When Tilly and I arrived at the scene of the scream the first thing I noticed was an impossibly handsome man with one eye who looked like a cross between Prince William and Prince Harry and, although I couldn't tell at the moment, perhaps Prince Albert too.
"I own you," I heard him whisper and my legs began to go weak at his dominating tone. Before my fantasy could get anywhere, however, I saw the target of his sweet talk: ʢabara.
"Let her go!" I screamed in a fit of jealousy but then realized I was coming off a little too needy. I had to play it cool if I was going to be able to steal this stunning ginger god for myself. "She's too beautiful for you!" I yelled, knowing that by putting him down he would immediately try to impress me in order to gain my approval. It was the perfect way to woo anyone.
He looked up and smiled, flashing teeth that were the pinnacle of English dentistry, and reached out to shake my hand. I noticed ʢabara attempting to do some kind of weird somersault before finally she stood up and did one of those stances like how gymnasts do at the end of their routines. It was pretty weird but so was she so I decided to ignore her for the time being and give the pasty gentleman my hand.
"I don't think we've met," he said in a voice reminiscent of Amy Winehouse impersonating Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion. "Some know me by Ingiliizi, but you may call me… Henry."
"What the fuck kind of name is Henry?" I asked sexily, rubbing my hands all over my butt in order to subtly call attention to its fullness. He was silent for a moment but usually people were left speechless by my erotic flirtations so I wasn't very surprised. What I was shocked by, however, was the swift slap that knocked me to the ground before I even had time to begin my rhythmic twerking ritual.
Obviously the pain excited me and I was totally ready for more but stupid ʢabara decided to tackle him and attempt to remove his other eye which I didn't think was very nice of her at all; she must've been jealous of the attention I was receiving. I knew I was hotter than her and clearly so did the men in her life too. Thankfully before she got the chance to maim him any further he pushed her off, crawled back to his car, and left.
"Your friend was hot," I said once she had righted herself.
"Yours isn't," she replied, pointing at Tilly, which immediately made me forgive her for trying to take my boo. We laughed and chatted for a bit before ʢabara finally told us that she had found the Yellow Diamonds. I was super jealous but I don't think she noticed because I was really good at hiding my emotions despite the fact that I was gay and therefore more sensitive than most boys.
"Who is he anyway? What did he want with you?" I asked finally, playing with the single Yellow Diamond earring that ʢabara had managed to recover.
"He's someone I knew a very long time ago," she sighed and then proceeded to stare directly into the sun for an hour.
"I don't have time for this," Tilly blurted suddenly and started heading back toward the gate. "I'm going to go look for Plaen."
After she had gone ʢabara whispered, "I will kill her for what she's done."
"For attacking me? It's cool; I'm over it," I said.
"No, for sleeping with Divann. She betrayed Xylark and I have never forgiven her for it. She deserved what Hoppip did to her," she sneered.
"Yeah, she's pretty gay. Anyway, what happened to your story?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" she said, confused. "I just told you it."
"No, you just started into the sun for like a year."
"Oh, I must've been doing my magic mind spea…," she began but then stopped herself as though she had almost revealed some huge secret. "Anyway. This man, Ingiliizi, we were married."
"Excuse me! Check your privilege," I advised angrily. I was homosexual and obviously couldn't get married so I didn't appreciate her flaunting it in front of me like it was no big deal. As a woman of color she would never understand that trials and tribulations I went through everyday as the most oppressed of all the minorities: gay white boys.
She glared at me for a long time for some reason after I had said that but finally continued, "When we met, however, I was different."
"In what way?" I asked, hoping that she would say fat so I could judge her superficially.
"Well, it's difficult for me to tell you this, but my name used to be ʕabara," she confessed, avoiding eye contact.
"That's your name now," I pointed out helpfully.
"No, idiot," she said uncalledforly. "My name is ʢabara. ʕabara is a boy's name."
"Of course!" I shouted. "It all makes sense now! The wig, the big feet, my initial attraction to you. You know, I was getting worried I was straight there for a second," I laughed, slyly changing the topic of conversation back to me where it belonged. Just because she was a transsexual didn't mean that she was suddenly somehow more marginalized than me and I had to make sure she knew that.
"Actually, those have nothing to do with me being born physically male. See?" she said, pulling off her wig to reveal an identical hairstyle underneath. "I just wear this as a decoy to protect my real hair from dirt and bugs and paint thrown by PETA whenever I wear my 100% authentic Teddiursa fur jacket."
"What about the feet?" I asked.
"Implants, of course," she said, rolling her eyes. "In my culture big feet are considered beautiful so Ingiliizi got me these for my birthday."
"Um, what country did you say you were from again?" I questioned but she pretended not to hear me as though she hadn't even figured it out yet.
"And the reason you were attracted to me? Just look at me. Everyone is. Gender is irrelevant when it comes to me," she said with a wink that sent chills down my erection. As she continued talking I suddenly felt as though I had been listening to Xylark the entire time, but I knew that was impossible seeing as how I was the Xylark of the story with her being the Tilly even though Tilly herself was already in this story but I had always thought of her as more of the Hoppip. Plaen, of course, was the fart Britney had in chapter 26.
I shook the impure thoughts from my head and feigned interest, saying, "But that still doesn't explain Ingiliizi." I had decided to call him by that name too since Henry was too absurd of a name to say out loud.
"Well, he helped me become who I am today. I was always beautiful of course but he paid for what I needed done so he thinks I owe him something. He used to be so sweet but once I was finally my true self and we were married he changed. He began treating me like a slave, forcing me to do awful things like go to dinner with him or listen to him tell stories about his day. It was torture, really. Whenever I tried to do any little thing for myself like bring men home from the bar he would get so angry. I finally couldn't take it anymore so I ran away in search of my destiny but he's been after me ever since."
"Wow, that was a long paragraph of text, ʢabara, but I'm glad we've finally gotten that out of the way so we can continue on with the story," I said meta-ly. "Which reminds me, I got the second badge already!"
"Oh, yes, me too," she said holding up the same wing-shaped pin I had. "Before I found the Yellow Diamonds, Rianna and I were at an event promoting my latest advertising campaign for Victoria's Secret and some strange blonde woman traded me it for an autograph." I couldn't believe she had out-Xylark'd me again, that bitch.
"So what? I don't care," I said smoothly, completely covering up my jealousy. "Whatever. Let's just go to the next town then. I could use a martini after all this drama."
"OK, I know a bartender there who is also a gym leader so this is very convenient," she added, showing yet another badge in her case. I sighed, picked up Shaqira and started heading toward the gate. I just wished Plaen would catch up soon so I could start feeling better than people again.