The Window

The night he returned my journal, Michael told me he envied Max. He also told me to get a better lock for my window.

You're completely vulnerable when you sleep. You drift in an entirely different state of awareness, oblivious to your surroundings, vulnerable to anyone who might want to hurt you. It's really unnerving to think that someone might be in your room while you're sleeping.

Especially when that person is Michael.

The first night I wedged a piece of wood into the window so it couldn't open. Then I remembered their ability to manipulate molecular structures and just stood there feeling stupid. He could just make it evaporate.

If he really wanted to.

But what was I worried about, anyway? He wasn't coming back. I wedged the wood into the door and climbed into bed. I stared at the window for hours.

Somehow, the thought that Michael wasn't coming back didn't make me feel better.

When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt about my window. It was locked, with the wood jammed firmly next to it.

And Michael was outside it. Watching me.

The next night, I locked the window.

On the third night, I left it open.

Maybe that was what he was waiting for. An invitation.


I woke up and he was there. Just sitting on the window ledge, one leg touching the floor in my room, the other propped up against the window ledge, ready to move in either direction he wanted. He was leaning towards me, his right arm crooked around his right knee, staring at me with that intense look. Just sitting there, in the moonlight, watching me sleep, as if it was completely normal. As if he did it every night.

Maybe he did.

"Hey," he said.

I sat up in bed, reaching for sheets that were bunched up against the footboard. "Uh, hey," I said. "What are you doing here?"

"Just making sure you're okay."

"Okay?" I pushed hair out of my face. He was making me self-conscious. "I of course I'm okay, Michael. What are you doing here?"

"Don't get hormonal." He folded his arms against his chest and leaned back. He shrugged. "Just thought I'd check on you."

I fought the automatic reaction to say thank you. "Yeah," I said. "I'm fine."

"Good." He moved to go. "Later."

"Michael "

Why did I do that?

He turned and smiled at me. Why was he smiling?

Why did I stop him?

His smile made me nervous. Well, you could call it a smile. It was more of an arrogant smirk. Blood rushed to my face.

He was playing games with me.

He grinned even more when he noticed I was blushing. "Yes?" he said, leaning in the doorway. "Did you want something?" God, he was sure of himself.

"Yeah," I said. He pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows.

"Lock the window on your way out."

The smirk skipped. For a second his face registered disbelief, then rage. His eyes locked on to me, hard, searching for doubt or weakness. What was he looking for?

Why did he care?

Then he shrugged. Bored. Nonchalant as a cat. He looked as if he might yawn. "Whatever," he said.

And then he was all motion. His footsteps pounded an angry rythym on the rooftop for a second, and then there was silence. He must have jumped. I wondered if he landed okay.

After a minute I remembered to breathe.


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