I had been noticed, so that was something at least. But all those that saw me were shocked--if they'd known me at all before everything happened, which was not particularly likely. Most of those that had been here before were either dead, absent or taking a break: I envied them, and rather wished I was one of those settling down to start a family or meet up with old friends. Which reminded me, Gloria's child must be ... how old, now?
I rubbed a hand over my arm. Ow, but that scar still killed, even after so long. I looked down at it again and felt the bile rise up in my mouth; I swallowed it down and forced myself to look again at the picture of myself that had been carved into my soft flesh, that had been treated with salt in a cave in the wild by Jenny, who was completely out of her depth, and had scabbed over to create such a horrific disfigurement. How I hated him: Jed, the one who had done this to me.
But more than that, I hated the Commander because he did not come. How I managed to get away and home was entirely due to Jenny, and I could take no credit for it, but I was still weak and it had taken a while before I was myself enough to come here. If these people knew what I'd been through they would not have been surprised at my pale, thin appearance and the numerous scars with which I was covered.
"Mai? You look different." I turned, and it was one of my old companions. With a small half-smile I tried to be polite and welcoming, just as I had been a few minutes before, but I found yet again that the smile would not come. I had forgotten how to smile.
"I feel different," I confessed. She looked at my arm.
"What the heck is that?"