Chapter 4: Hunter: Loneliness
I'd always been a bit of a loner. I didn't make friends easily. I told myself I didn't need anyone, but it did wear on me sometimes. Whenever I felt these pangs of loneliness, I'd go for a long walk through the park. I was able to go through my logical progressions and calm myself down.
I had been sitting in my apartment. There was clearly some kind of party going on next door. Music was playing and I could here many different voices through the thin walls of my apartment. I of course had not be invited and was not the type of person to invite myself, even though it was next door and keeping me awake anyways. The music hummed through my room and before I knew it, that computational monster I called my brain began reeling. I needed to get out. Get some fresh air.
In a blur of movements and thoughts, I found myself walking through the park. It was late, so only the small lamps littering the walkway provided any light. This cast ominous silhouettes across the paths and trees. However, I didn't notice any of this. I was still troubled by the fact that I was an adult now, with free reign over my life, and I was still afraid to even go next door and talk to my neighbors, let alone all the strangers that must have been there.
Why couldn't I be more normal like my brothers? What was I doing with my life? What makes me happy? Why is that question so hard to answer? Why didn't anyone ever even notice me?
That last question stuck in my mind. In beautiful juxtaposition, a young woman stumbled passed me, clearly intoxicated, and scoffed as soon as she looked up at me.
"Filthy solid..." she hissed as she hurried by.
It was only then that reality struck. Here I was, walking alone, in the dark, in my solid state. I'd lost complete control of my mind and left myself as vulnerable as one could in this world. I hadn't even noticed.
How long had I been walking? When had I switched back to my solid state? How did I not notice when I was leaving the apartment that I hadn't shifted? Had anyone else noticed me?
I continued to stumble along, barely aware of my surroundings and my mind spinning. I'd never had an episode quite like this. I started to think at a higher level, wondering why I was asking the questions I was. This sort of spiral was dangerous for me. It was leading me to a deep area of depression and an intense feeling of loneliness.
Sulking further into the park, I never even noticed I was being followed. Not until they called out did I even realize they
"Hey you ugly solid. What do you think you're doing in my park?" I heard behind me. I spun around to face three perfectly sculpted men. It was hard to tell their age, but there was an intensity in their eyes that I couldn't miss.
As the three approached more questions assaulted me. Why hadn't I shifted as soon as I'd realized I was in public in my solid state? Why hadn't I heard these three men approaching? What time was it? I don't recognize this part of the park - where am I?