Clear Skies for Today, Too
Summary: There was a time when she had a brilliant sun standing at her side, but now the sun is gone and she's intent on being her own sun because surely, somewhere out there, someone is waiting for clear skies to appear.
Disclaimer: There are many awesome people in the world who create awesome fanfic-worthy series. Sadly, I am not one of those people.
Notes: Rated K+ for now. Rating subject to change to T. OC inclusion. Attempts to foray into the realm of psychology.
When she was in third grade, a new family moved into her neighborhood. She hadn't paid it much attention at first because even though they had a child, he was older than her. The gender difference was also a slight deterrence in the act of friend-making; she had been at the age where there was still some preference to play with members of her same gender. So she hadn't actually gotten to know anyone in the new family asides from the mandatory new neighbor visit when they first moved in and any other gossip that her parents offered at the dinner table.
Two months after they moved in, though, she happened to stumble into their boy while walking home from school. It was the small stretch of road where she walked alone-having bid goodbye to her friends as they split up a little way behind-and it took her along the local river. She had found him sprawled out on the grass on the riverbank, staring aimlessly at the sunlight reflecting on the water's surface.
When she thinks about it, she wasn't really sure what prompted her to hop off the path and trot over to him, but she does recall that they had a fabulous conversation of anything they could think of. They had talked for quite some time, too-by the time she pulled herself away from the conversation the sun was already beginning to set.
"Ah... Mom's going to be angry at me for staying late," she had grumbled, mildly distressed.
The older boy had laughed, looking bemused. "I'll walk you home," he offered, sounding so mature even though he was still in elementary sixth grade himself. Nevertheless, she happily accepted his offer and managed to avoid a scolding because of his cheery presence. He even stayed for dinner before her father sent him back to his own house.
From then on, she met him frequently, whether it was in the school library or on the riverbank or while out shopping and running errands. In their first few conversations she had picked up some key knowledge about the boy-while friendly and approachable he had a certain twisted outlook on most things. The first few times she had been graced with his views her hackles had instinctively bristled, but when she paused to carefully consider his words-so carefully that he had poked her forehead lightly with a small smile, telling her lightly that wrinkles on a young girl's face were unbecoming-they surprisingly made some sort of twisted sense.
She had asked him if that made her weird. He had shrugged, holding out his hands with the palms facing up. "Depends on how you look at it," he said simply. "It's the same as what you assume is normal. Is it really normal? Is it really natural? And if it isn't, then is being twisted more natural?"
Half of the time he hopelessly confused her, to be honest. That was probably one of the perks of being older.
She was halfway through fourth grade when he sprang the most interesting question on her, walking with her back home in the snow. They had an established routine; he would walk over to the elementary school from his junior high, pick her up from where she was waiting at the front gates, and walk her home. Depending on the weather and their preferences, sometimes they stopped for a treat. Today, in the midst of lazily falling snowflakes, the two were sharing an umbrella and nibbling on steamed buns, their breaths white puffs over their scarves.
"Come again?" she asked, swallowing her bite and staring up at him curiously.
Calm and placid like he usually was, the older male relented. "When you look at a person, how do you think of him? Do you look at him and think instantly, oh, this person is nice but I'm sure he's done some bad things in his life."
Here, she frowns a little. "Wouldn't the scanners pick up on them, then?" she asks innocently, not quite getting where he's aiming at.
"Assume for a moment that there's no scanner present," her companion says patiently, giving her a soft smile. "Let's also say you forgot your own scanner. So now you have no way of telling what this person is like."
Oh. That made sense now. She pops the rest of her half of the bun into her mouth and carefully ponders the question.
"Well, what do you think?" she asks. Nothing is quite coming to mind, but maybe if she hears his opinion she'll be able to think of something.
"Me?" he asks, placing a finger thoughtfully to his chin. "I think that given the chance and the right push, all humans are able to fall into committing a crime. Society and government merely act as shackles that stop a person from behaving as they want, but as soon as they are free to do so they will be evil and cruel."
"Big words for someone who just entered junior high. Be glad that no adults heard you; you'd have gotten quite the scolding," she answered flatly. He laughs, having the decency to at least look slightly sheepish.
"And you, scarily blunt as always. How about your answer?"
She took a deep breath, pulling the loose bits of her thoughts together. "At first I honestly didn't know," she admitted, "but when you said it like that, I think I have my answer."
"Oh? Do tell; don't leave me in suspense."
She darts forward a bit, out of the protection of the umbrella, spinning on her heel so that she can face him. "I think, just as humans are prone to being evil and committing crimes, they have the capabilities to lock those impulses away and continue being righteous citizens. So I think that humans are a mix of that which is good and that which is bad. You know, like how someone in school can be the most horrendous bully but grow up to be someone with a stellar personality and marvelous career? Wouldn't you think of someone like that as great? But being a bully is bad, yet the person back then is also the person in the future. So if you feel that people are simply having their evil natures suppressed, then I'll say that even when freed people have the ability to refrain from being evil." Ha! Two could play at attempting to be super mature.
He catches up to her and ruffles her hair. "Sounds interesting," he said with a lazy grin, and with that, the game is over.
"Ah, stop that! I'm not a kid!"
"Anyone in elementary school is still a kid."
"Liar! You were in the same school only a few months ago!"
They bicker back and forth, but they're laughing and having the time of their lives. She remembers that she wanted times like these-having interesting conversations that she did and didn't understand and walking together having fun with her favorite friend-to last forever.
Two weeks later, he moved away.
A/N: Hello, FF. How are you?