I knew instantly that they were there, I didn’t need to open my eyes.
“Go away…” I grumbled.
There was a sharp intake of breath, followed by the flurry and fluster of narrow feet on the wood floor as they scuttled out of the room.
I tried to go back to sleep, but my brain was awake now and my irritation piqued. Also my bladder needed emptying and that need was surprisingly insistent considering I had only just been made aware of it.
I dragged myself out of bed and did my business, not bothering to straighten the sheets in case I decided to return to it sometime soon.
Then I went to deal with them.
They were milling about in the kitchen, picking at their fingertips with their heads down like naughty puppies.
“Marvin.” I said to the leader. “What happened?”
His big gelatinous green head quivered as he shook it, “Cassidy wanted to check something for her project. Randy thought a couple of us could sneak in and you wouldn’t notice. It got out of hand.” He shrugged his apology.
I sighed and looked around at the gathering of aliens around my kitchen table, “guys, you know I don’t mind helping with your projects. What have we talked about?”
“Boundaries.” Cassidy admitted sadly from her spot by the fridge.
“Boundaries.” I agreed. “And consent.”
Cassidy looked over at me with her beady black eyes, like two horizontal grapes in a bowl full of jelly. I could see she was sorry, “I should have asked.” She said.
I held out my arms and beckoned her in for a hug, she came willingly with a small beaming smile about her lipless mouth.
“Ask me first next time.” I said into her shoulder. Hugging an alien was surreal at first, but you soon got used to the plastic smell about them and the feel of their squishy smooth skin.
“I will, I promise.” She gave me one more grateful smile before withdrawing back to her spot.
I flicked on the coffee machine and popped some bread in the toaster, “what did you need?” I asked.
“I was just tracking some REM stuff.” She said shyly.
“Right, well, tonight you can come in for a bit. But only Cassidy, mind.” I added, eyeing the rest of the group sternly. “It’s not nice being ogled.”
“Yes, thank you, ma’am.” Marvin said bowing his head in respect. “Cassidy, your manners?”
Cassidy thanked me too and we went about gathering breakfast and coffee for everyone.
© Emma Stead