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The Meaning of Friendship

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Puppycat waddles slowly up to the window ledge, eyes fixed on Bee’s Dad Box. He hears the whirling of machinery before he sees it. It’s different now, from how he’d last seen it, with its sides opened up enough for Bee to insert her arm through. Her left arm is in shreds, exposing cybernetic parts and ribbons of wires. Dad Box’s own mechanical arms busy away repairing it.

Bee glances at Puppycat as he nears, before her eyes flitter away. “I guess there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know about each other,” she mumbles out. Bee sounds resigned, exposed, but underlying all that, sorry. Sorry, because Puppycat is her friend, and perhaps her best friend, and yet she’s lied to him about something so essential about her life.

Puppycat studies Bee as she sits silently while the machine works away, patiently expecting the endless questions she’s not ready to answer.

 –But he won’t ask them.

She accepted him, no questions, the day he dropped on her head from the dimensional portal. She never questioned the sporadic temp jobs, nor his ability to speak. Puppycat would gladly do the same for her, because he understands.

He knows what it’s like to have some heavy secret sitting on his heart, and to try and live a normal life when he knows his own existence demands otherwise. He knows how keeping quiet doesn’t solve any problems, but it helps, because some things are better left unacknowledged. And perhaps, if he ignores it long enough, it will become reality. It is a futile hope, but futile hope is still hope, and hope is what keeps him moving forward each day.

Who is Puppycat to break down the walls that keep Bee the Bee he knows? He’s her friend, and friends respect each other’s privacy. He knows too achingly well how it feels for a friend (or lover) to betray that trust.

So, he stares and instead, asks mundane things in the stretching silence between them.

“What’s your favourite colour?”

“Mmmm lavender. Wait, no, pink. No-“

Bee is babbling like usual, but Puppycat can hear her relief and thanks with her every word.

He’s glad she’s back to normal. She’d promised to help him find a nice ending to his fairy tale, after all.