Jun 14th, 2013
- Dinner helped Rhonda relax a little even if she kept blushing at the jokes my parents kept making. How they would have to hire a moving truck whenever she decided to move in with us, the expenses that would bring with it, how they would have to get a second job just to pay for Rhonda's tuition, and not to mention the amounts of extra groceries they had to buy...
- Mom at least shut dad down when he started about "female hygiene products", saying she could tell him a thing or two about them that would make him lose his appetite and wondering if her cooking was really bad enough that he would chance that. Dad immediately jumped in with all sorts of reasons why mom's cooking was the best, and mom milked it for all it was worth.
- When we were finally done with dinner, we excused ourselves to return to our homework assignments and I caught mom and dad share a glance between one another. Maybe Rhonda was right and they were starting to think I was lesbian even before I was really sure of my own sexuality? What is it with parents?
- I followed Rhonda up the stairs, making sure her tail would be hidden even if there was some reason why the hairs would poke out of her pants, and we went back into the, now darkened, room. I turned on the lights while Rhonda freed her tail from its confinement, and I reached for the brush to help her.
- "Hey, didn't we leave the brush here on the bed?", I wondered, not being able to find it, the comb, or any of the hair bands where I had last seen them.
- Rhonda absentmindedly responded as she was far too occupied reaching back to feel at her tail as if she was still coming to terms with the whole idea of having it. "You must've put it back in the dresser before we went down?"
- I was sure I hadn't done so, but when I opened the dresser I found the comb, brush, and even the hair bands all neatly organized within. "Hm. I suppose I did," I mumbled, picking up the brush and staring at it a bit.
- It was clean. Not a single hair on it. Not mine, not Rhonda's, not Rhonda's tail's. No hair. The comb and hair bands were similarly void of hairs and this made me frown. No matter how hard I tried to keep things like those clean, I was always left with a hair or two on it. It made no sense.
- I closed the drawer with a suspicious look on my face, caught myself in the mirror, and shook the feeling off. It was just another mystery on top of my best friend suddenly growing a tail, and Rhonda's problem came first on my list.
- I gently combed out her tail and we went to sit at the desk again to finish our homework, with Rhonda leaning into me a little more than usual. I didn't mind. I was trying to focus on the problems we needed to solve so I wouldn't think about how the brush could've cleaned itself and put itself away.
- Something didn't add up, and that was the whole problem with calculus. I found Rhonda correcting me several times as I made some mistakes that I should have normally caught, but we got through the assignment before bedtime at least.
- Rhonda put on one of my longer nightgowns so her tail wouldn't be inconvenienced, and I slipped into my regular PJs. While it would help her overnight, her tail did keep flicking as we were brushing our teeth, sending the gown moving this way or that as if there was an odd breeze localized around her.
- It made me giggle and spill all of my toothpaste over the bathroom sink until Rhonda realized what was going on and moved to stand behind me so I wouldn't get distracted by it. She was done brushing her teeth before I was, of course. I mean, I had to clean the toothpaste from the sink and mirror and walls. It was a mess.
- Rhonda had already fallen asleep by the time I entered my room again, laying as close to the wall as she could, with ample space for me to crawl in bed beside her. She had taken to hug a large teddy bear I won at a carnival once and which she'd adopted as Mister Safety after it helped her calm down when she'd suffered a particularly bad panic attack.
- I didn't know everything there was to know about Rhonda, but she was a collection of fears and shyness wrapped in a bundle of cuteness and I had felt I needed to protect her ever since I met her in elementary.
- She was a bit like Fluttershy, in a way, and her innocence was refreshing in the otherwise dark and gloomy world around us. I turned off the light, crawled in bed beside her and closed my eyes to go sleep.
- Two hours, and a dozen restless turns later, I found myself laying on my left side staring at the alarm clock on the dresser. Just a few minutes past midnight. We'd gone to bed around ten. What was it that kept me up?
- It wasn't the tail. It was just another facet of Rhonda to me. I had accepted it as such and moved on. Of course there were the questions of why and how and what next, but those could wait. We would take care of those questions together.
- Was it the brush? How did it move to my dresser? There was no-one in the house except for me, my parents, and Rhonda. And all four of us had been at the dinner table.
- My window wasn't easily accessible from the outside, mom's thorny rose bushes underneath it made sure of that. The dining room was right next to the hallway and we would have seen anyone going up or down the stairs. How did it move? On its own? Objects like that couldn't move on their own.
- I sighed and blinked at the clock. 0:14 just ticked away to 0:15. I reached up to rub at my forehead a bit. It made no sense. The tail, nor the brush.
- I stopped rubbing my forehead as I felt something odd on it and sat up in bed to feel at it. There was a bump there that shouldn't have been there. It hurt a little as I pressed against it. Had I bumped my head and not realized it?
- I pushed it again and winced from the pain. Whatever it was, it didn't feel right. I pushed up out of bed and walked over to the dresser, trying in the light of the moon to figure out what was on my forehead but couldn't see it. I had no choice. I had to turn on the light and hope Rhonda would sleep through it.
- As I turned for the light switch near the door, I caught a glimpse in the mirror of a shadow moving behind me in the darkness and quickly whirled around to look at it. As I did, a dizzy spell overtook me and I slumped to the ground like a puppet suddenly getting its wires cut.
- It was there that I woke up, with Rhonda gently nudging me as she sat beside me with a worried look on her face. "Jo? Wake up please, Jo? Are you ok? What happened?"
- I stirred and felt my muscles cramp up. I had been laying in the wrong position, on a cold floor, and every joint in my body protested as they had to move again.
- "Ngrrf," I groaned, reaching up to rub at my forehead in an attempt to wake up and snapping to full consciousness as I felt the bump in the middle of it. "OUCH!", I exclaimed loudly, the pain from touching it even worse than it had been during the night.
- "Did you hit your head, Josey?", Rhonda asked, helping me get up and sit on the side of the bed. "Did you really sleep on the floor all night?"
- I stared blankly at her, using both my hands to feel at the area surrounding the bump. "I don't fully remember. I think I went to bed?", I started, wincing lightly as I found the edges of the painful area surrounding the bump as I gently prodded at it with my fingertips.
- "I got up after midnight to, er..." The memories were there, but they were getting more and more foggy as I tried to recall them. "Went to the dresser? I..." The shadow!
- I quickly looked around the room but got a dizzy spell immediately following the rash movement of my head and sank sideways against Rhonda's form while trying to stop the room from spinning. "Not feeling too good."
- "Want me to get some water?", I heard Rhonda ask, but her voice sounded like it came from far away. "Jo? Josey?", she called out in concern as I lost consciousness again, the darkness at least giving me a respite from the pain.
- I woke up with a wet cloth getting dabbed to my forehead, laying on my back in the bed with the blankets covering me. I blinked up at Rhonda's worried face staring down at me again and a feeling of Deja-Vu came over me.
- "Why is it always you who comes to my aid?", I asked her, and she smirked while taking the cloth from my head and dabbing it in a bowl of water.
- "Because it's always you who comes to mine, Josey."
- Rhonda smiled weakly, putting the cloth back to my forehead. The cold thing felt like a saving grace to the headache I had, dampening it a little and allowing my thoughts to surface more easily.
- "What happened?", I asked, trying to remember what happened through the fog in my head.
- "I woke to find you on the floor. You must have hit your head because there's a big bump on it. When I asked you about it earlier, you suddenly fainted again. I don't know anything beside that," she offered, and I freed a hand from under the blankets to reach out for hers.
- "Thank you for taking care of me," I sighed with a smile, closing my eyes and falling asleep properly.
- It was dark when I woke up again, and found Rhonda snuggled up to my side in the bed again. The smell of soup lingered in the air and I tasted some remnant of it in my mouth.
- I licked around my mouth a little to get the taste out and my saliva production going, while trying to get the shadows in the room in focus and failing miserably at it. I noticed a slight movement in the room and tried to look at it, but something kept me from moving my head.
- An unfamiliar voice whispered something in my ear, but it wasn't in a language I knew. It just sounded like "boshashdemburibiboshbu," or something... I don't know, I was not in the right state of mind to memorize it.
- Somewhere inside I felt that it was all going to be ok, but I don't know why I felt like that. It did help me close my eyes again to sleep, all fears surrounding the shadow or the voice disappearing from my mind.
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