What else was there to do

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I stumbled out of the house, the sound of the backdoor shutting behind me muffled by the ringing in my ears. My trembling legs carried me forward, though I had no idea where they were taking me. Houses and buildings passed by in a multicolored blur, my path dimly lit by the silver glow of the moon. It had only been a few minutes of walking, but I was already out of breath. I stopped in front of a tall tree, its thick roots had torn through the sidewalk in front of it as though it had been made of paper.  I leaned against the rough trunk, trying to catch my breath. The world spun around me, small, dark spots glimmered like stars over my eyes. 

"You can do this." I whispered, though it wasn't my voice, it was the calm, confident sound of the 'other me'. Reluctantly I pushed myself away from the tree and kept moving. I had no idea where I was going or what I was even going to do, but somehow I couldn't stop. The blur of houses and buildings next to me gradually became bigger and cleaner. I looked to my left, across the street, and immediately stopped in my tracks. I crossed over the empty road, making my way towards a large house. I stared up at the three-story, red brick building. A white, wooden porch wrapped it, a large porch swing swayed next to the front door. The curtained windows glowed with warm, orange light, making the house seem even more inviting. Two large cars stood in the driveway on my left, their white exteriors gleamed in the moonlight. I soundlessly crossed over the green grass and practically floated over the steps of the porch. My body still felt weak, but energy surged through me with every step I took. 

I knew what I had to do, I was going to survive. No matter what. In the depths of my mind, I could feel a sense of joy, something like a triumphant smile spread through my thoughts. 

My trembling arm lifted and with a shaky hand, I knocked on the door. Apprehension and fear suddenly tightened around my throat like a snake. What if this was a mistake? What if I hurt someone? I was about to turn around when the door slowly creaked open. A tall, wiry man with a receding hairline peaked out from behind the door. I guessed him to be in his early forties, judging by the lines across his forehead and around his mouth. He gave a nervous smile as his gaze swept over me.

"I'm sorry, we don't have any money." He said, attempting to close the door.  With those words, the uncertainty in my mind was wiped away as though it had been dust on a table. Electricity crackled through my veins as I called the power towards me, the hunger pains disappearing with each steady breath. 

"Wait," I said, my voice calm and unsettling. The man stopped, the connection between our minds weak due to my current condition, but strong enough to control him. "We are old friends and you are going to invite me in for dinner."

The man's dull eyes filled with recognition, the confusion I sensed in his mind now turning into happiness. His face twitched into a smile as he swung open the door. 

"Oh my, I hardly recognized you! Please, excuse my rudeness and come in for some dinner! You must be starving." His voice was low but filled with excitement. 

"No problem at all, Mr. Reynolds," I answered, his name easily found in his mind. 

"Oh come one, call me James." He beamed as he welcomed me inside. 

I stepped into the warmth of the large house, my eyes tingling at the sudden glow of light. I must have come at the perfect time, as the smell of food wrapped around me like a warm embrace. I breathed it in, my stomach growled ferociously. James guided me towards the dining room, passing through a short hallway covered with family photos. I glanced at them, momentarily envious of the life I never had. 

My host veered left, straight through a large opening in the white walls. I stepped into a huge, warm room. It was probably as big as the Recreation room back at Ms. Hester's. It was a deep red color, decorated with beautiful paintings and more family photos. A large, dark mahogany table stood at the room's center. Its surface was covered with an array of the most delicious food I had ever seen. My eyes roamed over the table, spotting a plate piled high with roasted chicken, a dish filled with steamed vegetables, a fresh summer salad, and even a bowl full of creamy mashed potatoes. My stomach gave another growl and I had to suppress my desire to dive headfirst onto the table. 

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