My Cousin is Dating an Alien, by Moltka Bolotnikov, age 12 and ½ - Entered into ‘Fantastic Worlds’ category of the Chicago Children’s Writing Competition, after being mistakenly submitted into the ‘Non fiction’ category.
My cousin’s name is Jupiter. If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is. The rest of us have normal names. Not normal American names, but normal Russian names. Jupiter isn’t either of those. It’s a planet, or a Roman god. We joke that she’s as big as a planet, when she eats all the latkes, and we joke that she thinks she’s a god, when she won’t get out of bed, but she isn’t either of those things. She’s just a normal, boring girl. She likes boring girl things, and she sticks pretend eyelashes over her real ones.
If I’m going to tell you about the alien boyfriend, I’m going to have to tell you about the normal ones first. There’s a process, and it’s always the same.
1) Jupiter meets Some Guy. This can happen anywhere, because she’ll talk to anyone. Prime suspect locations include the bus stop, the Laundromat, any kind of transit, and “I don’t know, a party or something, stop asking!”
2) Some Guy takes Jupiter somewhere like McDonalds, or buys her a Subway. “He’s so great!”
3) “What’s his star sign???” (My family care about this a lot. Probably because she’s called Jupiter. No one cares about my sign. The one on my room that says ‘KEEP OUT’).
4) We don’t see Jupiter for weeks. They are hanging out in his car. Once, just on a wall near where his motorbike was parked.
5) I get grounded because ‘spying is wrong’ and ‘we do not follow family!’
6) “I need to borrow some money.”
7) “I’ll pay you back as soon as I can.”
8) “This guy will kill me if you don’t!”
9) “Do you want me to DIE, Jupiter??”
10) Grounded again.
11) We don’t hear anything more from the guy.
13) “Love is so stupid, Mama.”
14) Go to step one and repeat.
The average amount of time between first meeting and asking for money is 3 weeks (mean = 24.7 days, with a standard deviation of 15.8. Shortest is 2 days, longest is 50, n=11. My cousin didn’t like the graph I made her though. Girls suck.)
So that’s the process, painstakingly dissected by Moltka Bolotnikov, your intrepid reporter on the ground. A small, Russian Steve Irwin, if you will. The David Attenborough of Chicago. Sacrificing much in pursuit of knowledge.
Now we’re all on the same page, we can talk about the alien.
Things began as normal. My brother Vladie convinced Jupiter to go to a clinic and donate her eggs so he could buy a tv and a robot vacuum and she could buy a telescope. Normal, right? Oh no, not so fast. Admittedly, step one was the same. She met him at the egg donor clinic. Yeah. Then came deviation the first: she stays out all (were this not an essay for a competition of repute, I might have written ‘aaaaaalllllll’) night with him. Suspicious, but not alien, not yet.
Here’s what she tells us about him:
1) His name is Cain Wise. That’s a terrible name. Bad bible name. Merits further investigation, inconclusive.
2) He is a soldier. Ok, fine. Rescues people from egg clinic fires. Not weird.
3) “I think he’s a Cancer.” Alert. Alert. Highly suspicious.
I’ll tell you why the Cancer thing is the suspicious thing, in case you aren’t as highly attuned a detective as I am. You see, my family holds horoscopes in great esteem. My Aunt was a professor, once, but I think the bleach from her cleaning job has gotten to her brain, because she’s the worst of them. It’s the first question they ask, and whatever the answer is it leads to hours of discussion (I assume. Your brave reporter is sometimes overwhelmed and has to leave the room). So, that “I think”. You either are, or you aren’t. Horoscopes aren’t a point of opinion (this Gemini has been taught that very well), they’re a point of fact. The sun was in this position or that position and that’s the end of it. And then there’s the other half, the “he’s a Cancer” half. So she knows when his birthday is. They have had this discussion. Here’s where we pull the thread. Objection! I say! Allow me to present my ironclad case for the prosecution:
1) Jupiter cares a lot about horoscopes. 2) She has discussed with her boyfriend about which is his. 3) Horoscopes are a yes/no thing. The only reason a horoscope would be an “I think” situation would be if the listener could not remember what the subject had said. But this cannot be! See point number one!
So I consider. This must be reconciled. I, part naturist, part attorney, part super detective, can come to only one conclusion:
Cain Wise was not born on Earth.
They must be struggling to calculate the time difference between the planets and can only make a best guess!
Armed with this knowledge, I was able to shield myself against the mind altering technology he brought with him to his first dinner with our family. How do I know he brought such a device? How can you come to this point in my essay with so little faith in my detective skills?
I suppose we must always wait for the evidence. Very well - once again, I give you the case for the prosecution. 1) He has pointy ears. This should be the kind of fact that leads a family to ask questions. When your brave reporter attempted to quiz him on this fact, your brave reporter was silenced! By a fork in the leg! 2) His canine teeth are, shall we say, on the large side. Again, no mention of this unquestionable fact was made by the family. In fact, my mother’s only comment on his appearance was (I quote, translated from the Russian) “Jupiter has done so well this time! Look at his biceps…” A clear indication of an addled mind. His biceps, while large, were perfectly possible for a human, and so should have attracted no interest whatsoever. 3) His neck is branded with a serial number. I hear the defence crying that branding might be used in the army as some kind of initiation, or perhaps he was in prison. The prosecution concedes that this might be true, but refers the defence to exhibit 1, the pointy ears. 4) He has never heard of Taylor Swift. 5) Does not like chocolate (is this a dislike, or an alien allergy. I was prevented from grating some into his coffee, so I have no evidence to support this, but…who doesn’t like chocolate?) 6) Not following the rules. Has not, so far, asked anyone for any money. Treats my cousin like royalty (a very suspicious thing in itself!) 7) Finally, I present exhibit 6 – The Boot Issue. Cain is tall. Much taller than Jupiter. Much much taller than your intrepid detective. However. His boots have a platform. Why, the prosecution asks, would a tall, macho, branded man wear lifts in his shoes? Unless the shoes were hiding something. Some kind of technology. Some kind of alien technology. Jupiter’s boyfriend has gravity boots. Jupiter’s boyfriend is an alien.
The prosecution rests.
What will be the consequences of this brave discovery? I am writing this, knowing it will only be a matter of time before the US government makes contact. Will I be taken away? Probed? Who will get to me first? The aliens, or those who hunt the aliens? Who are these mysterious, pointy eared beings? What do they want? What can dating my cousin possibly achieve? Are they trying to gain immunity from cooties? Fear not, people of Earth, Moltka Bolotnikov is on the case, and he will not stop, no, not even for a moment, until the planet is safe.
Stay tuned next time, fact fans, when I will present incontrovertible evidence that my cousin is, in fact, a space princess.