She’s hard to talk to. It must be difficult for her to open up. I’ve had three sessions with her and only now, twenty minutes into session four does she actually say something of substance.
“Let me explain something to you right now, I’m good at arguing I mean I’ve been arguing my whole life. I’ve fought with my parents, my older brother, my two sisters, camp counselors, old friends, principals at every school and even the police on occasion. If you’re going to write down anything in your stupid notebook Mr. Dotson it should be this: Abigail Morner, argumentative.
But he is impossible to argue with.”
I wish I had a proper office to conduct these sessions. Bouncing from room to room has not been good for her cooperation. And I think hosting this fourth session in our interrogation suite was a very bad idea.
“Minutes into any disagreement he dissolves into childlike behaviour while keeping his infuriatingly smug wit. And his nicknaming thing quickly becomes name calling as soon as he loses his temper. Last time he called me ‘Hotpants’.”
I see that she’s starting to burn through the wooden table she’s leaning on, but before I can say anything she continues.
“Which was funny but in a personal and hurtful kind of way.”
She throws herself back into her chair annoyed, before noticing the small trail of smoke her hands left on the table. Her eyes widen and she checks her thermometer under her wrist.
“Great, my core temp’s rising. Look at me, I’m attracting too much heat talking about this guy.”
I ask her if she wants something to drink to cool her down, but she refuses.
“No no, I got it.”
She reaches into her pocket and retrieves what looks like a big neon glowstick. Gripping it tightly, she vents heat into the device, changing the fluid within from a pale green to a warm orange before setting it on the table. She is now visibly more calm.
“You know, I am thankful for his help. These monitors and heat sinks he and Nitro made for me have certainly made this temperature thing easier to live with. And I did kind've keep these powers on his recommendation. And I suppose I should thank you as well, Dotson. My life was very all over the place before I got here, it’s nice to have someone to listen after the… trauma of the “event” that happened to me.”
Her gaze doesn’t leave the heat sink, even as she does air quotes around the word “event”, until she says the following sentence.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m going to take this lying down. And if you’re not going to step in and stop him from bullying me and the other guys… and his staff… and even you sometimes Mr.Dotson, then I will.”
She says that last line with a half-smile and makes a move to get up. I’ve learned to just let her leave when she wants to. I stop her only to thank her for her time.
It’s clear to me that he is not taking the role of leader well. This isn’t the first complaint, and it won’t be the last. But I’ve placed too many chips on this number to back out now. It’s easier to mold him into a better person than find someone new, even if it means getting a little…
I hope my ancestors forgive me for what I have to do.
- David Dotson