26 February

Pink Ponytail must have told Etcetra that I was weird. The moroseness of the last few days has vanished from her face. To be replaced with her trademark rage.

She demands: “Why did you go there, Appi? You know I have no rehearsal on Mondays.”

Me: “I don’t keep track of your rehearsal days. I just thought we could go out for lunch.”

Etcetra: “So why were you asking Pink Ponytail those questions? Weren’t you snooping around?”

Me: “Maybe I was. But if you were more truthful, I wouldn’t need to.”

Etcetra: “And who asked you to do that? Ogre?”

Ogre: “Etcetra, stop it. I had nothing to do with this.”

Me: “She didn’t. I went because I wanted to find out.”

Etcetra: “Find out what? Why do you need to know all the details of my life?”

And so on and on.

Etcetra: “Get your own life … You are jealous … You don’t understand a thing about anything …. I hate you …. You’ve made me a laughing stock in front of that idiot, Pink Ponytail .. If you think I’m ever going to tell you anything ever again, think again … I’m never going to talk to you again.”

Then she storms off.

Ogre, disconsolate: “Appi, why did you go there? What was the use? You’ve just made matters worse.”

Me: “Right. I’ve made matters worse. That’s really weird. She does something wrong, but if out of concern I want to find out what’s happening, I’ve made matters worse.”

Ogre: “It’s not that, Appi. I know you care. But however much you care; you can’t control someone else’s life. You can’t force them to tell you what they don’t want to reveal. You should know that.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Ogre: “Appi, there’s so much you keep to yourself. About yourself. About people you care about. About what upsets you. And that’s fine. That’s you. I respect that. And we have to accept that Etcetra too has grown up. She has her own life. Her own feelings. We have to respect those too.”

I nod dumbly. Ogre strokes my hair, gently.

Ogre: “Don’t worry so much about her. She’ll be all right. Let go, Appi. You’ll find it easier to get along with her if you let go of her.”

I sit there wondering about how much Ogre knows. About me. And my feelings. About how much she had let go. About how lonely she must feel that neither Etcetra nor I share our innermost thoughts with her.

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