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As you sit with your body huddled against the corner of the bed, you realize for the hundredth time. There is no entertainment here. Nothing to occupy you. Just you and the thoughts that consume you mind.

You had wanted this for so long. Three long years through training and on probation, you've dreamt of independence. Of being free. Freedom was far off, but you would give anything to have it in your grasp.

You have it. You're drowning in it. And you've given up everything you had for it.

For this. This one room hole that held so few possessions. For a job as a waitress at some run down diner. To be someone else, while secretly thinking 'you could do much better than this with all the skills you now have.' Skills you have, thanks to the place you just ran away from. The place that had you holding the barrel end of a gun to the middle of your forehead.

No, you don't want to go back. You don't miss it. Not the killings or the blood. The eyes that condemn you. Well, you may just miss your old apartment that was decorated to your personal tastes. And maybe you miss that dirty of an uncle from Munitions. Or that computer nerd that acted so much like the little brother you never had before.

Maybe you miss your mentor, the man you've been through so much with. The man that was different from every other man on the streets or that lived in your house. The drunks. The drug addicts. The abusers, shouters, crazies.

He showed you respect. He showed you that you're worth something. Something to him. Your mind starts to think back to every touch, every gaze that lingered upon you. The caresses, the kisses. They were Section produced, but somehow, that fact doesn't matter so much any more. Because it felt like it was apart of him. It felt like he was putting himself in to it.

It was he who helped break your wings. But he was also the one to mend them and set you free.

You try to shrug it off, but you can't. Okay, so maybe you miss him too.

And perhaps you regret the words you silenced all that time. The words that never escaped your lips.

But you left that all behind. It doesn't matter anymore, or so you tell yourself over and over. You crossed too many lines. Burnt too many bridges.

You can never go back. Never can you return. You should be filled with relief, but you can't fool yourself. There's a part of you that's not. A part of you that aches at the thought.

You start to think about this new life. It's all you have now, so why dwell on the past? Anyway, it's not so bad, laying low in your deep cover as you hide. Your boss is caring and sweet. So is his wife, who cooked you dinner three times now when she would ask and see right through your lies that you had somewhere else to go.

You're becoming transparent. The truth is on your sleeve. The facts are seeping in to your heart. You have no where to go. No one to welcome you home. No one to want to share your company with. You've got no one now, but a nice employer and his pitying wife.

You try to avoid the thought as best as you can, but it nags at the edges of your conscience. Admit it. You can still feel that last embrace he gave you. Your mentor, your friend. your memory betrays your resistance, and it allows you to remember just how good it felt to lean against him, to let him hold you with security.

The words he whispered in your ear. They may have been Section - rehearsed. After all, Madeline surely knew you were ready to take yourself out of that cold prison one way or another. She may have sent him to give you comfort. She always knew so well how you'd react and when.

But as you sit there, in this place that feels as much as a prison as Section had, you suddenly know that you don't care if they were truth or not. Because your heart has longed for those words, that touch, those feelings, for so long. You've been dreaming since you were a little girl, as you watched all those horrible men your mother paraded around the house, for a knight in shining armor to take you away. To say words with feeling. To hold you with caring. To actually mind if you're okay. If you're still alive.

Your thoughts break way to new.

Does Michael care if I'm dead or not? If I made it out in that little time? Does he wonder? Your first response, coming from that part of you that's made up of nothing but wishful thinking, says, of course he does. He wouldn't have set you free, risked his life and status, let you escape, if he didn't care.

But what if this was all a ploy? Your fear gene was kicked up to it's highest notch because of this thought. You knew it was a possibility all along.

It would be good, if it was. Partly, at least. Then you'd know, once and for all, who Michael was. Who's side he was on. You'd know where you stood and who not to trust.

It would be good for your survival, but your heart weeps at the thought. If you'd allow the feeling to surface, it would tell you the truth. That you'd rather sacrifice security for Michael's gesture to be that of true caring. Of real help.

Of love? No, you won't push it that far. You may have known him well for three years, but still you know not to go there, for your sake and for his. He's damaged material. He's hurt. He doesn't form attachments anymore. You know that.

You don't do it either. You can't trust. You can't survive. Not if you'd let way for the tempting flow of emotions that you hide behind your walls.

The walls that are closing in.

Pulling a blanket close, you allow the weight of your conscience to lay you down. It'll be long before you fall asleep, but sunrise will soon be approaching. Once again, you've skipped another night of restful sleep.

This normal life thing was hard to get used to. One fleeting thought before you block the rest; you wonder briefly if you'll ever get used to this life. If you'll ever be able to sleep, knowing how many others are risking their lives at all times, while you sleep leisurely at night.

How others may be cancelled if found out about their sacrifices.

The silence is deafening. Tomorrow, you decide, you'll invest in a radio.

-K.S.-