Sharing and Storytelling

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

The sun blazed high in the sky as we pulled into the parking lot of an old, dingy-looking diner.

Are we in Massachusetts? I wondered vaguely, thinking of an old story I heard long ago as a child.

Destiny, this isn't America you numb-nut. I reminded myself. Then I shook my head to get rid of such pointless thoughts. All that mattered was we were here (wherever here was) and now, I hoped, we would meet this mysterious Karla person.

One by one, our motley crew extracted ourselves from the van. Being me, I lost my footing as I left the vehicle and practically fell out to the ground. Expecting a painful impact with the dusty ground, I was surprised to find myself caught by Owen. Hmmm. That seemed to be a recurring thing didn't it? My eyes flicked to his and he held my gaze as he set me on the ground and let go of me. Well, I dunno what he was thinking but I was trying to decipher the meaning behind those hazel colored orbs of his. Wait, did I just notice his eye colour? Weird.

As John muttered explanations and instructions to the rest of our group, we two younglings stood together silently. Owen ran a hand through his messy blonde locks, almost nervously. Wait, once again, who am I to notice details on people, especially boys? I narrowed my eyes, the better to scrutinize Owen with. He looked slightly taken aback, and opened his mouth to say something but then John addressed us all.

"Alright gang, let's head inside." he said loudly, glancing around at the few passers by and then nodding a solemn thanks to our driver, who concurrently drove off, leaving us in the dust. The seven of us shifted what luggage we had and moved towards the doors of the diner.

By the look of the guy on the register, we made this old diner busier than it had ever been before. The small amount of customers had their eyes on us. John grunted a greeting and they all went back to their food. I stared at these people, the first ordinary citizens I'd seen, well, for months now. It's strange how things change, isn't it?

As another rhetorical question flitted through my neural pathways, John walked up to the guy on the register and murmured something quietly. The wide-eyed male nodded and jerked his thumb towards the back, where there was a door leading to another room.

As we filed in, I took in the sight of a round table with ten seats around it and, occupying one of them, a woman in her mid-twenties. Karla. She wore a half casual, half business looking pantsuit, her mousy brown hair was drawn back into a neat ponytail, she had minimal makeup on her face and a determined glow to her eyes. Covering the table in front of her was her equipment: a laptop, clipboard, filing folder that looked like it was about to burst it's papery contents, and a bag packed with more equipment. This lady had clearly come prepared.

As my eyes travelled away from her belongings, I caught Karla (if this really was her) watching me curiously and quietly, almost as if she was weighing me up.

Then she stood, eyes flicking away from me, and welcomed the whole group, ushering us to sit down. We quickly moved ourselves to occupy the small wooden chairs, and I ended up next to Owen. Shocker.

John was the last to sit. "Good morning Karla." he addressed the girl, giving her a rough hug.

"How was the trip here?" Karla asked him expertly. If I didn't already know she was, I would have guessed that she was a reporter.

"It was doable." He replied. "Didn't go exactly as planned," I noticed he glanced at me at these words. "but it went okay."

Karla nodded. "Did you acquire everything we expected?"

John nodded, a glint of triumph coming into his expression. "We've got all the evidence in the packs and more. Once the public hears about this, they'll be in outrage."

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