There is a moments silence. Nothing happens, no one moves. I choose to break it:
“I said revert! Like in, de-transform!”
“I thought you agreed to not”
“well who got the character?”
“I said, who got it?”
“I don’t know why. But wait, I do! Because I wanted to know you!”
“Why do you refuse?”
“Because… because I am a loser! I am not who everyone thinks I am, I am nothing but a nobody”
I feel how I shrink inside. This has wanted to come out for a long time.
“I am just dust, everything may look fine while I am playing, but in fact I am nothing!”
The demon falls silent for a moment. Then it speaks.
“You are not nothing, I won’t believe it, not for a second! I have watched you in the arena, closer than you think, and you are not nobody! You are the best there is, the outside does'nt matter at
all. If it did, why would I have become a player?”
It takes a step back and starts reverting. I think about looking away, but I choose not to.
The huge devil gets smaller and smaller, until only a small girl remains. So it is the girl from yesterday! She is smaller than I thought, only about 1,5 meters. Her hair is ash blond, and she’s wearing a t-shirt that is at least three sizes too big. Underneath she is wearing jeans, and she has sneakers like me. She is looking at me with a persistent look, one of those that say ‘you know you have to even though you do not want to’. I sigh.
“Ok, but only if you tell me a few things too”
“It is fine by me” she says. She still has my character, even though I could easily take it from her and flee. I just, I don’t feel like leaving her here by herself. That wouldn’t be fair. Even though putting a tracking device into my character and stealing it, is not really fair either. I walk to the middle of the room and starts reverting. The panther is not really a tall character, so I grow in height and my limbs get longer. I can’t help smiling when I look at her face. She looks like a little kid on Christmas eve. Once I have fully reverted there is a long awkward silence. I stand with my hands behind my back. She is just standing there looking at me.
“I told you” I say and look away.
“No its not that, you are just really tall! I thought you would be small and fat or something,” she says. “N-not that that would have mattered at all! Because it is the actions and skill that makes a person, not looks!”
Nice safe, I think while grinning.
“well you’re smaller than I thought!” we both begin laughing. This is not as bad as I thought, even though my cover has been blown completely.
“so, now you have to answer my questions!” I say when the laughter goes off a little.
“alright, ask away!” she says and cross her arms.
“First, what school are you in?”
“I am in 3.g like you, at…”
“What? How old are you?” I just break in.
“I am 18!”
“Are you kidding me?”
“What? Are we back at the stereotyping or judging by looks?”
I fall silent. She really looks like a 13 year old, not someone in the gymnasium.
“Sorry, it’s just… no, sorry; I’ll try to be more open”
She sighs, but accepts.
“I did tell you appearance didn’t matter, right?”
“Yeah, you did”
“Well, what is the next question?”
“Well, you said you were a player, so what team are you playing for?” I haven’t seen that character in use anywhere before. Maybe it is just her second character, as panther is to me.
“Erm, I would rather not answer that” she says and looks away. This is suspicious in some way.
“Why won’t you tell me?”
“It’s just, I can’t. It would destroy everything”
“Destroy what? What are you talking about?”
“I said I would not tell so leave it!” she bursts out. I am a bit surprised, but I choose to leave it be for now, even though it is weird why it would be such a problem to her. Maybe she is our upcoming opponent at the red team, and she doesn’t want me to think of that while playing.
“Ok fine. Can you at least tell me a bit about your real character?”
“No! I-I’m sorry, but that is not possible”
I can’t really think of any more questions that wouldn’t have anything to do with the arena.
“Can I have my character back soon? Or now, mayhaps” I reach out my hand.
“Y-yes of course! Sorry” she hands it to me quickly.
The bell rings out to recess. We have been standing here for a long time. I put my character in my bag beside the panther and turn around to leave.
“Wait!” the girl yells.
“I didn’t get your name”
“And I didn’t get yours. Mine’s Meril” I say
“My name is Callia” she says smiling.
“Ok, nice to meet ya’ Callia. I have to leave now”
“See you around!” she says when I step out the door