"After hours of taunting and torment, the buruburu’s mind-numbing rants have reduced to silence.”
I’ve been listening to Etan recount his experience with the buruburu so far, hoping to provide consolation. A sigh of relief slipped from his lips, followed by a sharp gasp.
“What if he didn’t leave? Like, he’s hiding somewhere in my soul? I don’t hear him, but I feel the weight of his presence in my chest."
"For all we know, he could be listening to you at all times. He’s probably dissecting every thought floating through your brain, waiting for the right time to obliterate them."
Comfort isn’t my strong suit.
“Well what do you know? Certainly more than me.”
I couldn’t help but let his comment go straight to my ego.
“What don’t I know?” I respond, letting a complacent grin sneak across my face. “Didn’t I already tell you about the buruburu? Born from the fears of the deceased, all that fun stuff?”
“Yeah but… who are you? And how do you know who I am?”
I shake the mop of rose-colored hair on my head, pushing a few strands behind my ear. Why am I helping him in the first place? Etan’s obnoxious buruburu erased his memory; what’s the point of bringing up the past? At least one of us is fortunate enough to forget about it...
“You definitely knew me at one point, but we haven’t spoken in years.” I look up at my ex-best friend’s face, expecting to see a confused, wary expression. To my surprise, Etan is listening intently, without a trace of doubt or suspicion on his face. It seems that he trusts me now more than he did years ago. “We grew up together. Your house was directly behind mine. We would sneak out in the middle of the night to look at the stars, chase stray animals, pull pranks on the other kids. Typical coming-of-age mischief.” Nostalgia starts to set in, but I brush it off. He’s not the same person anymore, and neither am I. “We were basically brother and sister. Until things happened and we stopped acknowledging each other’s existence.”
“Why? Did we fight or something?"
“Or something. All you need to know is that you were the biggest jerk of all time, and we parted ways.”
“I’m sure there’s another side to the story”
“A side of the story where I’m wrong? Good luck finding one of those.” I don’t necessarily like being mean, but I need to assert dominance. There’s no way I’m letting anyone take advantage of me, especially Etan.
“Can you tell me what I did? I’m sure I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“Hurt me?” I say with a rather devastating eye roll. “Cute.” Usually, my cruel attitude is met with irritation, hurt feelings, or general disgust. Etan, however, is giggling, like this is the funniest thing in the world.
“Something tells me you’re not over it. And it’s not the burburu.”
I feel my body fill up with heat, making my ears turn bright red. My scare tactics aren’t working, and I typically don’t respond well to failure.
“Why can’t you ever take me seriously? I’m sick of not being appreciated, you always do this!” Rationally, I know that this is unreasonable. But I can’t suppress the intense surge of anger roaring through me. “Forget it. You didn’t care then, you don’t care now.” Between the abrupt wave of anger and a touch of embarrassment, my entire face is on fire. I have no choice but to leave.
I haven’t thrown a temper tantrum like that since… well, the last time I spoke to Etan. This isn’t like me, but it’s too late. I bet he hates me. Again. I’ll never admit it, but Etan is right.
I’m not at all over it.