Me and The Hero Parted Ways
Thinking back on everything, it was always her hair.
I loved to follow it. Especially when it would flow freely as it sailed in the wind with all its violet grandeur.
"Hey! Get back here you little shits!"
She must've caught on to this because she always undid her rolled up buns every time she was about to go pickpocketing or stealing from the fruit vendors in the town square.
"I-I-I-I don't know about this one! For an old hag that just sits there all-day selling apples, she sure does know how to keep up a chase! I thought we would've lost her by now--you know?! Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all don't you think so, Oq? Hey! ARE YOU EVEN FUCKING LISTENING!"
"Nope! No time for regrets now! If you were smart, you'd save your breath for this 100m stretch straight to the woodlands! I'll up your cut to 33.8756% if you can beat me there!"
"That very specific increase of less than 1% is a pretty cheap shot at motivation so no thank you! Or are you trying to get me angry so that I'll slip up and get caught...*Huff*..for the both of us....*Heavy Painting*...I think it's....*Heavy Painting*…. actually working....oh shit!"
"SYA LOOK OUT!'
But she'd always jump in to take the brunt of the strike if need be.
"Take this you little peddlers! HUNDRED PANTY STRIKE!"
So, it turns out on this particular day, we ended up messing up pretty severely. This because the elderly woman Oquive tried to hustle turned out to be on her devils on this particular evening. She had caught word of her husband being with several young mistresses so in a plot of revenge she decided to coil together over a hundred dirty panties with some wire into makeshift whip that she coated in oil and stashed near her stall to flog him with when he returned from work.
This is what she struck Oquive fiercely in the center of her head with after she had pushed me out the way. The strike was heavy enough to even send someone of her spirit tumbling down onto the dirt road with little to no inertia.
Unfortunately, this effect transferred to me regardless as she tumbled right into me immediately after.
"I GOT YOU RASCALS NOW! HIYA!!" she yelled as a battle cry before tackling us viciously in an act of misplaced fury.
After flogging her husband's wrongdoings out of us, she eventually decided to let us off without alerting any authorities and warned us against doing it again.
Left with no other option but to engage in a shameless retreat, we silently slugged our way towards our hideout deep within the forest with our bruises aching all the way there coupled with our exhaustion reaching a breathless climax.
As we came upon the small abandoned wooden cottage, Oquive crashed through the disheveled front door landing into the old, discolored mattress laid out before her face first.
I followed her only to a certain degree, only barely making it to the doorway before lending all my weight to the left side jamb painting under my breath.
An air of awkward silence drowned us for a moment. Shortly after, I caught a glimpse of one of her gray eyes escaping from the rest of her buried face to desperately veer into my being.
I sent my hand into my hidden shirt pocket to shake the bag of coins on cue.
"FUCK YES!" she yelled as she shot up impulsively forgetting her exhaustion to the idea of success after a job well done.
"What were you thinking pushing the score suddenly onto me like that! Do you know how big of a risk that was or how badly that could've----PFFT!!"
"I guess it came at a pretty heavy cost in its own way! HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Wait, what are you-----OH NO OH NO OH NO OH FUCK NO!"
Quickly following the pointing of my finger as I caved into laughter, she quickly discovered the cost of the mission.
The strike from the whip she took earlier in order to slip the money into my pocket ended up taking out a decent portion of the hair residing in that region of her head leaving her with a nasty midsection of missing hairs.
"BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It looks like a treasure map! Life really is the best poet as they say!"
"QUIT LAUGHING! AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE MORE CONSIDERATE TOWARDS HOW I FEEL!"
Thinking back, maybe it wasn't just her hair. That's because shortly after I had laughed myself down to forget my injuries, we sat by a river near the cabin where I cut it for her using some spring scissors I found in the cottage.
She sat with an elegant posture atop the tree stump which really highlighted her slender but tall build. Her smooth brown skin glistened as she was sun kissed by the departing evening rays.
"You think she'll come back looking after she realizes?" she asked while she sat on a rock gazing into the flow of river water as I had begun cutting.
"And risk getting lost in this old graveyard? She'll miss it for sure, but she'd force herself into getting amnesia before even thinking of stepping into this place. Besides, shouldn't I be the one asking that since you're the one who came up with the idea of using this place as a hideout to begin with?"
"I know....it's just that she seemed like the type to get too angry to care so we can't be too careful you know? Plus that whip is more of a problem than you think. I mean I could take 15,000 more of those lashes but I know you're built slightly more feminine than I am so.."
"Why do you think I'm shaving you? Gotta polish up my shield before the next battle."
"Geez! Aren't you at all ashamed of yourself?"
"I mean that's what you'd want me to do right? It's not like you've ever cared about how I felt when rushing in to do this like that either. Plus, you don't like me constantly pegging you with that faint quiver in my voice saying 'Are yewww sureee about thisssss????' every half a second so there's that too."
"I'm just saying that I've learnt to really depend on you to watch my back now. You've proven to me how capable you are. Thank you."
She fell sharply silent after my last retort. She was slightly blushing.
"I mean if you say so---OWWW! What the hell are you doing back there? Is that blade even sterilized??"
"You're the smartass that decided to fidget your head around while getting a cut! And as for the blade, don't worry. Remember when I told you to go on ahead after I found it?"
"I snuck around back and pissed on it real quick just to make sure."
"Son of a---"
"I'm joking I'm joking--- OWWWW! Wait you sure you wanna do this while I have a sharp tool in my han----- AHHHHHHHHHHH YOU'RE BREAKING MY FINGER PLEASE STOP!!"
This back and forth ended up transforming into some play fighting with her voices echoing throughout the forest filtered dimly by the invading sunset.
This was how it ended on most days after we ran away from the orphanage to live in our old district. It was abandoned by the populace after most of the residents succumbed to a plague vectored by a now extinct species of fish that used to swim through the rivers. Both our families included.
I believe it was a little after that. When Oquive had just turned 16. When it all changed.
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