Two days passed and Minho had done nothing to "toughen me up", as he had so kindly put it. If anything, the only difference I noticed is that he'd talk to me non-stop. Words flowed from his mouth in a seemingly endless manner. He barely paused for breath between sentences. I figured that if that continued on, I'd know more about him within a week than I had in a year.
"You need a hobby," was one of the things Minho said to me that I actually sort-of heard. I hadn't been paying attention to him at all - kind of how I hadn't been most of the time - so I didn't bother to respond. He snapped his fingers to get me to wake up. "Hello?"
I jumped a bit. Minho's figure sharpened into focus, making the green around us fade into the background. We were sitting in wooden chairs just outside the Homestead so I could see the Glade without needing to walk around or stay cramped up in my room. I shook my head to clear it, looking sheepishly at him and feeling a rush of embarrassment. "Sorry, what did you say?"
"You need a hobby," he repeated. "You can't run anymore, obviously, and any other job is basically off-limits for you--"
"According to who?" I questioned, sitting up a bit straighter and removing my hand from under my chin. My eyes squinted the tiniest bit. "Who says I can't be a Builder or something?"
Minho sighed and jabbed a finger to where Nick was standing with his second-in-command, Alby. Though they worked together on a daily basis, the two weren't exactly close. Alby was better friends with a boy named Newt, who was one of my Runners as well. Alby and Nick stood off in middle of the Glade with serious expressions like they were having some sort of debate. Neither of them looked very happy.
I felt conflicted about the whole ordeal as I watched them bicker, imagining what words were flowing from their mouths. "What am I supposed to do?"
Minho shrugged and leaned back into his chair. "You're asking me?"
My eyes widened in exasperation as my gaze snapped back to him. "It was your idea!"
A small smile tugged at Minho's lips. At first my eyebrows pinched together because I didn't know what he was so happy about, but then I realized what I had said. Without knowing it, I had just stood up for myself- if not even a little bit. It was step one in his "Renovate Nadia" scheme.
I suddenly felt suspicious and let my mind wander back to what he had been talking about for the past few days. I hadn't listened to much of it - at least, I thought I hadn't - but somehow some of it must've snuck into my brain.
"I call it: 'Talking Psychology,'" Minho explained, moving his bent arms out like he was showing the words on the big screen, which were his fingers that formed a rectangle framing my face. "You thought I was speaking gibberish the entire time. Really, I've been telling you examples of sticking up for yourself. And it looks like it worked."
My mouth dropped open in a gape. I blinked at him and his smug smirk, wondering how in the world he had managed to change something so quickly and without much effort at all. "How - What--"
Minho leaned forward in his seat so his elbows were resting on his knees. "Sticking up for yourself isn't a bad thing, Nadia. Some people here are jerks and will eventually start pushing you around because they think you're too naive to see what they're actually doing. I'm trying to teach you how to prevent that. You need to get out of this little bubble you have. Pop it."
I was stumped. Minho was confusing in all sorts of ways, but "popping the bubble" surely outdid anything he'd ever said. How was I supposed to do that? I couldn't just turn around and become a completely different person just like that. It would take time, effort, and a lot of different types of psychology for Minho's plan to work.