Tick. Tock.
The clock on the wall continued to break the thick, steady air of silence.
Which was honestly slightly annoying. After all, time doesn’t concern him.
His world is limited within this small room with it’s white walls.
Bed, pillows, blankets.
A wardrobe and bookshelf.
One human sized mirror that was always covered.
That’s all his “current world” consisted of. His thoughts were rudely interrupted by a fly which thought it was perfectly fine to sit on his long wooden nose. The doll felt like swatting it with his hard hands but unfortunately his movements were extremely limited.. It was rather sad. Considering the fact that he was designed after some fairytale character, his life didn’t turn out the same way.
It was then he heard a small click.
His lifeless eyes caught the figure pushing the door open.
That person entered the room, the other inhabitant.
Round face, thin lips.

But something was a bit off. Shetu’s dark bushy hair was a mess. His uniform was ragged and caked with dirt.
White shirt turned to brown.
Buttons in the wrong buttonhole.
Clothes ripped in places.
The tie around his neck was askew.
Shetu silently closed the door and gently, very gently he slid down and landed on the floor along with his backpack, which was in the same state as he was.
That was when the pinocchio doll saw the face.
Battered and bruised.
A blue blotch on his cheek. Shetu lightly pressed it with the palm when the doll saw the hands.
Small cuts and bruises decorated them like polka dots.
But what was more bothersome was his eyes, blank as they stared at the white ceiling.
He sat there , perfectly still.
Curled into a tiny ball like a crumpled piece of paper.
At one point Pinocchio wondered if Shetu was actually breathing or not.
All of a sudden he heard Shetu inhale sharply as three words escaped his lips.
“They found out.”
He repeated, “They found out.”
And again, “They found out.”

That’s when he let out a heart wrenching wail as he burst into tears. Pinocchio saw Shetu’s shoulder jerking violently as he sobbed, trails of tears mixing with snot and saliva.
After a few minutes, Shetu rubbed his face with his palms , fruitlessly trying to repair the damage. Realizing that it was futile, he got up and entered the attached bathroom.
Pinocchio heard him turning the showers on, trying to wash away all the things that stained him.
Sometime later, Shetu stepped out.
Hair drenched, as droplets trickled down his neck, his back.
Eyes, puffed up and red.
Slowly he walked to the bed and gently placed himself beside the doll. Then he took his phone and dialed the only one contact he could think of. Pinocchio knew who that was. There was a small click on the other end of the line as a cheery voice echoed throughout the room.
“Yo Nova here, can’t get the call right now but do leave a message after this beep, cheers! ”
“… Hey Sis, it’s me. ” The doll heard the human speak.
” I know you’re busy right now, I really do… but I just have to say it to someone…”
Shetu paused. Pinocchio saw the human’s large eyes slowly welling up.
“S-is T-they f-found out…”, Shetu croaked.
“…They ganged up on me… No one was around…”, Shetu took a deep breath, the tears were really hindering the person’s speech .
“…p-pulled d-down m-my p-pa-n-ts… took p-pictures… principal called mom and d-dad.”
That’s when Shetu paused and suddenly burst out laughing.
“…You know what mom ‘n dad said?
IT’S ON ME, SIS,” Shetu continued to laugh hysterically as tears raced down his cheeks.
It was a very odd scene, the doll thought.
Shetu’s laughter died down as he finally very softly whispered, “…It’s over, sis. I’m sorry… Don’t get mad, ok? Love you. ”
Shetu dropped the phone beside the doll as he stepped in front of the mirror. He threw the cover away as he stared at the person stared back at “him”.
Then he hurried to his wardrobe and pulled out a skirt, Shetu bought it for Nova.
Shetu put on the skirt and stepped in front of the mirror.
With a small smile Shetu spun around and bowed at the girl in the mirror.
Then bit by bit Shetu took off every piece of cloth..
the shirt, the skirt, pants… until the person in the mirror was in the “birthday suit “.
Shetu dejectedly stared at the body that Shetu was given since birth.
A body that was neither of a man’s or a woman’s.
Gently Shetu trailed Shetu’s hands over the bushy hair, the face, Shetu’s long eyelashes, lips… the hands trailed down over the chest, the small bellybutton…finally the “cursed” place in between the legs.

“Either one of them would’ve been ok.” Pinocchio heard the “boy” whisper.
Shetu put on his clothes again as “he” walked out of the room and returned with something.
“You know, I’ve always lived a lie.. other than sis no one had wanted to accept who I was. So I lied. I lied…” Shetu told the doll as “he” was forming a loop and tying it with the ceiling fan .
” Guess it didn’t turn out like the fairytale…I didn’t turn into a boy “.
Pinocchio watched Shetu wear the necklace of rope when he finally heard ,
“Who do you think the real Pinocchio is, you or me?”


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