Chapter 8:

Camryn: Introduction

New Leaf!

“Um, first, I think I want to formally introduce myself. Yesterday, I was acting… I guess… a bit silly?”Bookmark here

“Sure.”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

I extended my hand to Mr Morales.Bookmark here

“H-hello, my name is Camryn.”Bookmark here

“Hello Camryn, my name is Ren Morales.”Bookmark here

We shook hands. Wow, he’s really polite.Bookmark here

“Okay, first off… What happened last night?”Bookmark here

“Oh!”Bookmark here

I quickly shot up from my seat and bowed my head.Bookmark here

“I’m really sorry for my action towards you last night. Um… you felt uncomfortable, right? S-Sorry…”Bookmark here

I was so embarrassed that I partially blushed — even though making him feel uncomfortable was just a guess.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

I nodded my head and sat back down.Bookmark here

“Okay… So last night, you found me just sitting alone on the street when it was getting late. Um, you see…”Bookmark here

I raised my head and smiled at Mr Morales.Bookmark here

“It isn’t really serious — I’m just financially struggling is all.”Bookmark here

Mr Morales raised an eyebrow at me.Bookmark here

I decided.Bookmark here

I… lied.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“I see… Then last night’s events are justified. You said it was just you?”Bookmark here

“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…”Bookmark here

“I see… I am sorry to hear that.”Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

Another lie.Bookmark here

Thanks for the kind words, but were you really sorry? It’s just… your voice sounds the same — same bored sounding voice as ever.Bookmark here

He spoke.Bookmark here

“You are still quite young. I assume you are around 14 years old?”Bookmark here

“Woah, right on the… dot?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“I see… Okay.”Bookmark here

He let out a sigh that was barely noticeable.Bookmark here

“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?”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

Mr Morales nodded.Bookmark here

To be honest, that wasn’t an entire lie either.Bookmark here

“I see.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

My slipup… did it lead to Mr Morales’ concern. If only I were more aware… I’m sorry. Bookmark here

After a minute, he looked up again and spoke.Bookmark here

“Then Camryn, do you want me to contact the police for you?”Bookmark here

“The police… Um, p-please don’t.”Bookmark here

“Oh. Can you tell me why?”Bookmark here

“I… um… don’t… want to… I’m sorry.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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-Bookmark here

“Then Camryn… stay with me.”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

I was truly shocked by his suggestion.Bookmark here

“M-Mr Morales!? Pardon!?”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.