I woke up in a room that I didn’t know, in a home that was not my own. Panic had me for a few long seconds. Then I turned around in the bed, swishing of sheets I couldn’t recognize, to finally see something I could never forget: X’s sweet shape, wrapped in the same sheets, still sleeping after the long night out. I smiled.
I slowly got out of bed, to go to the restroom and freshen up, and I looked at myself in the mirror above the sink: my old self, with brighter and happier eyes. X had told me so many times, the previous night, how pretty I was, and that still surprised me: I had never felt pretty in my life, and I’m pretty sure I had never been, either. I came closer to the mirror and I recognized my family’s looks in front of me: I have a big family, but we all look pretty much the same. We all have the same eyes, small and round, open on the same elongated head; we have long antennas, slightly longer and more elegant than average, and we make it our pride to show them off as often as we can, with tailored hats and head ornaments. We have all the same small and tubular mandible and maxilla, all thousands of us. I have a very big family. I slightly turned around to look at my back wings, long, transparent and shiny, just like my mother’s. I gazed down my body: slender and of a rich brown color, with long humanoid arms and legs, I started to find it more beautiful than I remembered. X’s love for me was feeding my own love for myself. Love always grows.
A few minutes after I had left the bed, X woke up and came looking for me. I could see X changing shape at each step: the vaguely humanoid cloud that formed the body in its original state was slowly shape-shifting into the form I was more used to, into the humanoid insect who looked quite similar to me. It was X’s species’ typical gesture of respect to transform in the shape that looked most familiar to the individual they were interacting with.
“You don’t need to shape-shift every time we are together…”
I caressed X’s head, which now was slightly trembling, unsure between the smoky and the humanoid insect shapes: “I want to make sure you’re comfortable with me.”
That made me smile with tenderness.
“I don’t want you to be upset by our differences.”
“It’s our differences that make us match so perfectly,” I replied, “And nowadays we live in a society that’s gotten used to the cohabitation of different species on the same planets, sharing the same lives and even the same beds!”
“Do you remember the stories from the time when humans were ruling Terra? They thought they were the only sentient species in the whole universe. They were even racist against each other, only because of the color of their skins. We are lucky to have been born in our time, when all species have the same right to happiness and self-determination.” X replied, looking at me in the eyes. We wrapped in each other’s arms, kissing and both looking forward to a life of happiness. Together.
Love is universal.