For Her

"You can't just pretend trauma didn't happen," she said, unconsciously parroting the words she'd heard a therapist in a Netflix drama use. "And it's not fair to try and make someone not hurt because of their past. It's not," she said with all the earnest assurance of the young. Unaware of the life cycle of the Eloi and thinking they were all around her age she felt more confident voicing her opinions than she was around adults. "It's making them lie and - and we do enough of that every day."

She looked around as she spoke, trying to draw these girls from another world into hers for mutual validation. "When you don't smile all the time people ask if you're mad or upset or sad when really it's just your resting face so we smile because they expect girls to smile and - and that's a lie. Makeup is a lie too. When I don't wear it people ask if I'm sick or tell me I should put some on and try to look nicer. Or do my hair and they ask what's different about me or why it's in a pony or a sloppy bun. It's all lies," she told them, sure that their beauty and always put together looks were the same reality she lived.

"I hate lying like that but," Sofi made a helpless gesture with her hands, "it's, you know. Expected. We lie too much that we have to so it's not fair," her voice stressed the word, "that they expect y'all to lie about what happened. Or they make you leave because of it."

"It's wrong. And I'm sorry," Sofi reached out and took as many hands in hers as she could and pulled all of them into a snuggle pile.

"I - we should hold a vigil for her. For the girl this belonged to. Let's get some candles and flowers and, I don't know, teddy bears and construction paper to write cards with and let's hold a vigil for her." Sofi waggled the Memory Link on her wrist. "There has to be stuff on here that tells us who she was, what she loved, what made her laugh. Let's go through it and watch it and remember her how she was and not - not - " Sofi shut her eyes and took a deep breath before continuing. "Not that, not what we saw."

"Come on," she stood up and offered her hands to help the other girls up. "Let's make this happen. For her." And for all of them she thought to herself. It would help them heal a little bit maybe and selfishly it would make her able to wear the Memory Link as sort of a memorial and not a horrific warning.

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