Things have been more normal here lately. Less awkward. Poe and I are coexisting without any real problems. We don't talk much. Then again, we never talked much in the first place. She's a quiet person, I've never been one for small talk, and I guess we're just leaving each other to our own devices. She goes out to work with Screwtape about every other day, and if he's pulling anything like that raven stunt, she doesn't show it. Her demeanor's about the same before and after they meet. Then again, it'd be hard to tell. She's still so quiet and gloomy all the time. I really wish she'd smile again.
Nee-chan came over for a visit yesterday. I thought it'd be good for her to spend time with Poe so that they could bond over anime or something. I think that she needs someone she can talk to if she can get over this creepy obsession of hers (and after the interview I had with her later, my thoughts were only reinforced). It's either anime or knives that's a good starting point with Nee, and I don't know many people obsessed with knives. Plus, you know, the anime addiction is probably just a little bit healthier. The two of them watched some show that was called...okay, to be honest, I have no fucking clue what it was called. The title was all Japanesey, and if you tell me that a show's called "Dorichushi Mari Mari Hai" or something like that, I'm going to forget it within a minute. Something about this girl with purple hair (why the fuck do anime characters have to have pink or blue or purple or green hair?) who keeps killing a guy with some sort of giant mace and then brings him back to life for some reason? It don't know, they watched it in Japanese (because Nee refuses to watch it any other way, of course). Also, I'm never going to be able to get that fucking theme song out of my head. I don't understand a word of it, which somehow makes it worse. But they watched it pretty much all day, and actually finished it. Didn't take too long; it was apparently a pretty short show. But that left plenty of time for me to do what I never got the chance to do earlier: interview Nee-chan.
Messenger: So, um, Nee-chan. Is it okay if I interview you a bit? Ask you about...well, I guess how you got involved in all of this? A few other things?
Nee-chan: [grinning] Sure, Messenger-san!
M: Okay, but just to warn you, this might get...uncomfortable at times. If I ask you something you don't want to know, you...don't have to answer, I guess. You okay? [She nodded.] Okay. So. Um...how long have you been...you know, working for The Boss?
N: Who, Slendy-kun? [laughter] I don't work for him. Slendy-kun's my friend. I just help him out. It's what friends do for each other. [She held up crossed fingers.] Nakama.
M: Okay...don't know what that means, but...right, anyway how long have you two...been friends, I guess?
N: Hmm...probably about a year.
M: And how did that start?
N: [shrug] I started reading about him, he showed up, and I couldn't see what the big fuss was about. He just showed up and he was really nice. And look! [She held up her plushie and shoved it in my face.] You can't tell me that he doesn't look totally kawaii! [Note: Thanks to Poe for explaining some of the things she says and for helping me with the spelling.]
M: Um...and...it doesn't bother you that he...you know, kills people?
N: You say that like they don't deserve to die.
M: ...they...well, um....don't...they're still people, you know. I mean, just to play devil's advocate, I'm sure that a lot of runners think that you deserve to die, too.
N: Then they're just like everyone else, desu.
[I decided that it'd maybe be a good time to try a different approach. She'd said something earlier implying that The Boss was her only friend, she's got some sort of resentment towards people in general, and she feels some sort of resentment from people in general.]
M: Hey, uh, listen Nee-chan. I was wondering about something. What was your life like as a kid?
N: I don't remember too much. We moved around a lot. Mom was a teacher, and she taught at a lot of different places.
M: That must have been tough, moving around all the time.
N: [nod] Like I said, I don't remember much. Just the moving. We never stayed long enough for me to make any friends.
M: Did you ever find any?
N: [shakes head] By the time we finally settled on a place, everyone started telling me that I was a weirdo or a freak. They didn't want to be friends with the new girl. They bullied me, said that I was a baby for still watching cartoons [she got really mad when she said that--I remember one point when I called the shows she watched "cartoons" as well and she went on a huge rant about how I couldn't appreciate fine art and culture or some shit like that]...I never really made any friends.
M: Weren't your parents concerned about it?
N: [She suddenly got really sad and looked down.] They weren't concerned about anything but their jobs. Mom was always busy grading papers or preparing lessons and Dad wasn't even home half the time.
M: I'm...I'm sorry. So...all that anime you watch. You started watching that when you were moving around constantly, right? What about the knives? When did you start getting...interested in knives? [Let it be known that I don't know how to phrase half of these questions. I never really conversed with people this psychotic on a regular basis.]
N: Oh, when all those kids were being mean to me, I started to get into fights. But they were all stronger than me. And once I started fighting them, it didn't matter if I stopped or not. They started fighting back. I had to carry a knife for protection, and learn to use it to keep from getting beat up. It was something to do. [she gave a grin that really, really put me on edge.] And guess what, Messenger-san! No one beats me up anymore!
M: Um...right. I...think that's about enough. Thanks for talking with me.
N: Dou itashimathite, Messenger-san! And domo arigatou!
One more quick note: before she left, out of curiosity, I asked her what her name was. Because it's obviously not Nee-chan.
"Erika Lyons," she told me after a while. "But if you ever call me anything other than Nee-chan or Eri...." And then she gave me an evil little grin and twirled the knife she was holding before leaving.
So...that's Nee-chan, I guess.
-Don't Shoot The Messenger-