Well, I should think so for time being.
I first met them in a nearby park on a walk, maybe on a morning, maybe on an evening. Not important for now either way. They were standing by the pond, feeding bread to the swans. Mother Elder – if that really is her name, which in any case is unlikely – wore an emerald green sweater, heeding the weather scarcely more than she would any other time. With her black boater she stood at roughly half a head below me. She smiled at the ground, smiled as she looked up, smiled at the vast space about her without a sign of wanting to cease. Something amusing, perhaps? Shadows moving through the trees? Interesting thought, and yet I have no idea. Father Willow – again, most likely a placeholder for now – was in the exact same outfit he wore at the lunch. He stood slightly taller at the same height as mine, and as he would always do, wore a bit of a smirk. Both wore rectangular glasses, the sorts that call the Industrial Revolution their home era.
Now, no one seems to notice me right away in recent times, and it was, well, a less than ideal time of life, so I decided to sit down on a nearby bench and lose myself in thoughts. Thoughts of more or less everything that would help me escape for once: maybe books, music, the swans, whatever. I sat down for maybe a minute, maybe five, maybe ten… then I saw an elderly woman sitting by me and wearing the nicest smile. The old man I’d presumed to be her husband stood nearby, smirking as usual.
I suppose that things would’ve gone far differently if someone under them had done the same to me earlier: weeks upon weeks of the strangest things had worn me and the family out, and I was alone, lost in fantasies, and more vulnerable than anyone else could be. Well, it didn’t. They said hi. We talked a bit about the weather and the little I knew of the news. Then I let slip that my family just moved due to some private matters. I realised what I’d said a moment later, but they were curious, and so I simply said what I thought wouldn’t hurt. They stayed. They listened. It was, well, nothing like what I’ve said here, long after I started to find out more about people with similar afflictions. But it was nice.
We said our farewells a bit after that, and met again there the next day. We talked about more mundane things – I think that I did try to get them to watch the Tintin movie a few times. Throughout it all I thought of how I’d tell mum and sis about people noticing me for once, but well, I’d talked about mundane things to strangers before, so I didn’t see that much of a problem. I can’t remember them giving their names before last Saturday, but they later gave me an address and told me to visit.
It wouldn’t have to be eldritch beings with ominous goals to do harm; just a sufficiently deranged person with an eye on teenagers. And yet I came. Nice place – bit dusty, but so is my own, so meh. Lots of novels lined up on a few cupboards, mostly from before the seventies. Furniture were as antiquated as anyone would expect them to be, with the inexplicable computer’s somewhat more inexplicable LCD screen being the sole exception. We had tea on every visit. I’m an adolescent male; why the buggery would I have tea with an old couple? But well, there weren’t anyone else, so I went along with everything, and it didn’t hurt that they, well, didn’t hurt.
There’s been too many times where the slightest bit of bad intention on their part would’ve done me a world of hurt, I suppose. I mean, we’ve all seen maybe dozens of people on the blogs engaging in what amount to horror movie clichés (thanks, spellchecker) and dying or maybe worse as the result. At any point throughout the past few months I would’ve presented far too easy a target. And yet they listened instead.
I’m not, of course, saying that blind trust has a trace of wisdom, but they’re here now, they know of what’s been after me, among others, and considering what’s happened so far, not in as convenient a manner as some would like to accuse.
Getting caught in the open after all of this would, of course, be unpleasant, but I think that I’d honestly like having some help on my side – on our side, even. Well, I do hope that that’s what’s happening.