Hello once again, and hey, look, I actually made a rather smaller chapter, for once. But, is that a good thing? I don’t know. But yeah, I decide to play on the new character and give a bit more characterization for her and Lorna. I’ll probably shift to the more episodic? features with more of a focus on Lorna’s problems now, or stick to a bit more antics with the ‘bad guys’. But I’ll see. Here you go, chapter 12 of “Home For The Unwanted”.
Amanda walked over to the bench that had been placed at the side of the road. She looked at the cup in her hand and blew through the steam that rose. The steam dissipated into a cloud of nothingness in the air, while Amanda stared solemnly at the rounded top. She gave a small sigh, and then brought the cup to her lips, tipping it over and letting the warm dark liquid drain into her mouth.
“Dark?” Amanda turned towards the familiar voice. It was the voice of a young woman with bright golden hair. Her red lips were accentuated by her rosy cheeks, while her eyes were shaped alluringly. Amanda had one word to describe the young woman speaking to her, and that was beautiful.
“Dark,” Amanda replied with a soft tone.
“You don’t change, do you?”
“It takes time to change, especially for people. You on the other hand, have changed.”
“Considerably. I mean, just a few years ago you were working for us, one of the youngest we’ve had. You did great. People called you a prodigy.”
“People called me many things: a brat, a kid, naive.”
“Those people were my supposed superiors. People who have gone through training, and people who have faced death.”
“You’re not still on that, are you? That whole incident was a load of crap, and you know it.”
“Right. I know. I know.” Lorna knew very well what Amanda had meant. Lorna went over and took a seat beside Amanda. Her breath seemed to radiate tiredness as her eyes became increasingly difficult to open. Lorna’s hands were snuff in her pocket and her hair was still on the bench seat. Amanda took another sip from her cup, and looked slowly over to Lorna.
“You can always come back whenever you want.” Lorna didn’t move, and stood still, looking over the empty road.
“I can come back whenever I want. But, that doesn’t meant that the others would want that.”
“The others know that you’re more of an asset than any of them. You can’t let that get to your head. You’re a huge help, even now.” Lorna looked over to Amanda and gave her a weak smile, “You could have gathered those rumors yourself.”
“Perhaps so, but, you do it much quicker.”
“Doesn’t mean it’s better.” Amanda looked down at her cup. Steam was slowly rising again, and before she could take another sip, Lorna got up and stretched.
“You’re really not coming back, huh?”
“I’m not. I can’t go back.” Lorna’s tone slowed, and she became very articulate. She began pacing back and forth beside the bench.
“You never did tell us a reason, did you?”
“I’m guessing my asking won’t make a difference.”
“You were never the type to open up. It’s always been like this. Even after you agreed to help me on this investigation. You’re always so elusive.”
“Do you think that’s a bad thing?”
“Can’t say. People won’t understand you, that’s for sure.”
“You never know,” Lorna said to herself. To Lorna, there were all kinds of people in the world. People who walked by without even taking a glance. People who walked by and only gave a small nod. People who walked by, and stopped to talk. Lorna knew about all these kinds of people. She was aware of each and every person’s clique, and she could easily manipulate that to her advantage. However, Ryan was a rare case. Lorna could tease and make fun of Ryan, but she understood that he was a fundamentally broken person. Lorna even found it comfortable to talk with Ryan, and was even able to open up to him a little about her problems. Lorna had always found it difficult to talk to people. She used them, and because of this, at a young age, she developed great anxiety towards companionship. Lorna found that people were just a means for her to get what she wanted, and nothing else. It wasn’t until she found out that people could be brought together, and that people could illicit certain emotions that she started realizing just how detrimental her ability was. Lorna vowed to never use her pseudo-quant tendencies against people, and that she would only use her ability to understand. Emotions of happiness, sadness, and anger were all things that Lorna could tell at any instance. Just by analyzing a person’s facial expression, Lorna was able to tell dissect everything, and if she went further, she would have them in strings.
“By the way, any new updates?” Amanda looked over to Lorna, who had settled down and was now staring at a nearby building.
“No. Sorry, I know you want to get rid of this underground orphanage as soon as possible.”
“It’s fine. After all, I’ve never been one to rush to the job. Something like this does take time, and I’ve taken my own precautions towards it as well.”
“Found two people the other day wandering about in the shopping district. Couldn’t catch their names, but, they looked quite suspicious.”
“Describe them for me.”
“One of them was a little boy, had a bandage on his hand. And the other….Well he was a special case. Didn’t seem like much of anybody.” Lorna knew exactly who she was talking about, and gave herself a mental note to go and yell at Ryan and Spark when she found them later. It’s strange, Lorna thought. Being able to yell and being able to care about people other than herself was something she never thought she could do. Lorna never really was good at reading children, and that might have played into why she decided to rally them up under one roof. In a way, they made her feel leveled; they were her linchpin. Lorna slowly found herself being more and more disconnected with the world while working with Amanda. Everything was losing its color, and the incidents surrounding her didn’t make it any better. It came to no surprise that Lorna’s next course of action was to cut all ties with the world, and simply let the world wash her away.
“You’re going to investigate them?”
“That’s the plan. They’re an odd bunch, but, really they could just be anybody. Maybe they did tell me the truth. But I have a bad feeling about them. Something tells me otherwise.”
“When you get like that, nothing stops you.” Lorna gave a small chuckle
“I’m just as stubborn as you.”
“Perhaps so, but that’s what makes you good at your job. You always get the job done. No matter how long or how much you have to do to achieve it.”
“But at the end of the day, most of the credit goes to the people who matter. And I’m just a small pawn.” Amanda sipped her cup once again, and left her lips to linger at the top. Her eyes narrowed, and her breathing slowed. There were many reasons why Lorna came to hate the job that Amanda was doing. There were many reasons why Lorna ended up riding the wave of fate and finding her own compromise. There were many reasons why Lorna couldn’t tell Amanda what she was really doing. However, Lorna still found solace within Amanda. She was the first person who really tried to open up to Lorna and really stuck it out for her. Even if Amanda was her enemy now, Lorna still found it in her to talk to her, and treat her as an ally. Little does she know, those feelings of fleeting friendship is what will cause Lorna everything she has, and is what would really test her. Lorna doesn’t tend to forget much, however, she doesn’t tend to forgive much either. A friend of the past, will always be that, and she can never do anything about it.
“Aren’t we all just pawns in a bigger system?” Lorna answered.
“That’s out of character. Leave that kind of cynical talk to people like me.”
“Leaving cynical ramble to old people is no fun. Youth is long, so I’ll have plenty of time to be cynical now so I’ll be burnt out later.”
“You’re right, but that’s no way to treat one’s youth. You may be young, but you have a bright future. I believe in you, Lorna.”
“I wish I could say the same.”
“Hopefully you won’t have to.”
“Because it’s lonely?”
“You never change.” Amanda laughed at Lorna’s remark. Once Amanda finished her drink, she got up, and went over to the nearest trash bin.
“I’ve got to go meet my partner now. He’s a load of work, but he’s got potential. I’ll see you later, Lorna.”
“Alright. Later, Amanda.” Lorna waved her off, and once Amanda had left, Lorna began walking back to the building. Lorna’s expression was self contained, and she urgently tried to lift her spirits up. Lorna hated frowning, and she hated the serious atmosphere that surrounded her casual attire.
“Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse,” Lorna whispered to herself.
“Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse,” Lorna quickly said while adding a skip to her steps.
“Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse,” Lorna recited in a singsong manner. Her expression changed, she was back to what people like Ryan would call her “usual self”. To people like Ryan, and to the children, this was the Lorna that they looked up to. Lorna was a figure of unity, and a person who upheld that no matter what. She hated the ‘bad guys’ and wanted to do everything in her way to stay under the radar and keep the family that she has spent so hard working on. Lorna is playful, but can be very serious at times. However, one fact that no one could say about her, was that Lorna was just as broken as them. Lorna was human. Lorna was not any better than any of them. Lorna was weak. Lorna was very weak.