I liked the little office where I had started work last week. Now they needed to move the desks around. They were cumbersome to accommodate not only the ubiquitous computers but also the materials for the patterns we made for the fashion industry. Cindy, the office manager, had been on the phone all morning trying to persuade the maintenance men to come and do the heavy work. They came up with one excuse after another. My work absorbed me, so absorbed, I did not notice all the girls going off for lunch. As I finished the design, the silence told me I was alone. With no more ado, I stood up and moved all the furniture to the positions I knew Cindy wanted. It was easy for me, no one getting in the way and for me at any rate, not heavy at all.
Cindy squealed, “Oh, wow! Salti, did they come after all while we had lunch break?”
I shook my head, “I don’t know I went out.” The last thing I wanted was for the ladies to think I had done it on my own. Neither could I tell them I could make these weights as light as a feather. In my world, we all had these abilities to a greater or lesser degree, but here I noticed none of them had it. Everyone relied on muscle power, hence the reliance on males.
It was as we were all packing things up when Caretha came to my desk. “I noticed you didn’t want to say anything to Cindy, but I saw you through the office door and you moved the desks with ease. How did you do it?”
I looked at her a moment and felt she would be safe to talk to, “It’s something I learnt long ago. Would you like to come for a coffee? We could chat a bit.”
I had already noticed that she was not one of the “in” crowd. Most of the time, she followed behind the chatting laughing group, but they never included her in their invitations. As the newcomer, nor was I. I did not expect that to change soon. It would be good to make friends, to have someone to talk to occasionally.
She looked at her watch, “Yes, I don’t have to be back until six this evening.”
We went down to the local Dunkin Donuts. We slipped into a booth and gave waited to give our order, “I love the donuts here. They must have a secret recipe. Do you have a favourite?”
I couldn’t tell her I had never tasted them before. I glanced up at the menu board and read ‘Chocolate lover's dream,’ so said, “I think it has to be the chocolate one.”
Caretha grinned, “Well, we share that taste then.”
I watched carefully as Caretha attacked her donut and I followed. The coffee was no problem as I had already discovered I loved a cappuccino.
“So, how did you move those desks?”
I swallowed, “It’s a lengthy story. I’ll tell you about it when we have more time.”
We chatted about work and what she wanted to do with her life. She had worked hard to get her graphic art qualification. Now she wanted to work in the fashion field and this was her first job. She told me about her wish to become a name in the fashion design industry.
I told her a little about myself. I lived in a flat in the centre of town and this was also my first job. She lived with her widowed mum. I said my parents lived overseas, so I could not see them for a long time, but we communicated regularly.
Caretha felt quite protective of me and invited me to meet her mother the next weekend. I turned up at their house with a cake and a bottle of wine. I was not sure what was correct on occasions like this. Her mother was a delight and the two of them went out of their way to be friendly. They assumed that as I came from overseas, they would need to teach me the way of things here. All this kindness made me feel uncomfortable. I would have to give Caretha an explanation about my life soon.
The next public holiday she suggested we went to a game park not far away. The three of us left early in the morning and reached the lodges by early evening. We had driven along dirt roads and see herds of impala and zebra. I had taken my camera and snapped away happily.
Once in the comfortable lodge, we made ourselves at home. Mrs Zeevogle soon had snacks and wine on the table. It was an incredible feeling watching the sun sinking behind the hills and sipping a glass of wine. We talked about nothing in particular as we listened to the surrounding sounds change from the day shift birds and insects to the night shift, the latter is not quite so noisy but present.
In this relaxed state, it seemed right to tell them a bit about myself, but not before I asked them for assurances they would not disclose what I was about to reveal. They thought this very odd but took another sip of wine and nodded agreement.
I was tense. This could break our friendship. I needed to talk to someone.
“This will sound very odd, but I ask you not to interrupt while I tell you about me. When I finish, I’ll answer your questions if I can.”
They looked at each other, then nodded agreement.
Taking a deep breath, I began, “My parents don’t live here at all. I come from another planet. In my world, when we finish our education, we have to do the equivalent of your military call up. We do basic training then we are deployed throughout the galaxies. Our remit is to mix with the locals and help them become better people. Some planets are challenging. The inhabitants are far down the evolutionary ladder. It is our job to help and show them how to improve. On Terra, we have helped the inhabitants over thousands of years. There have been terrible catastrophes that wiped out most of the population. That’s when we were most needed. To move out of the mere survival mode into forming societies again. Sometimes the people think we are gods like those in South America who saw the visiting extraterrestrials as gods. We are anything but gods, but we are a little more advanced than you. We come on big intergalactic space ships. Once on Terra, we fly to our assigned areas by smaller ships that are here permanently.
In my world, we have family units just like you. I have parents and an older brother and sister. Our society has hierarchical levels. There is a ruling class, a priestly class, an intellectual class and a working class. Each one has unique abilities and powers. I am like my parents; we are from the intellectual class. That does not mean we only sit and think. We have to do practical physical activities and thinking through problems. Both my parents work at what you would call the university. Father works in the biomedical sphere while Mother is in design, that’s where I got my talent from and why this job suits me so well. My brother is a flight captain. They had promoted him to the intergalactic ships just before I left, so he flew me here.”
I took a deep breath and a shallow sip of wine. I could see Caretha was dying to talk, “It’s ok. You can ask whatever you want now.”
“Does that answer my question to you long ago? How did you move those desks?”
“Yes, we can change the molecular arrangement of things. It makes them light and easy to move.”
She nodded then asked, “So were your people involved in building the pyramids and at Machu Picchu?”
“Yes, when you apply a special thought, it makes things light as a feather, then when you finish manipulating them, you change them back to their original weight.”
Caretha looked thoughtful, “Can we do the same?”
I shook my head. “No, you collectively have to have a raised vibrational level, but you are not far off.”
The following day we have a wonderful time with them showing me all the animals. Then back at the lodge, we sat outside again and the folks at the next door lodge called across to invite us to join them for a BBQ. It was an elderly couple with their son. He had done all the driving and was busy with the fire while they sat watching. We joined them and I noticed Caretha and Rob were soon busy sorting things out and cooking the meat. I went inside to prepare the salads. A lovely relaxed evening, which lead to many more when they all got back as Caretha and Rob became a fixture. She was still friendly with me, though I did not see so much of her on weekends.
Many months later, she came into work early. She was glowing. “I knew you would be here early and I wanted to show you something.” She thrust her hand out and on one of her fingers was a shiny new ring, “That’s very expensive looking, can you afford it?”
She laughed, “I wondered if you would know what it was! I am engaged!”
She was happy, so I knew it was special but still did not quite follow how a ring could make her happy.
“It means I am going to marry Rob.”
That I understood and was pleased for her, “So a ring means you are going to get married? But what about the one Cindy wears? Is she too going to get married?”
Caretha shook her head, “No, Cindy is already married. That is a wedding ring she wears.”
It confused me, “How do you know the difference?”
“An engagement ring usually has one maybe more gemstones while a wedding ring is plain.”
“But Linda has two rings, a plain one and the other has stones, but in the round, does that mean something different?”
I learnt all about rings from engagement to wedding to eternity ones and then there were some which served no purpose other than to be decorative.
Caretha and Rob decided to have a small wedding soon as her mother Mrs Z was ill, I knew she would not be around much longer and it seemed they understood that too. Caretha asked me to be her bridesmaid.
At the wedding, Rob thanked everyone then he said, “I want to thank especially an extraordinary friend, Salti, who has shown Caretha an amazing level of friendship.”
She needed to have Rob around as her mother died a few months later. That sad occasion was even more difficult for Caretha. I received the news I had to return home—my tour of duty here at an end.
I asked the two of them to come to the beach with me on the appointed day. Rob remained at the car while we walked onto the sand. We stood looking at the inky sky, and then the lights appeared and flew straight towards us. Her eyes were enormous, “It’s a UFO!”
I laughed, “It’s my transport home. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.”
I gave her two little things.
She looked at them a bit disappointed.
“Don’t look like that, this,” I pointed to a rock, “is your way of staying in contact with me. When you hold it and think of me, it will change colour to a delicate lilac. If you then speak to me in your head, I’ll hear and be able to reply.”
Now her smile was back then she asked, “What is this?”
“When you have your daughter, give her this. It’s a connection between our worlds and between the generations.”
By now, the ladder had come down and I waded through the shallow waves, climbed the steps and gave her one last wave. The doors closed and my friend walked back to her husband. Now she could tell him the whole story.