Traitor. Big, smelly, disgusting traitor. That’s what I am, Mikhail Mikhailovich thought, dipped into soft cushions of the antique armchair.
Orobella bustled about, from the kitchen to the living room, carrying heavy plates of chocolate-chip cookies, banana muffins, and his favorite lemon pies. “Almost ready!” she sang.
That’s the right thing to do, Mikhail was convincing himself. Every honest man would do the same.
Orobella danced into the room with a kettle of aromatic chamomile tea. She poured him a cup and gracefully collapsed on the couch. “So what’s that extremely important matter that you wanted to talk to me about?”
“Umm…” Mikhail cleared his throat and nervously stirred three sugar cubes into his tea. Maybe one more. “Do you have milk?”
“Oh, I forgot.” Orobella closed her eyes for two seconds and the usual tension appeared on her forehead. A little jug of hot foamy milk emerged out of nowhere.
Mikhail flinched. “I hate when you do that thing in front of me.”
“I’m sorry,” Orobella giggled. “I’m too lazy to stand up again. Being a human requires so much walking.”
“That’s all right. I’m slowly getting used to… your tricks,” Mikhail said and took the first sip. The tea was perfect. “Oro, you know how much I love Aleksey,” he started carefully.
“I know. I love him too.”
“He’s like a brother to me. I’ve known him for years.”
“Yes, since that time when the two of you kidnapped Mr Piglet from your father’s barn.”
“To return him to the woods…”
“Where he got torn into pieces by wolves.”
“Yes!” Mikhail cried out, red from embarrassment. “Oro, please, listen to me. He… He’s cheating on you.”
“Mr Piglet?” Orobella froze with a cup of tea at her perfect lips.
“No! Aleksey, your husband Aleksey Aleksandrovich, is cheating on you.”
Orobella stared at him as if she didn’t understand his words. “Oh, well.” She gave a shrug and took a sip of her sweet warm drink.
“What? You don’t mind?”
Orobella’s smile was the only answer.
“You… You knew, right?” Of course she knew! How could he ever think she didn’t? She was a supernatural creature from a different dimension. Who could trick her? “Oro, I know you’re an… alien.”
“An eternal being on a higher level of consciousness,” Orobella corrected him.
“Yes… That one,” Mikhail mumbled. “But you can’t let him treat you like that.”
“Like what?” Orobella peered at him seriously. “Aleksey is a perfect husband. He cares about me, listens to me, laughs at my jokes—and we both know they are terrible. Look, those sunflowers are from him.”
“To allay your suspicions! Oro, you deserve better than that.”
“For all the mythical manifestations’ sake!” Orobella raised her delicate hand as if trying to bounce his words back. “Which one was yours? Zeus?”
“No, no… No one any more believes in… Eh,” he sighed. There was no point to discuss religious matters with Orobella. She knew better. “God is fine. As simple as that.”
“All right. For God’s sake then. Mikhail Mikhailovich, are you insinuating that my husband doesn’t love me?”
“No, of course not,” Mikhail hesitated. He knew Aleksey would give life for his extra-terrestrial wife. “He does but…”
“So, what’s the problem? No one is perfect. He adores me and I adore him. That’s the only thing that matters. Occasional affairs are as irrelevant as dirty socks scattered on the floor. Or farts.”
“Do you… Do you cheat on him too?”
She burst into laughter. “No. But I do fart time to time. He doesn’t mind.”
Mikhail hid his head in his big hands. “This is madness.”
Orobella smiled with empathy. “If you experienced so many lifetimes on so many planets as I’ve had, you would realize that Freedom and Joy are the only two things worth living for.” She sat on the floor and embraced his knees in her slender arms. “My dear, dear Mikhail, my loving, truthful friend, let me tell you something you won’t understand.” She grinned. “All of us are just droplets in the ocean of cosmic love. We’re inhabiting these physical bodies for a tiny bit of time yet we consider ourselves so different one from another, so individual. But that’s just an illusion. We’re one. We’re energy scattered on the planet Earth and in all the other corners of the Universe. We’re cells of one living, pulsating, joyous body. Thus, the concept of cheating is illogical. Because in the end of the day—it’s all us! It’s like saying that your hand cheated on your butt with your nose. We’re one, Mikhail Mikhailovich, and we’re constantly making love to ourselves. It’s like a massive cosmic masturbation. How beautiful is that!”
Mikhail stared at Orobella in disbelief. That was so far the craziest thing she’d ever said. How to convince her, how to make her see how wrong and immoral that whole thing was?
“He’s meeting one of those girls tonight,” he finally said.
Orobella let go of his hand and sat back on the couch. “Is that so?”
“Yes. She’s a Thai masseuse. He met her last week. And there were others before. An Indian belly dancer, a Swedish car racer, a Japanese manga artist… That’s the one who gave him a bite on his neck. You remember? The story of the crazy old lady who attacked him on the street…”
“…because he stepped on her imaginary kitty,” Orobella finished. She narrowed her eyes and looked to the window. “It’s going to rain soon,” she whispered.
“Yes… Yes, of course,” Mikhail muttered. “I should go now.” He snatched one more lemon pie and raised to his feet. “I’m sorry, Oro. I didn’t want to make you upset. I just couldn’t watch him do this to you anymore.”
“That’s all right.” Orobella didn’t take her eyes off the sky. “I’m not upset. I told you, deprive me of Freedom and Joy and you will kill me. All the rest… Depends on how you choose to see it.”
Mikhail kissed her hand and left. It was the right thing to do, he thought. Everyone would have done it.
Orobella glanced at the table and sighed. She was too tired, or maybe too melancholic, to clean the dishes. She snapped her fingers. The plates, the cakes, and the tea flew back to the kitchen by themselves.
That’s cheating, something squealed in her head.
“Well, that has to be my human nature then,” she replied to herself.
She stood up and looked in the mirror. She had a perfect human body. Her eyes shone in the dark like two emeralds with star dust trapped inside. Her long red locks meandered like snakes on the dunes of her fair arms and lavish breast. The butterfly of her hips opened its wings to strike the world with the beauty of her hour-glass silhouette. Who would ever want something different if he had that? And yet.
Orobella had spent on the Earth seven and a half lifetimes, long enough to understand that human men were the weakest species in the entire Orion Spur. It was so easy to blind them. Money, power, fame, sex—one could put any of those before men and they were lost. So ego-driven, so full of themselves! Oh, if they only knew that Orobella’s race dominated the humanity millennia ago. No, but let’s not spoil their fun. Let them think they have it under control. One day they would understand… Freedom and Love.
She remembered the day she met Aleksey Aleksandrovich. He kneeled before her with his head down and a crab on a tray. “Your faithful servant Sebastian at your command, Princess Ariel!” The Chinese waitress hysterically hit him with a wet cloth trying to take the tray away. He wouldn’t give it back until Orobella showed him her legs to prove that she was not a mermaid. That night she fell in love with Aleksey but even then she already had the feeling he would cheat on her. She became sure when she saw his shirt-less selfies on Facebook.
She looked to the window. It was getting dark. She had to hurry up. She snapped her fingers and her Inter-Dimensional Closet popped out before her eyes, a wedding gift from the Lord of the Whirlpool Galaxy. Obviously, Alexey had no idea about it. Otherwise, he would tease her even more whenever she cried that she had nothing to wear.
She opened the closet and dug into the vastness of her female universe—a flamenco dress, belly dance pants, a nurse uniform, a car racing suit… Oh, that was fun, she remembered. All right, here it is. A traditional long shirt and loose pants. She put them on and looked in the mirror. Black, child-like eyes looked back at her instead of her own, green ones. She put her hands together into the customary Thai gesture and practiced her bow. “Sabai-dee-kah!” Yes, she was ready. Aleksey was going to lose his mind!
Thai masseuse, Indian belly dancer, French model… There were so many of them. Orobella knew Aleksey would cheat on her. Yet, she also knew that he would always, always, come back to her. Because she was One in a Million.
She was One Million Women in One.