“Humans aren’t meant to be kept in cages. It does things to them.”
“Really? I’ve been in cages many times, I don’t mind.”
“Probably because you aren’t human, idiot.”
It seemed as though this had just occurred to the man, even though it had been many years since he’d been a human.
The little girl across from him thought him a bit ditzy, which would actually be hilarious, seeing how he was supposedly “in his prime.” That is, she would find it hilarious, if she actually felt emotions like amusement.
She, for one, had never called herself human, even when she was one. There was nothing to lose.
The man laughed.
“It’s nice to see you again, after all these years!”
“Really? I hardly remembered you.”
The man laughed like she’d said a joke, but she really hadn’t. She really hadn’t remembered him, it had been so long. Once you got to know him, he really wasn’t as forgettable as he first appeared. Maybe her memory was leaving her.
She felt a pang of something. Was it…regret? She couldn’t tell anymore. All emotions felt similar and left as soon as they came.
The girl sipped her tea, and the man emulated her, as if he had been waiting for her to go first. Knowing him, she thought, he probably was. He was beaming at her, he was the most disgustingly happy thing on this world, unlike the girl.
“Idiot.” The girl added for good measure, though not directly responding to anything in particular. Rather, it was a jab at his entire character, the entire lie he’d made for himself where everything was good and right in the world. He was, overall, an idiot.
The man laughed at this joke.
Maybe this is what a lack of friends did to someone. Maybe it made them overly needy and in denial of how dreadfully annoying they were. Or maybe it made someone cruel and cold, who could say?
The man checked his watch.
“Time to go?” The girl asked, trying to give him a hint.
“Nope, I still have time.”
The girl sighed, not even bothering to disguise her frustration at this news, and slid down slightly in her seat. What a naive idiot.
The man started humming to himself in the silence, it’s seemingly only purpose to make the girl want to smack him more than she already did. Maybe she would. She put her cup down and the man followed suit. It was annoying how much he followed her.
“Are you lonely?”
“W…what?” The sudden question startled her, and she wasn’t sure how to respond.
“You look lonely.” The man was looking at him, with something close to a sad expression on his face, his demeanor starting to change.
“N-no! I-I’m not lonely! G…go away!”
In the girl’s panic, she broke the magic, and all that was left in the man’s place was a mirror.
The girl took a deep breath, attempting to control the rush of emotions reentering her body, and began to recharge her magic, to turn the mirror back into her only friend once again.