Time to Go?

I gulp and moisten my lips. I don't really know how to say this.

"Um, guys?" I say. No one listens. The Commander smiles at me.

"Hey, guys!" he yells. "Have a bit of respect, will you? Mai wants to talk!" The silence is suddenly deafening and all eyes are on me.

"Um, well..." I begin. This isn't going too well. "I was planning to go Home with Gabby, to heal her, but she's better now ... so ...." I take a deep breath. "What I mean is, I'm leaving."

A babble of noise breaks out.

"I'm going with the Commander - I mean, Chief Markus. I'm sorry, but I have to find my group and get back home." My voice sounds pathetic in my ears.

"I'm gonna miss you all loads. This has been a bit hectic but it's been a great experience." Olivia looks at me like I've betrayed her, but there's sadness in her gaze too.

"You can't get home from here, Mai," says the Commander, but I already knew that.

"When we reach Switzerland I'm leaving - that'll be in about an hour. I'm sorry, I really am." The people look at me, murmuring among themselves. They've given me a new name now: The Weeper.

I suddenly can't bear the way everyone's looking at me, and the thought of the questions that will be asked fills me with dread. I Change, back to the form of a young girl. It's a guise I haven't worn for years. I brush my dark hair out of my eyes and examine my slender limbs. The best thing about children is they sleep quickly - hopefully that'll shield me from the questions.

I sleep, and when I awake I get up, gathering my bag.

"Bye, guys," I say. I know this is Switzerland. And as I go to the door, as I walk down the steps, I hear a voice.

"Wait! Take me with you!" I turn round to see who it is.

The End

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