This is one of my favorite pages in this chapter. I know it’s a simple page. There aren’t impressive backgrounds or crazy action scenes. Still, it’s a moment I really love.
When I first started planning for this chapter, over a year ago, I had all sorts of crazy plans. I was going to introduce a new character specifically to form a friendship with Pakku. Which, I’ve come to learn, is a danger sign for writing. Any time a character is introduced specifically FOR another character (the Love Interest, the BFF, the Bad Guy) they tend to come out flat. Boring. Purposeless. Because, ultimately, no real PERSON exists purely for someone else. We have our own internal needs, ideas, desires, and drive.
Once I’d realized that was what was happening in my initial planning, I took a step back and asked if there was anything I could do with the (many, many, TOO MANY) cast members I already have. When the idea of putting Una and Pakku on a case together popped into my head, I knew at the very least it would be interesting. At first glance, they are so diametrically opposed. However, as I started digging into the two characters (including the interviews I did with Pakku and Una) I realized that they actually had far more in common, where it counted, than they had in opposition. They surprise each other, often in good ways. Which is, in many ways, the greatest surprise of all.
Have you ever had a friendship that was surprising to you, or to others? How did you become friends with that person?
Today’s Una songs…
– Loneliest Star by Seal. I talked earlier about how this is the song I most closely associate with me pining away over Cory, before I’d admitted to myself (and to him) how I felt. I was traveling in Europe, and I listened to this song (which he’d shared with me) over and over. One of the most pressing matters on my mind was what I could get him for a present. I agonized over it. It had to be personal (but not TOO personal because we were JUST FRIENDS and STUFF) and it felt like a test I’d given myself. I debated everything from a stone I found on a beach, to some ridiculously expensive items I couldn’t afford anyway. In the end, I settled on a notebook bound in Italian leather, to show my support for his writing. A lot of our earliest bonding happened on long walks, talking about our stories. Unbeknownst to us, our friends used to take bets on how many circuits of the campus we’d make, keeping an eye on their dorm window to see how often we’d passed.
– Dear Prudence, as performed by Siouxsie And The Banshees. Sometimes I just think Una should take a moment to enjoy things a little more. I think she gets a bit stuck in a bleak way of looking at the world. Sometimes it’s good to open your eyes and appreciate the simple, and beautiful, things in the world.