The words I’ll do it were unexpectedly the first words that Marie said to Alice that evening, even before the anticipated pour me a drink or even I really need to shower.
Alice blinked twice before recognition flared in her eyes.
“Really?” she asked.
Alice smiled – a rare, full face, eyes crinkling kind of smile.
“Thank you,” she said.
Marie shrugged. She had the strong urge to say something sarcastic, but nothing came to mind.
“I want my planet back,” she said lamely.
She retreated to the shower, passing a snoozing Milo – who was apparently old again – on her way out.
Over dinner that night – delicately cooked shrimp tacos with a spicy mango salsa – Marie felt relaxed. Perhaps it was a feeling carried over from her day at the beach, but she felt oddly at ease in a way that she hadn’t before. Her skin was starting to color from days of being in the sun, her sunburn was fading, and she’d finally come to some sort of terms with her presence on the island.
Galen had concocted some sort of refreshing, fruity cocktail, and she leaned back in her chair and sipped idly on it as the others chatted idly about what they’d been off doing all day. Hershel had apparently had an Encounter (their term for running into somebody who was not, technically speaking, supposed to be there), with a woman whom had long since moved to a different planet, and they’d passed a pleasant hour weeding the garden until she’d finally disappeared. Alice and Milo went on a walk. Elsy had gone shopping.
“Shopping?” Marie asked. “Where the hell do you go shopping around here?”
“There’s a town not far from here called Town 5F. I was out of oil, and I wanted to see if they had anything good that was fresh. Hence the shrimp.”
“I see,” Marie replied, tactfully ignoring the horrific town name.
“You’re going to have to go shopping too, in the near future,” Alice said. “You can’t exactly pull off wealthy Carthigian dressed in salvaged clothes.”
“I can take you tomorrow,” Elsy said. “They may have fabrics, but there’s almost certainly not going to be anything made.”
“That I can deal with on my own.”