As mid-June end-of-year approached I was faced with choice moving back home for the summer as Ellen was flying back to San Fran to stay with her mother, it seemed the dorms kicked students, especially underage ones. Sarah offered to let me stay with her for the summer however, in Ellen's unused room.
Ellen wholeheartedly supported the idea, and after I agreed, my parents met Sarah, and approved after a lengthy discussion, which included hints they thought Sarah was a lesbian trying to sex me up. Even after I causally mentioned Sarah's boyfriend they only gave me a "as if" look and acted like I hadn't said a thing.
(My parents had always done that with me, if they doubted what I said was the truth they pretended I hadn't said a thing, which always frustrated me about them. I still don;t know if it was some new age child rearing B.S they were trying, or if it was just how one of them was raised, but it never sit well with me.)
Eventually Sarah and me convinced them, after I showed them some pictures of Ellen and me at the fair, and some others they seemed to get hat I was with another girl, although they still suspected Sarah was a lesbian I think, I didn't press my luck, even claimed some line about getting a summer job near by and such until they relented.
The little time I spent living with Sarah was actually pretty much like living alone. I found her casual, friendly, and relaxed when she was around, but she wasn't around a lot. Her time was taken with summer courses, studies, and her internship at the FBI. What little time she had to spare went to occasionally hanging with David, or sitting David's baby sister. Though there was a couple of sitting nights where Sarah just didn't come home.
For my part I spent most of that summer as a bird, and later as wolf getting caught up in the intricacies of life as an animal. That summers adventures as a wolf and osprey changed my life. I wouldn't realize until later, how spending all that time shifted as an animal while still developing mentally and physically, would change the way my mind worked, on some level. Sleeping as a dog nearly every night since expressing likely didn't help things either, but I'm getting ahead of myself again.
It was in mid-August, Sarah left for the entire weekend, but told me she had her phone, just in case. Where was she going? I didn't know. She'd left before, every three months for a few days like clock work, but this time was different. This time I had the freedom of time and privacy to follow her
She packed a messenger bag and called a cab. It was easy enough to follow her to JFK. Trickier after that. After seeing which gate she was waiting at, I snuck on board the plane to Baltimore, hiding in the luggage area as a bird, in among the animal cages since that area was pressurized, feeling a mixture of apprehension and excitement at doing something so daring and illegal.
I suspected it had something to do with Sarah's delta
ability being dormant, or her honing it in secret at some testing grounds maybe. The
flight touched off around
They walked to a car parked in short term parking, free if under half an hour, popped the magnetic card in the reader and left in a small hybrid. The vehicle headed for the main street into the city. It was easy to follow.
I noted the greeting and their subsequent departure with
interest, wondering briefly if this woman was an older sister perhaps? I followed them
at a distance after assuming the somewhat clichéd appearance of a
Winging down during a
traffic light induced pause, I darted lower to land on a nearby telephone wire,
eyeing the plate of the vehicle for any clues as to it's owner. They were just
local plates, the license plate holder of a rental company. They drove into the
city, and ended up at
I paused, landing on a near by light pole as I pondered the new information. Unless Sarah was fighting some kind of secret war with cancer, or visiting a relative who was, it was a puzzle indeed.
After they parked, and began to head inside. The woman paused, turning to go back to the car. She motioned Sarah on. I was just barely close enough to hear her saying she forgot her bag.
With a bob of the head I saw my opportunity, darting down to land on the roof of the car, hoping for a chance to slip into the woman's bag unnoticed as she slung it over her shoulder to head inside.
The woman reached into her car, but stopped, she looked at me,
and she smiled, so prettily and sweetly. I chirped, a simple sing song melody
I'd heard from other
"Evie.... if Sarah finds out you followed her, she'll never trust you again." The lady said cautiously to me.
I paused as the woman spoke to me, blinking as only a bird could, "How'd you know it was me?" My voice sounded high pitched, almost musical, and speaking in a way humans could understand hurt, literally.
She smiled again, and offered a finger for me to perch on. "Don't worry, little bird. I won't tell her. But maybe you should go home now." Was all she gave me by way of an answer.
The finger looked tempting, but I knew if Sarah glanced back and saw a bird perched on the woman's finger questions would be asked, better to appear skittish and wild.
"First tell me how you knew it was me, and who you are, then I'll go." I knew tagging along inside would be too risky now I'd been made, but couldn't resist bargaining for a little more information.
She smiled and tilted her head. "Evie, this isn't the time for childish games, or deals. You've betrayed Sarah's trust, following her like this. Now, go home, and never tell her you followed her." She retrieved her bag, locked her door and turned away without another word, heading into the hospital.
As if! I thought quietly, more then a little suspicious the woman recognized me so readily, and dismissed me so casually.
She paused, turning back. "If she wanted you to know, you'd know. If you're still out here when we come out, I'll tell her, and you'll lose her. And if you lose her like this, you'll lose Ellen, too."
I care about her more then you could possibly realize, and if you're manipulating her somehow... My thoughts trailed off as the woman stopped a second time. I tilted my head and looked over at her, giving her my best angry bird expression.
After a moment, she added, "She needs friends she can trust. Please. Go home." Then she turned away again. I paused, fighting the urge to question the woman at length, and voice my own feelings of betrayal that Sarah had told this stranger about me to such an extent.
I quickly concluded confronting her would force me to resume human form, and a naked woman yelling in front of a hospital would draw media and police, and be a losing scenario from the moment I changed.
A few more paces, and the lady paused again, looking back. The smile was still there, still warm, reassuring. "She didn't tell me about you. She'd never do that." Then she turns one last time and walked away.
I ruffled my feathers in confusion, realizing the woman was a delta, and apparently could read minds, in which case any attempt at pursuit would prove fruitless. My concern for my friend being taken advantage off warred with my sense of self preservation, until I gave the bird version of a shrug, realizing this angle of approach was more trouble than it was worth, and let out a squawk of frustration, marking the front car window with a large enough mess to make a pigeon green with envy, before flying back to the airport, hoping I was in time for the returning flight.
I wouldn't run into the mysterious woman again for several years, although in her own way, she would wind up saving my life.