“Um, first, I think I want to formally introduce myself. Yesterday, I was acting… I guess… a bit silly?”
My name is Camryn — yeah, there’s no surname. I’m the 14-year-old girl that Mr Morales found on the street last night. Right now, I was wearing a black sweater over a thin blue tee-shirt and black jeans, and my black running shoes were on that brown chair in the room that I was staying in — I found that this has become my default attire, mostly because it was comfortable, but it didn’t make me feel too comfortable.
As for my physical features… It's been a while since I measured my height, but compared to Mr Morales, I was up to his chest. I have straight, long, light brown hair and dark brown eyes, and apparently, I look a bit gloomy when there’s no expression on my face. However, when I smile, I totally lighten the mood — I’ve used this trait to my advantage a number of times.
I extended my hand to Mr Morales.
“H-hello, my name is Camryn.”
“Hello Camryn, my name is Ren Morales.”
We shook hands. Wow, he’s really polite.
“Okay, first off… What happened last night?”
I quickly shot up from my seat and bowed my head.
“I’m really sorry for my action towards you last night. Um… you felt uncomfortable, right? S-Sorry…”
I was so embarrassed that I partially blushed — even though making him feel uncomfortable was just a guess.
“Oh, that. Do not worry. Please, sit back down. And, sorry, but I was not really asking about that. I was asking more about your circumstances.”
I nodded my head and sat back down.
“Okay… So last night, you found me just sitting alone on the street when it was getting late. Um, you see…”
I raised my head and smiled at Mr Morales.
“It isn’t really serious — I’m just financially struggling is all.”
Mr Morales raised an eyebrow at me.
But… Why did I lie? I think the most obvious reason was that I couldn’t fully trust Mr Morales. But the other reason… It was probably the most pivotal, but I think it was also a bit more complicated. Anyways, saying that I was financially struggling wasn’t entirely a lie.
“I see… Then last night’s events are justified. You said it was just you?”
“Eh? Oh, s-sorry. I meant me and my f-f-family. Um… you see we decided that if we split up for a bit, it would be a bit easier on us. Y’know, individuality and stuff…”
“I see… I am sorry to hear that.”
Thanks for the kind words, but were you really sorry? It’s just… your voice sounds the same — same bored sounding voice as ever.
“You are still quite young. I assume you are around 14 years old?”
“Woah, right on the… dot?”
Huh? Wait, why did I just tell the truth about my age? Crap, I screwed up! Maybe it was because two lies were enough. Gah! Did he discover my age just by looking at me? This guy’s smart… After confirming it, I don’t think I can cover the truth up.
“I see… Okay.”
He let out a sigh that was barely noticeable.
“Since you are still at that age, it would be wise if you reunited with your family. I do not know how strong or smart you are, but there are laws defining what children are and are not allowed to do. It is also dangerous for someone of your age without proper supervision from an adult. Do you know where your parents are?”
“Y-yes… But, um… I… don’t really think I can return right now. I… um… d-don’t… I don’t want to say why.”
Mr Morales nodded.
To be honest, that wasn’t an entire lie either.
Mr Morales propped his elbows on the table and supported his head with his interlocked fingers as he looked down and thought. I think I knew what his next question would be.
My slipup… did it lead to Mr Morales’ concern. If only I were more aware… I’m sorry.
After a minute, he looked up again and spoke.
“Then Camryn, do you want me to contact the police for you?”
“The police… Um, p-please don’t.”
“Oh. Can you tell me why?”
“I… um… don’t… want to… I’m sorry.”
I didn’t tell him why I didn’t want to go to the police. I… just strongly didn’t. Or more like I strongly couldn’t. Yeah… he’ll find me if I do.
More thinking… You’re thinking of a solution, right? The best action that I should take, right? Please, you don’t have to go that far for me!
I felt more guilty as the silence continued. This is all because of me, isn’t it? First, there was that mistake. Why did I reveal my true age!? Also what I told you about me not wanting to go to the police and not being able to return to my parents right now — I was so frustrated that I wanted to scream. But I held it in — I silently felt uncomfortable sensations throughout my body. I also fought as I held back tears.
I’m sorry for putting all those restraints on you. Because of that, you’re straining yourself, aren’t you? Just stop concerning yourself with me! Please… please just stop. I can’t handle this immense guilt. I know it… I’m just a burden, aren’t I? I ha-
“Then Camryn… stay with me.”
I was truly shocked by his suggestion.
“M-Mr Morales!? Pardon!?”