Bo hummed happily to acknowledge my entrance as I stepped further into the room. His eyes were glazed and darting across the screens circling his head. From the minute he got home, he had that helmet plastered to his skull, indulging in all the latest streamers. It was both wonderful and infuriating. Jameson acknowledged me more than Bo. As odious as he was, at least he contained himself to his chair. For the most part.
I slipped my shoes off before ascending into the kitchen. A low whoom announced the removal of any possible residue from the outer world. Nothing contaminated any space where it didn’t belong. I popped a couple Dropps from the full sink. When I first moved in, I had tried to ease the decadence by emptying the sink of Dropps. At first, I filled every available receptacle with the squishy bubbles. The sink’s level was no lower than when I’d started. Bo had come in and laughed at me, a loud barking laugh like the neighbor’s Securidrone POOCH model’s warning siren. My face burned as I tried to dump all the Dropps back into the sink but it overflowed and they spilled onto the floor instead, the impact bursting them open and soaking my pants and footings. The puddle grew larger and larger as Bo’s wails grew louder and louder. He was doubled over, wheezing one moment then head back and roaring the next.
The burning red of my cheeks swept over my ears and down my neck. The bursting Dropps splashed cooling water on me and washed away most of my tears. I sat there until Bo’s humor wore out and he plugged into the Spiral. I sat there until the water had soaked into the sub-floor’s state-of-the-art absorbency layer. I sat there until I was too stiff to move and then I got up and creaked my way into Bo’s bedroom—my bedroom—and crawled into bed, wrinkled clothes and all. Bo snored dreadfully the entire night. I was cold.
I popped another Dropp into my mouth and savored the crisp crunch of the bubble breaking and the refreshing hydration as the water flowed into my system. I slipped past Bo and his preoccupations and out onto the balcony. Bo hated the balcony. Around day three, I claimed it as mine. There was no escape or solitude inside of the house or on the balcony, but one of them was mine.
I curled into my corner and wondered what evidence would sway her best. Should I bring all of it? Would she believe all of it or should I only bring the more reasonable pieces? It was time sensitive. I wonder who her friend is? I rested my head on my knees and let my eyes fade into the horizon.