Sighing in irritation, the niece clarifies, “It usually requires the speaker to have at least some illusion of maturity, Uncle Owan.”  Having barely spoken these words, Kammy sees her favorite candy bar is actually sold in this shop…in the ancient history of another dimension no less!!  “Hey, you think you can buy us some candy if I pay you back?”

    Without thinking much of it, Owan reaches to check his account before remembering they’re kind of out of range to be using the home bank.  “Lady Duplica, how are we going to buy stuff if our money is no good here?”

    “Good question, Owan!”  Duplica is so proud of him.  “You must remember that Jo and I are both Infinite Warriors, meaning we can do virtually anything, so what’s a simple currency conversion to us?”

    Overhearing this, Entoni whispers to Grace, “I can’t wait until I become an Infinite one day, however long that takes.”

    “Yeah, tell me about it!” Gigi quietly responds.  “Then I could know what Paul thinks about me.”

    “Pff!” Gigi’s brother laughs.  “I don’t know what’s funnier, what he probably thinks of you right now or the fact that you care.  He’s probably all ‘Oh, what have I done to make my precious Gigi hate me?’  You really that beaten up about being a jerk to him?  Apologize.”

    “I can’t apologize,” says Gigi, “or at least not exactly.  I want to apologize, and I know I should, but….”  Obviously, this conversation is getting a bit more serious than Elf had bargained for, so the two subtly scoot out of hearing distance, unaware of a little pigtailed girl sneakily lingering nearby.

    “So, what’s the problem, sis?”

    “You see,” she explains, “when it comes to guys, when they like you, it’s not as simple as saying, ‘Hey, you’re cool and all, but I don’t like you.’  No matter how many times you tell them, they’ll keep being all…bleh.  The only way they get the message is to not be so nice to them.  If I apologize now, he might take my kindness as a sign that I’m starting to like him.  See?  I tried to sit with him to make Mom happy and to ease my conscious, against my better judgment, and this happened.  I’m just going to ignore the guy and casually throw a quick ‘sorry’ when it can be done in a way that keeps him away from my inner circle.”

    Tilting his head in disbelief, Ent ponders the last part of Gi’s explanation aloud.  “Keep him away from your inner circle.  You and Paul used to get along fine until he started acting like he’s got a crush on you.  I mean, he does a pitiful job of hiding it, but still.  He hasn’t done anything that deserves you being mean to him, other than maybe liking you, right?”


    “Well, if I liked a girl who was always rude to everyone and occasionally dishonest, you’d be sure to warn me about her, yah?”

    “Dishonest?!” Grace raises her voice indignantly, luckily without anyone thinking much of this, since…ya know…she does that.  “What do you mean, Entoni?!”

    Elfie explains, “Paul walks over. ‘Grace, am I bothering you somehow lately?  I’m sorry if I’ve offended you someway?’  You then say, ‘Nah, I’m just tired,’ but after he walks away, you tell me how annoying he is.  That’s pretty dishonest to me.”

    “….” Gigi hates to admit it, but this does sound awful when Elf words it this way.  Grace, nonetheless, insists, “He’s a guy, though.  He won’t get the message.”

    Lightly smacking his palm on his forehead, Elf says, “If he were seriously pestering you, we’d all notice and say something.  But either way, it doesn’t matter.  When you have to sacrifice your integrity as an honest individual just to play the dating game, whether to win someone or make them get lost, then you categorize the Christian principles we’d quickly apply to any other subject.  The Bible says to not lie, but it’s okay if some boy is being annoying or weird?  If you try being honest and direct with him, and he actually gives you a genuine problem, that’s what you have an Elf for.”

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