Primea's words were always strained. Even when she had gotten accustomed to speaking.
Unlike "Nana" who had begun to pick up the gentle, mocking tone of their housemate, and Nessiah who had picked up her habit of cursing loudly at frequent intervals, Primea's voice was always quiet, pained, and full of life.
Rooms painted with gray didn't suit her, and her determination to feel at home had driven her to cover the wall in paintings and posters. Childish keepsakes and history books far beyond her comprehension lined the red-tinted shelves.
Spending most of her time unable to speak, Primea forced her older companion to teach her everything he knew about writing. Her desire for knowledge reminded Nessiah of himself and he found himself somewhat impressed with the speed that Primea took in knowledge at. Always burning with an insatiable urge to learn and improve, the books on her shelves slowly took over her room and eventually you'd be hard pressed to get her out of being hopelessly absorbed in whatever she was reading.
Nana cautiously opened the door to Primea's room, and called her companion's name. A spot of pink behind a pile of old books she was sure that were stolen from their housemate's room turned into the form of a young girl.
"Just a minute!" Her voice wasn't as strained anymore. Nana closed the door and smiled to herself. She was sure Nessiah knew about the missing books, so she didn't bother telling him. He probably didn't care.
After she grew tired of reading, she returned the books she borrowed and set out to see the town they lived in. Always coming back with new stories, Primea set to work, writing the names of every person she met. Eventually, with concern for their young companion, Nana and Nessiah pressured the latter’s husband to accompany her.
Gulcasa and Primea were certainly a sight to behold, the small streets felt even smaller with Gulcasa there, and Primea’s cheerful and immature attitude only made him feel more imposing. He was a giant next to a child armed only with a notebook and a disarming smile.
People on the streets gave them odd looks, it was a small town and cars were a rarity, as they were rarely allowed within the confines of the campus, and most would argue that the entire town qualified as part of it.
Primea took in the world around her and if not for her “chaperone” (as Nana had mockingly called Gulcasa once during a dinner of burnt meat and spices that ate through the plate.) she would have crashed into other passerbys. Not that she would mind, as she quickly recovered after one such incident and began asking the girl she crashed into question after question, eventually making a promise to meet at a nearby coffee shop the next day.
That night, dinner was slightly less burnt.
The coffee shop ran by a woman who hated Gulcasa with a passion, and her best friend, a man with silver hair which didn’t fit somebody who was clearly in his twenties, was warm. It smelled pleasant and Primea found herself daydreaming as she sat a table away from Gulcasa, who was constantly checking the back of his wrist.
When the girl arrived, she immediately walked over to Gulcasa and introduced herself as “Gudrun or Kriemhilt or whatever works for you, sir!” and quietly asked him something that Primea herself didn’t hear, but the laugh given in response led her to assume that he was her father. An easy mistake to make as they both held the same seemingly blind optimism (though Gulcasa had become less trusting with time and more prone to bouts of pessimism) and Gulcasa stood over her like a bodyguard.
Gudrun, once she finished her introduction, turned to Primea and bowed deeply.
“It’s nice to see you again!”
Primea always had a lot to say, but she was good at listening, so while Gudrun talked about her studies and her surrogate father (and her love of cheese, which Gulcasa found amusing for some reason.) she rested her head in her hands and listened.
“So what are you studying?” Gudrun finally asked, to her surprise Primea laughed nervously.
“I’m not… I just live here with my guardians.” The girl smiled sheepishly as Gudrun put her hands on the table and leaned forward.
“But I always see you writing stuff down! And everyone always talks about how you keep asking about everything around you- and all those books, and...and!!!”
“Heh… I wish I was studying here…” Primea sighed dreamily. “I just don’t have a chance to….”
Even Primea, who loved to talk wouldn’t bring up her past inability to speak, or that she still doesn’t have an aim in life.
After a minute of awkward silence, the sound of somebody slamming a cup onto the small table they were sitting at broke the quiet spell.
The owner of the shop, bearing a frustrated smirk, pushed two drinks toward them. Gudrun had opened her mouth to thank her but was met with the woman storming over to Gulcasa’s table and cursing him out.
Primea was sure that if there was anybody else there, they would have filed a complaint.
At the end of the day, Primea found herself cheerfully rattling on about her time with Gudrun. Nana only responding with a remark about her finally talking about something other than her pursuit for knowledge. She was sure they both knew that there was little chance of Primea getting a chance to pursue her studies here, but she didn’t seem to mind. Nothing seemed to phase her these days actually.
It was a nice change, seeing the girl finally able to do what she’d always wanted.