The Terminal

"What am I doing in an airport terminal?"

This was the question recurring in Devon Wiltshire's head, accompanied by intermittent noises from an unhappy baby and clips from a song he couldn't quite place.

He attempted to focus, and realized, or rather remembered, that he was going to a wedding. Devon removed the headphones from his ears, untangling the wires from a mop of black hair and letting them drop onto the thinly-stretched leather seat next to him. They laid there silent, a dejected piece of technology reduced to earplugs.

Headphones were to Devon what Do Not Disturb signs were for hotel doors. They protected him from unwanted conversation and- music off, gave him the illusion of a telepath, or a precognate.

In another moment Devon was off in a daydream, tan arms folded behind his head, eyes aimlessly gazing upwards. He thought, if only for a moment, about the man in the bookstore.

The man in the bookstore was a short, stubby creature, too young to be old and too old to be young. He wavered in between, middling, average- just like everything else about him. Not average, even. The place immediately before, one step away from mediocrity, towards insignificance.

Devon thought about this man because he took pity on him, not an active pity, but pity nonetheless. The two were similar, both in disconnect from the rest of the world. The man didn't look up to the earth and all its beings, nor did Devon look down upon them. But both were of such a stature, in more ways than one, that their viewpoints were kept decidedly away from the blessed norm.

Devon smiled at the man and told him he looked good; receiving a stutter in return. Interaction was a rarity, a direct compliment even less so- and from another man? But, Devon with his olive skin and dark gypsy-hair at least resembled the type of male who'd offer the gesture, and so it was taken with a strange half-smile and a nod.

The End

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