In a new light.Mature

Whether this was some kind of nefarious plot of his, she couldn't discern. Someone in his line of work would have no reason to lie to her. What for? if he was lying, if he hadn't fired himself, he could simply locate some acquaintances and secure their friendship the way he usually does. She knew as well as any how easy that would be, how many there were to chose from.

"I..." She said, then paused, expecting him to supervene with his own will in words. That didn't happen. He waited patiently, his crooked smile barely showing to the casual observer but glaringly obvious to her. He looked sincere.

"I can." She finished, siding her cell phone into her pocketbook and relaxing her stance.

"Splendid." he replied, his smile growing wider. She replied with her own smile, hoping it didn't appear forced but knowing it must have.

"Where do we start?"

"Well, not here."

"What is wrong with here? The woman in the corner looks friendly. The type that would make a good acquaintance."

She could see the him that she knew showing through. He wasn't thinking of friendship right then, or at least any kind of friendship that someone without her knowledge would recognise. She let it go, ignored the true meaning of those words. Afterall, it was an enormous change for him if in fact his words were honest.

"Well, for one this is a obstetrician and gynecologist's clinic. You don't usually make friends here unless you're a woman. And even then it's rare." He nodded in understanding, though she doubted he truly understood.

He sat rigidly, looking more nervous than she. Even so, she didn't know how to continue. Being in his presence made all the memories come back, and all the behavioral conditioning with it. She swallowed hard, forcing herself to remember how long she had been away from him. How different her life is now, how different she is. She looked into the blackness of his eyes, trying to see something good there and despite her skepticism, saw just that.

"You'll need to change your clothes first, and meet me at the circle at three."

It felt strange speaking to him in this way, but she didn't see even a hint of his former personality.  In the past, speaking this way would have been incredibly chancy. It seemed, to both her and him, that their strange partnership might actually be fully in the past.

"Very well. You would know better than I. The circle, three o'clock, am I right?"

"You are." She said, smiling again, only this time it wasn't an effort. He shifted in his chair, then stood. His jaw went slack as if he were about to speak but no words emerged. The only thing communicated was one last smile before he turned and walked toward the exit, soaking up the sunlight that came from there and darkening the room briefly, and then he was gone.

The End

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