Saturday, March 17th, 2029
We walk in through the front door of Kevin’s apartment building, he says he lives on the third floor. We’re climbing the stairs slowly. Kevin walks ahead of us as he pulls out a small key from his pocket.
“Tammy, she kind of gets a bit pissed when I forget my key,” Kevin says, laughing.
“I’m sure,” Iris responds.
We make it to the third floor, and Kevin points out his door. We walk over to it as he sticks the key into the door and twists. The door opens easy enough, and inside I see a small house cat sitting content on a heater beside the wall.
“He yours?” I ask.
“She….and yeah. Her name’s Mittens.”
And the award for most creative cat name goes to…
“She’s so cute!” Iris says, going over to pet Mittens.
“Hey, Tam, I’m home!” Kevin calls out.
“Did you happen to eat while you were out??” A voice calls back.
“Uh…yeah,” Kevin replies back.
“Is that a ‘Yes I did, yeah’ or a ‘No, I didn’t, yeah?’” the voice calls back.
“Well, did you manage to at least fix the muffler?”
“First thing tomorrow,” he calls back.
“That’s what you said yesterday.”
The body belonging to the voice steps out from the other room, a woman, Tammy, roughly the same height as Kevin. Her deep black hair is in long braids that goes just past her shoulders, she’s wearing an orange top with a long white skirt.
“Oh, we’ve company, who are these two, Kevin?”
Kevin looks from us to Tammy, “These two, I promised them a place to stay for the night, an’ even a change of clothes. They were soaked when I was driving by an-”
Tammy holds out her hand and interrupts him, “Do you need these things, a place to sleep and some clothes?” She asks.
“Y-Yeah, kind of. It’s a long story,” I say.
“Okay, it’ll be a tight fit, but if you want you can have the couch. There aren’t any guest rooms here so you’ll have to share,” Tammy says.
“Thank you so much!” Iris says. She smiles at this and nods her head.
“But that means that you have to go get that muffler fixed now,” she says, pointing to Kevin.
“Agh, okay, okay, I’ll do it. Mind getting them something to change into?” He asks.
“No problem. You better hurry up now, dinner will be waiting on the table when you get back,” she says, smiling.
“Alright, give me a kiss before I go,” he says.
“That…will also be waiting for you when you get back,” Tammy smiles and winks as she walks into the kitchen.
Kevin has a half-exasperated look on his face as he quietly laughs.
“That woman, sometimes I swear…”
“She seems like she really likes you,” Iris says.
“It’s my duty to love her, so I do, I guess she’s the same way, ha,” he replies. “Alright, I’ll be back soon, you two go follow her and she’ll help you out.”
“Okay, thanks once again, Kevin! I can’t even begin to thank you,” I say.
“Think nothing of it,” He says, walking out of the door.
We’re standing in the small living room together, I turn to look at Iris once more.
“Those two are really sweet, and they’re living this normal life,” Iris says.
I take her hand in mine, “These are the people we’re fighting for, the peace we’re going to create.”
She looks back at me and smiles, her eyes sparkling. She comes in close and kisses me.
“Then we’ll continue to fight, and we’ll make this a peace we can live in.”
“Hey, are you two coming or what?” Tammy asks, peeking her head into the room.
“Y-Yeah, we’re coming,” I say.
Iris looks at me and giggles. We go arm in arm to follow Tammy into the other room, which I find out is both Kevin and her bedroom. The entire apartment only spans four rooms total, each of them seemingly smaller than the last; The living room, the dining room/kitchen combo, the bedroom and finally the bathroom.
The bedroom consists of two dressers alongside the wall and a king sized bed opposite of it.
Tammy walks in and opens the top drawer on the left dresser, pulls out a blue blouse, and after analyzing it puts it back.
“This is a tad difficult because I don’t know what you wear, both of you,” she says.
“Anything will be fine, it doesn’t have to be extravagant or anything. Your worst outfit would do,” Iris says.
Tammy looks at her for a moment and then smirks, “Honey, if you’re going to dress you’re going to dress to impress! You…what’s your name, leave so I can pretty up…” Tammy looks for a name.
“So I can pretty up Iris, and your name?” She asks.
“Okay, just take anything from Kevin’s dresser quick if you think it’ll fit and get changed in the bathroom, we’re going on an adventure here,” Tammy says.
“You don’t really need to do that,” Iris says, blushing.
“You look like you’ve had some bad times, let’s let the good come out and shine out of you.”
I laugh and walk over to the dresser on the right and scavenge through them. I pick out a red shirt with an image on it of what seems to be a young boy flying amongst crows, his arms are covered in flame.
Next I go into the drawer below and pull out some blue jeans that are probably a few sizes bigger than me. Seeing this, Tammy looks behind her and grabs something off of the top of her dresser and tosses it over to me. A belt.
“He always throws his stuff on my dresser because it’s closer to the bed,” she says.
“Thanks,” I laugh.
I grab some socks and a pair of briefs from the last two drawers and shut them all, walking out of the room. I navigate my way to the bathroom and close the door behind me. I let my exhaustion all exit me at once as I lay my head against the wall.
Who would have thought that Iris and I would have kissed? Who would’ve thought I would feel…happy before this is even over? I just wish I could forget everything and pretend that this was our life, living in peace here. No, we have a job to finish. The rest comes after, the times that we’ll enjoy will come after, whatever vision comes around be damned. I am going to fix this, and things are going to be okay.
Iris. I picture her face in my mind’s eye, her brilliant hair catching the sunlight. It is all I need to wake myself up.
I take my wet and soggy shirt off and throw it on the ground, it sloshes as it hits the tile. I unzip my pants as I strip down and breathe easier.
I put on the briefs and slide the pants on, I have to hold them to me as I was correct in assuming they were a few sizes too large for me. The belt comes on easy enough and then I slide the shirt over my head, it fits well enough.
I pass by the mirror and stop when I do. I turn to look at the bags under my eyes and just how messy my hair is, which is starting to dry from our near-drowning experience. Out of nowhere I begin to yawn, and I let it come through. No time for sleep just yet, but when it does come it is going to be one hell of a nap. I grab my clothes off of the floor and take them with me out of the bathroom. I find the laundry basket just outside of the bathroom and gently place my clothes inside and walk through the hall to the now-closed bedroom door.
I give a small knock.
“Hold on! She’s not finished yet!”
I back away from the door and walk into the living room. Curious, I walk over to the shelf hanging on the far side of the room, on it are several picture frames. I pick one up, but notice that it is completely empty inside. I look to the one beside it, no photograph or cute couple picture or anything. I’m scanning each frame from left to right, but there isn’t a single picture in any of these frames.
I turn to hear the shutting of a door, but then I see Iris standing in the hallway. She’s wearing a veiled purple shaul-like top over a white blouse with a frilly blue skirt. Her hair is made up and she’s wearing the slightest hint of eye shadow and lipstick.
I can practically feel my jaw hit the floor.
“See? Absolutely speechless!” Tammy says.
“No, this was stupid, I shouldn’t…” Iris says, looking away.
I walk up to her and turn her towards me. “You look beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” I say.
She smiles and throws herself into a hug, cuddling her head in the small of my neck.
“Alright, I’ll go get dinner started,” Tammy says quietly before she hurries off to the kitchen.
I stand with Iris in my arms, holding her tight.
“Tomorrow we’re going to need to head out…” I say.
“Let’s not worry about tomorrow. Let that come tomorrow. We’ll do anything tomorrow to save the world, but just let me have tonight right here, right now,” Iris says, looking up and connecting her lips with mine. We stand connected for what seems like forever. We pull apart to breathe and she looks into my eyes and I hers.
“Can right now just last forever?” Iris asks.
We wander our way to the couch and sit down, Iris cuddles up next to me.
“So, talk to me, I want to know more about you,” I say.
“Yes, of course you.”
“Well, I once punched this one kid from my school’s teeth out,” she says.
She looks up to me and giggles, “Yeah, he kept sticking his gum into my hair.”
“When was this?”
“So you were like…”
“Wow, you’re quite the killer,” I say.
“And that lead to other people saying quite the same thing, and that’s how I got the reputation I had back there…” She says, trailing off.
I put my hand on her head and keep it close, brushing her hair.
“They obviously saw how kick-ass you were and got jealous, obviously,” I say.
“Obviously,” she repeats.
“Are you a movie person or a book person?” I ask.
“Which do you prefer?”
She snuggles in tighter, putting her legs up on the couch behind her, resting her head on my lap and looking up to my face.
“Honestly, I prefer movies. I’ve got kind of a short attention span, to be honest,” she laughs.
“Hey, which do you prefer?”
“Me? I’m more of a reader, honestly.”
“Oh,” she says, looking down ever so slightly.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional movie, which is your favorite?”
“I’ve always been impartial to Lilo and Stitch, the Disney one,” she says.
“What other one is there?”
“I don’t know, maybe someone made another, I haven’t watched anything new in the past few years to be honest.”
“I don’t think there’s been much if anything to watch.”
“So, Lilo and Stitch?”
“Yeah, I like the idea of this weird alien getting the chance to be a part of a family with creatures that are nothing like him,” she says.
“Well, not nothing like him. Physically, maybe, but they both cared for each other.”
“Sometimes that’s all that matters,” I say, placing my arm on her shoulder.
“And your favorite movie?”
“Mine’s an oldie also, The Sixth Sense, you ever hear of it?”
“Yeah, my dad talked about it once.”
“I’ll admit, I’m a big sucker for a big plot twist,” I say, laughing.
“Hey, you two, dinner is ready!” Tammy calls from out in the kitchen.
“Great, I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely starving.”
“Yeah, me too,” I lie.
Iris sits up and gives me a quick kiss on the lips. I stand up, she follows, as we both walk into the kitchen. A smile is brightly lit on my face.