An Idiot Abroad
"Kruton! Don't you walk away from me, young man!" my mom shouted as I stomped up the stairs.
"Kruton Lycan Pinappleous, you listen to your mother!" my dad growled after her.
I rolled my bright yellow eyes and slammed the door to my room. I listened as my parents stomped up the stairs behind me. I slumped on my door.
"You had better get your Earth Studies grade up; because if you fail it again, you are in so much trouble-"my mom began again.
"Alright, ma," I called through the door, really annoyed.
"Listen, boy!" my dad grumbled, trying to control his frustration, "You are to sit in here and study! No U-bass, no Cree-V, nothing! Work!"
As they walked away, I plopped in front of my mirror and observed my face. My bright red dreadlocks were growing out nicely, and my skin is darkly tanned. I'm finally starting to see some muscle development on my tall frame. My light blue jump suit shows my muscle mass off really nicely.
"Hey hot stuff," I told my reflection, "Don't get too stressed about this Earth Studies crap. Just stay calm, or you'll get hives and ruin your good looks." I winked at myself.
How do I not have a girlfriend? I'm hot!
Earth Studies is such a lame class. Mr. Q just goes on and on about humans and how cool they are and how "surprisingly advanced" they are and that we're stronger than them, and some believe in us, and some don't and humans "love to argue" all kinds of crap! He's like, in love with them or something. Why doesn't he just marry Earth if he loves it so much?
Sure, Uranus is a boring planet, but still, who cares about Earth? It's not that big of a deal. When I get famous, it won't be Earthlings buying my music; it'll be hot Uranian chicks! But they're kind of boring too… everyone on Uranus has the same hair color, same eye color, same skin color… talk about boring!
I sighed, walked over to my closet, and pulled out my U-bass. I then flopped on my bed and started jammin'! I am so talented, it's crazy! I don't need stupid Earth Studies. I have Rock 'n' Roll!
But then again… I can't get my own Space Ship to get to shows if I fail Earth Studies… it's a dumb class, but it's so hard! And I know I failed that test he gave us last Roofsleay. How am I gonna pass?!
Wait a sec! I stopped playing and jumped up. I know what to do! I'll just go to Earth! Then I'll observe humans and take some notes… and Mr. Q will have to give me extra credit or something! He keeps saying I should "put forth more effort because I need this class to graduate." But whatever! I'm gonna nail it this time around! Mr. Q says they have oxygen in their sky too, so I'll be fine!
How will I get there? I can't walk… it's too far away. Wait! Dad's old Space Ship! He keeps the keys hanging in the garage. It may be old, but if I put that baby into maximum over drive, I'll be to Earth and back my tomorrow morning! I still don't have my Shipping License, but how hard can it be to pilot a Space Ship?
I dug through the drawers on the side of my bed, and pulled out my anti-gravity travel pack. I made sure the anti-gravity switch was off this time though- I won't make that mistake again! I grabbed two more jump suits out of my drawers, my U-bass, a notebook, some pens, and my multi-environment camera. What else do I need to go to Earth? Food! Yeah, I should get some food from the fridge.
I looked over at my clock- it's 11,000 at night. I listen closely. Score! My parents are asleep! I crept out of my room, down the stairs, and into the kitchen. I pulled open the fridge and grabbed a few bottles of Goke- the yummiest of carbonated liquids- some star smoothies, moon cakes, mars bars, cloritto chips, leftover pakos, freeze-dried onions, and some pickled tentacles. That should be good for a little while. I zipped up my bag, flicked on the anti-gravity switch and threw it over my shoulder.
I slunk towards the door to the garage and grabbed the keys to the Ship as I went. I carefully shut it behind me and unlocked the old Ship.
She was a real beauty! About ten years old, but ran smoother than I am with the ladies! She's also a little slow, but I should still be able to get to Earth and back in time. I ran my hand over the dark green metal outside as I pulled the door up.
I jumped in the Ship and tossed my bag into the seat next to me. I hooked my seatbelt and threw the key in the ignition. The Ship roared to life and I grinned. This was my best idea ever! I put it in drive and lightly hit the gas… it jumped forward and I slammed the brake. I took a deep breath and hit the button to open the garage door, and then I slowly moved forward on to the side streets. It looks pretty empty, thankfully.
I smile again and feel more relaxed as I move down the side streets to get to the Space Way. I'll admit it, I ran a few "stope" signs, but there wasn't anyone around, so I don't think it was that bad. I started to go faster as I approached the Space Way to exit the gas layer of Uranus. There were more cars here, which made me nervous, but I kept going.
I got onto the Space way, and started pushing the Ship upwards, trying to follow the crowd. I just kept telling myself to relax and take it nice and easy. I pushed farther on the accelerator, and sped past several other ships, getting some curious looks from their drivers. I looked at the speedometer on the Ship and saw I was a good 30 miles faster than everyone else. Did it really matter? This is for school after all… I'll just have to be careful. Then I slammed even harder on the accelerator. I felt the Ship shaking and groaning and I was kind of confused, but I ignored it and just kept going. I was moving upward, and going faster and faster and I briefly saw a sign that said "Shift to overdrive in 2.6 miles"
2.6 miles? The Ship was vibrating so hard, it felt like it was going to explode! I feel really nervous now… maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
No way! I have to do this! I'll pass that stupid class no matter what! I grabbed the stick shift, and with all of my might, I forced the old girl into maximum overdrive, and I shot off like a bullet. I zoomed past everything, and the Ship was going so fast I could hardly move from my seat.
I struggled to push my arm forward towards the navigation system. It took a moment for me to reach, but I clumsily punched in "Earth".
What part of Earth are you going to? Please select a continent:
a) North America
b) South America
I forced my hand forward again, not sure of where I wanted to go, but no matter where I pick, it'll be lame anyway. The Ship suddenly lurched, and I was whipped forward and felt my head spin around.
Now going to your chosen destination:
What part of North America would you like to visit?
a) The United States
The Ship jumped again, and I hit another random button. The Navigation system beeped at me.
Congratulations, you will be visiting: Earth, North America, The United States. Enjoy your trip! Now calculating a random point to land.
I suddenly got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomachs. I don't think this is a good idea. I really want to go home. Something hit the ship and it spun off course. I shouted completely terrified, when more words popped up on the Navigation System.
Error: Unknown object attempting to penetrate Craft. Please remain calm.
Now shifting into Auto Pilate.
Now shifting into Lightyear Overdrive.
Crap, crap, crap!! What does that even mean?!
If the Ship was going fast before, it was nothing compared to what it was doing now. I couldn't see anything at all, and I felt dizzy. The Navigation system was beeping at me a gain, and I forced my eyes open to read it.
You will reach your destination of Earth in 2 minutes.
Two minutes?! I thought this trip would take hours! The ship is going faster and faster and I still can't see anything! I felt dizzier than ever, and I felt something pushing hard against the Ship's walls. I felt like it was going to crush me!
Now entering Earth's atmosphere. Please remain calm.
You randomly calculated destination is:
New York City, New York
Please enjoy your trip.
I used every ounce of my strength to move forward and try to control the Ship. I grabbed the wheel and held it steady. I held on as hard as I could, but the Auto Pilate got the better of me and the wheel spun around like crazy and I could only watch. The Ship spun as the wheel did and I screamed again.
My bag flew out of the seat next to me, and I managed to catch it before it hit me in the face. Good thing too, I wouldn't want a broken nose.
The Ship was going faster and faster, and I saw a rush of colors going by and I felt like the Ship was heating up. I screamed again, and was in a complete panic.
"What the picklepuss am I supposed to do?!" I shouted to no one.
Whiteness was zooming by the Ship, and then blue, and then I could see patches of green flying towards me. I got closer and saw what looked like a really big city flying towards me. I snagged hold of the steering wheel to try and control the Ship, and I did. Sort of. I didn't hit anything at least.
I yanked the wheel upwards, trying to get away from the weirdly tall buildings and make sure I'm not seen. I tried to glance around, and I noticed a really green area in the midst of the city, and I forced the Ship towards it with all my might. To my relief, it obeyed me.
I tried to turn it for a clean landing, but I couldn't control the wheel, and the Ship spiraled out of my control. I looked at the Navigation System, desperate for help, any help, and it gave nothing. It only flashed the words
Auto Pilot has been disengaged.
Please prepare for emergency ejection and brace for a crash landing.
I sat helplessly as my seat spun and clicked beneath me and I spiraled into this alien green world.
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
I woke up a few minutes later, and I was surrounded by green. I jumped up, and I felt dizzy, but I didn't care. I had to get to my bag and grab my camera. But was so dizzy that I fell over. Maybe that was a bad idea.
I shook my head and took a deep breath. I lay on my back and looked up at the sky. Earth's sky is blue, and ours is purple. That's different. Their trees are green and ours are orange. That's another difference. I looked over and saw my bag lying a few feet away and I wriggled towards it. I flicked off the switch, and pulled out my camera.
I snapped a couple quick pictures of the things around me, and crawled up towards the Ship. It is really beat up. My dad is going to be so dorked off…
I sighed and got up, slinging my bag over my shoulder. I guess I should try and find some humans or something to interview. I looked over at the Ship. Should I try to hide it? Yeah, I think I will. I put my bag down and walked over to the Ship. It's pretty big, but I think I can do this. I had crushed the plants in the area I landed in, so I walked towards the front of the Ship, and grabbed the nose of it firmly. I took a deep breath, and with all my might, I managed to lift it slightly off the ground. I hauled it over to another section of trees, and hid it among them. I dropped it with a grunt, and it fell with a heavy thud. I stretched and walked back over to my bag, when I heard a rustling in the bushes. I looked over and saw a human girl standing there, gaping at me.
"Oh my God," she whispered, "What are you?"
I said nothing and only stared back. Her appearance was so sudden; I didn't know what to say. Her eyes met mine. I had never seen a real human, and by normal Uranian standards, she would be considered ugly, but I think she's beautiful.
Her short golden hair shimmered in the sun, and she wore some kind of thick shield over her eyes… I think they're called "glasses" and they hid her light, playful brown eyes. She had small brown flecks across her nose that was oddly… cute. She was clearly shorter than me by quite a bit.
"You're beautiful!" I blurted.
"I-uh, well, uh-"
She emerged from the bushes and walked towards me, with a curious glow in her eyes. We were with in afoot of each other, and my hearts were pounding crazily just looking at her.
"Are you an alien?"
"Uh… I guess so?"
"Why are you here?"
"I, uh… I'm-I'm uh-"
"You aren't here to exterminate my planet are you?"
"No!" I shouted, desperately wanting her to like me, "It's not like that! I'm-I'm doing a project for school!"
"Aliens have schools? Sick! Where are you from? What is it like there?"
"Well yeah, we do, I don't like school, but- hey wait. You aren't… afraid of me?"
"Not really," She said with a dreamy smile, "You're freakishly strong, and really tall, but you don't seem that scary."
Why am I acting like this!? I'm normally so smooth with chicks! Okay, I think I just need to relax. If I stay calm, she might help me. I ran a hand through my hair, and took a deep breath.
"So… uh…" I gulped, "I'm Kruton. Kruton Pinappleous." I strained trying to remember traditional Earth greetings.
She smiled again, "Hello, Kruton. My name is Amethyst. Nice to meet you." She reached out, grabbed my hand, and moved it up and down.
"Uh, Amethyst? What are you doing to my hand?" I asked as she continued to shake it.
"It's called a handshake. It's one way that humans greet each other."
"I've got to write that down!" I exclaimed, dashing to my bag to pull out my note book. She watched me with curiosity as I scribbled in my notebook.
"So, Kruton. What is your project about? What kind of classes do you take?"
"It's an extra credit project," I explain, "It's for my Earth Studies class. I figured that if I could come here and get some information; my teacher would pass me this time."
"Does anyone of your family or friends know you're here?"
"Why would you leave your home and not tell anyone? Where are you from, anyway?"
"I'm from Uranus. And I don't know what I was thinking! I just kind of… did it." I felt my stomachs rumble as I said that. I think Amethyst heard it too.
"Did you bring food here?" she asked.
"Would you like to come with me and try some traditional Earth cuisine? For your project?" She smiled at me again, "You could document it if you want to."
"Oh yeah! I brought my camera too!" I grinned. I really do like this chick. She's pretty. And really nice.
"But first, we need to get you in some Earth clothing."
"What do you mean?" I asked her
"Well, if you wear your suit thingy around the city, you'll stick out some, and you won't be able to observe as much because people will be distracted by you. "
"Oh yeah… I didn't think about that…"
"I'll be right back with some for you. I promise. Stay right here, okay?"
She scampered off into the bushes again. I can't help but trust her.
I sat for several minutes in the bushes, sketching pictures of the things around me in my notebook. Just as she promised, Amethyst was back within a few minutes.
"Kruton? Are you still here?"
"Yeah!" I called, emerging from the bushes.
She had a bundle of fabrics in her arms, and she smiled at me, sending my hearts fluttering.
"Here you go, bud. I got them from a second hand store."
I took the clothes from her, and examined them. There was something that looked like the bottom of my suit, and something that looked like the top. And there was a pair of black shoes. I pulled them on rather clumsily, but I did it.
"There's this too," she said, handing me a belt. "I wasn't sure if those pants would fit you or not, so I grabbed one just in case."
"They are a little big," I admit, "but they fit nicely other than that." I examined myself. I still look hot. "Hey, Amethyst? I have a dumb question…"
"What is it?"
"Will you take a picture of me?"
"Of course I will," she said with a smile. I handed her my camera and showed her which button to push. She took several pictures of me in my Earth clothes. I jokingly made poses for her, and she laughed. That's a good sign when chicks laugh at your jokes, right?
"So… are we still going to get that Earth food?" I asked sheepishly as I picked up my bag.
"Yeah," she said with a smile, "I know exactly where to take you, too." She started to walk off, and waved her arm, signaling me to follow.
We walked through the busiest city I'd ever seen ever. This place is crazy! No one even stared at my bright red hair, either. In fact, there were some humans with bright hair colors like mine. According to Amethyst, they dyed it that way to "look different". All humans looked so different though. All different skin, eye, and hair colors… they're fascinating! I guess I can kind of see why Mr. Q likes them so much. I made sure to take plenty of pictures as we roamed the city.
After a few minutes, Amethyst stopped in front of a busy little building called "Ray's Pizza".
"What's this place?" I asked her as I took a picture of it.
"This is Ray's Pizza," she said with a grin, "You'll be trying the popular Earth food called 'pizza'".
I followed her as we walked in to the bustling shop, which was filled with even more humans. I looked around, completely fascinated.
"Hey Amethyst!" a small, dark-haired man called, "Who is your buddy?"
"Hi Tony," Amethyst called back over the other people, "This is Kruton. He's an exchange student from California."
Tony chuckled, "Sure is different in the Big Apple, eh, buddy?" Amethyst nudged me, and I just smiled at the guy, not sure what to say. "The usual?" he asked Amethyst
"The usual. Only two for each of us, okay?"
"You got it, sweetheart!" and he darted back to the kitchen and we walked up to the counter. She handed the girl standing there some kind of money. It was green and paper-y. I watched it with fascination.
She led me to a small booth in the back of the place and she sat down next to me, and we waited for our "pizza".
"Was that Earth money?" I asked her
"Sure was. But different places on Earth have different forms of money."
"That's crazy." I said, shocked.
She smiled at me again, and pulled a few sliver looking coins out of her pocket. "Here," she said, offering them to me.
"I-I don't want to take your money, Amethyst…"
"No take it. Use this in your project."
I took them, and put them in the pocket of my Earth pants. We sat quietly for a few minutes. I wanted to show her something from my world. I reached in my bag, and pulled out two bottles of Goke.
"Want to try one?" I asked, offering one to her.
"Sure. What is it?"
"It's Goke. It's a yummy sugary liquid." I explained.
"So it's like pop?"
She laughed, "I'll explain later." And we popped open our Gokes together. "This is awesome!" she exclaimed, "It's sweet, but not too sweet, ya know?"
Tony brought us our pizza and we dug in. I just have to say, pizza is really, really good. It's even better than Clorrito Chips, and those are my favorite!
I took a few pictures of my pizza and Amethyst laughed.
"What's so funny?" I asked with a grin.
"You are. You're so dedicated to this project. It's kind of cute." She smiled at me, and I felt my hearts beat faster.
"Why are you being so nice to me? If a being from Earth crashed on Uranus, I'd be pretty freaked out…"
She looked thoughtfully at the other humans, slowly chewing her pizza. She swallowed and looked at me. "Honestly, it's for these reasons: you didn't look like you could do me any harm, you looked pretty lost, and other people aren't very nice to me, but I always try to be nice to them."
"Why aren't other humans nice to you? I think you're great." The second I said that, I felt embarrassed, and I almost regretted it. Almost.
"Thanks, Kruton. You're really sweet," she looked at me kindly, "But other humans aren't very nice to me because they think I'm weird… they just don't want to talk to me."
"Tony was nice to you."
"Tony is one of the few friends I have. And when I say other people aren't nice to me, I mean the ones that are my age. The ones I go to school with don't like me for some reason."
I watched her for a moment. "I didn't know life here was so… sad for you. You have such a cheerful smile… I never would have guessed."
"I try to be optimistic, but sometimes… I just need a friend. And when I saw you standing there, even though I was amazed by your strength and shocked by your appearance, I felt like you needed a friend too, and I didn't want you to feel lonely like I do."
"I'll be your friend…" I mumbled lamely.
She smiled at me, a real genuine, broken-through-a-barrier smile. "Did you really mean what you said to me earlier? Ya know… when you saw me in the bushes…" her cheeks were suddenly enflamed with a soft pink, "When you called me beautiful?"
"Yeah… yeah I did…" I said, sharing her embarrassment, "I didn't mean to offend you or anything!" I added quickly, "I just- I don't always think before I blurt stuff out."
"That doesn't mean I didn't mean it, though!" I added, not wanting to upset her.
"Thanks," she murmured with another embarrassed smile.
"Don't Earth guys tell you that all the time?" I asked her sincerely.
"Well… no. It's like I told you before, humans my age aren't very nice to me."
I moved closer to her, "I'll be nice to you."
"Thanks, Kruton. That really does mean a lot. It's nice to have a friend."
"Hang on… I want to show you something," I fished through my bag and pulled out my U-bass, "Tony won't care if I play here, will he?"
"I don't think so… as long as you don't get too loud, I guess. What is that?"
"It's my U-bass. It's not like a U-tar which is apparently like a "guitar"… this is lower. I was going to play for you."
We sat there for quite some time, and I just kept playing as we talked. Occasionally, I would stop and take notes on what she was saying. But other than that, I just kept playing. She seemed to like it a lot. I just like her.
It was staring to get dark outside.
"Hey love birds," Tony called to us when we were some of the last few people in the shop, "We're closing soon, so you might want to head on home. Oh, and tell your grandma I said hi, okay Amethyst? Cool bass, man!"
"I will. See ya Tony!" she called back, "Let's hit the road, shall we?"
"I should probably go back to my Ship and try to fix it or something…"
"Don't be stupid," she said firmly as we stood up, "I'm sure my grandma would let you stay in our apartment for a few days.
I felt a bit awkward about it, but I agreed.
"To be honest, I didn't leave a note or anything… my best bet of anyone finding me would be my parents tracking the Ship…. And I'd rather be stuck on a foreign planet than face my parents right now."
"They're probably furious," she told me as we walked, "But more than anything, they're probably terrified! Their widdle baby Kruton is stuck on Earth." She teased in a mock baby voice as she tried to pinch my cheek.
"Knock it off," I laughed.
The warm Earth air was really nice against my skin, and felt really relaxed. Even if Amethyst doesn't have a thing for me like I kind of do for her… I won't mind. I'd love just hanging out like this all the time.
We eventually got to a large building that she explained was an "apartment complex". It had a ton of rooms and stuff in it, but you could only rent out so many of them. I took a picture of it, and scribbled it down in my note book. We walked up several flights of stairs and she fished a key out of her pocket as we approached a door labeled E-6.
"I'll tell you now; my grandma is going to question you on everything. And I mean everything. So I think we should tell her the truth."
"Really? You don't think she'll freak out?"
"I don't think so. She's a very accepting person."
"If you say so…" I mumbled.
She unlocked the door and I followed her as she walked in, ducking under the door frame.
"Gram?" she called.
I looked around. It was bigger than I expected, and rather cluttered, but it was really cozy. I like it. There were two bedrooms by the looks of it, a kitchen, bathroom, stuff like that, and like Amethyst said, a large couch in the living room.
"Hello dear," a cheery old woman responded as she bustled out of the kitchen with a mug of something. She was about to say something else, but then she saw me. Taken rather aback, she then asked, "Who is your…friend?"
"Gram, we need to talk," Amethyst said, leading both of us to the living room, "This is my friend Kruton. I've only known him for a few hours, but he's a real nice guy. He's an alien form the planet Uranus. He came to Earth to do a project for school, but his Ship crashed, and he needs a place to stay till someone from home finds him. Can he stay here a few nights?"
The old woman stared at her granddaughter, rather shocked at first, but then she sat on the couch, and gestured for both of us to sit as well. I sat in a chair feeling awkward, and Amethyst sat next to her Gram. The old woman sighed, "Why don't you two tell me everything, from the beginning. Kruton, dear, why don't you start?"
So I did. I spilled my guts, and told her everything, and so did Amethyst. While we were telling Gram what happened, she sat calmly, and sipped from her mug. Occasionally, she would ask a question, but other than that, she listened. After we finished, she glanced at me.
"Of course you can stay a few nights, Kruton. You seem like a nice boy, a little air-headed, but a sweetheart. And it is very obvious that you like Amethyst." I looked at the carpet, really flustered. "But I do have to ask, what possessed you to steal your father's Ship if you don't know how to drive it?"
"I… I don't know," I mumbled, "I didn't really think about doing this very much until I did it…"
Man, Gram is really good at guilt trips…
About 3 weeks passed before I heard anything form home. I felt home sick, and I was worried about what my parents would say- what would happen if someone found my Ship, and how much worse my grades would be after being gone for 3 weeks. Even with as much as I missed home… I really liked spending time with Amethyst and her Gram.
They're quite the pair to listen to, and I love the way they joke and laugh together. During the day, 5 days of the week, Amethyst had to go to school, but I went to work with Gram in her flower shop. It was actually tons of fun, and after school, Amethyst would come and help out too. On days when the shop wasn't too busy, Gram would teach me how to play card games. I wrote down really detailed instructions in my notes of how to play them. I could use it in my presentation, and show my friends back home. I know how to play Rummy, Texas Hold 'Em, and Go Fish now. Rummy is my favorite.
I've filled almost my entire notebook with notes and pictures of Earth. I took some pictures with Gram and with Amethyst… but I really want one of just Amethyst. I don't want to forget her or this time I've spent here.
Finally, it happened. Amethyst had just gotten out of school, and it was a slow day in the shop, so the three of us played a game of Rummy, just talking and laughing. When the door suddenly flew open. I jumped up to greet the customer like Gram taught me, but I stopped dead in my tracks, and I think my hearts stopped. My dad was standing in the doorway.
My dad used to serve in the Uranian military. Granted, we'd never been to war, but they soldiers were known to be tough. His bright red hair was in a short buzz cut, and his bright yellow eyes could pierce the soul. He was a few inches taller than me, but also twice as muscular.
I gulped, "Uh, hey dad…" I muttered nervously
He strode across the shop, fury boiling in his eyes. Man I'm gonna get it now… but nothing happened. He stopped in front of me.
"You idiot," he whispered furiously," Do you have any idea how much your mother and I have been worrying about you? We had no idea where you were, you didn't leave a note- nothing!"
"D-dad, I'm sor-"
He reached forward and crushed me in a hug.
"I'll yell at you later, Kruton. I'm just so glad you're safe." He muttered.
I hugged him back, "I really am sorry dad…" I pulled away from him, "I shouldn't have been such a jerk. I shouldn't have slacked off… I shouldn't have taken your Ship, and I should have talked to Mr. Q about this project first… I'm sorry. And I take responsibility for what I've done. I'll take whatever punishment you give me."
"Good," he said firmly, "Because you had better expect one creck of a punishment, boy."
Amethyst cleared her throat, "Uh, hi Mr. Pinappleous. I'm Amethyst. I'm a friend of Kruton's. He wasn't just wondering around Earth or anything while he was here… I found him when the Ship crashed, and he's been staying with my Gram and I, sir."
My dad looked at her and Gram. "Well he at least seemed to be in capable hands."
"You know, Mr. Pinappleous," Gram piped up, "Your son Kruton has matured remarkably over the last few weeks. I've been watching his progress. He put plenty of effort into his self-assigned project. He's learned a lot. I think you should talk to his teacher about letting him turn it in."
"He put that much work in it, did he?" dad questioned.
"Yeah! Here, lemme show you my notes and stuff, dad. Check it out!"
He sat down at the table with us, and Gram closed the store really quick so we wouldn't be interrupted. He sat with us for several hours and I showed him all my notes, my pictures, and told him all I'd learned. He looked pretty impressed. I don't think even he knew some of the stuff I told him. I even taught him to play Rummy and he played a few games with us.
As I shuffled cards after our third game of Rummy, my dad rubbed the back of his neck nervously.
"Kruton, son, you know you can't stay here forever…"
I stopped shuffling, "I…I know."
All three of them looked at me. My dad smiled a bit, "We'll stay for a few more games, but then we've got to go. Keep in mind, you're still in trouble."
After the last game, Amethyst and Gram walked back to Central Park with my dad and me. Amethyst held my hand as we walked and engaged in small talk. When we got there, I saw my dad's Ship, which was twice the size of the one I took here, had already loaded my Ship on to it.
"You can go ahead and say goodbye, son. I'll be in the Ship." I watched for a moment as he walked away.
I gave Gram a hug- another way of showing affection on Earth- "Thanks for everything," I told her.
"You're welcome, dear," She said with a sad smile, "Try to keep in touch, okay? I'll take your bag to the Ship for you." I knew she just wanted to give me a moment alone with Amethyst.
"Well…" I said, "I guess this is goodbye…" I held out my hand to her, and she grabbed it, and pulled me into a hug.
"Yeah," she whispered into me, "I guess it is." She wiped her eyes and smiled at me again, "It's not forever, is it? You'll come back and visit when you get your license, won't you?"
"I'll try to," I told her, "But I have two requests of you before I go."
"Can I take a picture of you?" I asked
She smiled rather shyly, "Of course."
I snapped the camera, and forever froze her pretty face.
"My other request is that you close your eyes."
"Why?" she asked, confused.
"Just trust me," I told her. She did as I asked. I took a deep breath. Then I leaned in and I kissed her. It was less than a minute, but that minute seemed to be frozen in forever. I never wanted it to end. I pulled away, and had a warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomachs.
She just looked at me, smiling, and her face pink. "Bye Kruton." She whispered hoarsely.
"Bye," I whispered back. I hugged her one last time, and then got on the Ship with my dad.
It's been almost 3 months since my little road trip. I was just ungrounded last week, finally. My dad felt that having to say goodbye to Amethyst was hard enough for me. I miss her like crazy…
On the plus side though, Mr. Q let me present my project and I've been keeping up with my homework. All of it. My grades have gotten a lot better, and I discovered that I'm actually pretty smart. But still. I wish Amethyst was here. My birthday is in a few days, and if I could wish for anything, I'd wish for her. And Gram. Gram is cool too.
I looked out my window. The house across the street was finally sold. It had been bugging me for a while now. I was curious to know who was moving in…
I sighed and picked up my picture of Amethyst.
"It's been a while…" I muttered
"Yes, it has." I heard her say.
I spun around, and there she was standing in the door way, Gram and my parents behind her. A huge grin split across my face and I crushed her in a hug and pecked her on the cheek.
"What are you- how? What are you doing here?"
"Who do you think moved into the house across the street doufus?" she asked me with a big smile. She kissed me, soft and sweet, "Happy early birthday," she whispered.
I grinned. Maybe Uranus isn't so boring after all.