“Let me ask you again.” Atilla stands up, takes her scarf off, and stares at my face. “What are you here to accomplish? Can’t you just hang out with that flamboyant, blabberer friend of yours instead of prying into personal life?”
So this is everyone’s image of Sonny.
They deem her bright like the sunny weather, but what they don’t know is, that as much as she sounds sunny, she is not.
She’s Sonny; but not the sunny you think she is.
The idyllic girl “Sonny” is nothing but a lie.
She’s nothing but a custodian of what people see her as, confined inside the cage of what she is supposed to be.
“This flamboyant friend of mine can obviously bear the distance for one single day.” I cross my legs, and glue my eyes to the coniferous trees in the distance, too afraid that she would run away if I look her way. “Don’t worry. I don’t have anything on my mind. I’m just trying to help out.”
She keeps up the silent treatment. I guess she really does have the right to remain silent. You wouldn’t just clam up about anything unless you’re actually dealing with something. It doesn’t matter how severe it is, this girl is concealing a part of her life.
It’s nothing special. We always hide parts of ourselves that we don’t want to be seen, even from our most beloved, let alone a random stranger we met several days ago. My past self wouldn’t even talk to this girl in the first place. My past self wouldn’t even know that she existed.
To my past self, a girl named Atilla would be nothing but a myth.
“Why did I suddenly become so important and meaningful?”
“I don’t know. It’s something random. Nothing is actually important, in my opinion; the counterargument is also true. Nothing is actually insignificant. It’s just a matter of what we choose to turn a blind eye to.”
“Sorry. I misspoke, then. Why do you suddenly care about me?” She wraps the long scarf around her neck again like a mummy. She probably realized exposing her neck to the cold was a bad idea.
“No particular reason, to be honest.” I don’t really have any intentions of letting my eccentric experiences during the past few days out. I told the other two merely because I had no other alternative, and while doing so, I even threatened them so they wouldn’t let even a single word slip.
Not talking a lot means listening a lot.
Listening a lot means finding out a lot.
Finding out a lot means being able to blackmail.
Blackmailing, if done right, leads to discretion.
As simple as it is, it works like magic. But I can’t be careless with her now.
“Yes. there’s no reason. I just thought you might need a pal to talk to.”
“I already have many pals.”
“Then why don’t you talk to them?”
She pauses for a moment. “I never said I talk to them.”
I let out a sigh and put my sweaty hands on the cold iron bench once more. This time, on the handle on the right side. Trying not to let my voice shiver under the stress, I close my eyes and take a deep breath. “Why are you beating around the bushes?” I ask.
“As someone who was literally hiding in the bushes several minutes ago, you have some nerve, saying something like that.”
She’s doing it again. She’s avoiding me.
Time for plan C: Direct Confrontation.
“Are the rumors about you true?”
I should’ve just asked that already.
Her lips move, but nothing can be heard. She’s trying to figure out how to answer that question. She already knows what rumors I’m talking about. She’s confused and under pressure. It’s now, or never.
“Why won’t you tell me?”
“It’s okay to tell me if there’s anything going on.”
“As the rumors about you being abused by your father true?”
“I SAID STOP PRYING INTO MY PERSONAL LIFE.” She doesn’t yell and doesn’t scream either. She does not break down. But her tone is enough to shut me up and get her point across. “Get the fuck away from me. You don’t even know me. You’re not even my friend.” With that, she promptly stands up and picks up her bag.
If she leaves now, she might as well be gone for good.
It’s now, or never.
Before she takes another step away, I grab both ends of her long, purple scarf and pull her back on the bench with every ounce of power I have left in me after all these sleepless nights. She crashes on the bench with a loud thump and hits her head on the tree behind it.
I stand up and crouch right in front of her.
“What the hell is wrong with…” Before she finishes her sentence, I pinch her nose as hard as I can. She screeches and raises her right hand, ready to slap me. I stop her right hand with my left and pinch her nose even harder with my right hand.
And then, I let go.
I let go, and I step back before she decides to fight back. To my surprise, she forgets about slapping me and rubs her head with her right hand, and her nose with her left.
I’ve had enough of her crap.
“Get your shit together. I’m not your friend at all. Are you an idiot?” I yell.
“Of course, I’m not your friend. You don’t even know who I am. I’m doing this because I’m kind enough to do so.”
She stays silent but gives me an infuriated look.
Nobody wants to be pitied, but sometimes pity is the right answer to give.
“Don’t you understand? I’m prying into your life BECAUSE I’m not your friend. Had I been, I would have hung out with you at a random bar, trying to get you drunk, and see if I can get our relationship to the next level. That’s the job of a friend. They make you forget about your issues instead of dealing with them. I thought I made that clear by not acting like a friend, but I had no clue that you were brazen enough to not get a clue, and just assume that I wanted to have something from you.”
“Look. I know that rumors can be almost always false because they’re nothing but rumors; but…”
“They’re all true.” She turns away, to avoid my frozen face. “The rumors are all true. Every single particle of every single word of it. From the R to the S, they’re all true.”
The rumors are all true? Do they even deserve to be called rumors anymore? “So why won’t you do anything about this? Do you want any help?”
“You’re not my friend, remember? You’re just a random person who heard my story. I’m telling you this because your rank in my social life is not high enough to matter to me. In fact, it’s barely visible.”
She says she doesn’t need any help, but just with a slight look at her miserable face, you can tell she’s suffering and is in dire need of help. But if you say so.
“Alright. Fine. I’m leaving like you always wanted me to. Where are you headed?”
“My mom is alone right now, so I’m visiting her house.”