Greg was, for all intents and purposes, completely human, but he had certainly seen a lot stranger things than most humans. Aliens? Lived with it. Sentient rock monsters? That was an unfortunate experience. Magic space ships? More than you’d think.
After all these strange things, there were few things that could surprise Greg. If you, for example, told Greg that his sentient alien rock friend(?) Pearl was going to come to him for advice about her girlfriend, her HUMAN girlfriend, he would probably not believe you.
Yet there they were sitting by Greg’s van, a can of juice for each of them, talking about Pearl’s human girlfriend.
“She’s just… been distant lately.” Pearl said, “Ever since I told her the truth about my past, about how I fought for this world, I haven’t seen her as often as before.”
Greg took a sip of his juice. “Did she really not know any of that before?” he asked.
“I told her I’m an alien when we first met. She said she thought I was making up stuff to sound cool.”
“Well, that is pretty unbelievable.” Pearl glared at Greg. “Hey, when I first saw Rose, I just thought she was a giant woman. The alien possibility never even crossed my mind until I met the rest of you. How did Sheena find out?”
“She saw me pull my purse out of my gem to pay for our date.”
“Yeesh. That is definitely outside the realm of normal. Did she freak out?”
“Surprisingly, she took it well. The rest of the date was me telling her my story, well most of it anyways, and she seemed to understand!” Pearl’s eyes went back to her drink. “But… lately she’s been avoiding me. I try to make plans for more dates, but she keeps saying she’s busy. And when I ask her what she’s busy with she avoids the question!” Pearl sighed.
“Maybe she needs time to process.” Greg said, “It takes a little while to get used to the fact that you’re dating an alien.”
“But why wouldn’t she tell me that then? I could help her!”
“Us humans can sometimes be really stubborn. Sometimes, when we’re going through something big, we try to keep it to ourselves, and we don’t let those we care about help because we don’t want to be a burden.”
Pearl sighed again. She knew how it felt to think you were a burden. “You and Rose had it easy” Pearl said after a pause.
Greg chuckled. “To tell the truth,” he said, “You and your mystery girl have it much easier.”
“Oh yeah? How so?”
“You guys have one thing that Rose and I never had.” Greg winked. “A wise old man to give you relationship advice.”
Pearl smiled. “You’re not old,” she said with amusement, “you’re only forty years old. Compared to me, you’re a baby.”
“Well, when you put it like that-”
The conversation was interrupted by Pearl’s phone. She looked at her notifications. One text from Sheena.
Sheena: hey, can we talk?
“She wants to talk.”
“Okay, that’s good.”
“Definitely. Communication is important in any relationship.”
Pearl nodded. She took a deep breath and texted back.
Peal: Sure. What is up?
Sheena: I wanted to apologize for being a bad girlfriend lately.
Pearl: What? You haven’t been a bad girlfriend.
Pearl: A little distant maybe…
Pearl: But not bad.
Sheena: Yeah, well,
Sheena: I want to make it up to you.
Sheena: Can I take you out Saturday?
Pearl: Yes. I would like that very much.
Sheena: great. Pick you up at five?
Pearl: Sure. See you then.
Pearl finally looked up from her phone and saw that Greg was watching her intently. “I have a date with her this Saturday.” she said.
Greg breathed out. “Well, I think that calls for a toast.” He raised his juice towards Pearl. “To good relationship advice!’
“To good relationship advice.”
The two friends clinked their juice cans together and enjoyed the peaceful moment.
Until Pearl spit her juice out. She was still getting used to that.