Ron was going to go check on Sole. He felt guilty about not being able to spend much time with Sole lately. His webcomic was starting production as an animated show soon. He wanted to celebrate with Sole so he bought some alcohol and food from their favorite restaurant. He was approaching Sole's door with food in hand but he noticed two girls standing outside of Sole's door. "Excuse me, are you two lost?" Ron said, hoping to scare them off. Sole had told them there had been kids coming to his house and pointing. They found him scary because he never left his home. The two girls looked at him in confusion.
"Are you a friend of Sole's?" Luna asked before Yadi could probably say something rude. "We were told to pick up something since he isn't home right now." Ron felt like he had been struck by lightning. He couldn't believe Sole had left the house. It was a miracle. He wanted to question them but he was too happy for his friend to do so. He promptly turned around and left. He couldn't wait to share the good news with his family. Ron felt like he was grinning like an idiot but he couldn't help himself.
There was a knock at the door. Rhea, knowing not to answer to strangers, checked the peephole. She saw Yadi outside. Once she opened the door she gave Yadi a big hug. They both smiled and laughed.
"Don't exclude me from the fun." Luna said, pretending to pout and then joining in on the hug.
"Oh, allow me to officially introduce you two. Yadi this is Rhea, Sole's tulpa" Luna explained after breaking off the hug.
"That's incredible. It was just the other day when we last met." Yadi was having a hard time processing this.
"I'm Rhea and I can't thank you enough for teaching me how to become real." Rhea embraced Luna.
"No problem. No offense but what are you wearing?" Luna looked confused by Rhea's attire.
"You don't like it?" Rhea asked, feeling self conscious.
"She looks like a genie from a video game or something. Rhea it doesn't really matter what others think of the way you dress. The only opinion that should matter is yours. Do you like what you're wearing?" Yadi said reassuring Rhea.
"I'm not sure." Rhea answered. Rhea looked at the other two to see how they dressed. Rhea had never thought of what she was wearing before. Yadi wore a black crop hoodie, with a black crop top under it, and white pants. Luna was wearing a black corduroy dress that criss crossed in the back, with a white top.
"Don't worry, we're going to take you to the mall!" Yadi said with a big smile on her face. Rhea guessed this may be one of Yadi's hobbies. Yadi’s enthusiasm was contagious because Rhea could feel herself getting excited too.
Rhea felt as if she were an astronaut on an alien planet.. This was her first time in a mall. Rhea had never seen so many people before. She saw stores that had apparel for women and men. Stores that were full of footwear. Jewelry stores, health and beauty stores. Eyewear stores, electronic stores, and gift stores. Book stores, department stores, and electronic stores. Hobby stores, toy stores, and sporting goods stores.She wanted to see them all. She smelled several delicious aromas coming from the food court. Her mouth was watering. That was a new sensation. She had never really needed to eat food before.
"I think the smartest thing to do first would be to go to a women’s clothing store " Luna suggested. Rhea had still been in her genie outfit. She was cold and she felt a lot of eyes on her. Some nice others made her uncomfortable. She felt like she had gone from being invisible to being the center of attention.
"That sounds like a good idea but I’m hungry." Rhea said, placing her hands over her stomach for emphasis.
"Did Sole leave you any money Rhea?" Luna asked.
"He didn't leave me cash but he gave me this." Rhea said as she pulled out Sole's credit card.
"That was a mistake." Yadi snatched the credit card from Rhea's hand. Yadi gave off a sinister smile that made Rhea shudder.
After eating something to tide them over, they shopped for hours and Rhea managed to assemble a wardrobe. She was getting tired from the constant walking, this place was absurdly large, and she was carrying an absurd amount of bags. She was hungry, thirsty and her feet hurt. Rhea for a second thought maybe being human wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, her feet had never hurt before. Yadi seemed like she could go on for hours. Luna felt the same as Rhea and walked to her.
"Want to try coffee?" Luna asked with a smile. Rhea had seen Sole drink it. It always seemed to brighten his mood. Rhea nodded her head enthusiastically. Luna tried to invite Yadi but she had been preoccupied with something, or rather someone. Yadi was flirting with a girl. Luna feigned disinterest but Rhea could tell it bothered her.
Luna showed Rhea her favorite coffee spot and treated her to coffee and baked goods. "Luna, can I ask you something?" Rhea asked hesitantly as she mixed her coffee with her straw. Luna nodded and then ate her cookie. "Please don't laugh." Luna finished her cookie and gave Rhea her full attention. "What's love?" Luna nearly fell out of her chair.
"That’s one serious question. Can I ask where it came from?" Luna asked as she tried to regain her composure.
"In movies and TV shows the people in love always look happy. I just don't get it. I don’t think I have felt that way before." This must have been bothering Rhea because once she finished she let out a sigh.
"It's hard to explain. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. There are many different types. There can be love between friends. There is love between families. There is love for others, like a partner or partners if you're polyamorous " Luna tried her best to explain
"Like what you and Yadi have? You guys love each other, right?." Rhea said, making Luna blush.
"You got the right idea. You guys should make each other happy. Be there for each other. Stuff like that. Yadi was there for me when I needed her most. So, I guess I do love her. Whether that’s as a friend or something more, I’m not entirely sure." Luna further explained, feeling a little embarrassed talking about this stuff. She hoped she was doing a good job explaining everything right. It also helped her sort out her feelings by putting it into words.
"I make Sole happy and he makes me happy. Are we in love?" Rhea said the first part with confidence, the second part was full of uncertainty.
"Let me ask you this. Is Sole all you think about? Do you feel an intense deep affection for him? Do you want to support him in any way you can? Do you do your best to make him happy?" Luna placed her hand over her heart. Rhea copied her and thought of Sole. Her heartbeat was also a new sensation she had to get used to.She smiled remembering how Sole’s had sounded. Her heart beat picked up and she couldn't stop smiling.
"Yes. I think of him constantly, his tired eyes, that spark to life when he finds something he enjoys. His brown hair that he puts effort into making healthy even though he thinks no one cares. The way he cares for others to the point that he neglects himself. His little chin hairs that he washes using a beard wash and beard butter, hoping it will help it grow. I want him to go and do great things. I know he is capable of them. He just over thinks things. I know it’s not on purpose but if he doesn’t stop over thinking he just continues to spiral. Now that I think about it, I am in love." Rhea almost shouted, she was ecstatic. She wanted to tell him. She wondered how he woulld react.
"Me too." Luna said, sounding wistful.
"With Yadi?" Rhea asked and she could see Yadi sneaking up behind Luna. Yadi gave Luna a big hug. It was different from the one Rhea had gotten earlier. The hug was more personal. It felt like a hug between lovers, maybe more of an embrace, Rhea thought. Rhea got the sense they had been through a lot together. Rhea smiled and figured out the answer to her question. Luna blushed a deep red, she looked like a tomato. Luna was surprised so she ended up spilling her ice coffee over her clothes. Luna looked at her clothes as if them getting dirty was the end of the world. She seemed really panicked about it. She frantically tried to get the spill out, to no avail.
“Luna, honey, It’s okay. We bought plenty of clothes. You won’t miss one outfit. Let’s have you change and then we can start heading home okay.” Yadi said in a calm soothing voice. She put a reassuring hand on Luna’s back. Luna flinched at first but then she relaxed.
“Yeah, let’s do that. I’m sorry about spazzing out.” Luna said apologetically.
“Don’t worry. You know I’m here if you need me.” Yadi flashed her a smile.
“I thought maybe you were busy flirting..” Luna mumbled
“Oh hush. You know of all the girls in the world you are my number one. My best girl.” Yadi started to rub her cheek against Luna. Then Yadi started to give her a bunch of small kisses everywhere.”You know I love you, you useless lesbian.” Luna was really embarrassed. Rhea had started to feel like a third wheel.
“ Be quiet you um… uh… disaster bi. Let’s go to the bathroom.” Luna grabbed Yadi and their bags and rushed off to the bathroom. After some time they returned and started to exit the mall with Rhea in tow.
"What were you guys talking about anyway? Who y’all like? I can guess who Rhea likes. She likes Sole. Luna however is an enigma. I wouldn’t even think you were attracted to girls. If I hadn’t caught you checking me out every so often." Yadi said, teasing Luna.. Luna wanted to argue but she knew it would be pointless. On that note, Rhea’s first outing as a real girl was over. She returned home. She couldn’t wait to tell Sole all about today.