Chapter 10: Because We're Not Them

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Ryn looked herself over in the mirror.

Kiley apparently didn't think that lending her a room was kind enough. She'd then taken it a step further and given her a fresh set of new clothes to wear as well.

Being roughly the same size, it was easy to find her the perfect outfit from her own wardrobe.

A pale blue, open-back shirt that left plenty of room for her wings without causing damage to the clothing, as well as pair of fitted jeans.

She even offered to lend her a pair of sneakers, but Ryn couldn't possibly handle anymore of her kindness, and was quite content with keeping her own shoes.

It was odd how shoes hadn't really changed altogether that much in the past century. Converse had held on hard for over a hundred years.

'Alright, so I've got to go take care of a garden over in the eastern side of The Lights,' Kiley told her as she emerged into the living room. 'I should be back at about three this afternoon. You're perfectly welcome to stay here, if you want, for the rest of the day. There should be plenty of everything – with exception of hazelnuts – in the kitchen. Will... will you be alright?'

Ryn could have laughed at Kiley's concerned, almost mother-like expression.

'I'll be more than alright. You have been... amazingly kind. Thank you so much, Kiley.'

The girl smiled lightly.

'There's a spare key under the sink to lock up if you're going out!' She called as she closed the door. 'I'll catch you later!'

Half an hour, and two whole oranges later, Ryn found herself feeling jumpy, though she couldn't quite explain why.

More than once, her wings had almost knocked over a pot plant as she paced back and forth across the living room, and she couldn't help but apologise to the leafy shrubs each time. The way she'd seen Kiley speak to the plants just this morning gave them a life of their own, even if she didn't see them quite as the other girl did.

And the last thing she wanted was for the plants to be reporting her misdeeds to them back to Kiley.

She knew the girl could understand the plants, in some way or another. Articles and documentaries had said numerous times that she could glean all sorts of information from a single tree, just after a few moments of conversation with it.

It was extraordinary, really. Plants held a language of their own, one which Kiley seemed able to use, herself.

After she caught herself gazing longingly out the window for the twentieth time, Ryn knew she just couldn't sit still.

She rummaged in the cupboard below the sink for the spare key, gripping it tightly between her fingers.

Once the door was closed and locked behind her, she made her way down the hall of the apartment building, heading for the elevator that would take her straight down to the street below.

As soon as the doors bumped open, however; she nearly ran straight into a man, somewhere in his mid-thirties. He was tall and broad, with sand-coloured hair sitting in a neatly-combed position atop his head.

'Oh, I'm so sorry!' She cried. 'I've been terribly clumsy recently.'

He chuckled. 'Don't worry about it. No harm, no foul, right?'

He slid past her with a smile, as she stepped into the elevator, and something about his eyes struck her, as the doors closed, sealing him from view.

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