Someone woke her up to have supper. She wanted to turn it down but she figured it would be rude. V was rude, but only to people she trusted. To strangers she was polite or indifferent. The only people she took through hell were those she trusted, those she loved, those she cared about, those she knew. She was upset. She had had an upsetting call from Ali earlier that evening which was the reason she’d slept early. Ali had called to check up on her. After they’d talked, he’d forgotten to hang up. V had heard a female voice asking who he’d been talking to. She knew a female cousin of his was visiting so that didn’t bother her. What bothered was his response; “just a friend.”
What did he mean just a friend? Was that all she was to him? She had no problem being his friend. In fact, it was the most fun part of their relationship. But was that all she was? She sulked. Maybe she was being childish. Still it upset her that he couldn’t tell his cousin who she was.
She tried to get some sleep after supper, none came. She was still upset. She had to find a way to let it go and stop obsessing. She would have talked to Sam about it, but she figured he had a lot on his plate. She decided instead of making a big deal, she would just call him and talk it out. V knew she had paranoia issues. Sometimes they helped and sometimes they brought her trouble. She made a call. It was a few minutes past midnight.
“Babe, I can’t talk now…”
“What’s going on Ty?”
“I don’t know, you tell me.”
“What do you mean?”
“That I just can’t talk now?”
“So you want me to hang up?”
“Yes.” It sounded dismissive.
“Why?” She wanted to leave him alone but she also wanted to know what was going on.
“I just don’t get it.” She didn’t respond. What was it he didn’t get? She wasn’t going to drill it out of him. “Just don’t put up a show…” He trailed off.
V didn’t say a word. What did he mean putting up a show? Show for what? For who? Why would he even think that. And if he thought that, what was everyone at Sam’s place thinking? This wasn’t good for her paranoia. She held her phone onto her ear and breathed into it. She must have sounded furious or sad because he hang up.
She wanted to call back but she left him a text. She told him she was angry that he would think she was helping out Sam and his family for show. Show for what exactly? For who? To gain what exactly? That was absurd, insulting, mean, she was never going to forgive him for making such an insinuation. She sobbed quietly for the better part of the night, too furious to breathe freely. By dawn, her eyes were swollen from the crying and the insomnia. She wasn’t going to let her hosts see her in that condition. She didn’t want them to think it had anything to do with them. At six, everyone in the homestead was still asleep. She sat for a while till 6:30. When she noticed they were still asleep, she woke some up. She didn’t wake Sam or Niffer though. She didn’t want to stay and she knew they would convince her to. It felt wrong, but she had her own issues and she knew she would be no good around anyone. Home was a long way away and she would feel better along the way. She wept some more on the bus before drifting to sleep.
When she got home four hours later, she wasn’t as excited to see everyone as she’d hoped. Sam was disappointed that she’d left without goodbye, so was Niffer. She didn’t want to hear from Ali. He did call, she ignored his call. Moments later she thought he had to hear it. She texted him and told him she was done. She meant it. At least she thought she did.