Chapter 8:

sceNe 8 - ᴡaᴋiNɢ uᴘ

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

How did I get home?

I wasn’t quite awake, but I was lying in bed, trying to remember how I got home. The last thing I remember was being at the restaurant. As I began to look around my room, I noticed some small lights. Across from the foot of my bed was a wall of tiny colorful lights, all kinds of shapes and in seemingly random places. As my eyes began to use these lights to fill the room, I slowly realized I wasn’t in my room. I was somewhere else.

I sat up to look for my phone. It was charging on the nightstand. I unplugged it and looked at the time. 6:24am. Explains why my body was waking up. As I began my morning ritual on my phone, I noticed my location. I was still in my hometown. As I looked around the room more carefully, I began to realize where I was: Cryztal’s bedroom. And the thoughts of all the things that could have happened started racing in my mind.

Okay! Let’s slow down! No need to jump to any conclusions!

Looking around the room, I couldn’t see Cryztal, and she would definitely be asleep by now. So it’s not like we shared this bed, but it was still her bed, right? As I decided to snuggle into it a little, ignoring Sandra’s voice in my mind telling me I’m being creepy, I realized I wasn’t in my clothes from the night before. I was in pajamas...JUST pajamas… Let’s definitely not jump to any conclusions here!

I decided to leave the bedroom and figure out what was going on as best as I could. The sun wasn’t up yet, but that didn’t mean much. As kids, because we could both see pretty well in the dark, we would almost never turn the lights on. It helped if we wanted to trick Jason into thinking we weren’t hanging out. In retrospect, maybe we were a little mean to him. Stepping out of Cryztal’s room, it was like living in a dream. The living room, the dinner table, and the kitchen were practically just like when we were kids. I stepped over to the living room to find Cryztal passed out on the couch. If I didn’t see her, I definitely would have heard her heavy breathing. It was actually kind of cute. I stopped in the bathroom before doing anything else. Couldn’t use the mirror because it was covered up with something.

Admittedly I was more hungry than anything, so I started searching the kitchen for something to eat. I doubt she would mind. The bizarre thing was that there wasn’t a whole lot to eat. Most of the food in the cabinets was bags of what looked like homemade beef jerky, with expiration dates written well into the future, but at least one with a fairly recent date crossed out and a new, similarly longer date added. I don’t think I’m ready to trust the jerky. Raiding the fridge was a bit more rewarding, finding eggs and bread in there. She really keeps bread in the fridge? Okay.

I decided eggs and toast was a safe option. While the pan heated up, there was luckily still butter in the fridge and plenty of seasoning options in the spice cabinet. I was putting together that Cryztal didn’t do much of her own cooking, but her mom knew what she was doing. I was able to make myself an acceptable breakfast and took a gamble on the orange juice in the fridge that was missing an expiration date. I was pretty satisfied with myself!

By the time I finished, Cryztal groaned and waved an arm at me. The back of the couch faced the kitchen table, so it was pretty easy to see her. I approached, and asked if she wanted anything for breakfast.

“Just...put some of the jerky on a plate…” She mumbled.

I checked which of the bags might already be opened, and found one that was about half-empty compared to the others. I spread the pieces out on a plate and put the plate in front of her. When I pulled my arm back, she told me to look the other way. As I turned away, I could hear her move and make sure I wasn’t looking, before loud chomping and biting started up behind me. The average person might be alarmed, but it was honestly a nostalgic sound for me. When she was younger she always used to eat food this way. I guess she still does it at home.

As she let out a big sigh, I could hear her set the plate back down. “Thanks for that. It’s kinda hard to move my body this early.”

“When did you go to bed?” I asked, curious.

“ three? Sometime after that. You were in bed before midnight, so I hope you feel rested.” She said, smirking.

“Yeah...uh...what happened exactly?” I was afraid to ask.

“You drank too much, Sandy didn’t want to come get you, so you stayed here. I put you to bed and I chilled on the couch.” She said these things like it was no big deal.

“Um...I’m not wearing my underwear...did you…?”

“Oh! I didn’t even check the basket. I just sent you into the bathroom to change yourself, and you did it.” She said, then a few seconds after she started laughing. “Did you think I undressed you?”

“Don’t laugh!” I shouted, blushing. “I had to do a lot of guessing when I woke up in your bed!”

“Well don’t worry. We were both good little girls last night.” She said, then yawned a little. She looked around the room, then sighed again. “This probably isn’t the best state to see the place in. I haven’t been cleaning up very well.”

I didn’t even notice until she mentioned it, but there was a lot of garbage piled up. The living room had a lot of shipping boxes, probably from unboxing videos. The kitchen table was covered in mail, mostly junk mail. And the kitchen itself, in retrospect, was pretty dirty. I guess her mom took care of a lot of this before, and Cryztal never bothered to do much upkeep after she left. It didn’t help that Cryztal’s mom used magic to do most of the cleaning, and Cryztal was never able to do magic because of her alien-ness.

“It’s fine! You can only see it when you’re looking for it!” I said, trying to disguise the realization I had.

“Nah. I should clean up. And you should probably head out, right? Don’t you have work later?”

“Yeah. I’ll get going.” I said. “Did you want the pajamas back?”

“Keep ‘em. I have more than enough, and if it isn’t obvious from how you found me this morning, I don’t always remember to wear them anyway.”

Why does she have to be so sweet?

I was so nervous that I collected my things and headed to my car without changing. I guess it felt weird changing into yesterday’s clothes, especially after what was essentially a sleepover. While it was an unexpected and actually pretty fun end to what was supposed to just be dinner, it didn’t settle my feelings for her. If anything, it made things worse. I was definitely starting to crush on her, and now I feel like I need to decide how to act on it.