Sorrell walked down the street to the bakery, sun blazing down on him and the entire city. He had a significant bounce in his step, excited to see Mirelda today. Today was an important day, and he knew it. He just had to get to her shop before she closed today, unlike normal. I don't want everyone else to know about this… I think she would rather it be private. Holding a small package in his hand, he grinned. Today's the day he thought. She will see! I really do love her…

He shrugged off his coat casually, carrying it in one arm, and walked into the bakery.

"Hey, Mirelda-"he began casually. He wasn't expecting the reaction that followed, though.

"OUT. Sorrell I am NOT in the mood today!" she hollered from inside. Noticing her anger, and that none of their friends were there, Sorrell was taken aback by this comment, not sure as to what his next course of action should be.

"But… I just came to see you-"he tried once more. He didn't want to leave today without giving her this, he felt like it was just too important to skip.

"No. You came for the free food I give you every day! Now leave, I'm not giving you any scraps today, worthless dog!" She hollered at him. Her gaze was harsh and fixating, leaving no room for Sorrell to find any trace that her words and tone were all a façade.

He didn't feel it at first. It took a moment for the full pain of her words to set in though. Sorrell felt… confused. He didn't know how else to put it. He felt like he was watching himself from outside his body as he left the bakery hiding the package from Mirelda's view. If she was sad right now, he thought, then the gift might make it worse.

Sorrell hung his head as he walked home. I just knew what today was… I thought it may make her feel loved and feel warm if she got a gift on her special day… I don't know what's up with her, but… maybe I should… wait…

Entering his small apartment, he threw his coat onto the floor and set the box carefully onto the couch before breaking into soft tears. He brushed them away with the back of his hand, deciding on clearing his mind. He clicked on the television, and emptied his mind. Don't think, Sorrell. It will only make things worse for later. Just clear your mind now, Sorrell. It will all be ok. Don't think about the shot, don't think about love. Just breathe.

Mirelda sighed to herself sweeping the public area of the bakery as harshly and quickly as she could, her movements full of anger and frustration. I was really mean to Sorrell, wasn't I? She thought as she swept. Her sweeps slowed and lessened in intensity as she thought more about the subject, until her movements stopped altogether. She looked down, setting the broom against the counter. Maybe, she thought, I was too harsh to him. He was just stopping in to say hello…

She gazed at the clock once more, confirming her friends weren't coming on this very special evening, and ran out of the bakery locking the door behind her. I need to make up with that idiot…

Sorrell walked slowly to the hospital, dreading what was to come. The moon rose high above him in the sky as he walked, and hoping at this time, he wouldn't see any of his friends. He then continued on to the hospital, fearing what he didn't know was to come.

Walking down the street alone, Mirelda saw a very familiar face- one that she had seen only hours before. "Sorrell! Wait up!"

Sorrell heard her voice, and began to run away. She, however, caught up to him rather quickly. He tried to hide the midnight-colored feathers appearing on his arms and neck, but to no avail.

She stated at him in utter shock and fear. What is wrong with him?! Her eyes seemed to shout. His eyes… They are… just like a crow's! Feathers…?! What is he?!

Is he a monster?!

Sorrell knew the fear in her eyes. She's afraid of me. Why did she have to see me like this?

"Please, Mirelda! Don't think badly of me! It's just… Um…."

She couldn't even utter a word in response as she ran away from him. He reached silently toward her, not trusting what his voice would sound like this far into the change. He quickly hurried to the hospital building, pushing his fear aside. I need this shot quickly this time. Maybe I won't find them when they push the needle into my vein. I can't wait any longer than the bare minimum today. I don't want her sitting in fear for too long…

The next morning, Sorrell sat on the doorstep of his apartment, a lone bag in his hand. He rose to his feet, brushing his blue hair from his face. I can find a job somewhere else as a doctor, I'm sure…

But what about Mirelda…

He sighed to himself and walked away from the building, running into an all-too-familiar boy.

"Hey! Sorrell! That's not the way home! Mirelda is at home all sad you should go cheer her up! I'm sure if you go now you can sweep her off her feet and-"

"Teddy, that's enough. It's my fault ok…?"

Teddy didn't understand, Sorrell could tell by the look in Teddy's eyes. Sorrell sighed again. I seem to be sighing a lot recently. Don't the only people who sigh like this are the lovers you see in the movies? That never happens in real life, does it?

"I scared her. I was going to get my shot and… well… I'm not normal" he settled on saying. I can't tell him the real truth… I can't tell him about the pure fear and disgust I saw on her face… For now, this is ok. He doesn't need any more than this. I will be gone soon anyway.

Teddy smiled a bit, sitting down on the sidewalk, motioning for Sorrell to do the same. Sorrell sat next to him, as Teddy spoke under his breath.

"So? She just got scared. Maybe… Hmmm…"

Sorrell looked down, hanging his head in defeat. There's nothing left, is there? I can't win even just her friendship anymore. I lost the one thing I cared about… She's the only reason I can stand to see myself in the morning… But seeing only a part of the true me scared her… I should just leave and-

"I got it! We can make it seem like it was all a joke! You played a prank on her because she kicked you out!" Teddy exclaimed loudly. Sorrell looked up, contemplating the idea. Well, what's the worst that can happen at this point? If she doesn't believe me, I'm no worse than where I start right now. But if she believes me, I may just have another chance at her friendship…. But I… He reached into his pocket, wrapping his hand around the box.

Wanted it to be so much more

Teddy walked inside the bakery with a soft spring in his step. Adjusting his shirt and trying to make himself look somewhat nice to his aunt, he climbed the stairs.

"Hey, Mirelda? Come on out, it's me!"

After a moment of silence, Mirelda came out of the bathroom. Her make-up was smeared and dripped in black rivers down her face. Teddy took no notice, and chose to begin speaking before she could even question his reasons.

"It was a joke"

She was confused. A joke? She thought. His appearance…? It had to have been real… Nothing like that could have been fake…

He's a monster…

Why does it hurt to call him that?

Why does he make me feel like this! I feel so…. Weak…

Teddy took notice of her silence, and spoke again. "He was trying to get back at you for kicking him out the other night. So he gave you a little scare. He doesn't want to come talk to you though; he thinks you're mad at him.

Mirelda stood up smiling, ruffling Teddy's hair. "Alright. Thanks Teddy. I should call him; he's probably thinking I hate him or something…."

Days passed after they talked things over. Mirelda continued each day making treats for the hungry customers, while Sorrell worked with children at the hospital. Things fell back into routine for awhile for their group of friends.

Except for one small detail.

Sorrell let out the breath he had been holding. He checked the box over once, twice, and then a third time to make sure it was perfect. He knocked on the door leading to Mirelda and Teddy's apartment, to hear the soft, gentle voice of Mirelda echoing behind the walls.

"Come in!"

Sorrell entered, not bothering to take his shoes off. He set the small box down where a person would enter into the room, and left the apartment.

How am I supposed to feel? He thought to himself. She may not even know it was from me. But still…

I just wanted her birthday special.

He sighed as he walked. I hate deceiving her like this… She deserves to know the truth behind me. She should know the real me… but she shouldn't be afraid like that again. It's enough if she's happy and has a friend in me. The others forgot, maybe they were busy. But I hope… I hope she knows I'm always there.

Mirelda went over to the door, certain she heard a visitor come in. She saw the small box on the ground, and went to pick it up.

Opening it with a small smile, her eyes widened in shock.

He didn't…

Inside was a necklace. Two hearts danced together, forming one. Small diamonds circled the entire charm. She smiled warmly, reading the note inside.

Sorry for scaring you, Mirelda. And also, I didn't mean to make you upset the other day. I just wanted your birthday special

It wasn't signed, but Mirelda knew for sure who it was. She looked out the window, putting the necklace around her neck. Putting some rolls and pastries into a small bag, she set them on the porch, hoping that Sorrell may just stray a bit from his homebound path for a bit of dinner.