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message 1: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
It's not hard to tell that this room belongs to one of the more pleasant residents of the asylum. Unlike so many of the other rooms, it is not plain; rather, it looks cozy and well-lived-in. Quite frankly, it is. Carlos's room is a warm one, with dark wood floors and walls that have been painted to resemble the desert at night. Covering the bottom half of each wall are sand dunes, gently sloping and seeming to roll along in an eternal dance. Above them, the ceiling as well as the remaining top half of the wall is the painted sky, a dark, inky blue dotted with little dots of white: stars. On the west wall, across from the bed, a coyote stands, its back towards the room, painted as if looking out towards the dunes. Its ears are perked, as if it is listening to the distant call of the pack. Directly across the room from it sits the bed, a simple thing laid with white sheets and a dark blue blanket, a present from his mother. To the left of Carlos's bed sits a small nightstand, bare except for a digital clock and a large glass bowl, usually filled to the brim with green Jolly Ranchers (the shelf beneath it houses the bags which have not yet been picked through.) The only other piece of furniture in the room is his chest of drawers, which sits up against the back wall on the left, beneath the window. It is asylum-issued, and contains his clothes and, occasionally, his bag of marbles.

Carlos is not open for a roommate. Roleplay here.

message 2: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
Finally, Carlos's dorm. The girl who stood before it had gone through a lot of trouble to find it, and she was ever so grateful to be there. She knocked on the door softly, making sure the knock was loud enough for the patient inside to hear it. As she did so, she straightened her back and kicked up her feet in a little dance of excitement before she was able to control herself better to simply swaying slightly on her heels with a wide smile of excitement on her full lips.

Juana was quite honestly ecstatic to see her Hispanic friend, over joyed to be in his presence. That was because of the man she'd been spending the past hour and a half with. Evander was nice, he made her smirk, and he was a nice way to get her mind off of Carlos for a little while, but after that little while, Carlos seemed to be the only thing on her mind. How he was feeling, what he was doing, what they would be talking about if she wasn't with Evander. But she loved the time she spent with Evander, she really did, which was why the golden-eyed girl was so confused with her overwhelming feel of guilt for being with her guapo and not with her amigo. She felt ashamed to mention him, mention being with him. For some reason, she didn't want Carlos to know, and it was stupid, but it was true. And she liked being with both of the boys just as much. It seemed that the two fed the two sides of her. Carlos the sweet, loving, and giving side. Evander fed the coy, flirtatious side of her. Right now, she wanted nothing but to talk to her friend, give him a big hug that would last for at least a minute, and kiss both of his cheeks forcefully. All he had to do was answer the door.

message 3: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"¡Ay!" came the irritated outburst from behind the door (of course, poor Carlos did not know that the person on the other side could understand him and was not, in fact, a nurse.) "Maldita sea, ¿quieres parar? Yo no necesito más pastillas!" There was the dull thud of feet hitting the floor, and then a rather obvious stomping as the Hispanic boy stalked to the door. He flung it open with irritated swiftness, glowering, mouth open as if he were fully prepared to start shouting at whoever had come to disturb his peace--but then he saw Juana, and his expression went slack immediately. Partly in surprise, and partly in shame. "Oh my God, Juana! Crap, I'm so sorry, I didn't know it was you!" Immediately, a dark flush began to creep up the poor boy's neck, brick red and rather hard to see thanks to his skin tone--still, it was there. He thought that he now understood the meaning of the phrase burning with shame. One dark hand came up to rub at the back of his neck, a nervous habit. "I'm sorry," he repeated, a sheepish smile parting his lips. "Crap. I thought you were some nurse with more pills to shove down my throat."

message 4: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
When the round of angry Spanish had been hurtled her way, the golden-eyed girl had physically flinched, her antsy, excited movements forgotten for just a moment. She had understood every word that had come from the other side of the door, and they ad not been kind words of someone who was willing to welcome you into their room. On the contrary, Carlos had sounded angry and about ready to rip out the throat of whoever had dared knock on his door. She was a bit nervous when she heard him stomping to the door.

Then she saw his face, his rounded, adorable face, and her worry was gone before he even thought to be sheepish and embarrassed. How stupid of her again, to trust him so quickly before taking a test to see how he was feeling. What if it wasn't Carlos who had answered, but the beast, or the unnamed? For once, this didn't occur to the Hispanic girl's head when she let out a little carefree giggle and flung herself at him, hugging his middle tightly. It didn't occur to her that she was oh so lucky it was her Carlos at the door and not some other evil demon inside his body. All she cared about was getting rid of the heavy rock of guilt in her chest where her heart was supposed to be. And by doing so, she had to be with Carlos, she was sure. Already just by hugging him, she felt her chest get lighter and her smile brighten. Another back breaking squeeze around his middle, and then her full lips pressed once firmly to his right cheek, and then his left. A greeting, she said, a cultural greeting as she was sure he would understand, but was it really? She didn't know and she was so worried about whether it was or not and so happy to be with Carlos and rid herself of the shame that she didn't notice his blush or his apology.

message 5: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"Ummm...I'm glad to see you too?" Carlos had, of course, returned Juana's crushing hugs, and he even went as far as to peck both of her cheeks--still, they were brief moves of affection, and in a moment he had pulled back to study the girl, a crease between his brows and a small, concerned frown tugging at his lips. This sort of thing was so unlike Juana, he wasn't sure if he should be ecstatic or afraid. What if she was sick? Just to be sure, he pushed her away gently, put one hand on her shoulder, and squeezed. "Juana, are you feeling okay?" he asked. "You never greet me like that. Did something happen? Did the doctors..." He hesitated to say the words for a moment, for they brought a brief storm across his boyish features. "Did the doctors drug you? Are you the guinea pig for some new pill they found? You're not exactly acting like yourself."

message 6: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
Of course his worry was waves off. It was greatly appreciated and made her smile grow warm, but still waved off. The hand that squeezes her wrist was gently taken off with a little chuckle and a shake of her head. The hand that was gently in hers was placed again to her hip and she hugged him again, more gently this time as she was now realizing that if she acted too happy he would suspect something, think something was wrong, and the story of Evander would come out, and that was the last thing she wanted. She wasn't sure why, but she was sure she didn't want him to know about her French friend. And lying wasn't an option. Not only could Carlos see through her like glass, but she couldn't find herself to even attempt to lie to him anymore.

"I'm fine, amigo," she assured him with a little squeeze and a smile. "It's okay, you don't have to worry. I'm fine, just happy to see you, is all." She shrugged, forcing herself to keep her tone light and calm, as if there was no problem, nothing on her mind. She thought she did a convincing job of doing so, especially with the wide, sincere smile that had accompanied her full lips.

message 7: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"Well, okay." Carlos spoke the words slowly, and the crease between his brows deepened as he said them. "If you say so, Juana. Come on in--I take it you're here for something?" The upward lilt to the words made them a question, but the Hispanic boy didn't wait for a response before turning and leading the golden-eyed girl off into his room. He plopped down on the bed, tugged Juana down beside him, and reached into the bowl of candy on his nightstand. Two Jolly Ranchers were plucked from it, and he offered her one. "So. What exactly did you come to see me for, Juana? Did something happen to you? Something like...oh, I don't know, another boy?" The grin that parted the former slave's lips showed that he was entirely joking--he did not know, of course, the effect that the words could have on his friend.

message 8: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
Juana didn't respond to his first round of questions as she was being guided into his dorm (if she gave it much thought she would have found it rather embarrassing, having allowed a boy to bring her into his room and then his bed). He didn't have to tug very hard, the pretty Hispanic girl complied rather easily, sitting down on the rather hard mattress and crossing one leg over the other on her lap. She took the offered Jolly Rancher with a smile, popping it in her mouth in a way that could only be described as energetic. She had been about to answer his questions when her friend started to guess for himself and when he mentioned another guy in her life, she sucked in without meaning to in her surprise, and found herself choking on the hard piece of green candy. Her body leaned forward, torso over her knees, and she began to cough violently, her body heaving with the effort and violence of her coughs.

message 9: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"Juana?! Shit!" Carlos sounded completely frantic, but it was without a moment of hesitation that he smacked his friend firmly on the back. He might have been young, but he'd seen a lot in his days and he knew how to (mostly) keep his head in situations such as these. Again, he clapped her between the shoulder blades, and gave a little sigh of relief when the green Jolly Rancher, half the size it had been, flew out onto the floor. He completely ignored it, opting instead to turn to the golden-eyed girl, grabbing both her arms in a rather tight grip. "Are you okay?" The calm in his voice did not match his eyes: they were darting about, looking Juana up and down, searching her eyes for signs of distress. "What the hell was that? What happened? Was it something I said?"

message 10: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
With one last forceful cough, the Jolly Rancher launches out of her mouth, much thanks to Carlos's powerful pats to her back. Large breaths of relief came from her, and her hand came to the hollow of her throat, relieved to be able to feel her breathe moving in and out and through her windpipe again. Her eyes were wide and panicked, less from her near-death experience by hard candy and more by the words that had brought on her choking hazard. "I'm fine, Carlos," she said with a heaving sigh and a small, slightly shaky smile on her lips. "No, no, it wasn't you. It's just that I tried to swallow and it went down the wrong pipe." It was a pathetic lie, a horrible lie, but perhaps Carlos was so worried about her well being that he wouldn't notice. In her head, she was wondering how on earth he could have known. She didn't think that anyone knew of Evander, their relationship, their game. She remembered the hallway and how they had sprawled together while patients walked around them. How stupid of her! Lately everything she had done or hadn't done was stupid. The male population at the asylum was making her stupid and it was frustrating. She should have known better than to have been with the French boy in public like that. Carlos was bound to hear about it and figure it out, then what would he do? How would he react? He seemed okay now, but when he got her to admit to being with Evander, what would he do? Be upset, angry? She didn't want either of those things, she just wanted her sweet and loving Carlos who treated her choking on a candy as if he had just saved her from someone who had put a knife to her throat.

message 11: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"Are you sure?" Suddenly Carlos didn't sound so caring, so concerned. His eyes were narrowed, and he had knit his brows the way he did when he was upset or confused--or both. "It certainly didn't sound like that was all. In fact, Juana, it sounds to me a little bit like you're lying." The grip on her upper arms became tighter, a sort of warning squeeze. The Hispanic could tell that Juana wasn't being entirely truthful. Her wide eyes, her tense posture--they had been there before she'd started choking. Just before she'd started choking, in fact. Right when he'd jokingly asked if she were seeing another boy. It wasn't exactly the thought of that which upset him--though he would certainly be asking a few questions later if he found that his suspicions were correct--it was the fact that his friend had lied to him. Again. As if he were too young or too stupid to know what was really going on without loosing it. Was that it? he couldn't help but think. Did Juana really think so low of him? The boy didn't know, but he certainly didn't like it. When he next spoke, his voice was low and grave. "Juana, I'm going to ask you again: what just happened?" Another squeeze to her arms. Dark brown eyes bore straight into hers. The slightest spark of anger was evident there. "And this time, when you tell me, I think it would be in your best interest not to lie."

message 12: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
"Carlos," she said quietly, trying her best to free her arms from his grip. She managed to do so, and let her hands fall into his, gripping his hands tight in hers. Her tone was practically begging him to not ask, to not push, but he did and by the look in his eyes, she knew she couldn't even attempt at lying anymore. She hadn't gotten away with it when they had first met, and she certainly wouldn't be able to lie to him now that they had gotten so close to each other and so used to the other's body language and the emotions in each other's eyes. "Really, hon, I did choke." That part at least was true, but why she had choked? She didn't want to say, didn't want him to know, she didn't know why, but she just didn't. She thought their relationship would be so much better if Carlos didn't know about Evander. She felt so guilty for not being with him, for being with Evander instead, and he didn't even know about Evander so far as she knew. How guilty she would feel if he did find out, which seemed to be now if she wasn't careful. "Please don't get angry," she begged him quietly, squeezing his hands tightly on her own.

message 13: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"What do you mean?" The barest, barest hints of anger colored the boy's tone. "Is there something I should be getting angry about, Juana? ¿Algo que no me estás diciendo?" A million thoughts, a million fears, shot through the Hispanic boy's head, flying a mile a minute. What could possibly have surprised his friend so much that it made her start to choke on a candy? Had he said something wrong? Had he...had he accidently stumbled upon some secret of hers? And if so, what secret? What could be so bad that she would fear his loosing it, fear the wrath of the beast? What could she possibly have done? "Juana," he said quietly, and for once, her begging tone and the pleas in her eyes did nothing to subdue him. He sounded stern, upset, even a little angry. It was one thing to lie--he knew that Juana had trust issues, and that even around him they hadn't completely gone away--but it was another thing to keep secrets, especially when they concerned him. And Carlos could not help but think that this one did. "Juana, habla conmigo. Si no, voy a encontrar a alguien que lo haga."

message 14: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
The Spanish girl sighed heavily, scooting closer to Carlos on the bed, squeezing his hands once more. She was honestly surprised how angry he was and he didn't even know what it was she was keeping from him. That made her nervous, made her less willing to tell him what was on her mind, why she was here other than the Hispanic being her friend and her wanting to be near him. "Estás correcto," she admitted with a small nod, eyes downcast from his and if he were to see the emotion in her golden irises, he would see how badly she felt for saying it aloud. "Esta un otro chico en mi vida." Another squeeze of the hand. God, why was it so hard to tell him? He wasn't her boyfriend, and she hadn't cheated on him in a relationship, but she felt bad all the same like she did have a horrible, dirty secret she was keeping from him. "Él llamada esta Evander. Pero no es my amigo favorito," she said quickly, as if afraid that it would offend him. One hand escaped his hand and was placed on his jean clad knee. "Confío en ti entonces mucho más, que querida, no es importante." What was she saying? Evander was important to her! She looked forward to their games, her breaks, but she felt if he knew that, it would break his dear, sweet heart. "No confío en lo que confío en ti."

message 15: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"No es por eso que estoy enojado, Juana," Carlos said gravely. His larger hand went down to encircle hers, and he pushed it off his knee with a flick of his wrist. She needed to know that one, it was not okay for her to touch him at the moment, and two, that it was not the fact that she was thinking about seeing someone else which was getting under his skin. "Estoy molesto porque usted está guardando secretos. Una vez más. A pesar de que nos pusimos de acuerdo para confiar en los demás." He was not scowling as he said this, but his dark brown eyes shone with a light that was not pleasant--not quite angry, either, but certainly not pleasant. In all honesty, the Hispanic boy was a little disappointed in his friend. Didn't he do his best to make her happy and break her out of her shell? Had he ever hurt her on his own terms, when he was not being taken over by the beast or the unnamed? No, he didn't think he had; and yet here she was, afraid of him, so worried about what he might think or do or say that she felt the need to lie about something as trivial as having a friendship with some other boy. The thought did not make him very happy. "¿Por qué mentir, mi amiga?" he asked her. "¿Te asusta? ¿Soy un monstruo? ¿De verdad es tan malo que no se puede ser honesto conmigo? Pensé que las cosas eran mejores que eso. ¿Me equivoco?"

[That's not why I'm angry, Juana. I'm upset because you're keeping secrets. Again. Even though we agreed to trust each other. Why lie, my friend? Do I scare you? Am I a monster? Is it really so bad that you can't be honest with me? I thought things were better than that. Am I wrong?]

message 16: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
She avoided eye contact again, allowing him to place her hand on her lap. The other that was in his grasp also moved to her lap, and they hung together without purpose. "No, Carlos," she said with a shake of her head, fixing her eyes on his with an apologetic gaze. "Lo siento por guardar secretos, no quiero que te molesta y pensé que esto sería molestado." Sighing, she pushed herself off the mattress, crossing her arms over her stomach as she began to pace slightly. Perhaps now was the time to get everything she had on her mind off of her chest, so long as Carlos wasn't upset and from what he'd said, he shouldn't. After all, he was her friend, he was right, and they had agreed to try and trust each other and although Juana had not made any definite promises of success, she did want him confident that she trusted him. She hated him second guessing himself because of her.

"Estoy confundido, creo. Tengo un presentimiento que sabiendo malestar o sensación de bas o algo así, y odio. Hoy vine porque quería estar contigo, sí, y eso es más que nada porque cuando estoy con él, me siento mal porque no estoy contigo y quiero ser. También no estoy listo para otra amiga que quiere que confiemos en él, y quiero que soend más tiempo con usted, pero él sigue apareciendo, amigo. Lo siento." She didn't want to tell him about the escape she got from it, and she didn't think she was keeping that a secret because he hadn't asked. She didn't want Carlos feeling bad, that was true, and that would be what would happen if he knew that she liked to sit and flirt with Evander when she had had a stressful day with Carlos and controlling the monster. There, she had said what was on her mind, and she could only help that Carlos didn't call her stupid and laugh at her for thinking such things. It was a true, unexplainable thing but at least she tried to explain.

[No, Carlos. I'm sorry for keeping secrets, I just don't want to make you upset and I thought this would upset you. I'm just confused, I think. I get a feeling that you knowing would make you upset or feel bas or something, and I would hate that. Today I came because I wanted to be with you, yes, and that's mostly because whenever I'm with him, I feel bad because I'm not with you and I want to be. I'm also not ready for another friend who wants me to trust him, and I want to spend more time with you but he keeps popping up, amigo. I'm sorry.]

message 17: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
"Triste," Carlos repeated. His voice was quiet, very quiet, and he went very still on the bed. "¿Lo sientes? Por ser amigo de otro niño? Qué demonios, Juana, ¿qué es esto?" And the boy didn't even notice that his hands had begun to shake, just as they did when he got angry. No, there were more important things on his mind right now than his growing temper. One of those things? The thought process of Juana Rodriguez. "¿Qué pasa con ustedes?" he demanded, and his eyes flashed as he spoke. "¿Qué hay de malo en mí? ¿Qué es lo que me parezco a ti, el tipo celoso? ¿Por qué demonios iba a enfadarme contigo por ser amigo de Evander? No estamos en una relación! No tengo ningún motivo para enojarse! Eso no es lo que es hacerme enojar, Juana! Estoy enojado porque me tratas como una bomba con cable! Como si voy a explotar en cualquier momento! ¿Por qué?! ¿Cuál es su problema? ¿Por qué demonios tienen tanto miedo de mí? ¿Qué he hecho?" By the time he was done speaking, the trembling had spread from his hands to his entire body, and his fists were clenching so hard at his sides that the knuckles were turning white. Truly, he didn't understand! Juana seemed so confused, do conflicted, over him and the French boy--without reason! And now, here she was, pacing back and forth across his room and trying to explain herself as if he would attack her if she didn't. He would be honest, it made him angry. It made him very angry. What kind of friend could Juana even consider him, if she was too afraid to go and be amiable towards other boys without coming to explain herself first? He didn't know, but he certainly wanted to. Right now, Carlos could safely and honestly say that Juana Rodriguez was pissing him off.

((Sorry. You're sorry? For being friends with another boy? Hell, Juana, what is this? What's wrong with you? What's wrong with me? What do I look like to you, the jealous type? Why would I be angry at you for being friends with Evander? We're not in a relationship! I have no reason to get upset! That's not what's making me angry, Juana! I'm angry because you treat me like a wired bomb! As if I'm going to explode at any moment! Why?! What is your problem? What are you so afraid of me? What have I done?))

message 18: by *~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis), Life's a dance, you learn as you go. (new)

*~Silvypoo~* (Chaser of Artemis) (Silverfur) | 9992 comments Mod
"Yo no se!" Juana finally yelled back, her hands throwing up into the air angrily. She was worried about him and his temper even more now, especially with him starting to shake, but now she was growing slightly upset, slightly angry with him. She was confused enough about her feelings, feeling extremely conflicted, and now Carlos was yelling at her for feeling something she couldn't explain, demanding what was wrong with her! That sparked a little bit of anger from the golden eyes girl, and she didn't bother to hide it in her gaze, or her confusion. How could she explain what she didn't know? That Carlos was her cute, wonderful, sweet friend--usually--who she loved being around, and even though she didn't really know or admit it, there was attraction there for him, and then there was Evander who was suave, flirtatious, easy to have careless conversations with because everything was a game, and an obvious attraction to him. But things had stopped being playful the other day, and now Juana felt stuck between a rock and a hard place because she liked being around Evander so long as they were playing games, and she wanted to spend her energy on Carlos and putting her full trust in him. Now, though, Carlos was the one who seemed to be having issues with her. And he was right, they weren't in a relationship, she knew that, but she couldn't help her emotions, she couldn't help her confusion, and he didn't seem to understand that. "No hay nada de malo, y no se trata de algo que me parece malo, aunque no encuentro nada que te pasa. Se trata de mis emociones, pero no lo puedo explicar adecuadamente los y estoy confundido así que no quería hablar con usted! Eso es todo! Y lo siento por hacer molesto, odio hacer enojado o molesto o ambos, pero no creo que eres un monstruo ni nada por el estilo. Creo que eres dulce y cariñoso y un caballero, pero eso no significa que estoy dispuesto a contar todo ahora o nunca, ¿de acuerdo?" By now, she had stopped pacing, and she stood in the center of his desert-inspired room with her arms crossed loosely over her chest. Her voice went softer when she called Carlos wonderful and sweet, and it wasn't just a way to butter him up so he wasn't so angry with her. She truly always thought these things of her friend, she had just never really told him so before. Now, it hadn't been planned, but had slipped out during her long-winded explanation that would surely just make him more upset again. "Eso no tiene que ser insultante, así soy yo. No es nada para que te enfades sobre." That was wrong, she knew why he was angry, knew that in his eyes, he has his reasons, but Juana's mouth seemed to have no filter today, and she didn't think when she spoke now. Besides, she was upset that he was angry at her for feeling confused about the two boys who demanded trust from her. Wasn't one enough? If Evander got as angry as Carlos did, it was. Sometimes, like now, it seemed like one was more than enough.

[There's nothing wrong with you, and it's not about anything that I find wrong with you, even though I don't find anything to be wrong with you. It's about my emotions, but I can't properly explain them and I'm just confused so I didn't want to talk to you about it! That's it! And I'm sorry for making you upset, I hate making you angry or upset or both but I don't think you're a monster or anything of the sort! I think you're sweet and caring and a gentleman, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to tell you everything just yet or ever, okay? That's not meant to be insulting, that's just me. It's nothing for you to get angry about.]

message 19: by Hope , I belong here more than they do. (last edited Sep 14, 2013 12:36PM) (new)

Hope  | 14351 comments Mod
Carlos had to admit, the word did not pacify him. They did, in fact, serve to make him upset. Juana had been doing well, telling him that it wasn't about him, that she didn't think he was some sort of monster and that she just wasn't ready to entrust everything to him, that was all--she had been doing well to tell him that, and he had been plenty prepared to apologize for his outburst and tell her that he understood. But then she had gone on, and tried to tell him how to feel about the situation; and that, friends, was not okay. In an instant, the desire to let things go was gone, and the Hispanic boy leaped to his feet in rage. "¡Cállate!" he shouted. "¡Cállate ahora mismo! ¿Quién diablos te crees que eres, Juana Rodriguez? ¿Quién crees que soy? ¿Me veo como un niño? Un niño pequeño? ¿Te parece que necesito que me diga cómo se siente?" Anger, so much anger. Pulsing in his voice, burning in his eyes. Even if he'd wanted to--and now he certainly didn't--the former slave didn't think he'd have been able to quell the fury which welled up within him now as if from some endless, underground spring. He couldn't help it; the way Juana spoke to him, so condescending, as if he were this little boy, this small child who needed to have everything spelled out for him, was infuriating. "¡No soy un niño!" he exploded, giving voice to his thoughts. "¡Puedo pensar y sentir tan bien como puedas! ¡Y luego, no necesito tu ayuda para encontrar la manera de hacerlo!" Finally, the fight seem to go out of the boy and he collapsed back down to the bed, his fists clenched, his head falling into his hands. "Basta, Juana," he told her. Much softer, as if all that yelling had strained his vocal chords. It almost had. "Ya basta. Comience tratarme como a un igual, y luego tal vez podamos hablar." And then, without another word or even as much as a glance to her face, he raised his hand and pointed to the door. His implication was clear: she was to go. He needed time to think. He needed to be alone.

((Shut up! Just shut up now! Who the hell do you think you are, Juana Rodriguez? Who do you think I am? A child? A little boy? Do you think I need you to tell me how to feel? I'm not a child! I can think and feel just as well as you can! And I certainly don't need your help to figure out how to do it! Stop it, Juana. Just stop it. Start treating me as an equal, and then maybe we can talk.))

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