At the outskirts of the city I parked my car in front of Giascle's townhome. A small two story home crammed between tens similar to it. I honked the horn and waited. Within seconds Giascle walked out the door and got in the car, smacking the roof twice before getting in. Shortly after I drove off towards Nefly's house. Music blasted from my speakers as the tall buildings that made up the city lowered and disappeared, revealing the suburbia that had grown around the enormous towers. Wasn't long before we were caught in traffic due to the construction meant for expanding the highways to help with traffic problems. Too bad it'd take another year to fix it.
“It never fails,” I complained as I lowered the volume to the radio.
“God just hates you,” Giascle joked.
“I wouldn't doubt it. Always seems to be traffic jams in the areas I have to pass through. So, since we have quite the wait, how's life?”
“Would you go as far to say it's peachy?”
“No. That's a bit too good of a life. What about you?”
I thought for a moment before answering. At the time “Everything Sucks” by Reel Big Fish was playing. As I listened to it I finally gave an answer. “This.”
“What?” Giascle asked.
“This song. This is how life is.”
We reached the small town where Nefly lived. Due to my horrible sense of direction when it comes to driving we ended up going around in circles numerous times, driving by the same locales repeatedly. Eventually we managed to find Nefly's place; a moderate three bedroom house with a bare green lawn. After inquiring Deth before I left to go pick up Giascle, it turned out that this was actually Nefly's parents house. Turned out she moved back in after becoming a bit of a shut in during school. There wasn't a car parked out front so I assumed nobody was home.
“I bet you she's home,” Giascle said after speaking my assumption. “Let's go bang on the door.”
The two of us got out of the car and walked up to the front door. I started pounding it as hard as I could. “We know you're in there, Nefly! Open the door now or else we will use force to let ourselves in! Nefly! Open the door!”
Slowly cracking open an incredibly terrified cute little Asian girl peeped out from behind the door. When she realized who it was she almost collapsed. “What the hell was that?” she asked, giving us an annoyed look.
“We need to talk to you,” Giascle replied.
“I'm not sociable today,” Nefly said as she closed the door.
“Come on!” I yelled in front of the door. When there was no answer I started banging the door again.
Her voice squeaked from inside. “Quit it!”
Giascle pushed me back away from the door. “Stop banging the door. Obviously she doesn't like that.” He turned his attention back to the door. “Nefly, we want to talk to you about your Magical Girl career.”
A moment of silence passed before the door opened back up, once again Nefly peeping out from behind the door. “How did you know I used to be a magical girl?”
“From a source I am not allowed to refer by name, but yeah it was Deth.”
Nefly let out a small “tch” before opening the door and letting us in. She led us directly into her room, not allowing us to get a good look at the rest of the house, but from the glimpses I saw it looked like your average house. Family photos on the wall, a clean living room that was obviously decorated by a mom, and some kind of plant sitting in the corner of the hallway under a sunroof. Nefly's room on the other hand was rather bare. A futon folded up as a couch with a blanket and pillow sort of just thrown on it laid along the wall. In the corner was a desk with a flat panel monitor sitting on it while the tower rest on the white carpeted floor. There was another door leading into a closet with a charm bracelet on the handle, but other than that there was nothing.
Nefly removed the blanket and pillow from the bed and placed it in an empty corner of the room and motioned us to sit down. “You want anything to drink?” she asked politely.
“No thanks. I'm good.” I answered.
“Water,” Giascle replied.
Nefly walked out of the bedroom. Giascle and I sort of looked around the room for a bit.
“Quite the decorating,” I said sarcastically.
“Tell me about it.”
Minutes later Nefly came back with a glass of water and handed it to Giascle while she held onto a mug with a paw print on it. She took a sip before speaking. “So what makes you want to ask me about being a magical girl?”
“I had an idea for a cartoon series about magical girls being without work due to a terrible economy, where even the villians can't sustain their evil doings and end up working part time jobs just to get by.”
Nefly let out a laugh. “That would definitely be interesting.”
“The idea is that it starts by showing a magical girl graduating from a 'Magical Girl Academy' of some sort, only to realize there is nothing for her to do with her powers and shit. It'd then skip a year and show her living with two other magical girls in a cruddy apartment living hand to mouth and show their wacky hijinks.”
“A 'Magical Girl Academy', huh? Now that is highly unusual. And how old would they be?”
Nefly made an objecting motion as she drank from her mug. “There's no way a twenty year old would be a magical girl. That's plain stupid.”
“Why's that?” Giascle asked.
“The average magical girl is usually middle school age, about 11-14 years old. There are exceptions, of course, but there is no such thing as a magical girl in her twenties.”
“Is it because they get tired of being one before hand?”
“Something like that,” Nefly said while placing her mug on her computer desk. “What happens is that by the time a magical girl gets to around high school age and has gone through puberty the will to be a magical girl goes to the wayside for stuff that teenage girls normally like to do. Have fun, get a boyfriend, yada yada. But being a magical girl for awhile completely kills the life they had before.
“Once they quit they realized all the friends they had before hand are gone. It's because magical girls are always busy fighting and trying to protect people that they have no time to hang out with friends, so they end up making new friends and leave the magical girl alone. Sure, some make friends with other magical girls, but quickly they become jealous of one another and get into stupid arguments that cause them to hate each other. A pissing match where everyone loses. So now the magical girl is all alone and has no friends to be with.
“Now, one would assume 'they can just make new friends', but it's really hard to do that. Being a magical girl can make one really jaded of the world. They are constantly shown how disgusting this world can be and it slowly breaks them down. The last thing someone wants to do is be friends with a jaded asshole. They take the fun out of everything. Plus they have nothing to talk about either. It's kind of hard for someone who spent the last three to four years fighting megalomaniacs and nearly dying fighting undead creatures and other sorts of weird creatures to save people to have something in common with a person who's just lived a regular life. Eventually they all become shut ins.”
“Is that why you always seem to come and go from the bar for periods of times?” I asked.
Nefly nodded. “I'll sit with you guys and try to blend in, but I always view myself as an outsider. There's this nagging feeling in my gut telling me to get the hell out of there. That I don't belong. It's a real pain in the ass. I end up having to put up a fake smiles and laughs and just end up wanting to die right there.”
An awkward silence filled the room.
Looking down at her rug, Nefly put her feet up on the chair and grabbed her mug, taking another sip. “I'm sorry, the more I talk the more I just bring you guys down to my level.”
I shake my head. “I'm wandering in and out of Mariana Trench constantly myself. So, how did you become a magical girl? Was it some talking mascot character or something like that?”
She let the mug hang off the tips of her finger, obviously having finished whatever it was that she was drinking. Her head fell onto her knees as she look off to the side, her face partly hidden from her hair. “I guess it was something like that? I don't really remember. However, there wasn't a little talking animal hanging out with me, if that's what you're getting at. I was alone the entire time.”
“What was it that made you want to stop?”
Her fingers twitched, causing the mug to fall onto the rug. Slowly she moved her arms to hug her knees as she dug her face into her thighs. “I don't want to talk about it.”
“Can you still transform into a magical girl?” Giascle asked.
“Could you maybe show us?” I asked afterward.
“If I did . . . I'd just kill myself.” Nefly got up from her chair. “Sorry if what I said didn't help with your concept. I like your idea. You should stick with what you had originally. I'm gonna take a nap, so . . .”
Giascle and I got up from her futon and walked out of her room. She led us out to the front door.
“Hey Nefly,” I said as we walked out front.
“Uh, well, don't feel as if you're a stranger at the bar. We'll be there for you if you ever need anything.”
She gave a small smile. “Okay. I'll try to swing by sometime when I have the chance.”
Nefly waved goodbye as the car left the street.
“Well fuck,” I said once we were out of sight from Nefly's house.
“What?” Giascle asked.
“I don't feel like working on that idea anymore.”
Giascle placed his elbow on the car door and held his head. “You'll figure something out.”
That was the last time I ever talked to Nefly. I never saw her come back to the bar again. Hopefully everything worked out for her.
End part 3.