~Seattle~

   Okay, I thought taking a deep breath. That's the last time I will speak to him. At least, it had better be.

   But, no matter how hard I tried to supress it, I loved being around Carson. I was thrilled to see him in the parking lot, practically swooning when he asked if he could give me a ride home. What was wrong with me? Just twenty-four hours ago, I was completely alone, and didn't talk to a soul, unless it was the rare teacher asking me a question.

   Still deep in thought, I walked up the stairs to my room. For hours, I continued thinking about what I was going to do, whether I should move on or not. But I loved it here in Coldwater. It felt a lot like home to me, kind of how before my mom died back in Oklahoma.

   And then my mind strayed to Tammy, and Jimmy and Tyler... My three best friends before they were killed. Before they were killed because of me, because of what I am. Before I knew it, warm salty tears were flowing down my cheeks.

   I just couldn't believe how ruthless Silver Liners were back then. It was right after I escaped. I went back to Oklahoma, thinking I could continue to live my life in a peaceful lie, pretending I wasn't a shape-shifter. But that's not the way it was supposed to be. The Silver Liners found me that night... We were all at Tammy's house celebrating her birthday. It was late, maybe eleven o' clock. The front door was kicked down, and these two men came in, all dressed in black. I recognized them. They were from the facility. They had done this to me.

   I fought them with everything I had, but it wasn't enough. One of them held me down and made me watch my friends get murdered. Tammy's parents weren't home at the time; her mom was at work, and her dad was probably out with some other woman cheating again.

   Rage and furry burned through me now, as I relived that horrible moment again. The tears were falling relentlessly now, soaking my pillow, as I ranted on myself for not being stronger. The pain was overwhelming, consuming me, suffocating me. I couldn't breathe.

   I curled my fingers into a fist, and punched the wall with everything I had, releasing my rage, fury, and pain. I removed my hand slowly, carefully, revealing a new hole. My knuckles were a bloody mess now, and I could tell that my hand was broken. Oh well.

   A more comfortable pain took my mind away from the memory. I walked down the stairs numbly, not really seeing where I was going, until I was in the bathroom.

   I washed the blood off of my hand, wincing only slightly as the warm water burned my hand. But after already having seven- this is the eighth- broken bones, sixteen concussions, being abused for six years of my life, and surviving the Silver Liner's facility, this wasn't hardly anything. I'm not saying that it didn't hurt, because it did. I'm just kind of used to pain by now.

   I studied my hand for a short moment, digging a penny out of my pocket. Then, I studied the penny. Being an Advanced Shifter, I could turn not only myself, but other objects into something totally different. So, for my current situation, I needed a brace.

   I closed my eyes, and took deep breaths, ignoring the pain of my hand. I could feel the molecules rearranging themselves in my hand, and before I knew it, I was holding a navy blue brace. I slipped the brace onto my right hand, wincing again as I adjusted my hand to make it fit better.

   I closed my eyes again, concentrating on my breathing. I decided I needed to take a walk. I grabbed my key, though I don't- really know why-- I didn't need it-- and I walked out my front door.

   I turned right from the porch, heading for Twelve. Getting to the corner, I took another right and continued walking. For about fifteen, to twenty minutes, I had continued walking along Twelve, or East Chicago Street, as technical people will say.

   I got down to the small coffee shop called North Woods, and crossed the road there at the light. I continued walking in the same direction I had been heading... west. I was going to Rotary Park. It was one of my favorite places in town, and so, so, so beautiful.

The End

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