Her voice pulled from my daydream. “Good at what?”
“Your drawings. They’re creepy and delicious, really show your inner thoughts. You’re good. You should do more.” she responded.
She was baffling. An innocent child, a jaded old woman. All at once. She’d been like that since we’d met. It had been almost four months since Amy and her red canvas shoes first came into my life.
When we talked, she’d cut to the root of a thought, to the most fundamental and raw heart of the most uncomfortable topics, without malice, without even trying. Sometimes she carelessly uncovered old hurts, and made them bleed again. And sometimes when Amy did that, it felt really good.
“Stop staring at me like I’m Jabba the Hutt or something.” She threw a pencil and smiled sweetly. “Draw something beautiful. Draw me.”
She was ten, like me. And like me she hated this town. We hated its emptiness and pointlessness. Hated how it was a tiny deadly version of the hopelessness of the rest of the world. My sister once told me I was too young to be as cynical as I was, and I had to look it up to find out what it meant. Amy was every bit as cynical as me, just much better at expressing it.
“You only love my for my body.” I said, and began to draw.
“And you only love me for my mind.” she answered. With a girlish toss of her hair, she jumped up and crossed the pine floor to where I was sitting and looked into my eyes. I could feel the seriousness there, the gravity of her light-grey stare. “They don’t think we feel. They forget we’re people, just like them. They think we’re just kids. They’re wrong. Your feelings and my feelings are just as real as theirs are.”
Then she punched me on the arm and skipped over to the ladder. A moment later she was gone.