She could pinpoint who stole the fer out of her eye that summer.
It was not one person but a conspiring few, who may not have known each other in person, who made their plans not face to face, not on WhatsApp, not even in spoken words. But somehow as if given the cue out of thin air, they came to an agreement to do what they did.
It all seemed mercenary while she was witnessing it.
I say witnessing because her body delivered a satisfactory social performance; lots of words came out of her mouth, her hands waved gestures, her eyes wrinkled into mimics, but in her head, she began to recoil. She began to realize that there was an entirely separate conversation being held underneath the conversation that was being heard. She began to sense that other dialogue. She began to see that she was being played like a puppet. Like the con at a diner des cons. She replayed and analyzed each moment as it happened. Delayed processing led to her going blank, exiting presence. This did not go unnoticed by them but for her, it made their second dialogue ring louder. Her awareness of this did nothing to snap her split selves back into oneness, rather, it emphasized that they were in control.
Although, possibly but inexplicably, this could have been for her own good. Some kind of teaching, maybe, how to take back what’s hers.