Chapter 6Mature

With his throat constricting out of sadness, Alex started the engine. Trying to tell himself that things were not as bad as he was making them out to be didn't make him feel much better. He could take solace in the fact that no one had deeply questioned him about some of his new mannerisms yet, but even on that he feared it was only a matter of time.

No, damn it.” he thought to himself as he approached First Colony. “Just take it as it comes. I can deal with this. If someone finds out, I can make it work.

Taking a detour to get a bite to eat, Alex went for a clothing shop nearby once he had his meal, thinking it would have more mellow scents inside. As soon as he opened the doors, his theory was confirmed. While there were still a large number of scents inside the store, they seemed more uniform. There were fewer wild variants between each other, meaning he had less to process. With his cheeseburger in hand, he headed for the denim clothing section.

Up close to the new clothing, he managed to find one positive use for his new sense of smell. He could tell which of the jackets on display were fresh from the packages and which ones had hung on the rack for a while, being touched by others.

Picking one that smelled the strongest of cardboard, starch and duct tape, he wasted no time trying it on to see how it felt. The fabric was stiff against his arms since it hadn't been washed yet, but having a piece of clothing with a mostly blank scent wrapped around him felt oddly calming. Even if he didn't understand what the feeling meant, he bought the jacket and stuffed it into his backpack as he left, quickly putting his helmet back on.

Once he was back home, and reaching for the lever of the front door, he stopped himself for a second. The scents inside would likely be as strong as everything else he had encountered so far. As odd as it felt even thinking about that, going straight in would likely leave him overwhelmed at the rush of scents. He didn't want to be acting odd in front of his folks, much less give them a reason to ask him anything.

Leaning towards a crack of the door level with his head, he put his nose close and inhaled. While the bushes nearby made up the strongest initial scents, he could still catch whiffs of what was inside the house. Bailey seemed to be waiting at the front door already from the strength of his scent, and his folks were fixing lasagna judging by the combination of sauce and cheeses.

The End

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