As it turned out, things between Jen and Sonny didn't get patched up as quickly as Sonny had hoped. And it wasn't easy going for me and Jen either, but we talked about it the day after, after Jen's Statistics quiz, and we managed to come to an understanding. Jen was very understandably angry that I had gone behind her back and took control of her body while she was sleeping to find ways to keep myself in her head during soccer games (with Sonny's help, and Sonny was also coordinating with the other Controllers on campus who were also playing other sports). I told her that I was doing this for her, because I had noticed that Jen had begun to slip back into her old personality (and I do mean her old personality, the personality that Jen had before I had infested her and helped her change). Jen was beginning to withdraw into her shell once again, keeping to herself and not really talking to anyone else. And it was beginning to affect not just her play on the pitch but also her campus life as well. I wanted what was best for Jen, and I knew that she wanted the best for me as well, which is why she doesn't like the decision to keep me out of her head while she plays. Jen understands why, don't get me wrong, but as she said, just because she understands why she has to do it doesn't mean that she actually wants to do it.
So Jen and I were now okay, and she had given me permission to use her body while she sleeps so long as it doesn't involve me doing anything that she wouldn't have done by herself or even with me. Jen was still mad at Sonny for going behind her back, though. Sonny was her friend, she explained to me, and Jen expected her friends to tell her anything that she was planning to do if it had anything to do with her or me. And I understood where she was coming from, but I also told Jen that Sonny was another person, another human, and not a Yeerk. Expecting Sonny to tell her everything was too much to ask for the other girl. Jen accepted my logic, but that didn't stop her from continuing to fume at Sonny, and the two of them didn't even talk at all for the next three days, not even during training.
That state of affairs remained until one Monday morning when Jen and Sonny happened to sit beside each other inside the computer section of the university library. Jen was doing research for her homework on the Theories of Personality but was currently browsing for memes when we noticed someone sitting down on the terminal beside Jen's. Jen looked out of the corner of her eye and saw that it was actually Sonny. Of all the people in this campus, she muttered to herself.
It was obvious that there was tension in the air between the two. After that brief sidewards glance, Jen was doing her utter best not to look Sonny's way, and I could imagine that Sonny was doing the same on her side. It was pretty clear that both women had been doing their best to avoid each other, but now here they were.
Jen, isn't there something that you would like to say to Sonny? I asked her. I knew that I sound very much like a human parent trying to get their child to apologize.
((Really? I'm not saying anything until she does,)) Jen replied. Just like a human child would say as well.
But what if she's waiting for you to say something first?
((Then we'll both just be sitting here with our thumbs up our asses until either one of us gives up or leaves. And I've got time to burn.))
But not as much as Sonny has. She just got here, while you've already been here for thirty minutes. And the librarians seem to be actively reminding people they've only got one hour on the computers today.
((Fine with me. That means I don't have to talk to her for a few more hours at least.))
Wow. You really are willing to drag this whole thing out just because of your pride. Well, you've had your time to sulk, and now it's time for you to patch things up. Unless you want me to do the apologizing for you. Do you want me to do the apologizing for you?
((No! Most definitely not!)) Jen shouted. ((And we both know that if you do it, it won't count. I won't count it and neither will Sonny.))
All right, fine. Have it your way. But with the Kandrona as my witness, I think that what you and Sonny are doing right now is completely stupid, illogical, and immature. There! I said it! You're immature!
((I am most definitely not immature! I am not! I am a mature, independent and responsible woman, I'll have you know!))
Not immature, my tail! Who still needs at least one to two pillows in her arms before she goes to sleep? Who's still afraid of needles? Whose room is still half-full of teddy bears and turtles and other stuffed animals?
((That has nothing to do with the current situation whatsoever!)) Jen insisted. ((All those things you mentioned are just me being me! This is completely and entirely different! Sonny broke my trust, man! And so did you! I'm only talking to you right now so you know how things stand! So don't expect me to be so quick to talk to Sonny right now!))
However, I didn't have to wait long for the silence between these two girls to be finally broken. And no, it wasn't Jen who did it just to spite me or whatever. It was actually Sonny who made the first move. I suspect that even she was getting tired of all the nonsense that she and Jen were doing but recognized that Jen was too proud for her own good to say or do anything first.
"So, how did that Statistics quiz of yours go?" Sonny asked. She was still looking resolutely at her own computer's screen, but at least she had finally made verbal contact with her friend.
"Meh, it was all right, I guess," Jen replied, also not looking anywhere else but her screen. "I actually got an A on the quiz. I'm surprised about it like you are. Imagine that. Me getting an A in a math-related subject. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the end of the world is nigh. How about you? How did your term paper go?" she asked back.
"Barely finished it a few hours ago," Sonny said. "I haven't even slept for real yet. Just closed my eyes for twenty minutes and then it's off to class for me already. You know, I could actually be taking the time right now to sleep but now I've got this essay on Hemingway I've got to write. And I'd rather have all of my references ready and waiting before I inevitably sleep in the middle of my next class."
What followed was an awkward silence in which it was obvious to see that both girls finally wanted to get this little quarrel done and over with, but both of them still believed that they were in the right and that they didn't have to apologize for what they had done. They both knew what the solution to their problem was, but neither of them wanted to do it because of their pride. At least they were both talking to each other again, even if they didn't want to look at each other because neither of them wanted to be the one to break up the tension. But Jen eventually did do it, and I didn't even have to force her to do anything.
Jen turned in her chair to face Sonny, who finally turned to look at her as well. "You know, Sonny, that I don't really like surprises at all," Jen said. "Well, I don't mean all surprises, but I didn't like the surprise that you and Yemra pulled on me last Friday. But it's not just that. You made Yemra go behind my back as well. You made her take control of me while I was sleeping. Yemra never took control of me without my permission until… until this. Now I feel like a puppet, a meatbag, a suit to be used when needed and kept in the closet when not. Do you know how bad that feels? Do you want to know how it feels?"
"Hey, Jen, in my defense, Yemra did everything on her own accord," Sonny replied, raising her hands to her chest in a defensive gesture. "She was the one who thought up of everything. She was the one who made contact with me first. And she asked me for my help, and I just gave it to her."
"What!?" And then to me, Jen asked, ((Is that true, Yems?))
Yes, Jen, it is, I said defiantly. But I already told you why I did it. It's because you're turning back to the old Jen, girl. And, I'm sorry to say this, but I don't really like that girl compared to you. I prefer the present day Jennifer Carson, thank you very much.
To say that Jennifer was pissed off at this new development was a massive understatement. The good thing was that she didn't blow her lid like the last time that she came across something unpleasant, but that being said, I could still feel the anger bubbling up inside of her. I thought I could even physically feel the heat of her fury on the underside of my flattened Yeerk body. ((When I get the time, you and I are going to have a very long talk!)) she told me.
You know, you sounded just like your mother when you said that, I said.
So much just like your mother, I added just to mess with her a little bit more.
"So, does this mean that you forgive me?" Sonny asked. "And that you're sorry?"
"Man, I don't even know right now," Jen replied. "I don't think I even want to! Just… let me think about it, all right? And don't ask me about it until I'm ready, okay? I don't wanna deal with this shit again right now!"
"All right, fine, you said it," Sonny muttered as she shrugged her shoulders. She knew how far she could push Jen on this particular subject, and she knew that she had just gotten there right now. Both girls, ahem, woman, turned back to their respective computers and continued doing what they had been doing before their conversation had interrupted them. Sonny went back to her research while Jen went back to her memes.
Suddenly, the silence in the library was broken by a yelp of surprise from Sonny. "What the fuck!?" Jen exclaimed as she jumped in her own surprise at Sonny's scream. "Did you click on a screamer clickbait link or what?"
"No, no, it's nothing like that," Sonny replied once she had gotten over her own shock. "Someone finally replied to my emails. I mean, thank God someone finally did reply, but still… that was a long time coming, that was. I almost gave up on all of them…"
What? Let me see! I demanded. Jen! Tell Sonny to open that email now!
((All right, Yems, calm down!)) Jen told me. ((No need to be all in a hurry about this!)) And then physically, she said, "Uh, Sonny? Are you gonna keep talking or are you gonna open that email?"
"Oh," Sonny said, as if she had just realized that that was something that she needed to do before she could actually continue celebrating. "All right, here goes…" She moved the cursor over the link to the email and clicked.
To: sonia. ma .allison1021 at gmail . com
From: Andrew _ East at MGHLaw . com
Subject: Your email dated September 1st
Dear Ms. Torres,
I am Andrew East, attorney and junior partner at the firm of Maguire, Garfield, and Holland Law Associates. I am writing to you to inform you that the firm has decided to take up your case and that of your friend Miss J.C. and that I have been assigned by the firm to take a closer look at your case.
I would very much like to meet you and your friend in person. Will this Thursday be all right for the both of you? If you have any other questions then feel free to contact me at this email address or my contact numbers, provided below. I do recommend contacting me by phone as I will be able to respond quicker to your inquiries through that.
Thank you for approaching Maguire, Garfield, and Holland with your case, and I do hope that I can get in touch with you soon.
Maguire, Garfield, and Holland and Associates Law Firm
"Oh, my God," Sonny muttered. "It's happening. It really is happening. Holy shit!" She then took out her phone and immediately added the attorney's contact details into her phonebook. "I mean, like, dude! It's really happening! Oh, my gosh. Maybe there is still good in the world after all."
"Yeah," Jen muttered. "Maybe there is." She tried to play it cool, and to anyone looking at that scene, she looked calm about it; definitely not as excited about it as Sonny was. But one of the benefits of being wrapped around the brain of someone involved in that scene was that I got to know what was really going on in their mind, and what was going on in Jennifer Carson's mind was, if not the exact opposite of calm and collected, then something really close to it. Jen had always played off having to take me out of her head during training and games as a necessary evil, something that had to be done because the consequences of not doing so were way worse than actually going ahead and doing it. But I could always feel the underlying sadness and disappointment in her whenever I got back into her head, even though I chose more times than not to not address it. It's not as if Jen didn't say anything about it though; she was always telling me stories of what happened during training or the games themselves, always with the caveat that "You would have enjoyed it more had you been there, Yems" because she knew that I loved soccer as much as she did. And now here was a chance, an opportunity, for me to get to enjoy "the beautiful game" once again.
Of course, when you think about it, Jen wasn't the only one who had to be affected by this conundrum. There had to be other Controllers out there who were also athletes, whether in college or the minor leagues (and maybe even the major leagues, but acceptance of Yeerks hadn't gone that far yet as far as I'm aware), and some of them surely would be feeling the same things that Jen did whenever she had to let me out before a game. But surely someone would have already said something about it before a certain Sonia Torres did, wouldn't they? Apparently not. It just shows that while Yeerks and Controllers have finally been able to gain recognition as beings and citizens with the same rights as that of normal (and uninfested) humans, we are still being treated differently, and both Yeerks and their hosts haven't yet had the courage to speak up against this sort of treatment. At least until now, and it wasn't even an actual human hosting a Yeerk who had spoken up but the friend of an affected Controller. Well, someone had to get the ball rolling, right?
A/N: So this is a shorter chapter than usual because writer's block really hit me hard on this one and I just wanted to get this done and over with. I also have chapters in other works which are getting backed up in my mind because I can't get this chapter finished fast enough. I promise that I will do better in the future and maybe not try brute-forcing my way through another chapter that's got me stuck. Oh, and while you're here, do feel free to leave a review or a comment telling me what you think. No matter if it's positive or negative, I want to know what you really think of my work. Thanks! – GR