I quietly finished eating, and left out the back door. I walked home, taking the back roads. Soon, I was stumbling up my front porch steps, and walking inside. I couldn't decide on what I would do while I anxiously waited to see if Carson would show up.

   I was thrilled to know that he wasn't a Silver Liner. But.... I still couldn't "see" him. There was still a small possibility that he was a Silver Liner. But something was telling me that I was right about him now. I couldn't see a shadow of doubt anywhere. Or, maybe it was that I wouldn't let myself see a shadow of doubt.

   Hours passed as I waited. Every car I heard go by had me jumping up and stumbling to a window, though I knew it wasn't him. My ability worked that way with sounds, touch, smell, and vision, pretty much all six senses. When I didn't know the entire life's story about the driver of the passing car, I would know then that it was Carson. Or, if I got really really unlucky, another compulsionist who happened to seriously be a Silver Liner. That would be scary.

   My fake iPod was on again, playing some random music that I liked but had never heard before. I knew who sang it, who wrote it, and when, though. It was by The Fray, called Say When.

   A knock at the door downstairs had scared the crap out of me. I couldn't tell who it was, so that meant that it was Carson. I hoped. I ran downstairs, heart still thudding loudly in my chest. Quickly, I came up with a plan, and opened the door just so that he could see my face.

   "What's my favorite color?" I asked quickly, before any other words of greeting could be said. Understanding flowed into his blue eyes then.

   "It changes from day to day, but yesterday it was orange. I'm not sure what it is today," He answered steadily.

   "One more, just to be sure." he nodded so I continued. "What's my middle name?" I asked. This was a trick question, because I never told him.

   "You never told what your middle name is, so how am I supposed to know that?" he answered perfectly.

   "Okay then. Come in," I said quietly, opening the door wider.

   He smiled at me and stepped in. I couldn't help but smile back. "You're still leery of me; I see it in your eyes," He said. What could I do but nod? It was true.

   "I can't ever be sure, you know. Because of what we are. Anyone, Silver Liner or not could shift to look like you, and I can't afford that. I'm number one on their wanted list, and maybe I can help the others like us because the Silver Liners will be too distracted by me." I looked down. I didn't like awkward moments like this. That was another very small portion of why I "embraced the loneliness".

   He nodded very slightly, and changed the subject. "What is your middle name, if you don't mind me asking?"

   I laughed. "Lee," I answered.

  "Lee.... That's pretty. Kind of like the rest of you," He smiled playfully, and I smiled bigger.

   "Well, there's one opinion," I replied quietly.

   "That's all the opinions," he said intently, holding our eyes locked together.

   "I have a question now," I said, changing the subject yet again.

   "Go on."

   "Because of what we do...." I trailed off, so I started again. "Because of what we do, is this what you always look like, even before you were taken?"

   "Yes. Just because I have this ability, I don't like the lie that comes with not being myself," he answered. "And... you?"

   "For the most part, yes."

   "'For the most part?'"

   "I erased some things, so people wouldn't stare at me too much," I answered him, jaw tight and looking down again.

   He was confused now.


The End

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