There it was again.
A tickling on the edge of her safety net. She always put her confusion barrier up when in the city. Anyone wanting to approach her would be stifled at five paces away, their decision to approach would waver and hopefully they would give up their effort. Any other pedestrian, not concerned or not noticing her would walk right on through it. It was a handy device that kept her safe and a secret she shared that put her mother’s mind at rest.
Besides, you never knew when someone from the ‘Nursery’ might be checking up on your life. Cursed people. Thank God she’d escaped, been adopted by loving indulgent parents and was managing to live her life to the fullest
The sensation tickled her back again and she stopped mid-stride, turned and looked down the street. There he was again, the same young man who’d stared at her in the supermarket the other day while she’d been shopping with her mother. He had to be about her own age - too young to be a government agent. What did he want from her? Probably some creep who stalked people, unless it was a co-incidence? Could he be g-altered too?
Did he recognise her from the Nursery? The children had mixed socially when they were growing up until the magic age of seven. Any friendships formed were then split asunder as some stayed, some were adopted and some seemed to vanish overnight. His face didn’t ring any bells in her memory. Had he been adopted as well? To be out in the world he must have. Those ‘conscripted’ didn’t enjoy the luxury of free will.
She ran her gaze slowly over him, taking in his tall frame, broad shoulders and thick, dark hair. He met her gaze with equal interest before she turned and walked on. She could feel his indecision prickling again behind her. If he really wanted to talk to her then her confusion barrier would be stopping him. A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. She could feel his puzzled thoughts bouncing off her barrier, as other pedestrians streamed past close to her and wove between them. No doubt he couldn’t work out how they could get close to her and he couldn’t.
She wondered if he’d work out how break through the barrier. No one else had so far. It wasn’t that she was against men or found the opposite sex unattractive. It was simply a matter of safety first. On reaching the corner she took the steps into the train station at a run, glad to be out of the wind and stopped to read the digital notice board’s moving message. There was a ten minute wait till her next train on Platform three. Should she get a coffee to sip on the train? She checked her barrier, no tickling, no irritation. He must have given up, or moved away. Pity, obviously no stickability. He’d looked rather nice too. Ah well, he might try again and she just might let him approach next time.
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