The Heart of an Alien

By , Dallas, TX
He had been on Earth exactly a year now and almost nothing has changed. He remained living in the crashed spaceship that he had arrived in at the bottom of Lake Ontario. No humans would even look at him. There wasn’t one person on the entire planet he could talk to and he couldn’t help but think about the old times when he was on his home planet. He had a successful career and was going to come home a hero after his mission to earth. But unfortunately, he never returned home, and Jumanji’s life was never going to be the same again.

As these thoughts consumed his mind, he paid no attention as to where he was walking. He was abruptly notified by a curb and tumbled into the street. Frustrated and upset, he picked himself off the ground and moped into the supermarket.

Once he made it through the second set of doors, a familiar sight caught his eye, a large, sickly green, four-armed monster. He automatically followed her to the bread aisle. And there she was. The most beautiful creature Jumanji had ever seen, shopping not three feet away from him. Her tentacles were long and slimy, and her fingers brushed the floor as the glided across the aisles, leaving a thick purple trail behind. So many emotions swallowed him he didn’t know what to do, he was just so happy to have found one of his own kind. Then, when she turned her head enough for her whole face to be exposed, his whole world turned around and everything that had seemed so horrible before was no longer important. Everything that he had done wrong in his life was now okay. The face of the creature was one he would recognize anywhere, Sylvia. She had been the love of his life for as long as he could remember. The first time he saw her in Mrs. Honeyman’s class he knew she was special. He never had the courage to speak to her, but she was the biggest part of his life. She was the light of his life, the gluten-free cheese to his non-dairy, vegetarian easy mac. Once he saw her, he made up his mind to talk to her, their first words in the past two thousand years.
She made her way to the frozen food section with Jumanji on her tail. As he got closer, his heart sped up. The only sound he could hear was its loud thumping inside his head. Every step he took seemed to be in slow motion. Hi eyes were solidly fixed on his target in almost a possessed way. “Only a couple more steps… one… two… three…” He stopped dead in his tracks. His breathing stopped and as slow as molasses the words came out as: “H-ehh-heh-low, Sy-il-va-va-ie.”There. It was done. He said it. The hardest thing he has ever had to do. The biggest obstacle in his life had been jumped. He had spoken to Sylvie.
An eternity seemed to pass as he waited for her response. Finally, her usual angelic voice shot at him, cold as ice when she said so firmly, “NO.” That’s all it took, all she had to say to make Jumanji’s heart stop. His thoughts seemed to echo in his brain while he attempted to process what he had just heard. He couldn’t even gather enough energy to shed a tear for the love he had just lost. She strutted to the automatic doors of the super market and marched out without even one glance of remorse towards him. That was when Jumanji felt his heart break. I clean snap in the middle. Painful but quick, and at that moment he broke into a sprint. Running. Anywhere but here. He needed to get away. He needed to sort out all the emotions running wild through his head. He couldn’t control the tears flying and his vision blurred. Everything was chaos. He didn’t even realize when he dramatically crashed into the grocer. Her nametag read Lupe.
Not only was she the most beautiful girl Jumanji had ever laid eyes on, but she understood. He felt as if she could understand anything. He hadn’t felt that way about anyone for a long time. Her deep ocean blue eyes were filled with genuine concern for the stranger that had just run her over. She was so small, so innocent, a petite frame and she had a short black bob to balance it off perfectly. She looked like an angel.
“Hi… umm… Lupe?” He managed to stutter, “I’m sorry I didn’t see you there… I’m kind of….”
“Tall?” she quickly inserted, then giggled a little.
“Yeah…” he slowly agreed, “upset too.” He shouldn’t have said that. Why was he so prepared to tell this complete stranger the story of his rejection? He had no control over it though. It was something that pulled him in and stole the words directly from his mouth, something that said it was okay. He then went on to explain in detail the whole disgusting mess his love life was right now, and she listened. She wanted to know everything and asked a dozen questions. It was the first time he felt like someone really wanted to listen. When he got about half way through explaining his childhood crush on Sylvie, she interrupted him:
“Do you want to go grab a coffee or something? I’ll buy.”
He couldn’t believe it. He agreed without hesitation and they made their way through the store and across the street to the coffee house. They sat in the back corner of the restaurant, completely separated from the rest of the crowd with their only interruption being the waiter checking in from time to time. They were free to chat for as long as they wanted, which is exactly what they did. They sat there for almost five hours and had the time if their lives. Sylvie who?

The next morning Jumanji woke up and felt as if he was walking on air. He was loaded with energy and was filled to the brim with pure joy. Lupe was going to meet him for lunch at the diner after she got off work. He promised himself that he wouldn’t get too excited and show up an hour early like he wanted to, but he couldn’t restrain himself. And as he waited in the booth, dresses in his khakis and a sharp blue polo his mother once told him looked like a million bucks, he began to wonder how much time had gone by. He quickly realized Lupe should’ve been there nearly an hour ago. Panicked, he whipped out his phone and dialed her lighting speed. It went straight to voicemail. Something was wrong. Where was she? His first instinct was to check the grocery store. According to the manager Lupe had gotten off an hour and a half ago. Jumanji darted to the train station. He finally reached her apartment- empty. The neighbors said they hadn’t seen her since she left for work. She was missing.

Not an hour later the entire town was searching for Lupe. There were police on every corner. It was when he realized who else was missing from the scene. Sylvie. Jumanji knew exactly where Lupe was now, on a spaceship, headed toward his home planet. He had to save her.

He knew exactly where they aliens would come to retrieve her, the same place they had dropped so many misbehaved aliens before – Lake Ontario. He had seen it so many times. So many alien lives destroyed by other ruthless creatures. He had heard about it once or twice before, thinking git was a myth. Lately he had begun to realize that it was his fate too. One of those creatures had toyed with his ship causing it to crash at their usual killing sight. He could see that was the reason for Lupe’s capture- they had figured out he was still alive and kidnapped any loved ones they could find. It all fit together in his head now, almost like a puzzle but it was still missing the very last piece. Who knew? Who was conducting this whole plan? Then it hit him. There was only one alien he’d come in contact with over the past year, and she obviously had some problem with him. Her problem was that she was a secret agent for those killers. She had played a roll in the first attempt to kill him and wouldn’t stop until he ad anyone helping him were dead.
He didn’t have much time. His legs were running and his eyes were focused on his target. As he got closer he could barely see the top of the huge red ship in the distance through the heavy rain and fog. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him but it didn’t seem like fast enough. His heart was pounding and the clock was ticking. There wasn’t much time before the love of his life would be gone forever into a strange world that she wouldn’t survive, and it would be all his fault. There was no feeling in his legs and all he could think about was her face. It wouldn’t leave his head and it gave him the strength to keep running.

As he got closer he saw Sylvie and a small army of agents loading Lupe into the ship in shackles. Her expression was empty. There was something in her eyes that seemed defeated. It broke his heart. The heartache he had felt that day at the grocery store was nothing compared to what he was feeling. And it made him angry. He leapt across the field and tackled the first agent to the ground. From all other sides the rest sprung at once. The first blow he took to the face, directly underneath his right eye. A surge of pain rushed to face and he could smell the salty blood gushing from his cheek. Several more hits to the face followed as well as multiple bites and scratches all over his body. Blood was covering them all. He couldn’t even feel were it was coming form his body was numb now to the pain and he was one hundred percent focused on his goal. He mustered all the strength he had left to reach for the one on top of him and heave him into the water. Jumanji sprang from the wrangling and onto Sylvie’s back while she was lead Lupe onto the ship. She hit him again but he could feel nothing. The rest of the army joined in and continued to claw and jab him. He shoved them off one by one while they continued to stumble toward the ship. Sylvie screamed, “GO! GO!” The pilot did as he was told and the ship began to take flight. It slowly lifted off the ground and the ramp was closing up. Both sides were holding onto Lupe’s chains but Sylvie and the rest of the army were inside while Jumanji dangled below. He had one of two options. One- he could let go and maybe have a chance to survive this ordeal, or tow- hold on and possibly get trapped on a ship full of agents who want to kill him, leading to certain death. The doorway was getting narrower and time to think had run out, but when he caught a glimpse of Lupe’s face he remembered why he was fighting so hard and with all his strength, he yanked down. The enemy tumbled to the floor and let go of the shackles. Jumanji and Lupe continued to free-fall almost a hundred feet into the water while the door to the ship closed al the way with the ship on its way home. With them already navigated toward home, there was no way to turn around and they were safe. They crawled out of the water, coughing and choking, and headed toward the old sunken ship.

“You saved my life.” She said in wonder, almost as a question.

“Of course.” He replied like it was the most absurd thing he had ever heard.

“Thank you.” She said softly, and in that second, Jumanji knew he had not only saved her life but his own as well. He would be nothing without her, and they would spend the rest of their lives together, there, on Earth.





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