“So, are you already tired of just watching?” I remain silent, formulating something to avoid any probable trouble. Provoking her is the last thing I have on my mind right now; trying anything would only result in more mishaps.
“Sorry about that.” I figure that in this sort of situation, an “excuse me” is better than an excuse. That’s why after saying that, I silently stand there, waiting for her to say something; for something to happen; a development.
She opens her book and hides behind it, to omit me from her sight.
Out of sight, out of mind.
That’s not it at all.
“So, what’s your name?” I recreate the annihilated conversation that faded slowly after that awkward exchange of words.
“My name is Atilla Nadha, and my boyfriend’s name is Robbie. He plays basketball. Is there anything else you want to know about me?”
No. I prefer to know nothing; especially about the boyfriend. Despite that, I need to find a way to keep this going, so I can figure things out.
“I didn’t ask for your boyfriend’s name.” Anyway, Robbie doesn’t even sound like a person who plays basketball.
“Well, Atilla,” I sweet-talk her with the softest voice, paired up with my most welcoming smile. “I haven’t seen you around much.”
Atilla cocks her head up and peeks at me from the safety of the book she was holding in front of her face, and her eyes widen in disgust and repulse.
And then I remember what I look like with a smile.
I look like a hideous gremlin, thirsting after his latest prey; So, so I immediately switch to the expression I always wear on my face.
“I don’t care much for coming here,” She replies, despite being freaked out by me. “But there’s a minimum amount of time you have to spend in this place, and unfortunately, I can’t help but attend. So, I’m here to just be here; to fill in the blank.”
“Well, that’s certainly odd. I didn’t know the rules here were this lax, and the fact that even I don’t take part in many events but am still left untouched says it all.” The slightly vexed Atilla raises an eyebrow but still keeps her eyes on the open page. The book she’s holding is a hardcover that can fool anyone into thinking that she’s merely doing some casual light-reading, and not giving you the silent treatment.
“How ARE we left untouched?” I ask.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m basically perfect, that’s why.” She boasts.
“And I’m basically one of the imperfects, that’s why I’m left untouched. I guess perfects and imperfects are similar sometimes in the sense of how they get treated.”
“Did I mention that I have a boyfriend?”
“That you did. You said he plays baseball.”
“What happens if your boyfriend is to participate in a baseball game on one of those days you have to attend?”
“I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”
“you say that, but you have already fallen down in the lava, and no bridge can save you. Didn’t you say your boyfriend played BASKETBALL?” My question finally gets a reaction out of her, and her face, displaying her bitter attitude, shows slight hints of panic. She almost drops the book on the table, silently cursing her foolish mistake.
Despite getting herself together quickly, it was already too late for her to make excuses.
“Anyway,” I continue. “Why would an athletic guy even look at a girl who barely goes out, and wears an unattractive hoodie?”
The girl remains stoned.
I think I just broke something in her.
“Tha… That’s because we’ve known each other since middle school?”
“So your imaginary boyfriend…”
“Watch your mouth, or I’ll call him right now.”
“Then be my guest; by all means; please call him right now.”
“If I call him here, he’ll beat you up; he’s dramatically over-protective.” Overprotective? A guy? This sounds like a girly fantasy of a person who enjoys her Alpha-male smut a bit too much.
“I would love to get beaten up by a big, buff boy like that.”
The girl almost jumps out of her seat, in shock. This time, she drops the book on the table.
“You’re disgusting.” Exclaims Atilla, eyes widened in shock.
“Of course I am. You’re just realizing that?”
She takes a deep breath, closes her eyes, and lets out a sigh of defeat. After that, the silence sucks the room in, and Atilla gradually drowns herself in her book once more, ignoring my existence the way she did before. I sit on a chair nearby and catch a glimpse at the clock on the wall. I only have another twelve minutes to wrap things up with her.
“So your name is Atilla?”
She sighs, hesitates, and forces back a reply, her eyes still locked elsewhere.
“Atilla Nada.” She finally lets go of the book and closes it.
Where’s that name even from?
“That’s a pretty name,” I reply awkwardly, which she ignores. She doesn’t care for my presence at all; in fact, it looks like she lost her own presence a long time ago. She’s here, but not really. She’s lost elsewhere.
An existence that merely exists until it no longer does.
There are many people like that.
“I know it’s pretty; I love my name.” She whispers back, although I can hear it like a deranged scream.
What a loud whisper.
This conversation is going nowhere, but I need to start something up at the very least.
“Oh, by the way; are you alright? Are you cold?”
A little something I learned from Sonny, who is an absolute bastard.
“Not really; why do you ask?”
“Then why are you still wearing your hoodie?”
Bull’s eye. Her face twitches once more, and her eyes come back from wherever they were, just to return there again, once they acknowledge my words; although, if you care enough to look for them, the hints and traces were on her face, and the sudden tremble in her voice, as she desperately tries to think of a sensible explanation.
She’s definitely hiding scars. The note we found hinted at family issues and suicide as well.
How do I deal with this?
“Hey, Atilla?” I call out to her before she recovers from the previous question, and stand up, letting her know that I’m leaving her to her own devices.
“If I were you, I’d wear something less thick and wooly; if you sweat, it’s gonna hurt.” I decided to at least address the problem before the others arrive. The best course of action in this scenario is to let her know that I’m aware of what’s going on, and then, the best thing to do is to leave them be, and let them reflect on some things, ultimately leading to them questioning why and how you knew.
Courtesy of Sonny being an absolute bastard.
“If it’s that obvious, then I might as well strip naked,” Atilla concludes, staring down at her desk, tapping her fingers on the cover of her book repeatedly.
“I guess, but then everyone will judge you for being a lunatic, or an exhibitionist.”
“I’ve been told many times that the only thing you can do to prevent people from judging you is to have them judge you until infinity.”
“I wish I could understand that,” I mumble.
“It’s easy if you do the math.”
“Exactly; but I don’t think I CAN do the math, anyway.”
“Well,” she begins. “It’s about how idiotically close zero and infinity are.” She elaborates. I know I am supposed to have a better understanding of what she’s describing, but I’m simply dumb enough to not.
How on earth is zero close to infinity?
“It’s like how when you have nothing, you will basically have everything; because having nothing will make you not want everything. So we are constantly leaping between nothingness and everythingness.”
Is that even a word? At this moment, if anyone asks me this question, the answer would be obvious. Nothingness is a word, but by no means does it mean that it deserves such honor. Nothingness, at its core, doesn’t exist. Because it’s nothing. So if the word Nothingness exists, and since the opposite of Nothingness also exists as a concept, then it has the right to exist as a word as well, and who am I to strip something from its existence?
That said, I can’t really understand where my conversation with Atilla is going. I can’t understand a word coming out of her mouth; I don’t think even she has an inkling of what she’s talking about.
Maybe she really has gone lunatic.
“Well, it’s not like I found out on purpose.” A change of subject, for the sake of my mind. “It’s just something you’d notice when you look for it.”
“When you look for what, exactly?”
“I was seeking a troubled soul.”
“What are you? A fairy?”
“Perhaps. I was looking for a person, facing so many troubles, and I just stumbled upon you accidentally. So, don’t treat this as some kind of meet-cute or fated encounter or anything of that sort.”
“And what makes you think I’m that troubled soul you’re seeking, fairy godmother?”
“Well, if you feel like I’m in the wrong, you can disprove it all by taking off your hoodie; how do you feel about your mother?”
“I LIKE MY MOTHER JUST FINE;” she protests, and screams so loudly that I was almost afraid of someone entering here, and cutting this chit-chat in half. “Why do all of you immediately put the blame on the mom?”
This is it.
The opening I’ve been waiting for.
“So, it’s your father, then.”
She doesn’t reply and merely goes back to silently watch the book she once again holds in her right hand.
“Would you please leave right now?”
I don’t have the right to talk anymore, and she has the right to remain silent.
“Alright, then I’ll talk to you later.” I stroll away; people are already coming in, and my twelve minutes are over.