Forget it, I’m not gonna let that little creep win. ‘Oh I’m going to win, and you’re going to fail again, just like you did with Kimberly, and everyone else in.’
“Just shut up you”, Travis yelled at the screen. His fists clenched and he leaned forward, jaw clenched, ready to rumble. “Come out where I can see you! We’ll settle this right here, right NOW!”
‘Oh come on’ the light spelled out slowly, mockingly. ‘Seriously, you’re going to punch out a wall. Let’s see you do it sport. This ought to be really amusing. Come on, fatso, what do you have?’ The taunting mauve letters had Travis seeing red.
In his rage he drew back his fist and slammed it into the wall. It hurt. A lot. Travis didn’t care, all he cared about was pounding that miserable mocking sign into paste. Four more hard shots against the unyielding wall had him in pain that he couldn’t ignore. it was then a sound reached his ears. Someone was crying. Her voice was making small gulping growls as if frustration was bubbling out of her, and her helplessness was driving her into a self-inflicted frenzy. “Let go, girl. I said let go! Marnie! Help! She got the scissors!” The urgency of the words penetrated the red haze. He looked at the screen. It was blinking off and on as her eyes opened, then closed.
She was screaming, helpless rage pouring out of a throat made hoarse by the self hate he heard coming from her. “What the..?! What’s going on!?”
‘I’m glad you asked, JIMINY. That’s all you, out there. Congratulations. You make my job so easy I have to laugh.’ The letters were a deep brown red like congealed blood. They seemed to pulse larger, and more ominous with each agonized, self-loathing scream. It took Travis a moment to connect the information together. I did this. I got mad and she got mad with me. No, I made her get mad. My temper became her temper. The weight between Travis’ shoulders was heavier than ever. I’m so sorry. His rage evaporated like mist. Over the screen, he could her the helpless sobs of the girl, and they bored into him with the realization that he’d allowed it to happen.
He looked at the screen, hating it. Slow down, what you’re feeling is part of what she’s feeling. I don’t know why, but it’s like we’re seeing things the same way. Or, are we? Travis started thinking more. He didn’t like thinking, reacting was a lot easier, but it also had gotten him a lot of regrets. Why am I here? That asshat sign said I was in-between, what did he mean by that? It’s like I’m getting half of everything what’s said. The other half isn’t being talked about. And he’s trying to get her to give in to that junk he kept spewing. Why? What is the big deal about all that? What am I missing? I can’t think. I get mad and want to hit something.
Travis stalked around the round grey room clenching and unclenching his hands as he tried to understand more about the so-called rules that the sign wouldn’t talk to him about. He’d occasionally glance at the screen and the hands at the bottom would close and open every so often. He saw the screen change to stare at a frosted over window often while he moved about the room. Every so often the hands, or feet, or body would fidget, as if wanting to move, but there’d be a lurch and a soft whimper that stopped further motions. The seeming helplessness of the situation displayed on the curved wall, and his own restless frustration at the predicament reflected his own thoughts and feelings. He slowed down, eyes riveted to the screen.
Is that it? Is that I’m what I’m feeling is projected? He looked at the screen again. It did say that I had to learn on the fly. I hope that means asking questions too.
“So what’s the deal? Why is she agitated when I am?”