I'd been here for a week, the dreams still haunted me every night, without fail, I didn't know if I was doing the whole meditating thing correctly, and Max and I were becoming very good friends. He still hadn't told me about his father or any of the rest of his past, since the day he told me about his mother, but I was being patient. I knew there was no point in trying to make him tell me; he would tell me things in his own time.
I got out of bed on this sunny morning, the bright yellow rays of sun filtered through my gauzy curtains. I walked to my bathroom, grabbing my clothes first (I had gotten into the habit of dressing in the bathroom, since the incident with Max). I took a quick shower; the water was always lukewarm, so I didn't care to linger. I stayed under the low pressured spray of not-warm-water, just long enough to wash my hair and body and shave my legs. Then I was out. Usually this took me a total of five minutes.
I used the last of my tube of toothpaste, to brush my teeth. Damn! Now where am I going to find toothpaste? I'm pretty sure they don't have a village store and I know they won't let me just leave for a quick drive to the nearest drugstore. I yanked my brush through my tangled, wet hair and got dressed, I had to figure out how I was supposed to get toothpaste. There were some other things I needed, if I was going to be a permanent resident here, as well.
As soon as I was dressed and looked somewhat presentable, I slipped into my shoes and walked out of the house. I wasn't sure if I wanted to find Max or go meditate first this morning. I was dying to find out more about his past, but he didn't seem ready to tell me more yet, and if the rest was anything like the story about his mother, I could kind of understand his hesitation.
When I walked down the walkway, I inhaled the fresh morning air. I was beginning to get used to waking up to this gorgeous weather. I started walking down the street to my place in the forest where I could sit, the place where Max and I usually met up and talked or just enjoyed companionable silence. When I got there, I was alone.
Maybe he's just running errands or something... I thought, sitting down, leaning against my favorite tree. I closed my eyes and began to think things over. I knew I had to figure out how I should go about getting supplies for my house, but it was so relaxing here, my troubles usually just slipped away. Max kept telling me that there was something special about me, that was why Clara wanted me here and why she wanted to be my personal mentor. I still couldn't figure out why I was so special to her; apparently, Max wasn't sure either, but he could have just been unwilling to tell me.
Suddenly, something hit me on the top of the head, jolting me back to reality. My eyes popped open and I looked around quickly, trying to figure out what had hit me. After a moment of looking, I realized there was a small acorn lying in my lap. I sighed and brushed it off, then closed my eyes and leaned back against the tree.
Realizing I was not going to be able to get comfortable again and that Max was probably too busy to show up today, I got up and decided to go into town. Maybe I could talk to Clara about what I should do for my supply predicament at home. I hoped she'd let me know what to do because, even though the people in this town were very friendly, I did not want to ask any of them for help. I didn't know them very well and didn't want to seem like a beggar of any kind.
It didn't take me long to reach the mansion-like building the council was held in. I went up the stairs that led to Clara's meeting room and knocked on the door, making sure she wasn't in the middle of some kind of meeting for the society. Nobody answered and there were no sounds from inside. I gently pushed the door open and walked inside. I had only visited Clara once, since the day I met her; this room still made my nerves a little tight, it was as if I was going to be interrogated or something.
I sat in one of the chairs at the long table and waited; somehow, Clara always knew when there was someone in her meeting room. I sensed her walk in behind me and turned around. She looked as if she had known I would be coming today and she was pleased to see me.
"Amelia," she said, sitting in a chair beside me, "it's very nice to see you today."
"It's nice to see you too, Clara," I began drumming my fingers on my knee, a nervous habit I had come to.
"So, what's the matter? You seem like you need help of some kind..." Clara was a very intuitive person.
"Yeah... how do I get things, like toothpaste and such?"
Her eyes sparkled as if she were thinking of a very funny joke, then she started to chuckle, "Most people just run to the store. Now, I don't know how you bought things when you were back home, but that's how I gather most people do their shopping."
I felt myself blush; I'd been under the impression they would not let me leave the little village. That I had to stay here until I'd pledged some kind of oath or something. This made me feel extremely stupid, and I cast my gaze downward in the hopes that Clara would not notice my embarrassment.
Obviously, my plan failed, because Clara put a hand on my shoulder, still giggling a little, "Do not be ashamed of yourself, child. It is a common misconception with newcomers here. They often think they must stay in the town and have no option to go out into the world any longer. That is not, however, how we treat our residents."
I sighed, half in relief and half in exasperation at myself, "So... I'm allowed to go out into public places, like stores and stuff? I can still be normal?"
Clara laughed some more. I could tell she was laughing because of what I said but that she did not mean to offend, "My dear, of course you can! We do not intend to hold you hostage! You're not a prisoner here! The reason Max had to put you out in order to bring you here was because you were not yet one of us. We could not trust you at that point."
"But you feel as though you can trust me now?"
"Without a doubt. Max has told me that you are very trustworthy. And from what he has told us, you will be an incredible asset to our society."
I smiled, feeling oddly warm inside. For the first time in a long time, I was beginning to feel as though I belonged here. I hadn't had that feeling in such a long time, it was almost a completely new feeling. I met Clara's gaze, "Thank you, Clara. That really means a lot to me." She stood up and started walking to the door, turning back, she said, "So, would you like to take a trip out of these woods?"