Garville was fantastically despondent, to the point where he wouldn’t suck sap if you drowned him in it. He lay on the leaf, belly to the sky, sighing wistfully as loud as he could. Finally, after seven such sighs, Bloot climbed down next to him and smacked him across the back.
“Hey!” he snapped. “Stop it! You’re throwing me off my game!”
“It’s no use,” moaned Garville. “I can’t eat until she tells me she loves me.”
Bloot looked back at his fellow aphids, devouring the plant without him. He wanted to go, but the sad state of his friend was impossible to ignore.
“Who are you waiting for?” he asked without compassion.
“Muxley,” Garville said. “Muxley, the one with the most gorgeous green skin. And those shapely, shapely legs. Oh god, I can’t stand the thought of losing her.”
“So go tell her,” said Bloot. “Bonus part is, you won’t be sitting around here annoying me.”
“I’ve told her already,” said Garville.
“Okay, good start. What did she say?”
“She said she’d tell me if she’d be my mate by the end of the week.”
Bloot’s expression deadened. He scratched his head lightly.
“End of the week,” he said.
“How old is she again?”
“Six days tomorrow.”
“Six days,” said Bloot.
“You keep repeating me,” noted Garville. “And anyway, I know what you’re thinking: she’s very young, but she’s ready to reproduce. And I’ve only got three and a half weeks on her, which is a lot, I’ll admit, but you know what they say about true love knowing no bounds and—”
“Garville,” said Bloot, trying to put on his most serious expression. “I need you to listen carefully, because this is going to be hard to say. Are you going to listen?”
“Sure,” said Garville. “But I don’t think a pep talk about patience being a virtue is going to do the trick right—”
“She’s leading you on, man,” snapped Bloot. “End of the week? She’s waiting for you to die. A week to her isn’t anything. Hell, she’s young. She’s got three and a half, maybe four weeks of life to live. You? You’ll be dead this time next week, if not sooner.”
“So… so you’re saying she—”
“She doesn’t want to mate with you, bro. She’s just not telling you to your face.”
Garville stood up sharply, bristling with fury. He butted noses with Bloot, stared him down.
“You’re wrong,” he growled. “And I’ll prove it.” He stormed off down the branch. Bloot watched him a moment, but couldn’t bear the thought of the heartache that was coming next.
“Garville, wait!” he called. “Come on, man! There are lots of other chicks on the plant! You don’t need to—”
By the time Bloot caught up, the battle was half-over. Muxley was rolling her eyes as Garville’s composure disintegrated before her. If he hadn’t been so dehydrated, he might have been crying.
“It’s me! Garville!” he pleaded. “You remember me!”
“Oh yeah,” said Muxley. “So you’re like still alive?”
“You said you were going to give me an answer!” he said, trying to shore up some courage. “By the end of the week. I’d like it sooner.”
“An answer for what?” asked Muxley. “I to’lly don’t remember.”
“To be my mate!”
“Like ew,” said Muxley. “Mate with you?”
“Y-y-you were going to t-t-t-tell me—”
“Like no offence, but I’d rather reproduce asexually. To’lly.”
Garville disintegrated into a mess of wails and flailing. Bloot stepped forward sneered at Muxley.
“Hey!” he yelled. “That’s just cruel!”
“Well hello, sailor!” she purred. “Speaking of mating…” She ran an arm along his back seductively.
“Don’t you dare!” he snapped. “Garville is my friend!”
Garville wailed even louder. Muxley took a step back, shook her head.
“You two are buzz-kills. If you don’t want somma this — not you, fatboy — then I’ll get some service from the next leaf down, kay? Later, losers!”
She made off down the branch, leaving Garville and Bloot in silence. Bloot’s tummy rumbled. He hadn’t eaten in almost two minutes.
“Listen,” he began, but Garville waved him off.
“It’s okay,” he said. “You were right. And thanks for not mating with her. That meant a lot to me.”
“That’s what friends are for, man. But listen, one little setback doesn’t mean it’s the end of the game. Let me introduce you to my cousin. She’s a great shade of green too, and—”
“No one can have the same shade as Muxley,” Garville sighed. “No one.”
Bloot shifted his weight a bit.
“So, um, you’re not going to even talk to anyone else?”
“Not right away,” Garville said, pausing at the edge of the branch, the aphid-covered plant sprawling out below him. “I need to grieve for a while. Get my bearings, figure things out. I don’t think I can give my heart so easily. It hurts too much. But I’ll come back from this. I know I will. This time next week, things will be different.” And with that, he was off. “Things will be better!” he called.
“For some of us, anyway,” sighed Bloot, and went to find Muxley.
This 1kstory is for pinkbagels ("Aphids. Miserable, angsty aphids.")