Hey everyone! Here I am, back with part 19 of my sci-fi serial story, Because We Were Different. Thank you all so much for sticking with me through this all! For any of you who might be new, or would like to go back to the beginning to start over, just click here! Also, if you’d like to find any of the other parts of the story, please click on the sidebar “Short Stories” where you can find all the previous parts and older stories! Again, thank you all for reading, and please like and comment below! ~ Kay Leigh
“I got us a couple rooms in the inn here,” Natalia said as we met up. I had decided it would be quicker to split up and thus tasked Natalia with getting us a room, while Raidon and I went in search of a reliable tour guide. Raidon had picked one at random, based totally off the guide’s picture, showing him dressed in a brightly colored shirt and holding an ice cream cone.
“We’ll contact him tomorrow,” I told Raidon, before turning to Natalia. “Is it clean? And do we each have our own beds? I am not sharing a bed with Mr. Mustache Maniac here.” I motioned to Raidon, who had once again donned his mustache.
Natalia rolled her eyes. “I wouldn’t dream of sharing a room with either of you lunatics. One of you gets the bed and the other the couch and then I have an adjoining room. And don’t worry, I’m not blind. It’s clean, and I’ve already dropped my stuff off. Here’s the key card. Now, I’m going to find out what food is around here. I’ll be back by eight.”
“Seven!” I called after her as she hurried away. “You be back by seven!” I was beginning to think she needed a reminder of who was in charge of this mission.
I huffed as I turned to the side stairs of the hotel and entered that way, Raidon trailing with his backpack behind him. “I’m going to turn on some TV and watch some cooking shows until Natalia comes back,” he said, giving me two thumbs up.
“Oh please, it’ll only make you hungry.”
“I’m always hungry!” he said, and I rolled my eyes. Yeah. For junk.
I reached Room 236 and pushed open the door for Raidon, who instantly squealed and launched himself head first towards the bed. “I call first dibs!”
I grimaced at the sight of his dirty boots on the bed. Well, I certainly would not sleep there now… but the couch didn’t look much better. When was the last time it had been cleaned, I couldn’t help but wonder? At least they cleaned sheets every day… but the couch? I tried not to think of it as I set down my backpack and sighed.
We weren’t in the room for three minutes when Raidon found the TV remote and had it blaring a cooking show starring ice cream as the main focal point. I could just see the ice cream cones being reflected in Raidon’s large brown eyes.
I pulled out some comfortable pajamas and my toothbrush. All I wanted was a decent night’s rest… and who knew if I would get that here. Still, this was better than the ship.
I flipped on the lights in the bathroom to be greeted with wrapped bars of soap, toilet paper, and… no towels. Zilch. None. Just my luck. Well, Natalia’s bathroom had towels… hopefully.
I opened the door which separated her room from ours, then stepped in. It looked nearly identical to ours, except for the colors were different. Hopefully, the bathroom differed from ours in that it had towels.
I certainly wasn’t expecting the bathroom to be so different that the light switch was on the other wall. I tripped over Natalia’s backpack, the clattering noise telling me I’d knocked stuff out. “Dangit, can’t they put the light switches in the same place, for crying out loud?!”
I flipped on the lights and sighed when I saw the crisp white towels hanging in neat order on the wall. “Thank you!” After grabbing the towels, I was just about ready to step over Natalia’s spilled bag and let her clean it up when I noticed something… strange. The case with the red contact lenses Remington had given her had fallen out and opened… but instead of being empty… two pairs of lenses fell out.
“How…” I bent down to pick them up, examining them both. How did she get two pairs of contacts? Could Remington or one of his men made the mistake? But no, her eyes were currently that reddish-brown they were supposed to be, and there was no way three pairs of lenses could have fit in the case.
As I stared at them, a thought dawned on me. What if… Natalia had always worn color lenses? What if her green eyes… were just lenses, and her actual color was the Shiarizian reddish-brown… which would cause her description to perfectly match that of a native Shiarizian?
There was only one way to find out. I took out my own red contacts and placed a pair of hers in. As I stared at myself in the mirror, I saw my vibrant blue eyes turn into a light shade of green… just like Natalia’s had always been.
It was confirmed. Natalia was a Shiarizian… she had to be. And yet, who knew about it? Did Remington? Her portfolio said she was from Marni… did Remington believe that? Or had he been hiding yet another secret from me? Was he testing me?
I smirked. Or maybe I could test him.