It was currently the morning. Since my work starts at 7:00, I wake up at around 5:00, get ready in about 30 minutes, take a subway then transfer to another, and arrive at work about 15 minutes early. I naturally wake up pretty early, so this is fine. And as for Camryn, when she acted as my personal housekeeper, she woke up around the same time I did to prepare lunch — maybe her exhaustion had something to do with her poor cooking. Now, she wakes up a couple of minutes before I leave.
“Okay, I will be going now…”
“Wait Ren, hold up!”
As I am about to leave, I turn to Camryn. She jogged towards me from the couch.
“Camryn? What do you need?”
“Um, Ren... Wait, you have time, right? A-And don’t worry, I won’t kiss you again or anything!”
Hm? I was not thinking that.
“Yeah, I have time. What do you need?”
“Um… You see…”
She looked somewhat unsure. What was she thinking? Maybe this time she messed something up in the condo — no, that is unlikely.
“You see… Ren, I would like to get a job!”
I could feel her tenacity when she said that. But why did she put all that impact into her request?
“Job? Like a real one with payment? Sure, that is fine.”
“Sure. The minimum age to work here is 14 years old. Well, you’re old enough to get a job.”
But why was she hesitant? Did she not know that she was of the age to work? No, I think that’s unlikely — she saw people her age working at stores at Beattie’s Heart. Hm…
“Hey Camryn, can I ask why you were being a bit hesitant?”
“Oh, that… Well…”
Camryn raised her head and smiled widely at me. I could feel the pure joy radiate from this young girl.
“Well, it’s because you’re so nice!”
What? That… did not make sense.
“Nice? Camryn, what do you mean?”
“Oh! Well… You’re just so caring.”
“Whenever I think I have a responsibility, you assure me that I don’t. Um… On the day when I ran away from home, you told me that I shouldn’t be doing it… you told me that I could stay here because I was me, right? Well, you meant that it was because I was young, didn’t it? That I shouldn’t be dealing with this because of my age… that’s what you meant, right? Oh yeah, and our shopping trip to Beattie’s Heart — whenever I tried discouraging you from buying unnecessary things for me because of things like price, you told me not to worry. I guess what I’m saying is that you want me to be a child! You take responsibility so that I can be the child I never was — I thank you greatly for this!”
“Erm, please raise your head, that isn’t necessary.”
“And whenever I bow to show my gratitude, you tell me I don’t need to! You are caring!”
Caring, huh? How true is that?
“So anyway, yeah, I would like a job. See, I sit here in the condo all day feeling unproductive and bored… I have the schoolwork that I can work on, but sometimes that feels repetitive. And, um, I think getting a job can teach me some things that this textbook can’t, you know?”
Oh, what a mature response.
“And… Another reason is that I think I should gain some independence from you. I’m grateful that you pay for me, but I think I should deal with those myself… I-I, um, I think it would be a good experience for g-growing up…”
When she said that last part, she was a little bit hesitant. I wonder why that was… Anyways, I nodded.
“Okay… Sure. Do you have anywhere in mind?”
She was a little ashamed when I asked that.
“No, not yet… A-Actually, I was wondering if you had any suggestions or connections.”
“Hm… Since you are young, it shouldn’t be a job that requires a lot of experience. Nor should it be a job where a specific knowledge set is needed.”
A job that requires little experience… Retail? Yeah, working in a store seems like a good starter job… Hm… Wait, I know.
But at that moment, I recalled the time. We’ve been talking for a while, huh? At this rate, I’ll miss my train.
“Sorry Camryn, I have to leave for work now.”
“O-Oh, right! Um, sorry for keeping you.”
I shook my head.
“No, it’s fine. Regarding what you said, I know someone who might be able to give you a job.”
“Yeah. I will contact them during my lunch break and I will let you know.”
Camryn bowed in excitement.
“Thank you so much!”
“Yeah… Anyway, I will be going now.”
“Yeah. See ya!”
After saying my farewell, I left the condo and started walking towards the elevator.
As I walked, some things flew into my mind. What… What did she mean by that? I am “nice”? I am “caring”? That really isn’t what I think I am known for. Nice… Caring… Am I really nice or caring? I mean, everything… Everything that I tell Camryn is just what she wants to hear at the moment. Yeah, I believe that as a kid, Camryn should not have a lot of responsibilities, but I would not call that caring — it is just common sense, right? I mean, anyone would lift responsibilities off of a kid, right? And other people have called me this. Connie often does it. Valerie often does it. Bailey occasionally does it.
But do they know? Nice and charitable nature… Do they know that it is all false? It is just a fake… My hospitality is just a facade… There are many nicer people in the world and I’m paltry compared to them — my acts are paltry compared to theirs. And yet, I’m put on a pedestal for showing common human decency? It… It confused me. But it didn’t frighten me…
I got on the elevator and waited for it to take me to the main floor. There was no one with me to decorate the bland view of the elevator. But I see this elevator mostly every day, so I’m used to it...
I wonder how long it will take. How long will it take for this facade to fade and my true nature to be exposed? And when everyone realizes that I’m just average, I wonder how they’ll react. Mad? Betrayed? Dazed? And how will I react? I… I guess I won't — it just doesn’t matter to me…