We sat around the rec room, quietly talking and laughing. Drinks were poured. Snacks were shared.
She stood in the corner of the room, her hands wringing in front of her, studying her friends. Her bright blue eyes traced every face, every feature, measuring them, studying them, seeing them. Looking into them, as if it were her responsibility to make sure everyone was safe, happy, uninjured, and healthy.
“We should play a game,” someone said.
“Truth or dare,” someone else said.
“That’s a bad idea,” another voice answered.
I watched her watch them.
“Truth Bomb, then!” Lisa smiled, and went to pull her cards out.
“Sophie,” I murmured. Her eyes snapped to mine, attentive. I nodded to the seat beside me. Wordlessly, she came, and sat. her back was straight, her legs tucked behind each other off to the side, like a princess. She folded her hands in her lap, her fingers of her right hand laying over her left to hide her disfigurement.
One by one, we went around the room, drawing questions and answering them, telling stories and sharing memories.
Finally, Sophie drew a card. Her hands shook slightly, and she stared at the questions on the back, trying to decide which one she would answer, and how she would choose to answer it.
She swallowed hard. She was close enough to me that I could read the questions over her shoulder.
Who was your first love?
What is your most embarrassing moment?
What do you believe is your destiny?
“Alpacas!” she smiled, her eyes glittering. She set the card face down on the discard pile. “My favorite animal is alpacas.”
“Why alpacas,” someone asked.
“They have fuzzy faces,” she grinned, and giggled like a young child. Her shoulders rose slightly, and she showed off a set of bright white teeth. Her nose wrinkled slightly. When people saw Sophie laugh, it made them want to squeeze her and put her in their pocket for safekeeping.
I drew my card and moved the game along, ensuring her lie would never be caught.
There were some questions you didn’t ask Sophie Cormon.
She stood as I took my turn, and left the room to find more snacks for the party. Her kitten heels clicked on the ground, her dark blue dress swaying slightly with her hips as she hurried to the kitchen, back where she felt safe.
“Where are you going?”
“The cookies are done!”
God’s gift to mankind in an apron and heels, we called her. Sweet, beautiful, adorable, kind, caring, gentle Sophia Louise Cormon. Skin like coffee, eyes like stars, brown hair cut to a bob, dark-rimmed glasses, thick full pink lips, and a button nose. Writer of stories and dreamer of adventures, a true servant at heart to every man, woman, and child who graced her door.
You never would have known that she had been born to be the most dangerous person in the world.
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