Namorigami and Dormarker
NAMORIGAMI & DORMARKER
By SF Guillermo
TROUBLES AREN’T OVER
As much as I would like to say that after one of my greatest fights with a friend, things would look up forever, I’m not mistaken when I say that life just goes on, and, for me, who once was over-excited kid from Spain that reached the doors of Kirby High more than a year ago, I’d be completely wrong to say the opposite.
I imagine that someday I’m gonna grow tired of saying it, but things truly have changed .
The conflict that once existed between me and a companion of mine, Gar, quickly faded away as I named him the new leader of the OrigAvengers.
It took a part of me though. If a 17 year old Guillermo had been told that he would be named leader of the OrigAvengers one day, but that due to, ehm, complications, he would have to pass his role to his partner, then I imagine he would have cried in agony.
But in the end, I’m surprised by how the tables turned, and now Gar and I are good friends who meet at Taco Bell every once in a while to discuss our lives.
It’s funny how a war well ended can bring two people together more than they were before. I guess it has something to do with how we prove to each other we’re going to defend our points of view, and not be easily taken aback.
One specific night, I drove over to Shawn’s house to check on him, and we ended up going on a car ride to Wendy’s with Gar and Tilly as well.
“Like old friends going for a picnic amiright?” I chuckled as we drove past a speed limit post.
“Well I certainly hope that’s not what you had planned for 9 PM, Guillermo.” Tilly was holding on to her mobile phone.
“I personally wouldn’t mind.” Shawn announced, leaning forward.
I rolled my eyes , holding onto the wheel.
“Wendy’s is right to the left, right?”
“Left or right?” Gar laughed.
“Left it is, then.” I turned the car left to another street, which by no means looked like a place for a Wendy’s.
I stopped the car, and turned back to the passengers, and they looked at me.
“Dear me, I am going to offer you guys my most sincere apologies-“
“You could’ve just turned around, Guillermo.”
I groaned and started the car engine.
“Yes, I thought so too.”
Only half an hour later did we finally get to our table at Wendy’s and started eating something.
“I’m surprised you guys ended up coming.” Shawn said “I was just curious if you would come and called you over.”
“I hardly work on Fridays now, soI was glad when you guys called over!” Tilly replied “I was already wondering what I’d do all day.
“I was never a guy who would go out every Friday, but seeing as I have you guys-“ My pocked started vibrating, and not shortly after did Mr Blue Sky start playing on the phone.
“Excuse me for a sec.”
I unlocked my phone, Mom was calling.
“Guillermo, where are you?”
“I’m right where I told you I’d be, what is it?” I was a bit annoyed. She had spent her whole life telling me to go out and interrupted me whenever I finally did it.
“It’s your uncle, he’s been diagnosed with tumor-“
“When did this happen?”
“Guillermo, please, I’m trying to explain. We don’t know if everything is going to turn out OK, so we need to go back to Spain,” My face had already fallen, per se, but this was too much for a simple phone call.
“At least until we know more about all this.” She finished.
I took the phone away from my ears, but the buzzing could still be heard. The connection was too bad.
I looked at my friends sitting down at the table and tried to imagine myself in another universe where this call hadn’t happened.
“Guillermo?” The distant voice from the phone could be heard.
I got the phone up.
“I heard you,” I was silent while I thought “When are we leaving?”
“Tomorrow morning, and hopefully we’ll arrive very late in the night, and-“
“What will happen with everything?”
“We’ll talk at home,” She cut me off “Right now I just need you to pack. Gosh I can’t believe this is happening.”
I ended the call and went back to them.
“Guys I’m so sorry,” I started “I’ve got to go back to Spain.” Shawn was surprised, but Gar and Tilly’s face expressed something more like compassion.
“My uncle is very sick, and… I hope this all goes away soon.”
All three of them stood up, and Tilly came and gave me a hug. She was nice like that.
“Just tell us if you need anything, we understand.”
When I got home, it was all very untidy.
Bags were all over the place, and most of the stuff was lying around.
I went to my room, where mom was. Thankfully, she hadn’t noticed me, because I didn’t feel like talking much.
I noticed my Wheeler Academy books, and felt a charge of sadness.
“It’s only going to be a week,” I told myself.
However hard leaving Spain had been all that time ago, it was nothing compared to this, even though I myself knew I was only going to have to be back there for a week.
At first I didn’t know why I felt like this, but now I know why.
Added to the pain I felt for my uncle being close to death, just the idea of leaving the family I had made here made me shiver. I had to keep reminding myself. Only 7 days.
“Hey, ehm,” Mom started “Why don’t you pack that and go to sleep? It’s better if we wake up all the early tomorrow morning before going to the airport.”
She started to leave, and I could tell she didn’t feel like talking much.
It was her brother dying, after all.
But I only had one more question.
“Mom,” I swallowed “What school will I be attending?”
She didn’t say anything, but just gave a nod towards a blue polo and black pants.
That uniform would’ve been unimaginable here, but in Spain, with some good 35 degrees Celsius outside, was just well.
The thing was, that for better or for worse, Clater School hadn’t seen the last of me yet.
I packed everything, absolutely everything I had and then got in the taxi.
“This is absolutely crazy.”
It’s funny because I was rather used to travelling a lot, but I had never ever been out in this type of situation.
Wheeler Academy had been alarmed of my absence for a week, and on the other side, Clater school had been told that I would be arriving on Monday.
Guess what? Monday arrived as well.
The alarm went off and played The Avengers Theme.
“Dang it!” I said to myself. This took me back to the time of the Thanos and the Infinity Folds case file.
Mom was waiting downstairs in the car, ready to go.
That meant I had to get going fast or else I was gonna lose my only ticket to school that morning.
I chomped on my toast and put a dark blue polo on. Last time I had attended this school a year or so ago, I had had to wear the school uniform, and now as a High School Senior, I was able to wear whatever I wanted.
In the car, seatbelt, lean back and breathe, yes, breathe.
I stood in front of the door. Pure Serranito was standing at the door, as always. He looked at me with a mixture of surprise and incredibility. It was kind of weird, so I continued my way in.
It could have been a feeling of mine, but I felt looks everywhere I went.
I had left this school as an outcast with the rent case deal, and no one had ever heard from me again.
All the fight against T.H.A.N.O.S, joining the OrigAvengers…that had been way after the last time I left this school.
Truly, I hadn’t been here in ages.
Jorge del Toro patted me on the back.
“If it isn’t William Valenzuela himself!” He laughed.
“People call me Guillermo, Jorge. It’s nice to see you too,” I looked back and saw Mr Brown, he was walking weirdly towards us.
“Do they know you’re here?”
“Supposedly, yes.” I clenched my teeth, “You heard from Andrei?”
“Oh, he changed schools last year. He didn’t tell anyone.”
“Oh. That ‘s such a pity.” I was conscious of the fact I didn’t get to say goodbye.
“Let’s take things step by step, I’ll show you to your new class.”
Mr Sanchez, my new tutor this year, was waiting for me at the door.
“Guillermo, I believe?”
“You believe correctly, sir.” I smirked. He didn’t find it funny, though.
“Your reputation precedes you, I hope you find comfort in this class.” He let me in.
It had…changed. Things were different than before. Or was it that I remember them differently?
Most opened their mouths a tiny bit when I entered the class. Or maybe it was just my imagination.
The others just spun, looked at me, and kept talking.
“Ehm,” I opened the door, “Buenos días.”
My first thought was to look for my group of friends, if they were still operational, but a voice brought me back to the current situation.
“Well, well, well,” Manuel Macket chuckled, “If it isn’t Namorigami himself.”
“Manuel,” I can’t say I wasn’t surprised to see him. Last time I saw him, he almost burned down the swimming competition place, “You and I have a lot to catch up, my friend.”
It wasn’t long before we started chatting like old pals.
You know what they say, in a place of unknowns, an enemy is your best friend.
Or is he? I don’t know, I just made that up.
I had actually forgotten that we didn’t have lunch until 14:00. This change of itinerary let me down quite a bit.
“Okay so, now I’ve got German class with Mr Hidalgo. That guy’s still the same.” I checked my timetable.
“Yep. Didn’t change.”
I went to my locker and opened it up. I got the temporary German book I had been given for the week.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
I spun around. A very pretty girl was standing on the locker next to me and inspecting me with an interesting look. She had brown hair and blue eyes.
“I, eh. German class.” I mumbled. Seriously, this got me more nervous than I had ever been. The girl was smiling and I really didn’t know what to do in this situation.
“German class?” She giggled.
“Ehm, no. Wait, yes. I need to get to German class.”
“Oh, I have it too. I can go with you.”
“Ehm,” I even started noticing my own ‘ehm’s’, “Okay.”
We took a half a minute walk to the classroom, where she met with some girls.
“I’m Guillermo.” I said to her, before she left.
“Carmen,” She replied with a smile, “Nice to meet you.”
“Same.” I waved, and suddenly noticed how weird I had acted.
‘Wait, I could’ve said my name before, why didn’t I say it?’
‘She walked away, she doesn’t like you’.
‘You should’ve done better, now she’s going away with someone else.’
‘Shut up, stop simping around. You’re overthinking stuff.”
Those thoughts wouldn’t go away during the day, until finally, at lunchtime, she sat down next to me.
I almost choked on the sausage I was eating.
“Hi, Carmen. How are you?”
“I’m alright. How are you?”
I thought for a second. I wasn’t sure.
“Never felt better.” I lied.
“Wow, you’re a resilient guy,” She leaned next to my ear and whispered, “or so they tell me.”
What did she mean by that?
“I bet they do.” I faked confidence.
“You’re not really new here, are you?”
“Me? No, I’ve been here since the seventh grade, but then left for the USA.”
“Yes, I asked around. Where from?”
“Madison, New York.”
“New York? What school?”
“Kirby High, then Wheeler academy.”
“You go there, go to a school and just change all of a sudden?”
“It’s complicated.” I tried to draw a smile for her. It was still something tough in the past.
“Quite.” I hadn’t really answered her question.
“And what did you do there?”
“I studied, met new people, and had fun.” And fought bad guys- I thought to myself, but decided to keep the details to myself, as much as I would’ve like to tell her about my experience.
We finished lunch in silence, and then headed for the door, where she unwrapped some candy and put it in her mouth.
“Alright, Guillermo,” She said, “I’ll see you around.”
She turned around to leave.
“Wait,” I said, and she looked back again, as if she was expecting this, “Would you mind giving me some candy (she raised an eyebrow), or, uh… your phone number?”
“Sure thing, man,” She wrote her number down.
I put my AirPods on and listened to Don’t stop me now – Queen.
I sent the afternoon wondering if he’d call.
As I waited for the possible call, I looked up Kirby High school on the Internet. Among many others, there was this relatively old site full of stories written by some Tilly Waterson.
Whoever this Tilly girl was, her site had these kinds of case files written by different students from the school.
Looking through them, I came across a particular one: Spider-Fold: Rent Case.
“So this is why,” I said to myself after reading this, “He got sent to. Addison just because he borrowed a pen?”
A huge oversimplification of events, I guessed, but from what I could read from the rest of the files written by Guillermo, that was why.
“Namorigami the Sub-Mariner.” I chuckled. Marvel characters.
I typed him in the search bar as well. Wikipedia, and then affiliations.
That’s when I came across Dorma, supposedly Namor’s lover in the comics.
I was a Marvel fan, what can I say, but I haven’t read a single comic.
Guess what? After that, the phone rang.
“Yo!” Guillermo’s voice over the phone said, “Wanna hang out?”
I put my hand in my face.
“Guillermo, can I ask you a question?”
“You’ve never asked a girl out before, have you?”
There was silence for a brief moment.
“Maaaaaybe.” He said way too loud. I had to distance myself from the phone or I might turn deaf.
“Alright, you want to take a walk?”
“Yes, good,” He replied, “You know what that’s almost as good as?”
“Ehm,” This conversation was a bit longer than I would’ve liked, I think.
“Johnny B. Goode!!!”
As I got dressed, for our 8:00 pm walk, I got some paper from my drawer and, trying to copy the structure of the ‘paper puppets’ they used in the stories. I made my own origami Dorma.
Dormarker was the punned name.
I put it in my pocket and carried it with me.
From my own experience, carrying a paper puppet to a first date wouldn’t have been a good idea, but from everything I had read, it was his world. The world I was very excited to get into.
THE GANGSTER MAYHEM
I was kind of surprised with how well the date went. Believe me. I wouldn’t have imagined getting past the ‘do you wanna take a walk part’.
Very surprisingly, I had. We had. Considering I was only on day two, things were getting very interesting: I had just been handed my books (which I didn’t actually plan on taking a look at. I would be back to Wheeler before I could say ‘Avengers’, Carmen and I were getting along more than fine, and life was great.
I kept in touch with Duncan Anderson, who offered a more objective look of the situation at Wheeler, and with Gar, who offered the most subjective opinion. It was fun being two places at once without actually being there.
All the while, I have reason to believe that those two days served as a way of maturement. It was like a necessary halt in my ordinary USA life. Sometimes when one sets off course, one finds the thing he had been looking for all the way.
I was thinking about this at break time, where I joined Jorge, the guy we call Adidas, and the other guy I call Shaggy. Weird nicknames, but a cool gang nevertheless.
I chomped on my sandwich, I was starving. Ham? Plain ham? Not my personal favourite, but my hunger beat the preferences and settled for what I had.
That was, until I heard some screaming from around somewhere and suddenly, a multitude spread, like two same poles on a magnet, from a person in the middle.
Hold up, no, they were five people, and another guy.
Dang, by this moment I was caught up, I tell you, but I had never heard or seen these guys before. It was to me as if they had jumped over the school fence or something
I tried to get a glimpse of the situation, and that’s when I noticed they were threatening a guy named Raúl R, an old friend of mine.
The gruyes I had never seen before formed a circle around him. These guys were acting like a pack of wolves revolving around this wounded gazelle. Things weren’t looking good.
I didn’t know what was happening, but I didn’t like the odds of that guy against the other five.
“Alright guys,” I stepped in, trying to keep my cool, “I think it’s time you guys settle down.”
Two of the five guys laughed, the others maintained a poker face, and pulled out fists. One of the others pulled a knife out.
“Woah, man. Put that thing down.” I was starting to think I should’ve just let things be.
“Or what? You’re gonna do something?” He mocked.
“You aren’t a match even for one of us, and we’re five to two.” Another one ame closer to us. I was actually starting to get scared.
I held on tight to Namorigami in my pocket. A real-life Namor would keep his cool. He was King of Atlantis, he didn’t bow to anyone.
And for those guys like it or not, I was King of Clater school.
That boosted my confidence.
“Five to three,” Manuel Macket appeared from behind, “Pray I don’t alter it further.”
“Put the knife down, kid.” I repeated.
Just then, a handful of teachers arrived at the scene. The kid, looking around, assumed a defeat and did as told.
“Good, let’s start with that.”
“Hey, man,” Knife guy pointed at me, “You say one more thing, and I’ll push you to the wall and back.”
“Hey, man,” Manuel repeated his style, “I don’t know where you think this guy comes from, but this guy’s used to these kinds of fighting-stuff, so move it.”
For an instant, the guy looked as if he was about to fall back. However, he turned around and punched Manuel in the face.
“Oh, man.” I moaned as I turned from a peaceful to a combat mode guy in two seconds.
“Here we go again.” Jorge joined the fight, and kicked one of the others. Not it was a four to five fight, until Shaggy and Adidas joined, and our forces exceeded the other ones.
With a final punch, Manuel ended the fight. He then shook my hand.
“Glad to fight on your side, brother.”
“Guillermo! Oh my gosh.” Carmen called me. He held something on his finger, like a paper puppet.
“Sorry guys. Call of duty.”
Of course, everyone heard about the fight.
My parents as well, but with everything going on, it was something I didn’t really care about.
I talked with them that night. Wa talked about that matter especificarlo and the one about my studies.
“Now that we’re back and all…” Dad started.
“We thought it might be best if we stay here in Spain.”
When I asked them if they meant forever, their answer was something similar to ‘well, duh. You can say goodbye to your friends via email’.
That came totally unexpected. I didn’t know what to do.
My first instinct was to fight back and tell them I belonged in the USA, but the question I had been running away for so much time came to haunt me once more:
Where in the world did I really belong?
I had settled for Madison because I moved there, practically. All the kids there had origami puppets of Marvel characters. I loved Marvel, and moving to Madison had been a dream come true.
This complicated things more -I thought to myself – Now I had come back from my absence and was very popular, had a girlfriend (who even made an origami character as well: Dorma, Namor’s lover), and all was going well.
My mind fell into chaos as I thought of all this. My parents were even thinking of just staying here.
But what about Tilly, Duncan, Gar, Shawn, Andy, Kev, Cassidy and the rest of those guys?
The story with them hadn’t ended, and Kirby’s closure wasn’t going to take me away from them. Or was it? All that fight with Gar kind of distanced me in a way from everything.
I quickly emailed Tilly to tell her about my debate. She was good for things like these.
I’m so happy you found a girl, that’s awesooome!
So sorry, but I can’t make the choice for you, Guillermo, it’s your life.
But whatever you do, I know you’ll make the right decision because I know you, you’re one of the smartest people I’ve met (and that’s counting Clark Largent).
We will miss you very much if you don’t come back.
My phone rang. Carmen was calling.
“Are you free this afternoon?”
I checked my watch, even though it wasn’t going to change a thing.
“Depends on who or what for. For a pretty girl like you I am free, yes.”
We had dinner and talked about stuff. You know, the usual ‘what do you like?’, ‘what do you think your life will be like in five years time?’.
“I’m concerned.” I finally spit out.
She pulled a face.
“Yes, well,” I cleared my throat, “You knew I was going back to Spain in two days, right?”
She suddenly looked sad, as if I had reminded her of so,etching she had forgotten, or had tried to forget.
“Since I met you,” I continued,”It’s been in my head if I should go back… or stay.”
She tried to hide the excitement, but as a person who got excited a lot, I could tell what she was feeling.
“So you could stay?”
“I have a place here, in Clater school, a family, friends, and a girlfriend. What else could someone possibly wish for?
Everything started to make sense as I said it out loud. Why wasn’t all of this so clear before?
She grabbed my hand, and whispered ‘stay’.
“I will.” I replied.
I excused myself and went to the bathroom. For bad or worse, I left the phone on the table.
As he left, I felt comfort in knowing he was going to stay here in the end. It was a great feeling.
His phone rang and turned on. A message had dropped. I looked closer… an email.
An email from a certain Tilly Waterson.
“Wha-?” I muttered.
I couldn’t help but look at the phone. This Tilly girl had had a conversation before he came to dinner with me.
I read through the emails. I couldn’t help it.
You’re one of the smartest people I’ve met… Much love…?
So, Guillermo told her about his problem before he told me, right?
The hopes I had before faded away as I wished I hadn’t skimmed through the emails. Anger took control of me.
Guillermo came, but I was a bit too mad.
“Who’s Miss Waterson? Is she a friend… girlfriend?”
“What on earth-?”
“Who were you talking with so nicely before you came here?”
He looked to the window, clenching his teeth.
“Let this be the last time you look through my phone.”
“Is that a threat, Valenzuela?”
“Take it as you wanna take it. What made you look?”
“So you pick it up? And start looking through my emails, right?”
“Well. Looks to me as if we’re even. You cheated on me. No wait, you have been cheating on me this whole time.
You had something with her and now you come here for a week and hang out with me to pass the time.”
“I’m sorry, I’m gonna stop you right there,” He was serious. But so was I, “Tilly is just a friend, and anyways I told you I was staying here. What else do you want?”
I suddenly felt like a huge jerk. All was perfect and I just had to ruin it.
“Why did you have to check my phone?”
“I’m sorry, I should have-“
“No, of course you shouldn’t have. Can’t you just trust me?”
I got up. Tears started to form in my eyes, although I didn’t want him or anyone else to see. I think Guillermo noticed, though.
“Alright, well, I’m sorry for being like this,” He looked like he tried to regain control over himself as well, “I just don’t like to be controlled around and fear getting into one of those toxic relationships.”
“It ‘s okay. I just-“
“Let’s try to forget this. I never hold things against people.”
He put his arm around me. Not gonna lie, that gave me comfort. I could never forgive myself if a stupid thing like this messed things up. I didn’t mean to look into his phone.
It was cold outside, but I didn’t care.
“This might sound crazy but I’d like to have an ice cream now.” Guillermo let me know.
“Living on the edge, right?”
And then I kissed him. It was the first time I had done that.
Somehow things end up going worse than expected, but then, when my expectations are already low, they start going up again.
You might ask yourselves: So what now? Does your story end here with your girlfriend, your friends, your family all in one place? The perfect ending.
My lads, it does not.
It was a great date, and it couldn’t have gone any better, but that just made me think even more.
Was I letting my emotions cloud my judgement?
I tried to get Carmen out of the picture.
Imagine if you hadn’t met her
“I’d be flying to Madison the day after tomorrow.” I replied to myself without a doubt.
I could ask my parents, but no, that’d be weird. Carmen? Definitely not.
I opened my laptop and clicked Gmail from Google.
Howdy, my man! Hey, so I’m a bit worried about my situation here. I’m mostly indecisive.
I don’t know if Tilly told you I have a gf. Anyways, I’m happy here, but I don’t want to regret it all in the future, and certainly don’t wanna leave you guys.
Should I stay or should I go?
I looked around the room while I bought some time. When I was about to close it, I got a reply.
That’s a complicated situation you got there, man.
You’ve got a spot in Wheeler, and another one in Clater school, so it’s really up to you.
PS: here’s something for you to look at: img.class.jpg
I clicked on it. It was a photo of the whole team we took. I don’t know if right before or after the Infinity Folds case file. Everyone was there.
I thanked him for everything, even though his point was the one I had been expecting. It was my decision.
But I had already made up my mind. I closed the laptop and went to bed.
It didn’t take me long to find Carmen. She was waiting for me at the exact place I had told her to meet me.
“What’s up?” She asked, interested in whatever it was I had to say.
“You know I love you.” I started. I really didn’t know how to tell her this, but I carried on.
“I love you too.”
“That means I’ll be there for whatever you need. You just have to give me a call.”
“Or meet you at school, right?”
I looked at her, still speechless.
“Right?” She asked again.
“Carmen,” I tried to make words as I could, “I’ve given it a lot of thought, I really have. My uncle’s sickness brought me to Spain once more, where I met you, and that’s one thing that I will never regret. The thing that’s unfortunate for people who travel a lot is that they don’t really have an only place they can call home. I thought about going back to Wheeler, Carmen, I did. Until I thought about you. You do need me,” I gave her a hug, “And as much as I like to pretend that I don’t, I need you too.”
She kissed me.
“So, can I count on you?” I asked her in the midst of all the brain sound inside my head. I couldn’t make out if it was because of the moment, or it had been there all along.
But one thing was certain. I was, am, and will be a hero, wherever the place.
Things seem to be quieter around Wheeler, or at least quieter than last year, so I don’t think I’ll be needed as much.
Besides, I know Agar can keep the team united. As long as they are together, the bad guys won’t stand a chance. The OrigAvengers are one of my proudest groups of people I’ve been with. I know they’ll be just fine.
We will keep in contact, making video calls every once in a while to make sure the other guys are ok.
Maybe, if a new threat arises in the future, and if they call me, I may end upin the States again. Who knows?
All the while, writing this case file served as a reflection which made me think about past mistakes and about things that could’ve gone better, or just how I luckily went through a series of obstacles, surviving each one, while getting ready for the next.
True, all these mistakes from my past. A past I’ve always felt like I had to carry, tagging along as a part of me which could define my future self. But now, right here, staring into a setting sun through the window of my house, I have realised my past is just a series of events that brought me to what I am now.
I can just take it and put it in this file, and bury it between the pages.
But that doesn’t mean my life ends now, does it?
No, no, quite the contrary, I think it’s just started, only in a different era.
After all, we all know that when in one place, the sun sets. In another one, it rises.