You're Not Alone

DAY 1

Darkness came early in New York because winter was coming around. It was 7:34 and cold. Many people were outside doing some late-night shopping, roaming the city, or trying to get somewhere.

A 19-year-old girl was out walking in Manhattan's cool night air. As she was walking down 5th Avenue, she stopped in front of an alley because her cellphone rang.

"Hello?" She answered.

"Hey, it's me, John." Said the man on the other side of the phone

"Oh, hey John!" the girl said happily, "So when are we meeting again? I'm out here by 5th Avenue and King Street."

"Umm, about that, Sam…." John said, "I want to break up"

"But why? I don't understand" Sam asked in worry, "You said you loved me….."

John took a deep breath and then spoke, "I did, but you're just not my type. An-and I found someone else."

Tears came to her eyes, but Samantha did not cry.

"I see. It seems like no one will love me…." She said sadly as she began to lean against the brick wall

"Sorry about that, Sammy." John tried to say it sincerely and couldn't for some reason. "I've got to go now, bye."

"Bye…" Sam said softly.

As she stood there leaning against the wall by 5th and King she wanted to cry so badly. Samantha looked up at the clear dark sky. The wind blew a cold breeze and she shivered. Then she looked into the alley she was next to and when she did that some rumbling came from there and a trash can fell over.

Samantha looked into the alley startled.

"I guess it was just a cat or something," Sam told herself.

What she didn't know was that it was something in the alley and it wasn't a cat.

The creature was looking for some broken electronics or anything of use it could find so he could build some technology it was working on.

It heard everything she said and in a way knew how she felt. Not being loved, being pushed away by others, and loneliness. It felt sorry for her, but there was no point in telling her; he would probably end up scaring her away like every other human that saw him. Something about this female made him interested in her, though. He wasn't sure what; maybe it was her beauty or the way she spoke or even the way she handled the situation. He wasn't sure why or what, but he was interested.

He wanted to follow her for some reason. He felt as if something good would turn up from doing so. And so he went on following this girl whom he barely knew anything about.

He stayed a few blocks away from her, but still kept this 'Samantha' girl in sight. 'Thank goodness there aren't many humans outside right now. I can easily hide if needed to,' he thought to himself.

Samantha was walking down from street to street until she reached the park. She hasn't been to the park in years. The last time she was there was when she was about 15. How she loved the place as a child. She would play in the jungle gym, go down on the slides, and sit on the swings. But most of all, she loved the forest that was right next to it. It seemed so much fun just walking in there. The forest was so peaceful.

She began walking towards the forest and sat down with her back to a big oak tree that boarded the forest from the park.

She looked up at the clear night sky again and spoke out loud to herself, "Why does it seem that every guy I like doesn't care? They always break up with me. They say they love me and then leave me. They say that I'm not their type. Sometimes they're with someone else and don't want to be with me because of that."

Tears came to her eyes once more and she let them come this time forming two tiny streams down her face. No one was around so it didn't matter. Now she could cry and not worry about feeling embarrassed. She hated crying in public or in front of others.

"Am I not good enough?" Samantha said through her tears, "Am I not pretty enough? Do I need to work on anything? What's wrong with me?" Sam put her head between her knees, "I guess I'm never going to find the right guy. I guess I'm too messed up or something anyway. Maybe I somehow scare people away and I don't know it," she lifted her head and looked at the park in front of her, "What's wrong with me? Really, what's wrong with me? I don't want to be alone….."

The creature saw her crying and speaking to herself. He was only a few trees away from her in the forest. He was well hidden, and he could see everything she was doing, but she couldn't see him.

'Humans are strange,' he thought to himself. She was beautiful. As far as he knew there wasn't anything wrong with this woman. Why would any male leave this creature? It didn't make any sense. She seemed so sad and she was crying.

He knew how she felt. No one would want to be with him. He was a monster, a hideous horrifying looking monster. Humans would scream at the sight of if they ever saw him. She was beautiful and for some reason men avoided her. Neither of them felt loved or cared about. They don't believe anybody would be with them.

"You're not alone," he said out loud. 'Oh no, I didn't mean to speak!' he thought to himself in worry.

Sam was startled to hear someone speak. She looked around to see who had spoken those words.

"Who's there?" she asked anxiously. That deep voice sounded scary, yet gentle in a way. She kept on looking but couldn't see anyone.

"What do you want?" Samantha asked once more as she kept looking around.

'Oh no, what have I done?' The creature asked himself. Maybe he should keep silent and just watch making her think it was nothing. He shuffled a bit and regretted it.

"I know you're there. I just heard you," said the girl, she stayed sitting down but kept looking.

"I didn't mean to reveal myself," he said at last. 'What am I thinking? I shouldn't even be doing this. Why did I follow her in the first place?'

"It's okay. I didn't even want to be seen either," her voice sounded sincere, innocent even.

'What am I doing? I'm talking to a total stranger right now,' Sam thought to herself.

"I'm not really wanted by anyone so I wanted to hide, if you know what I mean," she continued

"I know exactly how you feel, Miss," said the one who she thought was a man, "I'm never wanted by your people, so that is the reason why I always hide."

Samantha didn't understand by what meant when he said 'your people.' What did that mean? Does he mean he's so ugly that people don't like him? Or that he's not human? Maybe even both? Isn't that impossible for monsters to exist? She thought they were just in stories. Maybe those stories were somehow real?

"What do you mean by 'your people'?" asked Samantha.

'What have I done? I will end up getting myself caught and in trouble. She's already started asking questions,' the creature thought to himself. He was getting worried. But she was so sad and lonely, and innocent even. She has been heart-broken so many times. They seemed alike in a way. 'Maybe, just maybe, she will accept me. But what if she calls those police people? They may not even believe her, so I could be safe.'

He took a deep breath and decided to speak.

"I am a monster, a true monster. Everyone fears me, and nobody likes me. That is why I am always hidden," he said, "until now…."

He hoped he was doing the right thing, if not, at least going to be okay, he hoped...

'A monster, a real monster? Impossible,' Samantha thought to herself, 'but you never really know what to expect….'

She felt sorry for him-it or whatever he-it is. It seemed so lonely, like her, and sad too. She could tell that he didn't want to speak in the first place. She guessed that it was an accident when he said 'you're not alone.'

'Poor thing, I wish I could help him,' Sam thought to herself, 'even if he is a monster….'

She could feel him watching her. So she decided to stand. She began walking away, but stopped.

"I'm going to leave now. Sorry I bothered you. I can tell you didn't want to talk," Sam said to him, "I'll be back tomorrow, though. You can come if you want, but you don't have to show yourself. And don't worry, I won't bring anyone along, I promise."

She waited for a response but only silence replied.

'What am I thinking?' Sam thought as she began walking away, 'I can't believe I'm doing this. I'm going to meet a monster, if that's what he is. It probably doesn't matter, if I end up missing, nobody will notice anyway….'

He stayed silent in the forest watching her walk away. Should he come back tomorrow? Will she really come alone? Is it a trap? What should he do?

If it was a trap he would be able to smell the other humans, so he could get away in time before they could catch him. Maybe she won't come, afraid to see him. Maybe she will come, thinking it as a joke of some sort. But what if she took him seriously?

'What have I gotten myself into?' he asked himself, 'For once I have no idea of what to do.'

He began wandering the forest thinking of what to do.

'This should not be happening,' he put his claws to his snout and closed his eyes. He couldn't believe what had just happened. Why did he speak in the first place? This was getting him very frustrated. He slashed one of the trees in anger with his powerful claws and roared; then the tree fell.

He finally came across a manhole. He lifted it with ease and entered. Walking in the sewers toward his home wasn't distracting him from his thoughts. Maybe he should go. It was very unlikely that she would be there to start with. If she did go then he would have to expect the unexpected. At last he came to a gate which led to his home. Opening it and entering he finally made his decision.

"I will go, even though I may end up regretting this decision," he told himself out loud.

Samantha heard the roar from a distance and began to worry a little wondering what she had gotten herself into all of a sudden.

DAY 2

The creature began walking to the forest hoping nothing bad will arise. He didn't want to fight any humans. He just hoped the girl didn't bring anyone along like she had promised.

Samantha didn't dress up for anything special tonight. She was wearing a green t-shirt, a grey sweater, and some jeans with sneakers. Sam let her long brown hair down; it was another way to help keep her warm in the cold.

It was 8:03 right now and it was cold and dark just like the day before. She looked towards the forest and then at the sky. There were some clouds outside, but it was mostly clear.

What was she doing in the first place? She could get hurt if the 'person' she met really was a monster. It was too late to turn back now, though; she was already at the park. Maybe the monster-person didn't come yet so she could leave, but maybe it was already here waiting. Might as well stay, she already said that she would come.

Samantha walked over to the same oak tree where everything happened the other night. She was getting a little hot at the moment and so she brought her hair to her side and began braiding it as she waited for the creature-man.

'I wonder what'll happen tonight. Maybe I'll see this so-called monster. But what if he doesn't want to show himself?' Sam thought, 'Tonight is gonna be another strange night….'

From a distance something was walking in the forest toward the human and stopped by one of the nearby trees. The creature saw the girl standing by the tree doing something to her hair. He didn't know what she was doing exactly; he didn't have hair or fur to start with. It looked at is she was weaving it or doing some sort of binding. He's seen this done on the little television he had back at his lair. He believed it was called braiding. Never has he seen this done so close before. How interesting.

He couldn't believe this woman came here like she said she would. But why did she come? He thought he had scared her, so she wouldn't come at all. He sniffed the air; no other humans, like promised. Was she planning something? He didn't know, but hoped nothing bad would come of this.

Samantha was done braiding her hair and tied the end with the hair-tie that she had on her wrist. She felt eyes watching her so she looked away from her hair and into the forest.

"Is someone there?" She asked.

Only silence answered for a few seconds until a voice replied.

"Yes," answered the monster

"I didn't think you would come," Sam said as she searched with her eyes, but still found nothing.

"I did not believe you would either," replied the 'man,' "but why did you come?"

Samantha hesitated for a moment and then answered.

"I'm not sure why I did. Maybe I'm curious or I'm just so lonely I don't really care what I do," Samantha replied, "it seem like I have nothing else to do, so why not come out in the middle of the night and talk to a stranger who calls himself a monster? You know? I'm not even sure what's going to happen tonight either." Sam sighed

"You know curiosity can kill the cat? How do you know this was a wise choice to come?" the monster asked, "Maybe this wasn't the best of choices you have made, Miss."

"I know. I also know that it wasn't one of the smartest choices to come, but I wanted to," Sam replied, "I'm not sure why, but it felt like something inside me told me to."

The creature was amazed at how calmly this simple human answered his questions. He could see that she was looking for him with her eyes as she stood there. He could also see fear in her eyes. He knew that she may be regretting this decision she had made, but he was also regretting this choice he had made.

"But why did you come?" he heard the girl ask.

Now he hesitated.

"I-I am unsure of why I have come as well," the creature answered, "I have never been this close to a human before without causing fear to one or having anger arise from myself," he paused for a few moments and then resumed, "Maybe I came because I am calm or maybe because I can actually speak to someone without scaring them away…." The creature looked at the ground in slight disappointment.

"I guess I know how you feel," the girl answered, "Every guy I meet pushes me away. They say they don't like me, that I'm not their type, or that they can't be with me and a bunch of other reasons," she sighed, "Whenever this happens I feel like something is wrong with me. Kinda like I'm a… monster…"

The creature felt sorry for this human. How could she feel like a monster when she clearly wasn't such a thing? When he was a monster? He still couldn't understand how this beautiful creature would be pushed away by others. How could some humans be so cruel?

'Why am I opening up to this creature? I don't even know him,' Samantha thought, 'Am I getting more stupid or something?

"You are not a monster," she heard the creature reply.

"Maybe not on the outside, but probably on the inside I am," Sam answered back, "There's obviously something wrong with me that make guys not want to be with me." Tears were coming to her eyes, but they didn't fall.

"Like I have said, you are not a monster. I am the monster," said the creature, "You are clearly a beautiful being that doesn't deserve to be treated this way…."

Samantha blushed, not knowing what to say.

'Why is he talking this way? It seems hard to believe he says what he is. He sounds so sweet,' Samantha thought, 'Poor thing, all alone…..'

"Thank you," she finally replied, "Umm, what should I call you by?"

'She asked what my name is?' thought the creature. He knew hers, but dared not say her name to her because he didn't want to scare her away. 'Maybe I should tell her, it seems as if nothing wrong will become of this…'

"My name is Leatherhead," the creature finally replied. Was he doing the right thing?

"Nice to meet you, Leatherhead," the girl said, "My name is Samantha, but you can call me Sam if you want…."

"It is a pleasure to officially meet you, Miss Samantha," Leatherhead answered back.

A gust of cold wind came and he saw Samantha shiver. It was getting late for this human girl, maybe she should go to her home. He should get back as well; he has wanted to finish the new computer he has been constructing.

"Maybe you should go to your home," Leatherhead said, "I can see that you are cold."

"No it's okay, I can stay," Samantha said in return, "I like talking to you for some reason…"

"No, I insist. It's not good for humans to stay out in the cold for long," said the monster, "If you would like, we could meet once more tomorrow night."

"Yeah that would be nice, Leatherhead," Samantha said while nodding.

"Good-bye, Miss Samantha, until then," replied Leatherhead.

"Until then, Leatherhead," said Samantha. With that she began to walk away.

Samantha couldn't wait for tomorrow. She didn't know why, but she was beginning to like this creature named Leatherhead. The wind was picking up a bit and she got colder. She began picking up her pace a bit to get home. Too late to put her hair down now, it was all braided and it'll take a while for her to undo it.

Leatherhead saw Samantha walk away in the cold. What should he do tomorrow? She might ask him to reveal himself this time. Should he? Maybe he should.

'No I will not show myself tomorrow, not yet…' he thought to himself, 'It's too early.'

Leatherhead began walking to his lair already eager to work on his computer to rid his thoughts.

DAY 3

Samantha walked to the park wearing a thick sweater, jeans, a blue long-sleeved shirt, and sneakers while carrying two coffees. The clouds covered the sky tonight which meant it was going to be real cold.

'Good thing I kept my hair down this time, now I won't freeze,' Sam thought, 'I wonder if Leatherhead likes coffee, let alone have any.'

She finally reached the park and walked over to the oak tree. She looked at the sky watching the clouds fly above her. She hoped it wouldn't rain, she would rather have it snow because then she wouldn't get wet. Sam took a sip of her coffee.

"Ow, too hot," she said aloud because the coffee burned her tongue, "At least this'll help keep me warm in this cold weather."

She let her thought s wander in her head thinking of what Leatherhead may look like and if he really is a monster, and about all the break-ups she had wondering what went wrong.

'No, don't think about that Sammy,' she told herself, 'it'll only make you sad again'

Samantha looked into the forest wondering if Leatherhead had come yet. Maybe it was too cold for him. She'll stay just in case, even if it did mean she would freeze. Well at least the coffee would help her keep warm.

It was 8:16 and nothing. Maybe he wasn't coming. She drank some her coffee; it was still hot, but her tongue didn't burn as much as it did earlier.

Leatherhead was walking quickly in to his destination in the forest where he was supposed to meet Samantha. He had lost track of time as he was building his computer. He was happy that he had finally finished building it. After months of looking for parts to make it, it was complete.

The monster hoped that Samantha was still there, he was at least 15 minutes late. It was also a lot colder than yesterday, so she might have left thinking that he wouldn't come after waiting so long in the cold.

He finally made it. Looking at the spot where he had seen her for the past two days, he was surprised that she was still there. She was drinking something. It looked like it was helping keep her warm as well.

Leatherhead sniffed the air; no humans except her; and that scent of what she was drinking came to his nostrils as well. It smelled familiar. He believed it was called coffee. Was she having trouble staying up? That was its purpose anyway. No, it couldn't be it looked like she was using it to help keep warm from this cold weather.

He looked at her hands seeing that she was carrying two cups of it. She brought one for him? Why? Was she beginning to care for this monster? Impossible, why would she love a monster like him? Maybe it was filled with poison to kill him and then sell his body for money and fame?

'No, she wouldn't do such a thing, would she?' Leatherhead thought to himself, 'She seems too innocent to do such a thing. But it's not always good to believe the eye'

Once again Samantha felt someone watching her and looked into the forest.

"Leatherhead?" she asked, "Is that you?"

"Sorry for my tardiness Miss Samantha, forgive me," Leatherhead replied, "I lost track of time and didn't realize how late I was."

"Oh, it's okay Leatherhead," Sam said, "I forgive you."

"Miss Samantha, why do you keep coming?" asked Leatherhead. It sounded as if there was a bit of worry and concern in his voice when he asked this.

"I'm not sure why I keep coming," she answered, "This seems amusing to me, but in a strange way."

"Are you aware that I may be putting you in danger?" he said, "By us meeting every night can put not only me in danger, but you as well."

"I haven't thought of that….." Sam said.

This concerned her. She never thought that she could be put in danger by meeting him. Someone might catch her talking to someone every night and get curious. They might start investigating and find out what was going on. They might kidnap her to catch Leatherhead; they might even make threats to her to keep this a secret. Her father did have a lot of money, so it was possible.

She couldn't believe how stupid she was now. Her coming over to meet a total stranger, a monster in fact, every night for the past couple days.

'What's wrong with you Sammy? How could you do this to yourself?' Sam thought to herself, 'Ugh, how could I be so stupid?' she sighed.

Leatherhead saw that Samantha was deep in thought. It amused him somewhat to get these reactions out of this human girl. He liked watching her facial expressions change; like the night before, he was slightly amused when he saw her expression change from sadness to a somewhat surprised look when he complimented her.

He saw her take a drink of coffee and then let out a breath which made a small cloud come out and then suddenly vanish. He could see his own breath out in this weather. He didn't like coming above the ground. He especially didn't like being seen by humans. Leatherhead promised himself that he wouldn't reveal himself to this girl tonight, it was too early and he didn't want to frighten her away.

"It doesn't matter, though," Samantha said at last.

Leatherhead was surprised by her answer.

"What do you mean by that Miss Samantha?" Leatherhead asked.

"If I get caught doing this, it won't matter because I won't say anything. I'm not going to give you away, I'm not that kind of person," the girl said, "My father already has a lot of money and I'm making a lot, but not as much as he is. My family is rich, well somewhat, so why would I give you away? If I get caught and beat and threatened, I still won't do anything. I'm keeping this a secret. And anyway if I did say anything about this, wouldn't people think I'm crazy?"

'Amazing, the way this girl thinks,' Leatherhead thought, 'She doesn't care about what sort of danger she may in. This is absolutely foolish of her. This is impossible.'

The wind blew and he saw Samantha shiver. She took another drink of her coffee.

"Oh yeah, I almost forgot," she said as she held out her other cup of coffee into the forest, "I bought you some coffee to help you keep warm. I don't know if want any, well, let alone have any. Do you want it?"

Leatherhead felt a sudden warmth go through his body just then.

'What was feeling I had all if a sudden?' he asked himself, 'Was it happiness of some sort? Surprise? Maybe even….. love? No, how could I have that emotion? I'm a monster, this shouldn't be happening. I barely even know this person, this is impossible. No, this is probably just a mixture of emotions. Yes, just a mixture of emotions,' he assured himself.

"Leatherhead?" he heard Samantha say with some concern.

"My apologies, yes I would like some, please," Leatherhead replied.

Leatherhead saw Samantha hesitate for a moment and then take a few steps into the forest.

"Umm…I don't know which way to go," Samantha said nervously, "or even what'll….. ya' know…" she kept walking, searching, not knowing what to do.

"It's fine, you do not have to walk any further, just leave it there," Leatherhead said, "And there is nothing to worry about. I will not harm you to start with," he assured her.

He saw Samantha nod and then she put down the coffee. She began walking out of the forest. She then stood back at the oak tree she was at earlier.

This amused him once again. He saw the expressions on her face change from pride to happiness to concern and then to fear. Fear, the expression of fear came across her face. That means that she still didn't trust him fully. It made sense, and it also meant that she believed him when he said that he was a monster. It showed that there was some trust, especially when she came into the forest. She trusted him enough to come into the forest without expecting him to attack her. The only thing was the fear; she was afraid, afraid that something may happen, but she went in anyway.

'Why would she come into the forest knowing I could have attacked her?' Leatherhead asked himself, 'Is she really this foolish? And why would she trust me this much? She barely even knows me'

Samantha was scared when she walked into the forest.

'What was I thinking? Ugh, I'm so stupid! I can't believe I just did that!' Sam told herself, 'I could've been killed just know! But I wasn't….. Why wasn't I killed? Does he like me or something?' Sam was getting confused, 'I-I think I'm starting to trust him. I've already told him a lot about myself, I'm just opening myself up to him….. I trust him, even though he's a monster. I really do trust him, don't I? Maybe I'll even end up loving him, no that's impossible. Well it happens in movies, so why not?'

She sighed and then took sip of her coffee. Still hot, but not as hot as it was earlier; probably because that coffee shop uses thick Styrofoam cups. Samantha leaned against the great oak tree and closed her eyes. She could feel him watching her, but she still kept her eyes closed. She took a deep breath and then spoke.

"Leatherhead, why is your name 'Leatherhead'?" Samantha asked.

A few seconds passed and then came an answer.

"My name is Leatherhead because my skin is thick and leathery like leather. But the texture of my skin is different, my skin is rough and scaly," answered the creature.

"Oh, thank you," Sam said.

"Why did you ask?" asked Leatherhead.

"I was curious," came the answer, "I never heard the name 'Leatherhead' before."

"I see; do you know why your name is Samantha?" the creature asked.

"No, I never asked my parents why actually," Samantha answered, "It never came across my mind. I think I was named after somebody or something like that. I'm not sure."

They stood there in silence for a while. Samantha kept drinking her coffee. She wasn't sure what Leatherhead was doing, but she did know that he was watching her.

'I wonder what he looks like,' Samantha thought, 'If he's all scaly, does that mean he's a fish or something? No, he couldn't be; he wouldn't be able to last without water that long and there isn't a river close by, the sewers maybe? And I would be able to smell fish if that's what he was; nope, not a fish, but what?'

"Miss Samantha?" she heard Leatherhead say.

"Yes?" she replied.

"Would you like to meet once more tomorrow?" Leatherhead asked.

"Umm, sure. That would be great," Samantha answered.

'Why did I just say that?' Sam thought, 'Something is seriously wrong with me! Oh well, I already said yes….'

"So what now, Leatherhead?" she asked.

"I believe it would be best that we go to our homes, unless you think otherwise," the monster replied.

"Yeah, I guess you're right, it is getting real cold outside right now," Sam agreed.

"Okay then. Good-bye, Miss Samantha," came the voice.

"Oh, you don't have to call me Miss, you can just say Samantha if you want," she said, "Bye Leatherhead, see you tomorrow…" and with that she opened her eyes, looked back into the forest for a few moments, and then began walking home.

'I wonder what's gonna be happening from now on,' she thought. She drank the rest of her coffee and threw it away in a nearby trashcan. Sam looked up at the sky. There were some patches of clear sky, but it was mostly cloudy. 'Good thing it didn't rain or anything, I would've froze to death'

"I'm going to be having the strangest experience in my life now aren't I?" Samantha asked herself out loud from a distant away from the forest.

Leatherhead saw her leave. He was puzzled; why would she still agree to coming? Such a foolish girl. This intrigued him all the more, especially when she didn't hesitate to answer.

He walked over to the cup of coffee. He picked it up and sniffed it; there didn't seem to be any poison. Then he took of the lid and sniffed again to be sure, nothing. Leatherhead licked a little bit of coffee. It was still warm, and it tasted kind of good. He drank it all at once; warmth went through his body, but a different kind than the one from earlier. This was from the drink that warmed his body. Now he could see why some humans drank this when it was cold. He began walking back to his lair.

Leatherhead was surprised when she didn't ask to see him; he was more surprised when she asked about his name. He missed the ones who had named him, the Utroms; the aliens who had raised him ever since he accidently came across the toxic goo that mutated him into what he was. Such good creatures they were.

For some reason he liked not being able to know what was going to happen next with this human girl. She did things that he wouldn't expect. He didn't expect her to come into the forest knowing what could have happened. He didn't expect her to ask about his name. He never even expected her to come every night to meet him. This all made him want to see her again.

He felt the same warmth rush through his body when Samantha asked him if he wanted coffee.

'No, not again! This is impossible!' Leatherhead argued with himself, 'How could I be feeling these emotions; this emotion towards her? I really am in love with this human. It doesn't matter though; she will never fall in love with me….'

DAY 4

It was warmer, a lot warmer than yesterday actually and there wasn't even a cloud in the sky. A clear night and a full moon, Samantha really liked this.

She decided to wear a pink-purple t-shirt and her hair in a braid. She just got out of a bakery with a croissant in her hand and walked to the park. She wrapped it in a napkin and put it in her sweater-pocket so she could save it for when she got home.

She couldn't wait to see Leatherhead for some reason. It really interested her whenever she was with him. Well, not with but near him. She never got a chance to look at him.

She wondered if that would ever happen, maybe not.

'He probably would think he's too scary to show himself to me,' she thought, 'maybe he doesn't want to scare me away. I guess I'm the only person he talks to,' Samantha sighed, 'I know how he feels; ugh, I hate being pushed away by every guy I meet. I know what it feels like to be lonely like him. I guess that's why I'm starting to like him so much. We know how each other feel.'

She was at the park now and walked over to the same oak tree again. Samantha stood there looking around. She looked into the forest; she could see some patches of light in there and she could see in it a lot better too. It wasn't as dark as the days before. Maybe she would get a chance to see Leatherhead tonight, maybe at least a glimpse.

Sam heard something in the distance and looked towards the park. It was a stray dog and it was hurt. She looked into the forest for a brief second and then walked towards the limping creature, but slowly so she wouldn't scare it. Sam kneeled and held out her hand and the dog stepped back a little, unsure of what to do. Then it sniffed her hand and licked it. Sam petted the dog and felt it stiffed and then relax. She looked at its paw and saw that it was cut.

"Poor thing," she said out loud, "I think I can help," she ripped the bottom of her shirt making a strip, like a bandage. Then she gently held the dog's injured paw and wrapped it with the torn cloth. The dog kept on licking her hand and then she realized that was the hand that she held the croissant in.

"Oh I get it," she said to the dog, "You're hungry," she pulled out her croissant and unwrapped it from the napkin. "Here you go, little guy," Sam smiled and giggled as she saw the dog sniff the bread and eat it hungrily.

When the dog finished it wagged its tail happily asking for more.

"Sorry, little guy I don't have any more," Sam said as she petted it again, "I was planning on saving that for when I got home, but it looks like you needed it more than me," she smiled.

Suddenly the dog growled and stepped back. Why would he do that? Was it something she said? He stepped away from her and started barking at the forest.

'Oh, I see,' she thought, 'Leatherhead is here and this little guy doesn't know what he is.'

"It's okay, little guy," she assured him, "Nothing to worry about." She petted the dog once more. "Okay looks like it's time for you to get going, go on now, bye." With that the dog ran a distance, looked back and continued running. "Get well soon," Sam whispered to the stray.

Leatherhead saw everything that Samantha had just done. He saw how she helped the little creature by giving it some aid and food. She sacrificed her some of her clothing and gave away her food to a creature whom she barely knew. Why would she do such a thing? Such a sweet girl this human was. Taking time to help others and giving away her food. This made him happy. Maybe she would love him; she has already known him for a few days and knew his name, but maybe that wasn't enough. But why would she love him, a monster, really? She would most likely scream at the sight of him and run for help; no, he will never be happy in this way.

It wasn't as dark as it was the past few days, so she might be able to see him. He decided to hide behind a larger tree. He hoped that she wouldn't see him; he didn't want to frighten her. He didn't want to get caught, and what would he do if she did tell people and they ended up believing her? That would be a tragedy. But what would happen if she didn't scream at his sight? What would she do? Leatherhead had no idea; all he could think of was her fleeing at his sight.

He saw Samantha walking his way to the same oak tree that she has stood at for the past several days.

"Hello, Leatherhead," he heard her say.

"Hello, Samantha," he said in return.

'Why does this girl keep coming?' Leatherhead asked himself, 'Is it that feeling that she has told me about? Could it be the same feeling that I had? The feeling that tells you to do something because something you like may happen? The strangest feelings have happened ever since I have laid my eyes on this human.'

"Samantha, about that feeling you had," he said, "the one that tells you to keep coming, what does it feel like exactly and what does it tell you?" he asked.

"Well, it's hard to explain," said the girl, "It's like a feeling in my gut that tells me something. Like to keep coming; a voice in my head almost. Kinda like it's telling me something good will come out of this, even though I don't know what it is," she leaned against the tree and closed her eyes, "I'm not sure if this is really making any sense to you, but it's like… like this was supposed to happen? I don't know….. I guess my conscious or something told me to do this. I'm still kinda confused myself…." She sighed.

'It's almost as if we had the same feelings about coming,' Leatherhead thought, 'the same thought, connection, even. Fascinating, impressive; but I doubt anything will come of this….'

"Why did you ask?" he heard Samantha ask, breaking his thoughts.

"I was still confused about why you still came," he said, "even though you knew what could've happened or what sort of danger you put yourself in."

"Hmm, it makes sense," said the human, "but I still don't get why you keep coming because every time you come, you put yourself in danger. Someone could see you and then reports will be coming up and you could end up getting caught too. So why do you keep coming, then?"

Leatherhead didn't even hesitate for some reason, probably because his mind was on the same thought.

"I, too, had the same feeling, but I am unsure of the reason why," he explained, "I doubt anything good will come of this. I am not sure why I keep coming if I think nothing will happen; I just do for some unknown reason. It's as if this 'voice' has told me to come to see you every night even though I put myself in danger the more I come to the surface."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," she said with her eyes still closed,

'Such strange questions, but yet meaningful somehow,' Leatherhead thought.

"Leatherhead?" she said after a few moments.

"Yes?" he replied.

"Can I see what you look like?" Samantha asked.

'There was no hesitation when she asked this? Should I reveal myself to her? This may be the closest I get to being with a human and she wants to see me. She'll end up leaving, telling others. But she did say that the other humans will think that she has gone crazy. It may be safe,' Leatherhead thought, 'This is another chance I get to learn to trust humans. The first one preformed experiments on me, how I hate that Agent Bishop! I wish I could've torn him to shreds when I confronted him, but I couldn't; I had to help make the cure for my terrapin friend Donatello, otherwise he would've been a mutated monster forever…..'

"Leatherhead?" she said, breaking his thoughts again.

"I would think it best if you didn't see me," he replied.

"Why not?" Samantha said, "It's not like I'm gonna tell anyone."

"It's just that if you saw me, I am afraid that you will leave, running, screaming for help, that is how every other human has reacted when first seeing me….." Leatherhead answered and then facing his head toward the ground, "This is the closest I have actually been to a human without them being scared….."

He heard Samantha sigh and then speak.

"I understand, but I promise I won't run away screaming for help or anything like that. I'm not like every other human though. I'm different, everybody is. I pretty sure I won't end up running and screaming 'bloody murder' everywhere. I'm not like that." her voice sounded sincere and full of sorrow, "I promise I won't do anything like that to bring you any harm, Leatherhead."

She sounded so promising. Should he trust her? Yes, he should, and he will. He only hoped that she will keep her promise and that nothing bad will come of this.

"Very well then, but you must come into the forest. I wouldn't like anyone to see me out in the open," he said at last.

Samantha opened her eyes and nodded, walking into the forest. He could see that she was still afraid, but he could also see that there was some trust in her eyes. She kept walking for a distant more and then stopped, unsure of what to do. There was enough light from the clear sky and full moon that came into the forest so she would be able to see him. Again, he hoped that this would end up being okay.

"You may stay there, Samantha," Leatherhead said calmly.

Leatherhead slowly came up to her, so he wouldn't scare her. The shadows of the trees came off him as he began stepping into many patches of moonlight that came through the branches. He saw her expression change from fear and worry to more of a fear and surprise look. He stayed about ten feet away from her with his head bowed to show he meant no harm.

Samantha was shocked by his appearance. He looked like a giant mutated alligator-man. She could see that he was strong just by looking at him. His green-brown scales covering his body; and a pale yellow covering his chest. His eyes looked human, but instead of white like human eyes, they were yellow. His eye color though was a beautiful shade of green, unlike her brown eyes that tons of people had. He had a long tail that followed him too. He was almost naked except that he wore a purple sash around his waist like a belt and some cloth wrapped around his wrists. This was a scary and amazing and yet thrilling sight. This was such a wonderful-scary moment for her.

"Sorry if my appearance shocks you, Samantha," Leatherhead said, "Like I have said, I am a monster and everybody who has seen me tends to run and scream in fear…."

"But like I said, I'm not like every other human," Samantha said in return, "I won't run and scream to everybody because I'm not like that."

Samantha has been slowly walking toward Leatherhead as she said this and he noticed. She could tell that he was unsure of what to do just as much as she was.

She took his large hand and felt it. It was hard, rough, and scaly. She looked up at him and saw that he was scared for some reason; probably because this has never happened to him before. She felt his claws noticing how thick and sharp they were. She then felt his arm, feeling how strong it was. The texture was so unfamiliar to her; foreign even. Then she felt his chest. It was smoother than his hands and arms were. It was hard, though, like his hands and arms, except it was more smooth than rough. He felt kind of warm for a cold-blooded creature too. She guessed it was the human part of him though.

Sam didn't know why, but she wrapped her arms around his waist giving him a hug. She felt so sorry for him, so lonely, always being pushed away from others like her.

She felt his big arms gently wrap around her so not to hurt her and his jaw settle on her head. Then she heard him growl, it didn't sound bad though, more like in a friendly caring way. This felt nice somehow. She didn't know why, but she like it. She really loved this monster, didn't she? So alike and so different in so many ways; she really wasn't alone, like what he first unintentionally told her 'You're not alone.'

"You're not alone," Samantha said out loud. She felt Leatherhead bring her into a tighter hug. She could hear his heart-beat. It sounded so nice, so peaceful too, calming. She brought her arms to his chest, closing her eyes, enjoying this moment. She hasn't felt this happy in years, not even with her last boyfriend. No, not even with any of her boyfriends; this was the happiest moment she ever had in her life. She didn't want this moment to end, even though she was hugging a monster, she didn't care. She loved this monster.

Leatherhead was surprised by her actions. Every movement, every touch; it was so strange to him, yet it was so calming and peaceful. Her touches were so gentle. They were so nice in a way. And now he was embracing this human girl, with her to his chest. It was all so pleasurable. He didn't want this moment to end; he wanted this girl to be with her forever. He felt the warmth go through his body, now knowing that he did love her and she loved him as well.

"Such a beautiful creature like you loving a monster such as myself….." Leatherhead said in a calm and peaceful manner.

"Aw, thanks Leatherhead, but it's not by what you look like that counts," he heard her say a little louder than a whisper, "it's by who you are…."

He felt her back away and he let her do so. She looked him in the eyes while smiling a little and blushing. She closed her eyes and put her lips to his. This was so unfamiliar to him. He knew this was a kiss, but he didn't know what to. This has never happened before; this was his first kiss. He liked this moment, but was unsure of what to do.

Samantha pulled back again, seeming like she knew he didn't know what to do.

"Oh," she said sadly with some disappointment, "I didn't think you would like it anyways… I think I'll go now…" her face was red with embarrassment. Then she began walking away.

Leatherhead couldn't let her go, he loved her. And he messed up by not kissing back in proper manner. Hopefully now he knew what to do.

"Samantha!" Leatherhead called out, "Wait! Please come back!" he walked up to her as she turned around with a sad and surprised face.

Leatherhead gently placed his hand under her chin and smiled as she blushed.

"It just happens that I apparently liked that very much," he said. Leatherhead wrapped his arms around her again and kissed her. He felt Samantha kiss back, feeling love and happiness go through his body. He felt her arms go around his neck as they kissed.

Now this time he broke the kiss. He kept one arm around her and put one hand on her cheek and saw her blush again.

"Samantha, my Samantha," he said with a smile, "You are my Samantha and I love you…."

"And I love you too, Leatherhead," Samantha said in return.

*From this moment on, they both knew that they really weren't alone. They both had each other, and they loved each other. Past all their differences, they shared similarities which attracted them together; which made their bond for each other so strong. They didn't care anymore, as long as they were together. Even though it'll be hard to be out in the open together, the forest will help, and so will their homes. They weren't alone anymore because now they had each other…*