bit of a toss-up as to whether I’ll have this baby on the ship or on Kalquor. Right now Tep predicts I’ll be a brand new mom when we reach our new home. My prospective clans can bring me flowers and diapers on our dates.
I went next to look for Candy and Katrina, wanting to tell them I’d at last made the final decision. I found them in Katrina’s quarters. Candy looked definitely worse for wear. In fact, she looked like she had just woken up. Her hair was tangled wreck. She wore no makeup. At total odds with her disheveled appearance was the fact she wore a rumpled but beautiful cocktail dress of pink lace. She was barefoot.
Katrina sat at her little dinette table, drinking coffee with a proudly smug look on her face as she grinned at me and Candy. She looked good in a pair of loose-fitting trousers and pullover shirt. Her short salt-and-pepper hair was combed into place.
I stared at Candy, who had the expression of a cat that had eaten a tasty mouse. She might have been a mess, but she seemed to be a happy mess. She looked back at me, as if waiting for me to figure out what the hell was going on.
My head was still immersed in my own news, so I was a few steps behind where I should have been. “What the hell happened to you?” I asked.
“You can’t tell?” Candy beamed. “You can’t even guess?”
Katrina snorted when I just stood there like a dolt. “Last night was my salon. The one Candy finally got off her nervous ass and attended?”
“Oh,” I said. Suddenly, it hit me what had happened. “Oh!” I really stared at Candy then. “But you weren’t going to – you wanted to get to know one of them first—”
“Ha!” Katrina chortled. “She got to know one, all right. One times three, to be precise. It was only three, wasn’t it dear?”
Candy snickered and sat down gingerly. “Three. I’m pretty sure it was just the three.”
“So much for easing into it,” I laughed, taking a chair as well. “What changed your mind?”
“Booze and bites,” Katrina said. “Gets them every time.”
“I wasn’t planning on having sex,” Candy defended herself. “But I did have a lot to drink to steady my nerves. The trouble was, I didn’t realize how ‘steady’ I’d gotten until I flopped down on that Kalquorian’s lap and started kissing him.”
“At that point, I sent her into my room. That reminds me, I’ll need to change the sheets.” Kat got up and poured me a cup of coffee.
“But that doesn’t explain how you ended up with three,” I pointed out. “Jeez Katrina, did you have them take a number or line up at the door?”
She guffawed over that one.
Candy blushed. “I don’t quite remember how that happened. I mean, I remember kissing the one guy—”
“And grinding on him and pulling at his clothes,” Kat supplied.
“—then I was in Kat’s room letting three men take my dress off me. I’m so glad they didn’t rip it.” Candy looked her outfit over as if to confirm it hadn’t been torn during her ravishment.
“What happened was, I told Candy’s first friend they needed to take it in the other room. He helped her stand and our shy, retiring little virgin looked around the dozen or so young men. Like a queen with a harem, she pointed at two other candidates saying, “I’ll take this one and this one too. I’m a very friendly girl, and I’m finally ready to prove it.”
I sprayed a mouthful of coffee in hysterical laughter over the image of the Girl Next Door choosing her companions in debauchery. Candy covered her face with her hands.
“Oh hell,” she groaned. “You’ll have to tell me their names so I’ll know who to avoid. How embarrassing!”
“At least tell me you remembered having your first sex,” I said, wiping Kat’s table.
“I remember.” Candy’s grin was pure lechery. “I remember all that. Which brings me to my next question: when is the next gathering, Katrina? Tonight, I hope?”
We laughed. Another Earther sex fiend had been born, thanks to the Kalquorians.
I waited until we went to lunch before I shared my own news. I didn’t want to take away from Candy’s obvious enjoyment of her non-virginal status. Since she wasn’t so emotionally free as to trumpet her conquests in the company of others in the dining hall, I chose that time to tell her and Katrina they would soon be aunties.
Squeals, hugs, and congratulations were poured on. My friends were delighted with my decision.
Come to think of it, now that the angst of figuring out what is the best thing to do about my pregnancy is behind me, I’m pretty happy about it too. I’m going to be a mom.
Holy shit. I’m going to be someone’s mother!