"Okay, what's your deal?" Anton blurted, hoping his words would form a politer approach.
The girl's eyes met his as she tilted her head in confusion and echoed a mere, "My deal? What is that supposed to mean?".
Even her timid tone of voice managed to echo across a room. Though Anton Watersprout would never admit this to anybody -- or himself, for that matter -- this girl fascinated him. Not in the typical way, though, no. He had always found himself wondering if anyone like her could really exist. Someone with such a falsified view of her relationship with people, her effect on people, herself in general.
It's not that Echo Carnation was a bad person -- no, she certainly wasn't that. It was the fact that she seemed so decent that he always found himself in wonder about her. She made it her mission to help people, trying to make things better. Not just everyday, mundane things, but everything. She always wanted a hand in something, always seeking the better option. But if Echo had one obvious flaw, it was, by far, her undeniable ego.
It was the very thing about her that left him in awe. How could someone so seemingly kind in action be so seemingly awful in word? What gave her this exaggerated view of herself? Even her name was pure irony! It almost enraged him, he never thought anyone could be so conceited! But then he got to thinking.. He wondered if, perhaps, there was a reason she was this way -- a real reason. Though Anton was never one for psychology, he decided to find out exactly what the deal was with this girl.
"Mm..", he began, hoping the right question would come to him. Failing to resist the urge of pulling a Dr. Phil, he asked coolly, "What was your childhood like?"
Her brow furrowed. "My.. childhood?"
Anton could tell she was utterly perplexed. He rethought his question and corrected, "You know, like, your parents I guess? What are they like?". He couldn't help but wonder if they could be as bad as her.
"I don't really know", she said, directing her eyes back to her sheet music.
Anton was curious now. What kind of answer is that? "Why?", he asked lamely.
Echo, continuing to mindlessly scribble and write on her sheet music, replied, "I just never got to know them. They divorced when I was young, and they're both rather successful musicians.. I think they still are, at least."
"Did somebody else raise you?"
"Huh? No", she answered quickly. "They raised me, of course! They were just.. not around".
A slight rush of sympathy came over him, and he swore it shown in his eyes as he asked, "Ever?"
"Well!", she began in automatic, self-satisfying defense. "They already knew how talented I was! They never needed to go to any of my shows! Or anything! It wouldn't have surprised them, they know I'm very talented".
"Wait, what?", Anton asked. Now, he was the one in utter confusion.
"It's what my half sister used to tell me before she graduated from here! She would say.. that going to my shows would be useless, because they already know I was good. They loved me too much!"
"Wait.. That makes no sense", I said slowly, trying to add all of her words.
Almost in a flash, her face turned as pink as her hair as she sunk her head in her music. "It makes perfect sense. Why else would they never come? To visit me, or to see me perform, for my birthday, or Christmas.. They care too much!"
This was it. Her undeniable ego, it was always just her denial. No more words needed to be said, no debate needing to take place. Almost on a whim, he rose from his seat and quietly sat next to her, now understanding something about Echo that he never understood before. She was lonely, and she was never given the proper love every kid deserved. She was lonely.. and she just wanted people to like her. That was all.