It was Tuesday. Another regular day, another day of the same old thing. Your fellow students continued hurling pretentious and degrading banter in your direction and your teachers continued treating you like a special case. You could no longer walk through the hallways at your school peacefully without being tapped on the shoulder by your ‘imaginary friend’. This amused everyone. Why wouldn’t it? After all, you were only talking to yourself.
You were currently skipping a lesson so that you had time for your appointments. Which, had become a regularity ever since all of this began. It was the same old thing. Your psychiatrist pulling you out of school early to ask you the same questions over and over again. ‘Can you tell me more about this Demon?’, ‘what does he tell you?’, ‘how often do you see him?’ You were growing tired of it. As far as anyone knew, you were a schizophrenic which of course, wasn’t true. In fact, you were incredibly healthy, mentally. Unfortunately, no-one else seemed to see it.
You took your headphones off and stared your psychiatrist unenthusiastically. You opened your mouth to speak but she shushed you. She obviously hadn’t finished talking.
“This, demon of yours… Can you tell me his name? What does he look like?”
You rolled your eyes. She’d asked you this so many times before. Was she just trying to make sure that you didn’t change your story? You honestly didn’t know.
“Sock, and he looks like a regular sixteen year old, I guess.”
She nodded and scribbled something down in her notebook. “I see, Sock is a strange name isn’t it? Can you describe his clothing?”
“It’s short for Sowachowski. Apparently. And he wears… Well,” You looked to what to most would appear to be an empty seat, however to you, it seated a very twitchy boy. He was so sick and tired of being dragged to these sessions with you, but he had no choice. It was his job to be by you at all times. You looked him over a few times before adding, “A light blue t-shirt, a brown vest, some weird beanie with yellow goggles, some torn black and red socks and a… purple skirt?”
“Hm? Is that his full name?” She looked down at her book and then back up to you with a slight frown, “that is strange attire for a demon.”
“No, his last. And yeah. I don’t understand his fashion sense. It’s embarrassing.” That earned you a kick in the leg from said demon.
The psychiatrist lowed her glasses onto the end of her nose and pursed her lips. She leaned forward in her chair and paused momentarily before speaking again.
“May I have his full name?”
You looked over towards Sock. He looked worried. You couldn’t pinpoint why, but he simply whispered a weak, ‘Jonathan, no’. You couldn’t listen to him. He had ruined you social life. Giving out his name couldn’t hurt him, anyway.
“It’s Napoleon Maxwell Sowachowski.”
Sock stood hastily, knocking the chair over as he did so. Your psychiatrist looked at it with confusion, but you quickly covered it up by saying that you had accidentally bumped it and it fell over. The small demon grabbed at your wrist.
“Why did you do it? Why did you tell her?”
You frowned, “It’s just your name, what’s the big deal?”
The doctor raised an eyebrow and you faltered. You keep forgetting that you are the only one that can see Sock. She was no doubt going to keep you in longer now.
“Is ‘Napoleon’ with you right now?”
You looked at the ground and let out a defeated sigh, “yes.”
She put her notebook down on her desk and ran a hand through her hair. “Jonathan, tell me, have you been keeping up with the news recently?”
Why would she ask you that?
“No, I’ve been too busy with exams and homework to watch television.”
“Of course you have. It is that time of the term after all.” She pushed herself back in her office chair and rolled over towards her filing cabinet. Sock had fallen to the floor with defeat as though he knew what was coming. You were confused, what did he know? What was coming?
“Ah, found it.” She moved back over towards you and handed you a file. That was strange. It had Sock’s name on it. You opened it up and browsed through its contents while your demon hid himself away in the furthest corner of the room. You couldn’t believe it. Sock had attended this mental hospital previously. You had many questions to ask. The first one was obvious, “are you allowed to show me this?”
“Well, technically not. But does that name and face seem familiar, Jonathan?”
You blinked a few times in shock, “yes.”
“Have you seen this boy at all before you began seeing this demon?”
“No,” you shook your head, “I never even saw him at school.”
“Yes, that may be because he was home-schooled. So you said you hadn’t been keeping up with the news so this may come as a shock to you, but that boy’s remains were found in an open grave next to two buried ones containing his parents. Investigations show that they were murdered by his hand and that he had committed suicide not long after.”
Your jaw could’ve dropped to the floor. He had never told you this. He used to be human? And now he’s what, a ghost? You knew you were being haunted, but not by the undead. You just thought he was born a demon and in your mind demons were alive enough. You stood up in your place shakily.
“I need to go.”
She nodded, “I understand. Though you do have another appointment scheduled for Thursday at 2:30pm. Be sure you turn up.”
You put your headphones over your head and pushed the chair in so that you didn’t trip over it on the way out. Sock floated up, weakly, and followed you. It didn’t look like he wanted to but he had no choice. It was his duty.
The walk back to your house was silent. You had too much processing in your mind and you were pretty sure Sock was not in the mood for his usual playful chatter. In fact, you didn’t think you’ve ever seen him this quiet. It was worrying.
You stopped suddenly in your place and turned to face him. His eyes widened in shock but he still said nothing.
“Hey, are you okay?”
He looked away and pulled his hat over his face slightly so that it pushed his hair over his eyes. You stared for a moment before reaching up and removing his beanie. You brushed his hair away and moved his head to face you so that you were staring directly into his bright green eyes. You loved those eyes, and you hated to see him upset.
“Sock, talk to me.”
Tears pricked at the corners of his eyes, “I didn’t want you to know about my mistakes, I don’t want you to hate me,” he whispered.
You managed a small smile, “as annoying as you are, you’ve grown on me. I couldn’t possibly hate you.”
He nodded slowly and grabbed your hand. You had no idea why, you just assumed he wanted to be comforted. You had to admit, feeling his hand in yours was nice. Your cheeks heated up.
“Jonathan... Are you… Blushing?”
“Huh?” You didn’t think you were blushing. You don’t know why you would, it’s not like you were in love with him or anything. At least, you were pretty sure you weren’t. “No why would I be?”
Sock smiled. It was nice to see him happy again. Even though his mood had just been as grey as the storm clouds that were building overhead. You were used to his mood swings by now.
“Well, guess what?” He mused, “you are.”
You pushed him away with a laugh, “Shut up, you’re just seeing things.”
“Nah, I’m pretty sure it’s just you ‘seeing things’ apparently.”
“Fuck you, to be honest.”
He smirked, “you should, to be honest.”
“What?” he laughed and floated a little bit ahead of you as an indication that he wanted to keep moving. That was a good idea, It looked like it was going to storm soon and you didn’t want to be caught out in the rain.
It was only a good ten minutes from the clinic to your home so you both arrived very quickly. You mother greeted you from the kitchen with the usual ‘how was your day, Jon?’ She was the only one that didn’t think you were strange. She believed Sock existed. She was one of those people that was low-key interested in everything paranormal. You had Sock ask his ‘boss’ Mephistopheles if he could make the little demon visible to your mother but he wouldn’t allow it. It would go against the contract. It was a pity. You wanted to introduce him to your her.
Actually, you knew he had real photos of himself from before he died now, so maybe you could show her one of those later on.
You climbed the stairs up to your room, jealous of the fact that Sock could fly. He didn’t need to exercise. It was unfair. You dropped your schoolbag at the door and he sprawled himself over your bed. The rain had already started.
“Hey, Sock,” He gave you a thumbs up to let you know he was listening. “Do you know the best way to pass the time during this weather?”
“Netflix and chill?”
You shook your head with a laugh, “well, Netflix maybe. But no chill.” Sock audibly groaned sarcastically. Damn, either he liked sexual innuendos or he really wanted to get in your pants. You didn’t know which it was anymore. You knew he liked you romantically (and probably sexually) but you weren’t sure if you reciprocated the feelings entirely. Sure, there was some attraction there, but you didn’t think it was enough.
“So what movie are we going to watch?”
You shrugged, “Whatever you want to watch, I guess.”
His eyes lit up, “Jonathan! Do they have Totoro on Netflix?”
Totoro? Wasn’t that that Japanese film with the giant grey rabbit thing? It was pretty popular and you had been meaning to watch it for a while. You typed the name into the search bar, and thankfully, they did have it available to watch. Sock wiggled in his place excitedly and you sat next to him, putting the laptop between you both. You pressed play.
The movie was progressing nicely and you honestly thought it was adorable how he had hummed the theme song enthusiastically. The whole film was actually cute, not that you’d admit it. Once it ended, you could hear the soft breathing of your demon. He had, at some point, fallen asleep on you. You ran your hand through his hair slowly with a smile. He seemed so at peace when he was asleep and you had to stop denying your feelings any more.
You had fallen for him. Hard.
You picked him up and placed him delicately on your bed. You watched him for a while before realising that it was a bit creepy. You shook your head and just as you were about to go and distract yourself, he reached out and gently grasped your hand. That struck you by surprise. He wasn’t completely asleep.
“I swear, if you’re pretending to sleep just so you can be cute I will--“
He opened an eye sleepily, “You think I’m cute?”
He smirked knowingly as he sat up in his place and you frowned. In a flash, he had deliberately fallen forward and kissed you. To be honest, you made a startled noise that sounded similar to a small yelp. Once again, not something you’d admit openly.
“y’know what?” Sock had pulled back and as usual, he had a smile on his face.
You managed a small squeak of speech, “what?”
“I love you~”
You sighed, “I love you too.”
“So can we do the ‘chill’ now?”