I looked at the young woman sitting on the kitchen counter. She was slouching.
“What?” I raised my eyebrows at her contorted expression of irritation.
“This room is too small. It’s making me feel…nauseous.”
I sighed, stirring the black liquid in its cup. Like me, the young woman drunk neither coffee nor tea, but she was very happy to sit and watch me complete my roommate’s concoction.
“I’m sorry, but there’s really not much I can do,” I told her, feeling her eyes bore into the back of my skull. “This is a Hall of Residence kitchen, after all. Students don’t do fancy appliances.”
“You could at least ask for a better place.”
“I will. I’ll use that tone if I have to. Come on, please don’t complain.” I let my expression slip into one of disappointment. “I let you come in here for a review of the tale, and this is how you treat my kindness.”
“Kindness!” Agnetha explodes.
“I gave you golden blonde hair.”
“You were jealous of me from the beginning.”
“I let you have a boyfriend.”
“After you killed our lover.”
This time, it was my own expression that darkened and I turned away, forcing back the tremors that threatened to shake the skin off my bones.
“At least you don’t have Borderline Personality Disorder because of it,” I muttered.
“Hmm, and what do I have?” Agnetha remarked, rhetorically, even when her tone had softened, one of very few times when she would see the light in her darker places.
“A feisty temper and claustrophobia. That is all.”
“And a few bad memories.”
“Darling, that’s unavoidable. Especially for your type of person.”
“Oh, yeah? Blame the fact I’m a fictional character.”
“Agnetha! Come on. Once a tale Of One London Eye is complete you’ll be able to relax and take on cases that are less personal. If you’re good, I might let you meet DI Lewis.”
“Hmm. And what about the DS King serie-”
“It will or it won’t.”
“You have a worse mind to make decisions than I do!”
“And that’s really such a surprise? Look, I don’t want to argue with you-”
“-but if you’re going to take everything I say with such intolerance…” I trailed off, knowing exactly the point she was about to bring up. After all, we almost constituted the same person.
“Of course we argue,” Agnetha said, her eyes tracing the patterns of the table-cloth in the way she always used to when she was embarrassed. “The character of a writer who suffers from turbulent emotions and argues with her own self frequently.”
I nodded, almost watching the floor myself. The vapour was quickly evaporating from the coffee cup beside me, heating my hands even at the distance. I gripped it as my mind reeled off instructions, ever the author.
Suddenly, Agnetha was laughing. Unlike me, for once, she didn’t tip her head back and giggle loudly to the stars. However, of course, she hadn’t been in the presence of the similar-moving infatuation for as long.
“Hello! Character here! Only you speak in fully-formed sentences.”
I giggled, too, in spite of the pain in my heart, which I was sure that Agnetha could feel a part of anyway. My first character studied me as she chuckled, but said nothing more.
In an instant, there came the sounds of light footsteps tripping down the stairs.
“Shh. She’s coming,” I whispered, gesturing wildly towards my thirteen-year-old self’s alter-ego. In an instant, we two were one, a figure of a short teenage girl, a memory of the future.
I sighed, only bringing my lips into a smile when an old Protagonize friend rejoined me in the kitchen.