I went to class-
My book was overdue and-
I don’t really know how to go about this. The Nurse told me I should keep a diary or a journal. He gave me a whole, slightly endearing speech about how it builds communication skills. He even recommended a sort of pen pal system… I don’t think I’m ready for that. So I guess it’ll be just you and me, for now…
Note. I’ll call you Note. I know you can’t accept or refuse, but I’d like to believe that you like that name.
Is this what he meant by communication skills? Am I supposed to address you? Well… I guess I already started. And I named you.
I guess introductions are in order. Not that you’re really able to use any information I give you, Note. I’m Hanako. I’ve heard that my name is very pretty. Mostly from teachers. A librarian, once. I think she said it reminded her of flowers. Personally, I don’t see it. Haaa. Naaa. Kooo. Say it slowly and it gets creepy, in a sense. Besides, I know what a real flower name is like.
When people really like your name, they’ll say it very often. A name should taste sweet as you say it. I’ve very rarely heard mine. I think that says a lot more about the beauty of a name.
Her name is certainly said a lot. She’s not even in our class, and yet… I’ll tell you about her later, Note. The Nurse I should keep it about me, as much as I can.
I’m glad you can’t really see me, Note. It’s a pathetic thought, but knowing that you’re unable to see me makes me feel at ease. Can you imagine that?
Can you imagine what class is like? Pairs of eyes, ready to stare at you? Not just acknowledging your presence. That is simply looking. Staring is concluding something about you that may or may not be true at all. I think it’s a little maddening.
It’s not even the hardest part, Note. It doesn’t matter to me. No, the hardest part is realizing that you’re the one jumping to conclusions, assuming, imagining, not seeing people for who they are. It’s why I’m the one putting my head down in class and nobody else has to. Because I’m making myself weird.
I know that better than anyone else.
Sorry, Note, this is a lot on our first day. I might take you to class. Maybe writing would seem more natural than reading, and it might seem like I’m actually very busy
rather than just very strange. Only lonely people think that far, Note.
I hope you like your name and I’m not just assuming you do.
You would be surprised by human ears, Note. I can hear very well… practically across the room. I tend to pick up a lot of conversations that I don’t really mean to. I wouldn’t call it eavesdropping, since it’s out of incidental boredom, anyway.
They said my name in class. Two girl voices. It doesn’t really matter who they were.
I didn’t hear much other than that. I could swear I felt their eyes dart towards me for a second.
You would be surprised at the human imagination, too. I can imagine a million scenarios from just one, single, abnormal moment in my day; simply because it breaks the monotony.
I can imagine them talking about how quiet I am. I can hear the exact pitch in their voices- whiney, offbeat; a very slight maliciousness to it. I can imagine the growing pain in their stomachs, from holding their laughter in. I can also imagine them not caring, absolutely indifferent- and for some reason, that thought feels just a little colder.
I mostly imagine finally, finally doing it. Getting up. Walking Over. Asking. Breaking away from myself, who I can still see sitting down, hidden in a book, as always.
“What are you writing about?” she comes up to me, asking, without a hint of displeasure. Not the maliciousness I imagined. She plays with her bangs, moving them aside as if to show me her face. Me specifically. Her friend has stepped into the hallway, giving me a look of approval I have never seen before. Having confidence in me.
“U-umm… just… a journal…” I flip Note around shyly, its flimsy cardboard hiding my rather messy handwriting.
“Oh? A diary?” She moves to my sides, as if intending to read it. Too shy to do anything else, I oblige, although I’m shaking profusely.
“That’s really pretty handwriting!” She exclaims loudly, practically declaring it the rest of the classroom. A few people stir from their lunch break to look. These looks aren’t the stares. They’re finally just looking. And I’m surprisingly happy about it.
I can hear them saying my name. I finally hear it. I finally feel it. The flower-like nature of my name. Hanako. I can finally-
That’s what it’s like, Note. To imagine. I hope you’re imagining me positively, despite what I have to write in you.
That happened hours ago, by the way. I heard two girls talking. I’m still filling myself with the most useless and infinite ways that situation could have gone, rather than how it did.
They went to lunch. I read my book. Again. And again. And again. I reread the same line until class started again.
You would be equally horrified, Note, at the power of a lonely imagination.
WORDS WORDS WORDS
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