The city is much like the people, dull and lifeless and foreign. Unlike the people you //do// remember the city, and fondly at that. You remember the ice cream shop on the corner, where you and your father would get ice cream on Saturdays (and sometimes on Fridays after school, if you were good.) You remember the video shop, where you would rent VHS tapes every weekend, at least until the shop shut down and got turned into a mattress store. You remember getting your first puppy at the humane society a few blocks over, and how that puppy was loyal to you until his death.\n\nYou're suddenly glad no one around seems to be aware of you. Tears mix with the raindrops on your face.\n\n<<display 'destination'>>
An image of them appears in your mind. They appear normal to you, but they also appear normal to everyone else. In school you met a lot of people like that, and they usually teased you or beat you up, or both.\n\nBut this person is different.\n\nThey //love// you as you are.\n\nYour heart sings just thinking of them.\n\n<<display 'Where are they?'>>
It's the ice cream shop, or at least it was. Now it's just a gray building with gray umbrellas outside shielding faceless gray people from the rain.\n\nYou were supposed to meet someone here.\n\n[[Where are they?]]
You know that everyone around you is normal, but to you, they dont //look// normal. They're merely gray blobs of fog shaped into a human form, bustling around you, their endless chatter sounding like a muted buzz.\n\nYou can't remember if you've always seen humans like this or if it was a recent thing.\n\n<<display 'Start'>>
Where were you headed, anyway? Why were you walking through this cold rainy [[city]], surrounded by people that sounded like a hive of bees? You pull your hood up, trying to shield your face from the sprinkling of rain.\n\nAnd then you see [[it]].
[[Someone else]] is walking through the city.
You're surrounded on all sides by a crowd of [[people]]. the sky is cloudless and gray and there's a thick fog swirling around everyone's feet. You shudder and huddle deeper into your hoodie, wondering how much longer it would take to reach your [[destination]].
//Is it...? No...that's not who I'm looking for...//\n\nBoth of you have your hoods up, both of you appear red eyed from tears. She's wearing a pink hoodie with an embroidered butterfly on one pocket. Her hair is short and her eyes are blackened with eyeshadow. You drink in every detail of her; its been ages since you've seen someone //normal.//\n\nShe appears to be looking you over as well. Was she in the same situation as well?\n\nYou stop to say hello but she brushes by without a word.\n\nIt doesn't really matter, your destination is [[straight ahead]].
You walk through the little gate into the outside seating, scanning the monotone area for a sign of [[them]]. You see a [[flash of color]] lying over a chair.\n\n[[Are they okay?]]
"Oh, you're here!"\n\nYou spin around. There they are, smiling and walking towards you. You smile, the first real smile you've had in a long time.\n\n"I was going to buy you something before you got here but as I was checking out I noticed I left my bag behind," they say, looking sheepish.\n\n"That's okay," you say. "I...didn't really want any presents besides you."\n\nTheir smile grows wider and they grab your arm, pulling you into an embrace.\n\nThey love you. A lot.\n\nAnd you realize you love them a lot too. Maybe more.\n\nIt's beautiful.
It's their favorite bag. You rush over and pick it up, worry suddenly bubbling in your gut.\n\n<<display 'Where are they?'>>