Upon the Dawn of Two Suns
Misty couldn’t believe the day she had been having. First her boss had threatened to fire her for some minor detail she had overlooked, and then her boyfriend had called and told her that they were over. She looked up around the flycars hovering in the sky to see the second sun of Alamariac, Purple Pegasus, being hidden behind clouds.
“Great! What did I do to deserve this,” she said to herself. “I work hard. I practically paid for Bill’s hobbies, and now it’s raining! It practically rains only once a sun cycle here! And when it does rain, it’s always during the Orange Phoenix cycle.”
Misty began walking home more quickly. She had on all the wrong clothes, expecting a nice, sunny day. She could only imagine trying to get the stains out of her new blue top. Even her black jeans would be hard. And her shoes? She should just go to the store and buy a new pair now. Misty looked at her watch. Oh, this is just my day! she thought. Now I’m late for my eBook club. And it’s only the first day. I should just go home and—
Her thoughts were cut short as she rounded a corner and slammed right into someone.
“Ow! Watch it, bub!” she muttered. Then she turned her eyes upward. “Uh… Hubba bubba!”
Misty couldn’t hold it inside her. The sight of this man forced words from her mouth she would normally keep hidden away. Her eyes gazed up and down his strong physique, taking in everything from his bulging biceps to his intelligent blue eyes. He tossed his head to the side, sending a flowing torrent of luscious brown hair back into place. Not that it didn’t look perfectly in place before, Misty thought.
“I’m so sorry, madam. Here, let me get your purse.” His voice was as smooth as a river rock.
“My purse?” She couldn’t tear her eyes away from this marvelous man.
“Yes, your purse. At least I assume it’s yours. It fell from your hands when we collided,” he said. “Here we are.”
“Uh… Thanks,” she said. Misty mentally kicked herself. “Uh… Thanks?” Is that seriously what you just said! You sound like you’re two.
“By the way, my name is Richu.” He stuck out his hand. Misty thought this was extremely polite.
“My name’s Misty.” She took his hand in hers, marveling at the feel of his silky smooth skin.
Richu looked behind his shoulder. “It’s time for me to go.”
Misty looked at him, disappointment clearly displayed on her face. He looked back at her and smiled, nearly turning Misty’s heart into jello. “Don’t worry, Misty. I’ll make it up to you. How about we get some caffeine tablets at the Earthbucks just down the street? Does Friday work for you?”
“Friday’s fine,” she said, not daring to speak another word.
“Then it’s a date.” With that, he walked right by her and flew away in his shiny blue flycar convertible.
Misty looked at the spot where he had been standing. She felt an odd sense of longing for this upcoming Friday. Her heart began doing jumping jacks at the thought of going out for caffeine tablets with this wonderful man. She would’ve stayed longer, thinking about what could possibly happen on the upcoming Friday, but then her iPhone 15 S vibrated. She lifted it up and watched as a holographic image of Glisten appeared.
“Girl, you are in so much trouble,” Glisten said. “We’ve been waiting to begin for, like, fifteen minutes! Where are you? Out on the street ruining a perfectly fine blouse by standing in the rain. I may be your best friend, but if you want to make a good impression on the eBook club, you need to be prompt.”
“I don’t know how to say this, Glisten, but… I just met this amazing guy!” Misty said.
“You finally got rid of that bozo who has been feeding off your wealth? Good for you! When did you start dating him, 3135?”
“Just about,” Misty said.
“Honey, that was six years ago,” Glisten said. “It’s about time you got a new man! Now get your behind over here before the eBook club thinks of you as an underlife.”
The rest of Misty’s day went by in a blur. The eBook club wasn’t happy with her being late, nor the fact that she hadn’t read the book. That wasn’t entirely true. She had read the book, but Richu was on her mind and she couldn’t focus on something like an eBook.
The next day went by so fast the only thing Misty remembered was thinking about Richu. At last Friday arrived and she sat at home, getting advice from Glisten about good looking men.
“First off, they’re shallow beyond belief. They don’t care anything about you, and only want you talking about them,” Glisten said.
“That is not true. Richu is a kind man who cares about anything but himself,” Misty said dreamily. “Why would he take me out on a date if he was so shallow?”
“I’m not even going to grace that question with an answer. All I’m saying is this: men are stupid. As soon as you think you understand them, they turn on you and are nothing more than sloppy pigs.”
“Well, yes,” Misty admitted. “But Richu is different. So kind, and caring, with that gorgeous hair and smooth skin.”
“Whatever. Just don’t come crying to me if he breaks your sweet little heart,” Glisten said. “Now you’d better get going. You don’t want to be late for this meeting too.”
Misty quickly found her way to Earthbucks. Although some delicacies from Earth are used everyday, coffee was savored only by officials and the extremely rich. For all the rest of the folk, only caffeine tablets were available.
Misty sat at a table, waiting for Richu to show up. As the minutes turned to hours, she began to believe that what Glisten said was true. Men are pigs. Dirty, filthy—
“I’m so sorry I’m late. Traffic was backed up on the skyway.”
—Wonderful, intelligent men, she finished. She smiled up at him. Richu was wearing a freshly ironed flannel with green jeans nicely complimented by a pair of purple Nike Hyperfuse 2012. Even his out of date, twenty-first century clothing seemed to look perfect on him.
“Trendy,” Misty said.
He laughed, “I suppose my fashion is a little out of date.”
They continued to talk deep into the night. Every word that flowed from Richu’s mouth felt like water on hot day to Misty. Before they knew it, the night was gone. The morning was fast approaching.
“I really enjoyed talking to you, Richu,” Misty said.
“I did too,” he said.
“Can we do this again sometime?” she asked.
“Of course we can. How about next Thursday?” he said.
“That would be great. Now I’ve really got to—” But Misty never finished her sentence.
“Excuse me, sir,” a man asked. “You aren’t… Richu, are you?”
They both turned and looked at him. “Yes, I am,” Richu said. “Is there a problem?”
The man took a step back, shock on his face. “Yes, there’s a problem! You killed my daughter!”
There was dead silence in the restaurant. A fork fell to the floor.
“You let a killer into this restaurant?” someone said. “How could you!”
“My children eat here! By themselves! And you let him come in!?”
Everyone in the restaurant stood up, chairs flying backward.
Misty looked at all the people, in shock. Richu, a murderer? It couldn’t be. He was a nice, pleasant man who just wanted to care for her!
“Is this true?” she whispered.
He dropped his gaze from hers. “I guess this is it for us then.” He gathered his jacket, then ran outside.
An elderly woman walked up to Misty and said, “Don’t worry, honey. It’s for the best.”
Someone else said, “You should feel lucky. He did this to a lot of girls, but they don’t end up as fortunate as you.”
“Shut up!” Tears stung her eyes as Misty screamed. “You’re all wrong! He’s not a murderer!”
Misty ran out of the shop as fast as she could. She had to find him. Her eyes darted from one face to the next, searching for the beloved face of Richu. She tried to remember what he had been wearing. Green jeans, purple shoes, and…
The briefest glimpse of his out-of-place flannel caught her attention. She changed directions, darting into the next intersection. He kept running. Misty realized she was losing ground. Even as the thought crossed her mind, she saw Richu slip out of the gate to the city. Misty skidded to a halt and then peaked around the gate. Richu was sitting in the sand next to his flycar about twenty-five feet away.
Misty strolled up next to him and sat down. A few moments of silenced passed.
“They say it’s the most beautiful sight in the world,” Richu said.
Misty looked at him. “What?”
“The dawn of both suns. It only happens once a century, but everyone and every book says it’s the most beautiful sight,” he said.
“You shouldn’t have come here,” Richu said.
“I can’t leave you. I don’t believe what everyone else thinks. You aren’t a murderer,” Misty said.
He opened his mouth, revealing his bright white teeth. She gazed into his eyes, trying to find a glimpse of the man she knew him to be.
Finally, he said, “All right. I was once a “murderer,” as you politely put it. I was even planning to kill you! But something about you changed my heart, made me realize how insane and stupid I once was. Whether it was because of your wit or your beauty, or maybe something else entirely…”
“You find me… beautiful?” she said.
At last, Richu looked at her. She stared into his brilliant blue eyes. She watched as the first rays of light from the sun made his face shine as though from within.
“They say this dawn will be the most beautiful sight of the century,” he said. “I say, they haven’t seen you.”
Misty’s heart felt as though it had burst apart. Did he really just say that!? I can’t believe it!
Her mind tried to form coherent words, but before she could even utter a shock of surprise, a voice shouted from behind them, “Halt, Richu, son of Agor! You are hereby under arrest!”
Misty spun her head to look at who was calling Richu over, ordering him to halt. She saw police officers with rifles and police robots with electric rods.
“Richu, we have to go.”
“No, we don’t,” Richu said. “You can leave. I can’t. You have two choices now. You can either turn around and walk right back to the gate, pretend you never met me. Or”—he held out his hand to her—“you can join me, and be chased the rest of your life.”
Misty looked over her shoulder at the rush of policemen and policebots charging towards them, then back at the handsome man offering to change her life forever. Even before she made her choice, she knew it was the right one, no matter how hard a life it would be.
“I choose you, Richu,” she said. She reached out and took Richu’s hand. He pulled her into the passenger side of his flycar.
“I’ll make sure you never regret that choice.” He gunned the engine, and then flew due west, just as the peak of both suns crested the edge of the horizon.
Copyright Saul Tee, 2012To read more stories, go here. Or vote for Saul’s story below. (Poll will close May 19, 2012.)