“Do you like the sunlight or moonlight better?” Eli was asking her questions again. She always did this when she was bored. She was always bored since she came here.
“I like looking at light.” I knew that wasn’t what she was asking but I liked watching her try to decipher my answers. It was a game we would play. She asks indirect questions and I somewhat answer her question, then we both figure out what the other had meant.
“Caleb, which is better?”
“I’ve never stayed up long enough to see the moonlight.” She shrugged at my response.
“Which is prettier?”
“They’re both pretty in their own way. In what way do you want me to compare them?”
“Nevermind.” She was frustrated but that’s how our conversations ended. One of us would get angry and give up trying.
“What’s your favorite color?”
“You know my favorite color, Eli.”
“No, I don’t. You never told me what it was because I never asked before.”
“Yes, I have you must not have remembered. Well, my favorite color is a color.”
“That’s not what I’m asking.”
“Then what are you asking? What do you want me to say?”
“I want you to answer the question truthfully. Why is your favorite color your favorite?”
“Because the color is pretty and I like it. I don’t know why I like it so much I just do.”
“What causes you to like the things you like?”
“I don’t know, Eli maybe you like things because they appeal to you for some reason.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Why are you constantly asking me questions?”
“I need answers.” She didn’t hesitate for a second before answering me.
“Answers for what?”
“The answers to life.”
“How are you going to find the answers to life by asking silly questions?”
“My questions aren’t silly. If you actually thought about it more you would understand.”
“What am I supposed to understand?”
“That’s for you to figure out, Caleb.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Like I said that’s for you to figure out.”
I understood Eli’s questions. I just never understood why she asked them. Her question about moonlight and sunlight had been about good and evil. All her questions were about good and evil. Maybe that’s what happens when your parents die at the hands of someone else. I don’t know why she would ask me these questions though. She acted as if I held all of the world’s knowledge. What did I know? We’re both stuck here, in this broken down orphanage. We aren’t going anywhere or doing anything but she acted as if everyone had a higher purpose. She acted like she was supposed to get everyone out of here so they could live. She needed the answers to life so that people could live. I just didn’t know how she would get the answers from me.
“Would you consider yourself special?”
“No.” I didn’t mean to sound rude but I had gotten tired of her questions.
“Do you believe you deserve to have power or be in charge?”
“No, I don’t. Now, could you please stop asking me things?”
“Fine, I’ll stop.” She never asked me another question for the rest of the day.
I just wanted to know why but he told me to stop so I did. I just wanted answers but now I might never get them. He knew what I meant when I asked him things. Why did he act like he didn’t understand? What if he didn’t understand? No, he had to have understood. I just had to ask him one more thing.
“Why do you hate my questions so much?”
“I just don’t understand why you ask them?” Maybe he didn’t know what I was actually asking.
“So you like my questions?”
“Why are they so random?”
“Why aren’t you answering me? You always answer me in some way.”
“I am answering you. I thought I could be the one asking the questions this time. Why don’t you ask the questions you truly want to be answered?” I didn’t know how to answer so I walked away.
That’s a lie I knew how to answer. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want to accept that my parents were gone. I didn’t want to accept that someone had taken them from me. I didn’t want to face reality. To me I wasn’t in a boring orphanage I wasn’t an orphan. To me I was still in the comfort of my own home cuddling my dogs. I missed them. I missed everyone I had known. Everything was taken from me all because of one person.
“Do you enjoy my company?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you wish I never became an orphan?”
“I don’t wish anyone to become an orphan. Especially not the way you became one..”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, the girl who asks the questions in the form of a puzzle can’t figure out what I mean. That’s quite ironic don’t you think?”
“Like I was saying, I wish everyone was able to have a happy life that very few have. I wish it was that simple. To just wish for something and it come true.”
“It could be that simple but it’s not.”
“I don’t think so. Nothing can ever be simple that would be too easy.”
“Wouldn’t that be the point?”
“Yes but no. The world is complicated like that I guess.”
“That’s just the way it always has been and will continue to be.”
“I still don’t understand why.”
“Ha- I find it funny the girl with the most questions can’t find the answers right now. You would think you’ve gotten enough answers from other people to answer your own questions.”
“I never actually get the answers I need because you never answer correctly.”
“I wasn’t aware that there had been a right or wrong answer this entire time.”
“Of course there had been right or wrong answers I just needed to know which ones you would pick and you never did.”