THE WEIRD GIRL CAME EARLY in March, one sunny day, in the garden that lay far away from her home. In the city in which the weird girl had lived almost all her life, weird things were starting to happen. From the outside, it was hard to tell what was different, but for those who had lived and lost in this city, everything was. The winds blew with more water in them than this arid city could ever provide. The sun was like a flaming pie and it was only March. But it wasn’t about the bad weather, if it would have been bad weather, this story would not have been told, and the weird girl wouldn’t have come.
She seemed to be waiting—for someone to come or something to happen. It was hard to tell for the other folks because she just walked around looking at everyone through her weirdly huge eyes. As if she was really seeing them. When she got tired of walking she sat on one of the unbroken green benches and took out her phone. It looked like a slim black-coloured brick. It wasn’t a good phone, I could tell for a fact because it didn’t have a half-eaten apple imprinted on the back. It was just an ordinary phone, she wanted to click pictures with it. Probably for that place where these humans put happy memories. Everyone’s just happy there all the time. There weren’t many people around where the weird girl was sitting. There was a pair under the palm tree: his head laying on her lap as she whispered something into her ears. She captured them on her phone. There were five kids playing with a flying disc, and one of the kids always seemed to miss that flying disc. She captured them too. There was an old man around the corner, stiff as an iron bar but trying hard to stretch. She captured him. She then turned on the front camera of her brick, I’m sorry, her phone, and saw herself. She looked into her own eyes and made weird faces, she pulled out her tongue and tucked in her lips. And then sometimes, she’ll just raise her eyebrows and try not to smile. And once she gave her widest grin. She seemed to be lost in her own world, a weird girl, in a weird city, at a weird time. Aren’t these human beings weird? I sighed.
My people think that humans don’t fear being seen. But in the last five years and sixty-three days on earth, I’ve learned that being seen is what humans fear the most. They are hiding but they are just not good at it. As if nobody taught them that there is more to being invisible than just wearing clothes. Their technology is outdated. Almost all of them still wear clothes. I’ve seen a few naked humans too, but I’ll not tell you about them. From where I come, gentlemen are not supposed to tell such things. And what’s weirder is that they have even forgotten that the reason they started wearing clothes was to hide, to not be seen by others, and to not be seen to themselves. Now they wear new clothes every day, hoping that the other humans would look at them and appreciate them. They are fine if you look at them, but the moment you start to see them, they run inside their cocoons. It might not look that way on the surface, but they are always hiding. They are trying hard to be invisible. That pair under the palm tree is using this garden to hide away from onlookers. And if you’d look just as closely as I’m looking, then you’ll see that they are also hiding their true self from one another. The kid who just got hit by that flying disc is smiling. He’s hurting, but to save himself from the embarrassment, he had put up a smile like a bandaid. And that stiff old man, he’s just trying to hide from death. The inevitable home of all humans. Humans are so afraid of being seen that they can live all their lives beneath a mask. They are walking projectors—just trying to project an image of themselves onto others, and each one of them wants their image to be brighter than the other. This is all very blinding, and weird.
The weird girl yawns and then looks up, she sees me standing there. She squits her eyes as if she had just woken up from a deep slumber. As if someone had taken her from a dark chamber to sunlight, and now her eyes are trying to adjust. “You made me wait forever”, she said. “It takes time to see beyond obvious, I was here since the beginning,” I told her, “and your city needs you to do just that—see beyond obvious.”
“So you mean to say”, she says, “that only I can see you in this garden?”
“Yes, that is exactly what I have been trying to explain to you for the last thirteen minutes.”
“And you are telling me that I’m invisible?” she asks me.
“No one can see you before sunrise.” as I tell her, I can see her weird face becoming weird, her eyes grow bigger and bigger, and I wonder if they might just fall out of the socket? “Listen to me, being invisible is not easy, there are three or maybe four things I want you to know. First, you are invisible, that doesn’t mean you are intangible. People might run into you and discover you, or worse they might drop something heavy on you because they can’t see you. Protect yourself. Second, you are invisible, that doesn’t mean you are inaudible. People can still hear you. They can feel your breaths. Walk slowly on the creaky floors. Third, you are invisible, that doesn’t mean that you can escape motion sensors. There will be a lot of motion sensors in Krayton Hill, be cautious.