“That was truly disgusting.”
“Hey!” Melissa exclaimed as she hastily wrapped a towel around her soaking wet naked body. “What are you doing in here?! You almost gave me a heart attack!”
“I was just watching you waste water like it was sand.”
“I like to take long showers, it’s no big deal.” Melissa calmed down a bit and adjusted her towel so it would stay up on its own. Although when she thought about it she realized there really was no reason for modesty. “I take it they don’t have much water where you come from.”
“It is our most limited resource.” Trevary stated almost proudly. He turned his head to the side to get a better look at his new companion. Seeing that she was being eyeballed Melissa pulled the towel tighter. “Why do you keep covering yourself?”
“Because I’d rather not have you staring at me.”
“Sorry, you did not seem to mind me staring before.”
“That was different.”
“Because I wasn’t standing naked in my bathroom.” Melissa stated matter-of-factly.
Trevary gave Melissa a quizzical look as if he didn’t quite understand.
“Look, haven’t you ever heard of modesty?” Melissa asked sarcastically.
“Oh, well it’s still something you’ll have to get used to.”
“I fear there is much that I am going to have to ‘get used to’.” Trevary sighed heavily.
“Yeah, I keep forgetting that you’re not from around here.” Melissa paused and scrutinized Trevary for a moment. “Although I don’t know how that keeps slipping my mind. I mean, just look at you!”
“What is wrong with the way I look?” Trevary looked down at his sinuous scaly body with a critical eye, which left three eyes still staring at Melissa.
“Well you’re not exactly human now are you?”
“What an amazing observation.” Trevary muttered sarcastically. “No wonder you are the dominate species on this forsaken rock.”
“All I meant by it was that it’s weird how I keep forgetting that you’re from...where was it that you said you were from again?”
“Denibi.” Trevary provided.
“Right.” Melissa thought about that for a second, all she knew about Denibi was that it was several light years away, according to Trevary. “How is it that you speak English?”
“Telepathy, of course.”
“Telepathy? You mean like mind reading?”
“Sort of...” Trevary hesitated. “It is why you keep forgetting where I am from.”
“What? You’re controlling my mind?” Melissa asked horrified.
“Certainly not. I am simply...influencing it.”
“To protect myself.”
“From what? Me?” Melissa asked indignantly.
“Well...” Trevary looked around apprehensively “you are human, and therefore violent and panicky by nature.”
“That’s not tru...” Melissa stopped herself. “How much do you know about Earth?”
“Enough to be afraid.” Trevary answered honestly. “There is a reason my enemies abandoned me here.”
“Well, we’re not all like that.” Melissa said stubbornly. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“You’re seeing to it, eh?” Melissa snarled.
“No, I told you, I can only influence.” Trevary replied evenly. “I came into your dwelling because I sensed that I had a chance of having you accept me. You do not seem to quite fit in yourself, or at least you perceive that you do not.”
Melissa sighed. She looked down at her light brown skin, a result of mixed bloods and cultures. Real or imagined she never felt comfortable or welcome in the company of either race. It was always something that had just floated around in her subconscious, but suddenly she was sharply aware of how she was different than most. However as quickly as the feeling came it went, replaced by a new thought.
“I’m going to be late for work!” Melissa gasped.
Melissa moved over to the sink and pulled out her toothbrush and paste. Turning on the tap she let it run as she prepared the toothbrush. When she saw Trevary’s disapproving eyes (both sets) she turned off the faucet. She never really thought about the fact that she usually just let the water run while she brushed.
“What are you doing now?” Trevary questioned.
“Ushing ma teeet.”
“Brushing my teeth.” Melissa repeated after spitting. On an impulse she bared her froth covered teeth at the alien. He backed away with a liquid motion and clicked his horny beak in acute disapproval.
“Why?” He asked.
“To keep my teeth from rotting, I’m not sure quite how it works, something about the fluoride....”
“Fluoride?!” Trevary cried in obvious alarm. He reared back on the hind legs of his centaur-like body in sudden panic.
“Whoa!” Melissa, foaming at the mouth, put her hands up in self defense. The bathroom was crowed enough without a panicking Denibian. “What’s wrong?”
“Fluoride is a deadly poison!” Trevary backed as much of his scaly body as he could into the shower stall and started rapidly drawing air through the gill-like slits in his long throat.
Melissa stared down at the messy toothbrush in her hand. “Well, the tube does warn against swallowing, but I don’t think...” Melissa stopped when noticed that Trevary’s eyes were turning a milky yellow colour. She wasn’t sure if he was just panicking or if he was really reacting to the toothpaste, either way he wasn’t looking very healthy all of a sudden.
Unsure of what else to do Melissa rinsed out her mouth and brush to send the evil fluoride down the sink. The change in Trevary was immediate, and although he had crumpled to the floor, his eyes were clearing up and returning to their original orange color.
“I never thought that everyday oral hygiene could be so dangerous.” Melissa mused half jokingly. She hoped that Trevary was going to be okay. He had been marooned on Earth by his political enemies only yesterday, but she had already grown attached to him. However, Trevary didn’t seem so happy with the situation.
“I want to go home!” Trevary wailed.
“I’m sorry, I can’t help you there. My Honda barely gets me to work and back.” Melissa said sympathetically. “But you can stay with me. Under one condition.”
“Stay out of my bathroom.”