Saturday, April 14, 2012
Talking to Senara
Hi, this is Bree again. So, I posted previously (wow, I've been writing a lot of the entries lately!) about how we made a deal with the fairy folk, they called in the favour by asking us to take in a fairy girl temporarily as an "exchange student" learning about humans, and yesterday our guest, Senara, arrived.
For several reasons, the family decided that Senara should share a room with me. We could have shifted things around so she'd have her own room, but that would have made things rather cramped for the rest of us... and even more importantly, we wanted to keep an eye on her just in case, since we're not sure why the fair folk decided to send her to us. Once we met her, there was a third reason too - she seems so unsure here, I want to be able to keep her company. I'm not sure if it'll help that I have fairy blood or not, since I was raised human. Maybe it's better than nothing? Either way, I think it's best for Senara not to be alone all the time.
Yesterday, we just kind of gave her space and let her process things. That's not to say we didn't talk to her. We did, but when she kept it on the small talk level, we didn't push for a deeper conversation.
After giving her a day to settle in, though, I decided it was time to have a real chat. Senara was up in our room, so I knocked - it's a little odd to knock when it's my own bedroom, but I didn't want to be impolite - and found her sitting on the floor staring off into space out the window, even though it was dark. It seemed like she was meditating or something, so I didn't interrupt. I just waited till she was done.
When Senara finally looked away from the window, I thought maybe she had tears in her eyes. She quickly managed to hide it, though, and soon she was smiling again. I was pretty sure she was smiling for my benefit, not because she was really happy all of a sudden. I think she just didn't want me to see that she was upset.
"Do you miss your home?" I asked.
"Hm...?" Senara replied absently, like she hadn't really heard me.
"Do you miss living with the other fairies?" I asked, rephrasing slightly.
She nodded, then blushed a little, like she'd said something rude. "It's nice here, too, though," she replied diplomatically.
"Well, this is only temporary," I said, trying to be comforting... but somehow Senara took it in a completely unintended way.
"Thanks for reminding me!" she snapped sarcastically.
At this point, I was rather baffled. She had just said she missed her home. So why was she mad at me for reminding her that she's just a guest here, and she doesn't have to stay forever? I wondered if maybe I'd made her feel unwelcome. She has to know that this is payment for a favour on our part, not something we just volunteered for. We probably would have been willing to host her either way if she'd asked, but there's a lot more going on here, and that complicates things. I tried to backpedal a bit.
"Not that we don't want you to have a nice long visit or anything," I assured her. "You can stay as long as you want. Heck, never leave if you don't want to go."
Senara stared at me for, like, a full minute. Now, a minute doesn't normally seem like a lot of time, but when someone is using it to look you directly in the eye, a minute seems awkwardly, interminably long indeed.
"You don't know?" she finally asked. "No one told you...?"
I waited for her to finish her sentence, but it eventually became clear that when she trailed off, she had trailed off for good.
"Told me what?" I asked.
Senara shrugged and looked down. "Nothing," she said in that quiet tone that tells you it's definitely not nothing.
Realizing I wasn't likely to get any more info by pushing, and I might make her just clam up entirely, I said, "I just meant that if you want to be with the fairy folk again, you should remind yourself that you aren't stuck here forever or anything. As far as I'm concerned, though, you can be my roommate for life if you want."
Senara looked at me with this expression like... well, like I was being sweet but totally missing the point. "Thank you," she replied, and changed the subject to a complicated question about the constellations we can see from this latitude that I couldn't answer without looking it up online. I kind of got the feeling that sending me off to look for information was on purpose so I'd stop questioning her.
So... is it just me, or was that a little weird? I mean, I get it if she's just homesick. I would be too, if I randomly got sent off to live with her family, even if I wanted to be an "exchange student" - and we aren't totally sure to what degree this was even actually Senara's choice. I can't help thinking there's something else going on, though. Something deeper than just missing familiar things and people.
Am I reading too much into nothing?