Disclaimer: I do not own Animal Crossing.
Author's Note: Here is the second chapter.
Open Like A Diary Ch. 2
"Do you want me to come along...?" Rover asked tentatively. "I was gonna get back on the road soon, anyway..."
"That's alright," Butch said. "You just go do whatever you were gonna do. If I see you on the trip back, I'll tell you how it went, or something."
"Alright," Rover said. "Because I can totally come along."
"No, I think it's okay. Thanks, though."
So Butch caught the first city-bound train he could catch and began trying to work out in his head what he would say to Katrina when he finally made it to her shop. He arrived in the city at half past one and began looking for her building. He found it near a large tunnel a little way down from a bus stop. For one or two minutes he stood outside and took a few deep breaths, and then opened the door. When he first entered the room, no one was there. The place was dark, like her tent, and full of all the same sorts of decorations one would expect to find in that sort of shop. Butch was still standing at the door when she came back into the main room. She smiled and motioned for him to sit down, this time in a small chair in front of her desk. He nodded and sat down.
"Would you like me to read your fortune today?" she asked.
"Actually," he said, "I wanted to ask you something."
"Ahh, yes," she said. "What would you like to know?"
He paused and thought for a moment, then said slowly, "How much of me did you see when you looked in my mind before?"
"When I told about yourself?"
"Yes," he said.
"I saw a lot," she said. "Not everything. It can be difficult to see everything about any one person, even if one has special methods."
He thought his sentence out again. "It seemed to me that you kind of looked at some personal, secret stuff."
"Yes, I did."
"Yeah... I get that seeing personal stuff about people is kind of considered something that all psychics do, but..."
"I... you know what? Never mind. This is... I'm gonna leave." He started to get out of his chair.
"Tell me what you were going to say," she said.
"You should know!" he said suddenly. "You're the one who looks all over people's brains like some sort of creep!"
"That is not how that works," she said curtly. "You should have expected it to get personal. I was telling you about you."
"No! Don't even say that! You should have warned me that it was gonna be weird!"
"Did you walk into my tent thinking it would be a normal experience?"
"No," he said, "not necessarily. But there should be a certain level of weirdness that you don't go over without warning people, right? You can't just say, 'Oh, hey, you want me to tell you about yourself?' and then do something totally weird without explaining it to them! You gotta say something like, 'Just so you know, this is gonna get uncomfortable and kind of personal.' It's just common courtesy to warn people about that kind of thing! It's like how a doctor warns you it's gonna be painful before he sticks a new kind of utensil in you."
"So what? You thought I wasn't courteous enough? Is that all?"
"No! It's more than that! It's more than just a matter of courtesy when you're dealing with something that personal! Maybe I used a bad choice of words just then. It's not just courtesy. It's privacy. It's somebody's privacy, and if you don't warn them that you're coming in, then you're violating that privacy, and that's wrong."
"And you feel as though I violated you?"
"Y... Yeah," he said weakly. "In a sense, yeah."
She pressed her folded paws to her mouth in thought. Then she rested her chin on her paws and looked at the ceiling for a few moments.
"It can get tricky to do this kind of work," she said, "because everybody had different kinds of boundaries. There are thin lines that can be very easy to cross, and you do not always notice when you do. If I crossed a line, then I apologize."
"You... you didn't have to hold me down," he said in an unusually small voice.
"You paralyzed me," he said. "You didn't have to paralyze me."
"Again," she said, "some people react differently to my methods than others. If you couldn't move, then I am sorry about that."
"I couldn't talk, either. I... I couldn't tell you to stop."
"Then I can see why you felt as though I had violated you."
"You should have warned me," he said. "This is exactly why you should have warned me."
She exhaled. "You are right," she said. "I should have warned you. I apologize."
He didn't answer. He sat tensely, holding his arms and staring at the desk.
"Do you... accept my apology?" she asked.
"I don't know..."
"Then why are you here?" she asked.
He sighed. "I don't remember."
They sat without talking for a few moments, immensely unsatisfied with the direction the conversation had taken. He had hoped that coming to the shop and confronting Katrina would make him feel better, thinking perhaps that their talk would take a more melodramatic turn. Yet here she was, a powerful person who had simply made a mistake, and here he was, a victim deprived of a villain.
"Did you want to yell at me?" she asked.
"Then yell at me."
"I don't want to do that now!" he said.
"Then what do you want?"
"I just...," he looked for words. "I just resent the fact that you saw all my secrets. I hate that. So much. You have no idea how much I hate the fact that you looked at that part of me without... without... Well, you had my permission."
"I did have your permission."
"Yeah, but... but... I didn't understand what I was getting into, and... and... you didn't make it clear... and you should have. But I already told you that. You already apologized, so what more can I even say? I just wish that I could take all my secrets back from you, but I can't because it doesn't work that way!"
"So what do you want from me, then?" she asked. "I have work to do, you know."
"Quit treating this like it isn't important! Okay?" he blurted. "You're acting like you just kind of threw me off for a little while. Do you have any idea how bad that actually was for me?"
"It is not my fault if you are more sensitive to my methods than the people I usually work with," she said.
"I don't care!" he shouted. "You should have taken that into account when you decided to use methods that would get that many different kinds of reactions from people."
"I learn about the reactions as they happen," she answered. "I cannot always predict what is going to hurt someone until it hurts them."
"Really? Because, I dunno, you're a psychic, and all."
"Even so," she said firmly, "it is not possible to know every outcome for everything at all times. If I constantly tried to predict the outcomes of all my actions, I would never get anything done, and you know that."
"I can't believe you wouldn't stop to think that you might hurt someone that way! You don't even have to be psychic to figure out that messing with someone else's mind like that is a dangerous thing to do!"
"Please. I was not messing with your mind."
"That's how it felt! And whatever it was you were doing, you should have thought more about how it would affect people!"
"As I said, if I hurt you, then I apologize," she said. "I cannot do anything about it now except apologize to you."
"I... I want you to feel bad about it."
"I do," she replied.
"Well... good, then."
Again, an awkward silence. She tapped her forefingers together. The hair on the back of his neck was still standing on end.
"Was it that bad?" she asked at last.
"I can't even tell," he admitted. "I mean, I'm upset about it. If you were gonna ask me to rate it on a scale of one to ten, I wouldn't know where to put it, because it's not like anything unmistakeably horrible has ever happened to me before."
"Alright," she said, "then make ten the worst thing that has ever happened to you."
"Ahh," he said, scratching his ear, "I don't know. I can't tell. I mean, honestly? If you're going with a scale of most to least pleasant thing that's ever happened to me, and you make ten the worst, then I wanna say ten. Maybe nine and a half if I'm blocking some other thing out. But, see, that's just me."
"You would... really put it at ten?"
"I... I don't know. Now I feel weird. Maybe it's not ten. It feels like ten. It feels like it was the worst thing that ever happened to me, and, you know what? Maybe that makes me a lucky guy. But then again, I don't know. Maybe it really was that bad."
"It was really your worst experience in your whole life?" she asked, not seeming to really believe him. "Why?"
"Look... whatever, okay?" he said, his voice quiet. "I don't really want to talk about that."
"Was it frightening?"
"Whatever! I don't need to talk about that!"
She sighed softly. "Well, again, I apologize. I did not mean to give you a painful experience."
He wasn't sure how to respond. "Uh... Thanks," he said awkwardly. "For the apology."
"Do you accept my apology?"
"I... really don't know," he said, shrugging.
She nodded. "I understand."
When he got back into town, Rover had already caught his train to another city. It was another couple of months before he actually saw Rover again. By then, Butch's sleep schedule was mostly back to normal. They exchanged words and jokes and recent news and eventually set off on another aimless walk around the town, and Rover asked about Butch's conversation with Katrina, so Butch told him.
"So, it sounds like it ended on kind of a weird note, then?" Rover said. "What are you gonna do?"
"I guess I'll leave it at that," said Butch, watching the orange leaves on the ground as he walked.
"Well, what else can I really do about it? You know, it is what it is."
"Yeah, but you got hurt, though," Rover said.
"So, what, then?"
"Stuff happens," said Butch uncomfortably. "I mean, I want somebody to blame. You know I do. It's just not really anybody's fault, you know what I mean? Yeah, she could have been more careful, and, yeah, I could have been more careful."
"Are you sure about that?" Rover asked.
"I don't know," said Butch, rubbing his face with his paw.
"Because I sort of feel like it was her fault."
"You didn't think that before."
"Yeah, but I was thinking about it," Rover said. "She really should have been more careful. She's the one who should be responsible for watching out for this kind of incident. You were right before."
"Yeah, maybe," Butch said. "But what can you do about it now, anyway? You know? It's been two months. Even if I were to get mad about it, I couldn't just go back there again after two months. I waited a month and a half the first time. What the heck is she supposed to do now? It's just old news. It's not worth touching anymore."
"Hm...," said Rover. "Yeah, but she did sorta traumatize you."
"I wasn't traumatized," Butch said bluntly.
Butch gave Rover an odd look that Rover didn't really know how to interpret. Rover faltered.
"I... I... okay, I guess you weren't, but I... okay."
They walked in silence for a few seconds.
Rover looked at him. "You alright?"
"Yeah," Butch said. "But anyway, it'd just be weird to keep going back there and analyzing the whole thing again and again. I don't know if what she did was wrong, and I don't know if it was her fault or my fault, anyway. I confronted her about it, we had our conversation, and that's that, I guess."
"I don't want to go back there."
"Okay," Rover said.
They kept walking.
"You know? I'm done with it now."
"Okay," Rover said.
So they stopped talking about it.
Author's Note: The end. Yet another chapter filled mainly with conversation. Hope y'all like conversation. But, yeah, that's the end. It's complete.