“Where to start…” Heather murmured.
“How about your childhood?” I suggested.
“Alright. Well, I grew up in a family of eight,”
I almost recoiled, “Geez that’s a lot of kids,”
“Heh… you can say that again. It was me, my sister, my four brothers, and my parents. I was the youngest and my sister is the oldest,” Heather smiled as she reminisced, “She was always the person I looked up to the most. My brothers would always tease me so I trained hard enough that I could beat their asses,”
“Sounds like you all had a good relationship,” I remarked.
“Yeah,” Heather stared solemnly at the ground, “It was pretty good when we were all young. As we got older things became a lot more… complicated. My two oldest brothers, Henry and Lloyd, they got into some trouble. Mom and Dad never said, but I’m pretty sure it was drugs. They were both found in a car, in a ditch. It looked like they swerved and crashed there, but it was obvious that they were killed. The police didn’t follow up and deemed it an accident. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t go down the path they did, so I kept training,”
“What do you do now?” I asked.
“I’m a trainer at the local gym. I help those who are recovering from injuries or drugs to get back their lives… something I couldn’t do for my siblings,”
“That explains the six-pack,” I muttered, “Did you not go to college?”
“I didn’t. Went straight to self-study to be able to get certified. Didn’t take long before I started getting paid. I mean, I had to since I didn’t have a choice but to move out of home,”
I was caught by what she just said, “What do you mean?”
She seemed to grin like she was caught doing something mischievous, “Well… I guess it’s my turn. When I was young, I realized I wasn’t like other girls… not that way. On my eighteenth birthday, I figured out what it was,”
“Lesbian?” I guessed.
“That obvious huh? Yep. I’m a lesbian. Parents were not happy about that. Ended up kicking me out after a month. They did give me some money. Enough to afford this place. Most of this stuff I bought used. Once I started training others, I got paid a lot and spent it on everything else,”
“I guess they aren’t total assholes. They at least gave you some money instead of dumping you on the street,”
“Yeah… I think they were more worried about losing another child. I don’t know what LGBT laws are in your world, but there are still a lot of dicks in the world who will torture us. Instead of having another loss, they decided to distance themselves from me,”
I didn’t really know what to do. I wasn’t the kind of person to cheer people up. Most of the time, I just stood there and listened. What do I do? Slowly, I put my hand on Heather’s. She looked at it and then grabbed mine.
“Thanks… by the way I’m 21. That makes me two years older than you,” she said with a smirk.
“And?” I said, not sure of to make of it.
“Nothing… just wanted to make sure you knew,” She told me.
“Oh yeah. What’s this world like? Like… what kind of animals are there? What races are there? What was the ground meat we had earlier?”
Heather gave me a small chuckle, “Well that last question is simple. Cows. There are cow beast-men, but they don’t really have any… how do I say this… relationship to cows? Basically, the cows that are farmed are more animalistic and don’t have the same sort of rights as beast-men. Pig or cow beast-men are often the ones to actually raise them, but they’re vegetarians, much like their animal counterpart. The cows don’t express the same sort of emotions beast-men do so they’re wilder in that regard.
“As far as difference races go, there are fairies, merfolk, devils, demons, elementals, dragons, elves, dwarfs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, tentacles, golems… and the list goes on. It would probably take me all night to list them if I went into specifics,”
“That’s all I need to know,” I told her. As she finished up, she yawned and stretched. I got another glimpse of her abs. Wow, she looked really hot. Her grey-white hair, those yellow eyes, those abs, the tail, everything was really attractive. I just shook the thoughts out of my mind. When I did, I got a look at the time on the microwave. It currently read 10:41.
“I think it’s time I hit the sack,” Heather said through another yawn, “I’ll take the couch. You can have the bed,”
‘What are you talking about?! I’ll take the couch and you take the bed!’ is what I would have said if I had the courage to speak up. I just decided to go along with what she said and took the bedroom. Heather first grabbed a blanket and some pajamas. She also handed me some night clothes to put on before she left. Once I was left alone in the room, I just sat on the bed.
Looking around the room, I noticed a few things including some picture frames. In one of them, I saw what appeared to be Heather standing on a podium with a trophy. It looked like it was a track competition. In another, there looked to be Heather and her parents sitting at a table in a restaurant.
The last picture I looked at had Heather’s full family. Heater looked like she was between thirteen and fifteen years old. Her hair was short and I think she might have had braces. I assumed her parents stood behind her since they seemed the oldest. Her father looked very rugged and had grey hair. His face was covered in stubble with a strong jawline. Her mother had a very beautiful face with silky white hair and a charming smile. Heather’s sister looked a lot like her mother. Her brothers were all lined up next to each other. Henry and Lloyd were in the back standing tall above their younger siblings. They all looked so happy together. It made me sad to think of how it all went downhill later.
I wanted to do something for Heather. It was just unfair how everything changed for her. I started raking my mind for ideas. Maybe there was something that only I could do now. I looked in the full body mirror once more…
“Heather?” I asked quietly. I didn’t want to wake her if she was asleep.
“Celeste. Is something wrong?” Heather called from the couch.
“Can you come here a sec?”
I heard Heather get up from the couch and begin walking over. Fingers crossed I didn’t make things worse. I heard her gasp as she turned the corner. What she saw was me, except I had changed a few things. My hair was now grey-white, my eyes were yellow, and I had wolf ears and a tail.
“I just wanted to see if maybe you were missing family. The pictures… I saw them. I thought you might…”
Heather embraced me within a second. We stood there in the hallway for a minute. Eventually, she whispered in my ear, “Thank you,”
“I really appreciate the thought you put into this and it does make me happy,” she had a sad smile on her face, “But I’m fine with the family I have… as screwed up as it is, they’re still my family and I love them,”
“Okay… if you're sure,” I returned everything back to the way it had been.
“I will say, you were totally rocking the wolf look,” Heather jested.
“Oh, knock it off…” I gave her a light push, “I’m gonna go to sleep now,”