Let's Have a Drink, We Really Need It

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Snow was starting to fall in the forest and the tracks of leather boots were clearly visible on the ground that already had a layer of white on top of it. The footsteps that could be seen were faint and did not seem to have a clear direction. Pieces of cake and parts of a porcelain mask were just some of the strange decorations surrounding said footprints. That staggering and confused walk was made by a young woman, the girl with no name, and at this point also with no destination: Nobody.

The young woman had not slept for almost three days, eating and drinking what little was left from the cake and a bottle of water. Exhaustion was about to kill her, but her fragile pace did not seem capable of stopping. She had barely noticed the state of her body, although she didn't really care anymore. She was oblivious to her body and all reality around her, the girl was immersed in her own bubble, her own prison, with no possibility of escape. Her thoughts held her captive and the fact of wandering without hope did nothing but destroy the little stability she managed to have.

Sometimes Nobody tried to leave that cold path, to run away from her mind, but the lack of energy and her deteriorated state didn't make it any easier with every step she took. She was already settled to continue walking, even though she didn't like her condition, she couldn't see a way out of it either. One day, while she continued her eternal walk through the woods, the girl came across a stranger in the distance. When she got close enough she managed to discern… a girl? Or at least that was how she looked like at the moment; she was an orange woman, and she appeared to be made of translucent peanut butter. Emily was wearing a purple shirt and black shorts. Nobody was looking clearly at an orange woman, made of peanut butter, in sportswear, playing with some birds.

I've gone crazy, Nobody thought as she looked at Emily Miranda.

"Hi, uh, sorry if I'm bothering you with my question, but who are you?" Nobody said in an embarrassed and a bit curious voice as she stumbled in front of her.

"My name's Emily and… Hey, are you okay?" After a few seconds of talking, Emily got a good look at Nobody, realizing that she wasn't in her best physical condition. Small cuts, torn clothes and her face reflected her tiredness and pain. All that had awakened Emily's concern, who didn't know how to react when she saw this girl in such a bad shape, even though she didn't even know her name.

"Well, yes, I'm fine. A little tired, but nothing to worry about," Nobody tried to step forward to show Emily that she could keep walking without difficulty, but her legs couldn't take it anymore. The girl fell to the ground and almost instantly lost consciousness for a few seconds due to exhaustion. So many days without rest and immersed in her mind had taken a toll on her health, so a good rest would've been good for her.

Emily panicked right then and there. The girl had simply vanished in front of her and she was all alone at that moment. After a few seconds of uncertainty, the girl in orange approached Nobody's limp body and asked her if she was okay.

"Oh, yes, kind of. If you can, please take me somewhere to rest a bit, I'm in pain and I can't move. Oh, and one more thing, thanks for caring about me." Nobody had already realized that she was unable to get up, so after she spoke to the orange girl she closed her eyes again. After the huge relief that came with hearing Nobody speak, Emily proceeded to think of a safe place to take her to. The orange girl remembered her Spacetime Stabilizer was at hand. Nerves made her forget about it, but now she had to be quick in finding a place to go. That's why the city of Three Portlands came to her mind. It seemed to be the best option at the time. There was no hint of civilization nearby and Nobody needed to rest.

After a few hours, Nobody woke up in a bar. The place looked quite large, it was made of seemingly good quality wood, but you could hear the boards creaking a bit due to their age. Though this sound was overshadowed by the great stage show that was going on at a small platform. The tables were brown, each one separated by one or two meters. After a group of 10 tables was the counter, with all its bottles, and right there was Emily, drinking a Fanta.

Nobody got up from the black couch she was in, it made of leather and was covered in spilled alcohol and a couple of empty bottles, but it felt oddly comfortable. Switching from the smell of forest branches to the smell of whiskey and beers surprised her a little, but smelling squirrels and raccoons wasn't something she was going to miss. After getting up, Nobody walked over to Emily. She had a slight headache and bumped into a few chairs as she made her way to Emily's side. Nobody ordered some red wine from the bartender as she looked for a way to start a conversation with her savior, but her thoughts were interrupted by the orange girl's voice.

"Hey, welcome back to the world, I hope you're feeling a bit revitalized. You do look more relaxed." Emily said as she gestured for another Fanta.

"Thank you! Yeah, I'm doing much better. Sorry I didn't even get to introduce myself. You saw I wasn't doing so well. My name's Nobody, and if I remember correctly you're Emily. Thank you very much for bringing me here."

Nobody had a faint smile on her face as she was handed the wine she ordered. It had been a long time since the young woman had been in a nice, peaceful place.

"Yeah, my name's Emily. Nobody, kind of a strange name, but it does sound familiar." Emily tried to remember where she had heard that name from, but it was a memory that didn't register very well.

"It's a long story, Nobody is both a name and a 'title', although it's more of a curse, I'd rather not talk about that for now. Instead, let's talk a little about you, how did you learn about the anomalous world? I'm bringing this up because I've met some quirky people, but this is the first time I've seen an orange girl. I'm sorry if that sounds a bit rude."

Nobody shrugged at the last sentence, she didn't know if what she had said might have annoyed Emily. But that was far from the truth. Not sure if it was because of the weird effect that Fanta had on her body, or if it was because they both were in a more cheerful mood, Emily actually took the comment with a bit of amusement.

"Ha, I'm not some kind of freaky experiment or something in case you're wondering. I'm part of the Orange Ones, a species that came into the world to make everyone happy and help people." Emily tried to raise her head as she said this, but seconds later she lowered it again to take a sip of her Fanta.

"That sounds a tad…" Before Nobody could even manage to organize her thoughts, she was interrupted by Emily.

"Yes, I know it sounds stupid, everyone says that. But it's something we have to try, people go through very difficult things and we were born to be and make everyone happy." Emily's voice sounded like she was talking to herself, trying to convince herself that all her words were true.

"You don't seem very confident when you say that, and you don't seem very happy either. I don't understand, what's wrong?" Nobody was a little intrigued to know what was wrong with Emily, all the while thinking about how she could help her.

"It's not like I know how to properly describe it either. I recently broke up with my girlfriend and things aren't going the way I would like them to. In a few days I'll go back to work and I feel like a fool that no one takes seriously in there, one that everybody sees as naive. But they're the naive ones if they think they can make everyone happy. I tried with all my heart and now I'm alone, without the person I love simply because she's with the Jailors. Both Rebeca and I are not happy right now. Why would we be happy? Sometimes I feel like everything I have fought for is useless, and that's impossible because there would be no reason to keep pursuing happiness and I still want everyone to be happy, but I doubt that what we do is enough."

Emily was confused and drunk, and had gone from being happy for Nobody's recovery to being consumed by all of her problems. She still had faith in the Orange Union, but she wasn't going to feel comfortable knowing that it wasn't possible to keep everyone happy.

"Girl, being happy all the time is impossible and I can tell you that from experience, a lot of experience. Life takes very cruel turns and it's impossible to be always happy, the most important thing is to get back on your feet. If I wanted to make people happy, I wouldn't try to make them happy in every situation. You're distant from the person you love the most, it's impossible for you to be alright. But if you weren't separated from her, would you be better? I know the answer is probably no, since you broke up for a reason. Sometimes pain is a step, a transition to a new stage of joy. Other times, it ends up leading you to a deep abyss from which you won't be able to get out, and I think that's what should be avoided in order to have happiness, at least with those who still have a chance. You know… I would rather avoid a lot of things that happened to me and that would probably make me a lot less unhappy, or so I think. Maybe if it wasn't too late for me. Just don't eat yourself up inside, effort is more than helpful for any sad person in these cases, I assure you. The good thing is that your people are still pursuing happiness for everyone, it's good to know that there are still people who haven't given up on that. I never had any hope of ever winning the fight for happiness, not even for myself." Nobody finished talking with a weak voice, what she said made her think about what would've happened if she could have avoided being 'Nobody', if she would have had the opportunity to remain with her friends. Maybe she really would've been happy and wouldn't have gone through such an endless torture.

Emily spent a few seconds reflecting on Nobody's response. She was relieved to know that, even outside of her species, there were people who supported the ideals of the Union. She knew that life was going to have its ups and downs, but she always kept in mind that helping people who were already sad was the only option. It brought a smile to her face to know that she had been wrong. Helping the world and making it a less troubled place would in turn make it a less sad place, it would make sad people happy and keep others from falling into sadness. The more she thought about it, the more beautiful the idea became to her.

"Thank you for bringing a smile to my face, Nobody, haha. Okay, now tell me about yourself. How did you find out about the anomalous? And what were you doing wandering in the woods?"

"Me? Well, I learned about the anomalous from my dad. He worked at the Foundation and was one of their best doctors, he taught me the basics of most things; Thaumaturgy, Anart, Anomalous Biology, Memetic Agents, and other stuff I could never remember. A few 'rebellious' years of trying to become an anartist, heh, that was a pretty funny time. I remember trying to make a three-headed polar bear ride a unicycle, but I'm rambling. Then my father died, because of a containment breach. I was miserable for a while until I met my best friends and my girlfriend. They're Black Queens, kind of other versions of myself from very different timelines. I was very happy with them, but this moment came. I became Nobody and literally ended up in a place where I couldn't be with them anymore, and it's been very, very hard for me. In the forest, I can tell you that I didn't feel like myself, it was as if my life was lost and I was just there wandering in existence. It's hard to feel like you are nothing in your own life. Though, well, at that time I reflected and I realized I had to fight."

"Oh, I'm sorry all of that had happened to you, I understand that you weren't at your best when I found you. But who are you going to fight against?" Emily was surprised by everything Nobody told her, she had no idea how it would've felt to live a situation like that, but it didn't sound nice.

"Against a part of me that is killing me. But truth is, I don't know if I'm going to make it and I'm afraid I'm just an incompetent trying to get out of a dead end."

"I understand why you are afraid. That fight is a closure, you are going to end a very painful chapter. I understand very well your nervousness, I felt it when Rebeca and I were breaking up. But I also can tell you that you're not incompetent, you managed to overcome a lot and you're still alive, so, I advise you to go and fight even with your nervousness. Because that 'battle' is perhaps the most important one you're going to fight."

Emily watched Nobody, who had hope in her eyes after hearing her words. The once Black Queen was smiling, hoping that Emily's words were real. Both girls realized that the Fanta and the alcohol had run out, and both of them had realized which way they needed to go. However, before doing so, the two new friends had to say their goodbyes.

"Goodbye, Emily. I know I can't help you a lot, but I want to leave you this tiara." Nobody took her hat and took the tiara out of it, giving it to Emily. "I know it's not much, but take it as a reminder that you can make people very happy like you did with me today."

Emily, on her part, grabbed a small purse with a red hair ribbon inside.

"I want to give you this. It's a ribbon I used to wear when I was a child and I always kept it to have some, uh, luck, I think, that's why I wore it when I was nervous. I hope it'll be useful to you."

They both took the gifts gratefully and put them away. They paid the bill and headed for the door. The two girls hugged and thanked each other, as they went in opposite directions. But they were ultimately going to the same place: their futures.

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