The Valkyrie’s Daughters
Part X: Overwhelming Friendship
By the time we went home, I had a feeling I had done something wrong. Ike had just gotten quiet and withdrawn, but I couldn’t think of why… They wished me a good night and we went our separate way… I wasn’t tired yet to I went out for flight practice. I was getting better.
After a short night of sleep, I came out of my room still in my pajama. I stretched only for Avery to run up to me.
“Michelle! Hey, I was just wandering and it’s great that you’re here because I’m really bored and… wait, did you just wake up? I’ve been awake for over an hour. I didn’t sleep very well.” They said really quickly. I blinked and they sighed. “My hearing forgot to turn off and everything was loud.”
“I did. That doesn’t sound good, are you going to be okay for class today?” I said, frowning. “I stayed out late yesterday with Ike, then went to practice flying again.”
“I’ll be fine. I remembered to turn off my hearing now and I didn’t even hear you coming! Wait, you went fishing right? How was that?”
“It was so fun, I caught a huge fish and it was sooo good.”
“Ooh, that sounds cool! I don’t really like fish unless it’s breaded. Otherwise it’s slimy. Do you wanna go back to my room and talk for a bit in there before we have to go eat? I don’t wanna talk to new people.”
I took a second or two to process all that that before nodding. “Sure, it’s upstairs?”
“Yeah, follow me.”
I did. “I think I did something wrong with Ike…” I said as we reached the stairs.
“What happened?” They asked, turning to look at me, but just like me, Avery didn’t do eye contact, instead looking at my chin.
“I don’t know, we had a good time and then they just started playing on their tablet and kind of ignoring me… All after I asked them if they wanted to swim with me.”
“Maybe they’re self-conscious about their body? I know I don’t like swimming sometimes if I feel particularly bad about mine. Or they had a bad experience with swimming. You just gotta ask them, even if you’re sure that you messed up.” They sighed. “I had to do that once. I didn’t like it but it happens.”
“Maybe you’re right. I should talk to them later.”
“Yeah. Just don’t force them to tell you or you might push them away.” I nodded and we went up. “Well, here’s my room. As you can see, it’s just like every other room.”
“Cool. I haven’t been upstairs yet.” I said. I looked around and saw Drew on her bed. I waved at her. “Hey.”
“Oh, look Drew’s back here! What’s up?” Avery said.
“Hey Avery! Hey Michelle!”Drew said, waving back. “Have you been by the kitchen? Watch out, There’s a massive creep in there.”
“Who was it?” I asked frowning.
“I think his name is Nine or something?” She answered, her arms wrapped around her torso. “I’m sure you’ve seen him, he has green hair and horns. Anyway he was being really creepy toward this guy Ryland about his friend, saying how he was ‘delicious’ and other shit. I left before it got physical. I didn’t want to get caught up in a fight.”
“That’s gross.” I said. “And I’m kind of hungry now…”
“I’m kinda hungry too, all I had was some juice.” Drew said. “We still have some cookies left over from last night. Want some?”
“Oh, do we still have oatmeal?” Avery asked. “Michelle, you gotta try them, they’re the best ones we made!”
“Yeah, we saved some just for you because you said they were your favorite.” Drew confirmed.
Right then, Riley appeared out of a portal right next to me. I froze. I hadn’t expected that…
“Good Morning!” They said.
“Riley! While I feel like I should be concerned that you can come and go from rooms whenever, I’m happy you’re here!” Avery said. “Want a hug?”
“I love hugs!” Riley said, Avery welcoming them into their arm. “You give hugs that are almost as good as Michelle’s!” I blushed at the thought of my hugs being good.
“Hi Riley, want a cookie?” Drew asked.
Riley let go with one arm and picked a cookie from the plastic tub. “Y’all are great! Making biscuits last night was so fun we should make a regular thing of it!” They said, making me wish I’d been there.
With everyone in such a small room, I felt a little overwhelmed.
“Sorry that it’s so busy. I didn’t expect this to happen.” Avery said, coming out of Riley’s arms and coming to me.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” I repeated, flapping my hands a little, focusing on the moment. “You said you still had cookies? Can I have one?”
“Yeah, here!” Drew held out the box to me. “You’ll probably like the oatmeal ones the best.”
I picked some of the oatmeal ones and popped one into my mouth. It was soft and chewy, just like I prefer them to be. “Those are good.”
“I made them! We have three types, they must be around here somewhere. Except I probably ate all of the chocolate chip oatmeal ones.”
Riley whispered to their shoulder and then sighed. “Sorry can Teddy have a biscuit? I told him they were yours and that he could have mine but he wants to try the oatmeal.”
I handed one of my cookies over to them. They picked it and brought it to their shoulder where it quickly disappeared in a shower of crumbs. I squinted my eyes and a darkish red blur on Riley’s shoulder. Was that Teddy?
“I think I can see Teddy… It’s kind of blurry.” I said.
Avery then came right into my field of view. “Michelle, I found the last chocolate chip one! Want it? I didn’t actually eat them all! I had a stomach ache yesterday after I tried to eat them all.”
I blinked and Drew laughed. “I told you so.”
I looked at Avery and then at the cookie they hand in their hand. It took a second for my brain to process it all and take the cookie. “Oh, thank you.”
“That must mean the wings are magic!” Riley said, bringing my attention back to them.
Wings? Magic? My brain was lagging behind, only remembering what I’d said to Riley about Teddy after a moment. “My sister says they are…” I mumbled. There was so much going on, it was getting really confusing… I popped my necklace into my mouth and started chewing, stimming always helped me focus.
“Sorry if I’m a bit much in the morning.” Riley said, I think to me, but I wasn’t sure of anything at the time. “I know not everyone is completely awake yet at this time.”
I felt the need to explain, people always thought I was weird. “I’m just not used to being with so much people at the same time.” I mumbled or tried to, my octopus still in my mouth.
“Teddy that’s rude!” Riley said out of nowhere.
“What did he say?” I asked.
“Okay…” I bit down on the octopus, everything was just getting so incomprehensible.
They continued talking and I lost track of everything. I liked my new friends, but I had a feeling everything was going to be confusing and overwhelming… I was used to only having Lina… Hopefully I’d get used to it soon…