Dinner with Nivek

Nivek was a beast of short stature. He was just shy of 4 feet when he stood up straight, which was something he did often in an attempt to compensate. His thin, hairless body was a pale, grey color. His long ears often curled under his chin, except, of course, for when he was with me. Nivek knew from years of experience that I was a safe human. He knew I would not yell at or hit him. It was my aspirations of peace that made me such an easy target for him. Nivek took pleasure in pestering me. Initially, his apparent goal was to get a rise out of me. When he didn’t, he seemed to get a kick out of the fact that I took his abuse passively. He spent entire meals together poking me in the arm with his finger, making groaning noises as he poked. When this got no response, he began slamming his head against the table as he continued to poke and groan. No one in the diner paid any mind to his tantrums. When this yielded no response, he attempted to attack me as a person. On one occasion, he continuously attempted to dip his sandwich in my soup. When I refused, he suggested I was being a hypocrite, “Peace is sharing.”, he said. He enjoyed discussing the most vomit-inducing things he had encountered in the week past as I ate. Again, when I broached the topic, he accused me of hypocrisy. One evening, in the middle of a poking session, as Nivek pounded his head against the table, I looked him in the eye. He froze. I said, “Stop!”. The waitress, who happened to be passing by, said to me, “Honey, who are you talking to?”

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