Every morning, Monday through Friday, I prepare myself for each day. I’m never in a big hurry as what I do would seem strange to some, frightening to others and who knows; perhaps downright scary.
But here it is, what some people call the dreaded Monday. The start of a work week for hundreds of thousands of people.
People. They are an amazing lot. Here, they are certainly the odd species. One in particular I have come to study and find infinitely wonderful in her charm, wit, personality and her above-average intelligence. I have classed her as nice-looking, fit, and outgoing.
In the next few minutes, I will be seeing her again.
It is a cold Monday and to be expected for the middle of January. Here I stand at a corner waiting for a city bus. A bus that houses temporary travelers going to work or school, a doctor’s appointment or shopping. There are even a few that ride the bus all day for no other reason rather than enjoying the trip. I have classed those people as dull, unimaginative, and boring. Myself, I have found buses and shopping malls my best bets for summation and reporting the information to my superiors.
Here she comes. Her name is nothing exotic, just simply, Patti. She knows me as Richard.
She smiles and says her good morning to me and I return the favor. We discuss each other’s weekend, of which mine I fabricate to her for even though we get along extremely well, I don’t quite believe she could either handle what I really did or the truth of who I am. She is such the inquisitive one. Question after question she brings to me, and each answer is an obvious lie coming from my lips, but I have no choice, such is it my work entails, one, no one must know about.
Just before the bus arrives, the first January flakes of snow fall. And I keenly watched her expression of an honest joy that escaped through her lips, it was at that moment when the snowflake landed on her nose. All I wanted to do at that point was to reach out and touch the snowflake that melted quickly against her skin to see if in that brief second it felt her spirit, her warmth.
The bus arrived, and we boarded. Patti was on her way to work, and I, to a shopping mall, to study people as I do the same ones who ride the bus each week.
To some, it may sound like a trivial thing, perhaps even boring, but where I call home, this is vital to all those who live there.
I come from Gatarnium, not a place anyone would know of. We live in the third dimension of this planet’s galaxy and all of us are shape-shifters as it is called here. On my home world, we are simply a race of changers. In our true form, we would be considered ugly and frightening, but in due respect we are far from that. We are a race of peace and abiding, oh what is that word, I hear it hear so often, it’s, it’s ... oh yes, I remember, love.
But my task is to report all I learn, so that my superiors can best determine if this a habitable world. This planet does have its share of negatives but for the most part, the humans are quite interesting. In two more months my assignment will be over, and I return home, and honestly, I hope my reports have all been met with favor.
The bus stops and several people get off and a very few get on. In two more stops, Patti will depart and then go half a block into a building where she works. The snow is coming down thicker now. The sidewalks we drive by are already covered in a blanket of tender whiteness, and people scurry to get out from under the wetness falling.
The bus stops again. Patti stands and as she always does, she wished me to have a wonderful day, and I return those words in kind. The bus, stopped at a red light, allowing me time to gaze a few extra seconds as she quickly walks to the building, opens the door and disappears from sight. But there will be tomorrow.
Perhaps tomorrow, if the snow is still falling, and another flake lands on her nose, or slides across her cheek, I may reach out and touch it, and feel its coldness or its warmth.