The Girl With No Friends
Full name: Ernestine Adgate
She is quite short and very skinny, which, combined with her close-cropped sandy hair and brown eyes, gives her a vaguely pixie-like impression. She likes wearing gloves, even in summer, and she is rarely seen without them. Generally, she prefers to wear clothes that are neat and professional, but she is very fluid with her apparel; she is very fashion-conscious, though not because she likes being fashionable.
Ernestine’s friends and acquaintances would describe her as quiet, placid, a good listener and a charming conversation partner, kind with a quirky sense of humour, and an all-around comfortable person to be around.
These personality traits, combined with her height and appearance, means that she is often reverted to the ‘sidekick’ role, the afterthought, the person whom people rarely remember but often rely on for quiet support under stressful situations.
But this also means that others don’t consider her role seriously, and therefore don’t notice the fact that she doesn’t actually form close emotional bonds with people, that she rarely shares anything significant about herself. People are content to have her there as a sounding-board for their problems, and are strangely confident about their conclusions regarding her character from the (very few) personal information she’d revealed.
In reality, Ernestine is brilliantly manipulative, possesses psychopathic tendencies, and has worn so many different personalities over the years that she herself sometimes has trouble distinguishing who she really is.
There are reasons behind every one of her actions, and her emotional distance combined with her natural curiosity had produced a brilliant mind who has no compunction about using others for her own gain and amusement — and these people rarely have any idea that they’ve been manipulated, and are even less likely to connect the mastermind to her.
Like most people who possess psychopathic tendencies, she is unfamiliar with the intricacies of emotion, trust and companionship between individuals. However, unlike most ‘psychopaths’, her lack of empathy and guilt is because she is emotionally repressed. She does feel sentiment, but they are often overwhelming and can cause hyperventilation, paralysis and, in extreme cases, unconsciousness. Therefore, she had quickly learnt to disdain, even fear, emotional responses to situations and had successfully taught herself to repress her sentimentality. (This is quite possibly the main reason why she was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder when she was young.)
All in all, she is a (mostly) self-fashioned psychopath who is currently ‘good’ because it is beneficial for her to do so. If you meet her, then undoubtedly you would be drawn into her (apparently) peaceful and kind nature, would in time come to admire her inner strength and independence, and sooner or later you would feel entirely comfortable in her presence, as if she wouldn’t judge you for your many flaws. Only the most perceptive of you would notice that she really is judgemental, that she has already figured out what makes you tick, and that she can very subtly alter her actions and personality to create the most suitable atmosphere for you to spill your worries and secrets.
What makes Ernestine tick? Well, don’t insult her for one — she is very proud, often to the point of vanity, and you really don’t want to find out what happens to you once you’re on her sh*t list. In fact, you probably won’t know what hit you anyway. Another one of her pet peeves is when someone manages to outwit her. Could (and did) happen, and she can become rather… apoplectic. So far, not many people have really given her due attention for this to occur very often.
But perhaps her most significant weakness is the loss of control. She fears it, she is terrified of this happening, whether they be the loss of control of a situation, of a person or of her emotions. Once it happens, it renders her physically and mentally incapable of dealing with it. She can be driven to irrationality in her attempts to regain control, or to prevent it from ever happening.
(And apparently, according to my friend who’s currently reading over my shoulder, it is logically sound to have a second character in this story who ‘really notices’ her, who ‘draws out her non-psychopath side’ and makes her truly care for them. EDIT : I don’t know if this is entirely possible, considering what happens if she feels strong emotion — maybe medical treatment is a viable option? If not, then I can’t see this happening.)
This post initially appeared as a contest entry to a writing prompt. With permission from the author we have posted it here. Liked what you just read? Hit that green heart.
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