Part 3: Fana
You made this sound easier than it is.
It is easy. You can't be that lost for words about your own home. You've lived here your whole life, right?
What? But what?
It's like I got so used to looking at this place that I didn't see it anymore.
Like this. These boxes. I've been walking by these every day, for years. And now that I'm trying to write, I feel like I didn't even realise they were there.
How long have these been here? Who put them there in the first place? What was in them? These are a part of my life and I know nothing about them!
And so, my first words penned in the Book of Prophecy, ancient beyond knowing, doomsday and genesis, were "Empty boxes."
After five minutes, I added "In Rhoan."
I guess that's a start?
...let's just go somewhere else.
What do we do when we meet someone?
I'm sure we covered this!
Excuse us a second.
Could you stay hidden, please? I'd like to keep this a secret!
She can see me.
You're right in front of her! Of course she can see you!
She shouldn't be able to! Dammit, just...hold still a second.
...he's just hiding. He's a bit shy.
Hey, are you new in town? I don't think I-
I forgot. I'm supposed to be home this afternoon. I'm gonna get in trouble.
Sorry, I really have to go. Sorry.
Oh. Alright, nice to meet you.
You need to scan her as soon as you get the chance.
Should've mentioned this earlier, but you're supposed to be the only one who can see me. So either there's something wrong with me, or she's...
Hey, are you listening? This is important!
What time is it?!
I didn't wait for an answer. Just started running.
Seriously, what's this about? You didn't sprint halfway across town 'cause you missed lunch.
Shush. Do not make me talk to you in here.
Oh. I see how it is now. I'm an embarrassment to you, is that it?
Fine. No badgering you. I got it.
HI, I'M REMPO
...hello. Um, it's afternoon, actually.
Yes. Just after two.
YOU'RE KINDA CRUSTY, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY MOISTURISE
Bugger me. I need to get lunch started.
Old Helen once called me her timepiece. "When you come through that door," she said, "I know it's eleven o' clock on the dot." I always thought it was a joke.
What kept you? Go on upstairs. She's probably wondering where you've been.
HELLO, OLD LADY, CAN YOU HEAR ME, HELLO
What did I just tell you?!
Hey, I didn't make you say anything, did I? Just wanted to check the old imperceptibility wasn't busted.
Fine. You did it. Now please keep quiet.
Yumil! I was starting to think you weren't coming today.
Yeah, I...I slept in. Sorry I delayed your lunch.
Hah. That's okay. I keep telling her, "You need to get that clock fixed. Sooner or later he'll stop visiting and we'll both starve."
That's not like you though, sleeping in.
Well...you know. First time for everything. How're you feeling?
There was a cipher here, which she didn't think I knew. "Great" meant "Alright." "Good" meant "A bit sore."
Another bad day.
Need a shoulder rub?
It's fine. Don't worry.
Are you sure? Let me open the window, at least. Let a bit of air in. I can get you some cold water if-
Oh, nearly forgot. Here's your flower.
I made a point of picking a flower for her every day.
There's no story behind this. It was a childish notion I'd taken to years ago, and it made her happy. That was all the reason I needed.
Oh. This? It's, um. It's...
Oh my fucking god.
Is that from the library? I didn't think they kept stuff like that.
If you know where to look.
Later that day, I looked up "licentious". Coincidentally, Rempo got hit in the face with a dictionary. But with her question answered and my lateness excused, I set all thoughts of the book aside and enjoyed, for a while, the relief of routine.
Recount my day, mundane to anyone with the luxury of rising from bed in the morning. Recite my token sentiment, get well soon Fana, if only there was something I could do. Try whatever I can to make her more comfortable. And she nods, and she smiles, and she endures.
This was her life.
Yep. Maybe I'll come early tomorrow. Make up for being late.
I wouldn't. You'll throw granny's schedule off again. She'll be in bed by five.
See you tomorrow, Helen.
I just made some bread if you'd like some. It's on the table there.
Don't eat it.
Trust me. Just scan it.
I'm hungry, Rempo.
Look, it's just bread. I can find bread anywhere. Why do I have to-
Yep. Now you can do like your swords and yank a loaf out of the book when you're feeling peckish. Free bread forever. Don't say I never did nothin' for you.
I could've just taken it outside and then scanned it.
Yeah, but it's funny to watch the old lady's face while you talk to yourself.
Hey hey, your granddaughter's boyfriend hears fucking voices! Ain't that a bitch?