Four Birds.

I don't think he had been there when I walked out, but then again, his appearance was no stranger than the absence of the hotel I had just walked out of.

The young man didn't look at me, or say any more. He sat in the soft sand, flanked by two pairs of statuesque cranes, and stared serenely into the ocean. He was pretty — not necessarily handsome, but certainly pretty, his messy black hair falling carelessly in front of his very light grey eyes. Too light, I thought, like a blind man. I realized I was staring and turned away with a start, but he hadn't seemed to notice one bit.

I looked back at him as the realization began to form in my mind. Cautiously, I waved a hand in front of his face to confirm what I already knew.

But I was wrong.

"I can see you," he sighed, his gaze at the ocean unbroken.

There was something familiar about him. He reminded me of a younger version of my physics teacher at school, or my cousin Will, but I knew I'd never met anyone with eyes like these. As the shock of this stranger's appearing here wore away, my awareness returned and I looked down the beach to try to decide where to go now.

"Stay," he said, and I, somehow comforted by his familiarity, turned and sat beside him. I glanced over my shoulder at the tall birds. They looked back at me with glassy eyes, but didn't flinch. I faced forward. The ocean was beautiful. Still, I was too anxious to appreciate it.

Minutes passed.

My mind began to clear, and after a while, I breathed deeply and let out a heavy sigh. He finally turned to look at me and as he did, his eyes darkened to an impossibly deep brown, and the moonlit ocean was no longer reflected in his gaze. Only I was. And I knew him.

I scrambled to my feet and backed away. It was impossible. He hadn't lived to be this old.

The End

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