Monday, August 1, 2011

Chapter 18: Disillusionment

Nora and Tristan walked back to the employee’s lounge at the same pace. Tristan refused to be left behind, even though Nora didn’t seem to want to associate with him at the moment. He had a few questions on his mind, and he had to ask them now, or he would lose his courage and never ask about them again.

“So, you really like that Nathaniel guy, huh?” Tristan asked casually, not looking at Nora. She glanced over at him quickly, a surprised expression on his face.

“What are you talking about?” Nora asked sharply, looking away from Tristan.

“It just seemed like you like him.” Tristan replied with a shrug. Nora shot him a glare.

“He’s just a good friend.” she said, trying not to sound too defensive. Tristan scoffed.

“Yeah, a friend you make googly eyes at…” he muttered, putting his hands in his pockets. Nora sighed heavily while rolling her eyes.

“Look, he’s just a good friend. I like him, he likes me. No big deal.” she said, hoping to brush the matter aside.

“No big deal? I thought for a minute that you were going to kiss him right then and there.” Tristan grumbled. Nora glared at him again.

“Well, it’s not like I have any better choices.” she shot back quickly.

“Oh, ouch, that really hurt.” Tristan said dryly. On the inside, though, he did feel a pang of…something… Some emotion he couldn’t place… Nora sighed once more.

“You know, I really wish life was like the movies. In the movies, the girl goes wandering off and runs into a handsome boy, then the two of them fall in love and live happily ever after. In real life, the girl goes wandering off and runs into a big-mouthed boy who becomes her worst enemy and makes her life miserable.” Nora growled, glaring up at Tristan as she finished speaking. Tristan looked straight ahead. He wasn’t showing any emotion. In fact, Nora wasn’t sure if he had even heard her.

“Ugh! You’re so aggravating!” Nora exclaimed, stomping ahead of Tristan. Tristan slowed to a stop, watching her leave. Her fists were clenching and unclenching at her sides as she stormed away. He sighed then turned to the nearest bench and sat down. He placed his face in his hands and rested his elbows on his knees.

“What am I going to do?” he mumbled to himself. He was finding it harder and harder to be angry at her, even when she was furious at him. Instead, he was feeling…sorry for her…sorry that he had made her so angry…

“Girl problems?” a voice suddenly caught Tristan’s attention. He looked up and saw a young boy, probably no older than twelve, standing near him. Tristan stared at him for a moment, not sure how to respond.

“Um…kind of…” he said slowly. The boy nodded understandingly. He sat down next to Tristan and looked at him with the kind of emotion only a child can have towards a perfect stranger.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” the kid asked softly. Tristan stared at him, confused.

“Do I know you?” Tristan finally asked. The boy thought for a minute.

“I don’t think so.” he said quickly. Tristan recoiled in shock. The boy stuck his hand out to Tristan. “I’m David.” the boy said, waiting for Tristan to shake his hand. Tristan slowly reached out and shook the boys hand.

“I’m Tristan.” he replied, still a little puzzled as to why the boy was acting so friendly.

“Well, Tristan, it’s nice to meet you.” David said politely. “Now, would you like to talk to me about your girl problems? I’ve got all the time in the world. Mom walked into the gift shop, and she’s been known to stay there for hours.” David explained. He leaned a little closer to Tristan and whispered. “It makes for a pretty lousy vacation sometimes.” Tristan cracked a grin as David sat up straight again. Tristan took a deep breath and decided that there was no harm in telling this boy about what was bothering him. Besides, it might to him a bit of good to get his feelings off of his chest.

So, Tristan told David of his first encounter with Nora, about the attempted robbery, and about how Nora was being nice to him then suddenly got very angry with him. “No wonder she got angry! You’re totally dissing her favorite place in the world!” David exclaimed before Tristan had even finished his story. “She obviously has a back story that would be worth hearing. I’m sure it would shed some light on this situation. But we don’t have a back story, so we kind of have to do some guess work. I’m going to guess that family life isn’t so great and that she doesn’t have a lot of friends, she’s a bit of a loner, but she’s got a good heart…” David went on and on with his analysis of Nora. Tristan sat and listened, amazed by the young boy. Finally, Tristan was allowed to finish his story. Once Tristan had finished, David clicked his tongue and shook his head in disapproval.

“Tristan, Tristan, Tristan…” David said slowly. He sighed then looked up at Tristan again. “You, my friend, have been bit…by the love bug.” Tristan stared at David, shocked by what the boy had said. However, he thought about it a little longer and realized that he shouldn’t have been surprised at all. He had known for a while that he liked Nora, he had just refused to admit it to himself.

Tristan marveled at how right Nora was; life wasn’t like the movies. What character in a movie needs a twelve year old boy to tell him that he’s fallen head over heels for a girl who hates him?

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