Chapter 82:

Puppets

New Leaf!


So ugly… So dull… So monochrome… So unsightly… Bookmark here

I don’t know how long I was running for, but it felt like I was running a marathon… Amidst the multi-coloured bursts, I ran down the path past a crowd of people. I was being a disturbance, but I had to endure it — I just needed to get away from him. I ran through grass patches… I ran across a street… I ran through parades of people…Bookmark here

I ran until I got to where I am now — the side of a beige building. In front, there was a long flowerbed with red and white flowers, and there were driveways on the sides leading to the main entrance. There were two mainly red flags at the stairs leading to the front door. This building looked pretty important because of the stairs and the large oval-shaped door. But I’m sitting in a fetal position on the side of this building, on pavement, under a dim light, and beside a dumpster.Bookmark here

I could only hear the distant sounds made from exploding fireworks, and they sounded annoying to me now.Bookmark here

I can’t afford to care about the importance of this place and the consequences right now… There’s something else that needs my attention right now… Bookmark here

Dammit! How could I let myself be deluded like this!? Thinking that I was close to Mr Morales… Thinking that he thought the same way about me… It’s just not true! Ah, it’s so frustrating… Like all those other adults, he’s just a puppet — pretends to care and is solely controlled by desires to be labelled good… Bookmark here

I deeply sighed.Bookmark here

Though, I guess it made sense… Thinking about that time when he came after me when I first ran away, it becomes clearer. Why didn’t I realize this — was I distracted by the joy of someone being concerned about me? When he was talking to me, he didn’t feel anything special. ‘I shouldn’t be wasting my skills like this?’ ‘Many things are free for me?’ Dammit! I was so happy to be hearing those things that I didn’t realize those were just things said out of common knowledge — I was no different! He’s just like those foster parents, orphanage heads, and homeless shelter leaders who don’t care about individuals…Bookmark here

I can’t blame them, but it’s so damn hard not to… Bookmark here

I sighed again.Bookmark here

It makes sense why he doesn’t think differently of me… Who’d have a special place in their heart for me? I’m disgusting… I was doing sinful acts on the streets… I am too weak to change things for myself… I tried rebelling against everyone that knows better than me…Bookmark here

Oh… But why am I complaining? Not everyone deserves love, and how is that any different for me? I guess selfishness is another thing that can be added to the list…Bookmark here

“Camryn!”Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

I looked up and glazed through the darkness of the night… Who is this woman running towards me? Another puppet? Pretending to be concerned about me? Controlled by their desire to be labelled good? Dammit, go away…Bookmark here

But the woman stepped into the light. Long fiery red hair… Piercing bright green eyes… She was wearing brown pants and a bold red blouse. Her normal expression looked annoyed, but that was not what I saw. Her expression was gentle… Her expression was warm. But aside from that, her expression looked concerned. Her expression looked anxious. But overall, she looked relieved.Bookmark here

Bailey Hollow…Bookmark here

“B-Bailey?..”Bookmark here

“Yes… I am here…”Bookmark here

I don’t know what it was… There was nothing in the air… Bailey wasn’t doing anything…Bookmark here

But my eyes were tearing up…Bookmark here

“Bailey… B-Bailey…”Bookmark here

She lowered herself to sit beside me and wrapped her arms around me. But I didn’t hug her back. I just sat there with my knees up and my arms hanging at my side. But it wasn’t that I disliked what was happening…Bookmark here

“Bailey… Bailey!”Bookmark here

“Shh… It’s okay now — I’m here…”Bookmark here

No, I didn’t dislike this hug… But oddly, at the same time, I did not feel strongly opposed to it. I don’t know if this hug was fake or real… Was it a playful one that Elyssa often gives, or was it a sincere one?.. I don’t remember what a sincere one feels like.Bookmark here

But I don’t mind this hug… I just surrendered myself to Bailey…Bookmark here

“Bailey… Sorry… I’m so sorry…”Bookmark here

I felt her shake her head over my shoulder. Her voice was warm and soft.Bookmark here

“No, you don’t have to apologize for anything… Just let it all out.”Bookmark here

So I did… I heard myself weep… I felt more tears fall from my eyes… Bookmark here

I was happy. Yes, despite not knowing if this hug was real, I was happy. Because even if Mr Morales isn’t here, I have Bailey. And I have everyone else — Connie, Valerie, Alan, Elyssa, Mr Li… I don’t need him…Bookmark here

“Camryn… When you’re ready, you can tell me…”Bookmark here

“Y-Yes…”Bookmark here

I wanted this moment to last forever…Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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