T Minus Two Days
I twirl the pen between my fingers and I listen to Gomagog’s outline of the many differences between Swedish and English grammar. I have spent the last two days in silence. First there was that debacle of the drama-class, compounded further by the fact that Nevena somehow was told about the fact that I had to play the main character in the play, a main character whose girlfriend he murdered, and whose name sounds like Nevena Stanislaw. I tried to tell them that I didn’t want to do it, but Isocrates wouldn’t take no for an answer. I should have insisted.
Meanwhile…..there is something about Nevena’s silence. At first I thought that she was angry. That I did something while drunk, or the fact that I kept my Aspergers from her made her angry or some such.
“Fallowfell?” I mentally skip back a few moments to revise what Gomagog have said before I throw out the answer to the question as quickly as I can.
“Ehhrrr, present tense?”
“Yes”, he adds grudgingly, before continuing the interrogation.
Anyhow, as I was thinking, before Gomagog interrupted me with his inquiry. I don’t think that Nevena is angry. During my attempts to talk to her over these two days she hasn’t showed any anger that I can see. Of course, there is the possibility that she is clamping down on her fury and I am not seeing it, but let’s just say that she isn’t angry.
She is reluctant to talk to me, and what fuels this reluctance?
Yes. That’s it. What emotions are a source of reluctance?
I flip a page in my notebook, and I make list.
I scratch my chin. Shame? The thought almost makes me giggle. During the months that have I known Nevena, I have never seen her express anything that could be shame.
Fear? I think of her body-language. The way she sidles away from me. The skittish look I seem to have earned somehow. Yes, there is a certain amount of fear in Nevena.
Indifference? No, that’s not it. Or atleast I don’t think it is. If she were indifferent, then wouldn’t she tell me to go to hell?
This is why I hate trying to analyze people’s motives and their emotions. You think you know a person. But really, you don’t. There is this line, from one of my favorite books, that sums it up. ‘You see the surface of the lake, and you think you know the depths’. People are like that.
So what is it that makes Nevena afraid… did I do something while drunk? Did she do something while drunk? Maybe she cheated on me and is now afraid that I’ll figure it out. I frown. No, she wouldn’t do that.
But as the lesson goes on, the thought roots in the fertile ground of my now suspicious mind. I cannot conceive of a reason why she would feel fear from me. I mean, I am not a violent person. I don’t scream. I talk rather slow, when not excited. I try not to raise my voice unless its absolutely neccessary.
So she did something, or experienced something which has made her afraid of me, or talking to me. Cheating would fall in that category. I decide that when the lesson ends, I will confront her, once for all.
And so I wait, painstakingly, for Gomagog to proclaim the lesson done. /Rune?/ I ignore Verde.
/Rune?/ I don’t respond to his query. I am still not certain this is entirely his fault.
Gomagog sighs. “Alright. Lesson over. Read pages 323-340, and write me a page detailing the pros and cons.” The students of 1A file obediently out of the classroom, and step lightly behind Nevena.
Elena elbows me. “Not now”, I say, without turning to her. “Well when then?”, I hear her ask. “Later”, I call back. /Rune, you cannot accuse her of cheating without proof./ I picture a mental wall whose sole purpose is to block Verde’s voice. It seems to do the trick, because I can’t hear him anymore.
I follow Nevena around the corner, to her locker.
“Nevena”, I ask, forlornly. “I want to talk”, I continue, firmer.
“Not now, Rune.” She packs her bag with schoolbooks and makes to leave. The sight of her back makes me angry. I have tried calling. Tried asking. More messages than I care to count.
“So you cheated on me”, I lash out.
She rears back. I knew it! “What? No, I did not cheat on you.” Tears rapidly form in her eyes.
“How could you say that?!” Her scream echoes in the corridor, and the rest of 1A look around the corner. She pauses. Wipes her tears. She opens her mouth, but nothing comes out. And so she runs out of the corridor, and out of my life.