42: Pieces of Paradise

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With my coffee on the floor next to me, all I could do was hope that no one would find me.

For once in my life, I felt happy where I was, that I wasn't missing out on the bigger picture because I was forced to live in a society that didn't understand people like me. And if I had to stay up in the seal watchtower until everyone else left the island for the season, then that was what I had to do.

I was the whale enthusiast who could not be moved.


I took a sip of my coffee, and although it was beginning to get cold, I would need the energy to fight off anyone who tried to put me on the Millennium Osprey back to the shore.

Somebody's footsteps creaked up the ladder to the seal loft, and they seemed a bit quieter than Logan's. I sat up as the person peeked into the tower.


I wasn't exactly expecting that.

"Do you want to hide up here with me too?" I asked.

He nodded. "I don't want to go back either."

He climbed up onto the floor, and he sat along the wall opposite of me.

"You know, when people find their paradise, they don't usually have to give it back like this. I just figured that this day wouldn't ever come," I said.

"I stared into a microscope all day to study the little lives we don't ever notice, and it never got boring. Not even when I watched the same exact diatom for four days straight," Carter replied.

I smiled. "The human world isn't made for people like us."

"It really isn't. You're like the reverse little mermaid."

I laughed. "I guess so. I want to be where the people aren't."

Neither one of us said anything for a moment, but just like when we first talked, the silence wasn't awkward. It was just two people who didn't feel bad that they had nothing to say.

"You're close with Logan, right?" Carter asked.

"I would like to think so, yeah," I replied with a smile.

"Then I want to show you something, but you have to promise not to tell him."

I rose an eyebrow. "Is this another letter from Morgan? Because we decided that we're not going to talk about her anymore. It just makes us both upset."

Carter shook his head. "You have to come with me. Otherwise, I don't think you'll actually believe me."

"Is it good or bad? Could you at least tell me that?"

Carter smiled. "It's good."

I nodded. "Okay. You can show me the good thing."

He led me back into the house and to the living room. Everyone's belongings and bags were gathered around the coffee table, and even though my stuff was there too, it was just for show. I wasn't leaving. Ever.

Logan still kept his stuff in a trash bag (fortunately, it was a new one), and Carter opened it up just enough that we could peek inside.

Every square inch of the stuff inside was covered in those FOR RECTAL USE ONLY stickers, and I covered my mouth.

"Did you do that?" I asked.

Carter nodded.

I laughed. "Oh my—I didn't believe Brett when he said that those stickers were your idea. Logan is going to lose his mind when he sees that."

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