He was lonely, lonelier than he had ever been in a long time. The dining room which he spent so many days in was now empty, spare two reporters off in a corner looking over developed photographs. A waiter saw him sit down and made his way over "Your usual sir?" Henry nodded lazily, clearly his mind was elsewhere.
His usual of course was french toast, bacon and two fried eggs. He often also had steak for breakfast but today he wanted to think of home, of the one day of the year his mother was nice to him and his dad got him a present. He hoped they missed him, frankly he didn't know if anyone had missed him being gone. He knew he was basically missing, yet no one had come looking for him yet. He had Johnny and Rosaline, but he never made many friends back home and his few other friends from his squad were already home. He sighed before he heard something approach him. It sounded heavier then the waiter so he turned to look back. He half expected it would be his old CO yelling at him to get back in gear. It was something else entirely.
He saw an Affini, at least 10 ft tall she was wearing a flowing white dress which seemed to be almost translucent in the midday light. The woman had flowing pink and red leafy hair which seemed almost magical. Her vines were distinctively a pale green which seemed to fade into red at the edges of her form. She looked human in a sense that her form mirrored one. But she did have a pale pink woody face which smiled down at him. The woman spoke, breaking his long stare. "Mind if I join you for lunch?"
Henry paused, but responded quick enough "Breakfast actually. but sure."
The woman smiled and sat down more or less against the window sill as she dwarfed the small human sized chairs. Henry chuckled, "Need a bigger chair?"
"It would be appreciated but I don't mind"
"Merry Christmas by the way"
The woman smiled softly. "Ah yes that is today isn't it. Have any plans?"
"If working off a hangover counts then yes." Henry smiled.
The Affini chuckled slightly "Yes I suppose that does count as something"
Henry laughed before turning to see his breakfast on its way over. As the waiter set it down in front of Henry the waiter seemed to be quite cautious in front of the Affini but said nothing more. Henry thanked the waiter before turning to look at the Affini "Oh do you want anything?" The Affini looked amused. "Well I wasn't planning on anything but perhaps I shall."
She looked deeply at Henry "Anything you recommend?"
Before he could respond he caught himself staring at her eyes which felt soothing. Like a warm bath after a hard long day. He realized after a few seconds blushing and looking out the window. "T-the french toast is good."
"I'll have that, and the um is eggs and ham?" Henry could feel her looking at him. "It-its bacon actually."
"Bacon then." Her words were sweet and slow. It reminded him of how Rosaline spoke in french sometimes. It was a strange blend of soft caresses and longing. Rosaline often spoke French when she was sad or drunk. Though the two were often one in the same. Henry wondered if this Affini was sad, he doubted they could get drunk. Then again he basically knew nothing about them. He decided not to let the food go cold and he started eating. It was nice.
The breakfast continued mostly in silence as Henry ate and the Affini waited for her breakfast. It was only then that Henry wondered if Affini needed food. They were plants after all? Then again she had just ordered. He was curious but it felt odd to ask so he moved on. He wanted to talk more but wasn't sure what to say if anything. So he simply waited until her meal arrived and let her eat. He tried to watch her but didn't want to appear creepy so he found himself staring more at the garden then at her. It was oddly soothing today. Less like the haze he had been in just this morning. His head still hurt but at least he felt warm again. After she finished, he got up and thanked her for the nice breakfast.
As Henry walked upstairs he realized he forgot to properly introduce himself. Even worse, he realized he forgot to ask for her name. Idiot. He didn't know why he felt he had made some big mistake, but as it was he couldn't just run back to ask. No, it was too late now. He sighed, the first alien he'd ever met properly and he hadn't bothered to be nice. He shuddered and spent the rest of Christmas in his room with another bottle. Maybe his hangover would go away if he couldn't feel anything. It was strange, as he lay there in bed and the light faded to black he felt both at peace and far worse then he had ever been since he first arrived here. He watched the ceiling fan with ever increasing unfocused eyes. He felt like crying but he had no more tears left. He wondered if he ever had tears in the first place. He didn't know when he finally did pass out, but he slept terribly. All he could think about was when he first arrived here in Vietnam and all he could do was sit back and play at war. He felt so useless as he sat there helpless protecting an advisor who sent men to die. He saw all the bodies, people he couldn't understand nor speak to as they died. All he could do was watch. He thought about when he finally did have to fight, and how no one could have told him the dread you felt as you sat waiting to die. Waiting for the next bomb, waiting for the moment your luck ran out.
He woke up the next morning with a bottle in his hand and an empty room. Johnny never came home, unsurprising at this point but he wished Johnny had come back. At least for someone to be there. Regardless he got up and headed downstairs for breakfast. Nothing you can do, just keep going. He headed over to his usual table and saw the dining room was at least slightly more populated. That was nice. He wondered if he'd ever see that Affini again. Probably not, not like there was anything special about him. He didn;t even make for a good conversation. He sat down and waited.