Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Short story project: Unidentified Flying Object, Part 7

I stayed at my desk until five-thirty, once everyone else in my department had left. I held my breath as I rode the elevator down to the first floor. Would he be waiting for me, or had he taken the hint that I wanted to be left alone? When the doors slid open, I had to prevent myself from sprinting to the exit, but then immediately wished I had let loose when I heard my name called from somewhere off to my right.
I bit my knuckles to muffle the scream that rose to my lips. I whipped around on my heel in time to see him crossing the library lobby. “Are you always this desperate and stalker-ish?” My voice sounded more like a hiss than a regular human voice.
“When my girlfriend’s life is at stake.” He bit his lip, and looked away for a moment, like he was trying to stifle a sob.
Uh-oh, tears. Even me, with my crusty, hard exterior hated seeing someone cry. I swallowed and shifted my gaze to the floor. “I’m sorry, but I can’t—”
“This affects you too, you know.” If I wasn’t mistaken, Jason’s voice broke slightly. “Their security man might be able to recognize you, and if he does, they’ll come for you.”
I curled my fingers into fists, as I slowly reorganized my mental armour. I wouldn’t relent. Distance was my only defense. I’d kept my parents aloof for years. As far as I knew, they had no idea of the freak show their daughter had turned into. It was safer for me, and for them. I turned to go. “They’ll only come sooner if I help you.”
“At least if you helped me you’d know who and what you’re facing.”
I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly. He was right, kind of, anyway. If I helped, I might have the chance to be prepared for a potential threat. Know who they were and what they intended to do with me once they caught me. I wanted to think if they caught me, but that was dangerously optimistic. I exhaled, my eyes still shut. “There’s a small coffee shop a few blocks away.”

I didn’t wait for a response. If he wanted to talk to me, he would follow, and sure enough, after a few strides I heard his steps fall in synch with mine. Neither of us spoke as we walked, which suited me fine. My nerves grew unsettled with each block. I never went out to coffee with anyone, let alone an attractive young man who knew what I was, and wanted to help me—for my help in return.
To be continued...look for more of the story on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014.

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