“First time all of us’ve been out in a while, huh?” Jeron chuckled in an attempt to lighten the mood in the truck.
“Can I take Saari to the arcade?” Daniel chimed in.
“Arcade?” Saari inquired.
“Yeah! It’s a place full of all kinds of games to play. Lots of…” Daniel realized a critical flaw in his plan, “Lights and sounds…” he sank back into his chair.
Saari sighed. “I could listen to what is happening, but I doubt I would not see anything. Is seeing necessary?”
“To play the games it is… I-I’m sorry…”
Sylus looked up into the rearview mirror. “We’re sticking together today, okay? Maybe we can split up on another run, but for now, we’re all in. I’m sorry, Dan. You’ll have to actually suffer through grocery shopping.”
Daniel grumbled a bit.
“We’ll get some sugary cereal of your choice, okay?” Sylus tried to placate him.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Daniel sighed, “We have to do this together.”
Saari bit her lip. Jeron caught the motion in the mirror.
“What’s wrong, Saari?”
“It is me… I am the burden. I cannot see. I do not look human. I am the one who does not belong.”
“I’m here, too, Saari,” Sylus smiled.
“But at least you look mostly like your species! I look nothing like anyone! I never did and I never will. I will always be an abomination.”
Jeron pulled off the road as he and Sylus whipped around to face the back seat.
“Fun fact, kid,” Jeron began, “We’re all abominations at this point. Don’t be so hard on yourself. People weren’t too keen on me before I was corrupted. Humans suck, Saari. Our diversity isn’t anything like yours, but we still find reasons to hate people. Whether its skin color, sexual identities or preferences… Humans will always find a way to hate. Just do what I did.” Saari turned toward her window. “Ignore it.”
“But at least you are human…”
“And that means NOTHING to some people!” Jeron continued, “There are humans who think other humans are less than them for superficial and petty reasons. Being human doesn’t save any of us from being judged or even hated. We don’t know how people will react to any of us in a serious situation, but you deserve to be free to not live under a rock. That’s how I grew up. Completely contained and isolated. That was my life. That was your life. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Fuck them all and fuck their hatred. We exist and we deserve to be part of society even if society abandoned us.”
Saari’s lips began quivering.
“Jeron’s right, Saari,” Daniel spoke up again, “We’re all messed up. You fit right in!”
She sighed deeply.
“Together, Saari. We will find our ways together.”
Saari looked up into Qaitax’s smiling eyes.
“We can go to the arcade place,” she finally spoke up.
“Saari?” Daniel put a hand on her shoulder, “We really don’t have to. It’s okay.”
She shook her head, “I want to see what it is like to be a child. Perhaps, somehow, learn how to have fun?”
Daniel turned to Qaitax and Jeron.
“If that is what you want, Saari. You are free to do so. Daniel knows how to reach us if you need assistance.”
They turned to face forward once more. Jeron slowly got them back on the road.
“Maybe it will be like that day…”
Jeron glanced to Sylus.
“All this time… I kept clinging to that day…” he chuckled, “Like a sentimental fool.”
Jeron smiled as he kept his eyes on the road before them.