"I'm home, Zeo," Betty said.
"Hi, grandma," Zeo said.
"Oh. You have a guest. Forgive me for intruding," Betty said.
"You're not, ma'am. I'm Michelle," Michelle said.
"It's not to meet you," Betty said. She was smiling. Zeo was confused why his grandmother looked so pleased. Michelle's cheeks went a little red.
"Michelle?" Zeo said. "Why are your cheeks so red?"
Zeo's question made Michelle's cheeks go darker. Zeo was confused, but he thought it was kind of cute at the same time.
"I'd better head home. I'll see you tomorrow, Zeo," Michelle said.
"Okay. Um, would you, uh, wanna do, something, anything, on Saturday?" Zeo said.
"I don't know. I'm uh, still new to this."
"Then I'll think of something."
"Okay. See you tomorrow."
"You bet. Bye Mrs. Mason."
"Goodbye, Michelle. Safe walk home," Betty said.
"Thank you," Michelle said. She waved and headed out. Zeo watched her go, then looked at the door for a little while.
"What would you like for supper, Zeo?" Betty said.
"Huh, what?" Zeo looked over at his grandmother. That just made her smile.
"How about a hamburger?"
"Hamburger? That sounds good."
"You do your homework and I'll make it."
Zeo grabbed his backpack, sat on the couch, and got to work. His grandmother went to the kitchen to get working on the hamburgers. The phone started to ring. Betty answered it. She glanced out from the kitchen at Zeo before turning so he couldn't hear. Zeo glanced at his grandmother, but knew it wasn't right to eavesdrop. So he just focused on his homework.
The next day at school, Zeo noticed that James was trying to be a little nicer to him. So he did what he could to be nicer to James right back. The person he wanted to see more was Michelle, though. She wasn't around, though.
"Hey, Zeo. Are you free Saturday?" James asked.
"Sorry. No," Zeo said.
"What do you have to do on a Saturday?"
Zeo looked at James with a twisted expression.
"Sorry, man," James said.
"I forgive you," Zeo said.(Dec 08)
"Oh, great. Thanks."
Zeo went to his first class. He was happy to see Mrs. Turough again. She had been off for a little while. Yesterday was her first day back, but since that was the day he had skipped, it was going to be the first time he's seen her in a while.
He happily walked into his first class. James said later and headed off to go to his own first class. Which was just next door. Zeo noticed that they assigned lockers closest as they could to your first class. It would be far more logical to put it in the center of all four classes. So it wouldn't take long to go back to retrieve your things. However, it was just the way it was.
Mrs. Turough walked into the classroom, looking ill with a banadana on her head. What Zeo felt inside wasn't pleasant. He sensed her disease. Cell's growing out of perportion, useless and terrible. What was it?
"Oh, good morning, Zeo," Mrs. Turough said.
"Morning. How are you feeling?" Zeo said.
"I'm doing alright. How are you doing?"
"Um, okay. I. . ."
"Want to know what's wrong with me?"
Zeo nodded, ashamed. His cheeks were burning up, yet again. They did that far to often. Ever since he escaped and came to the outside world.
"It's called cancer. Specifically breast cancer is the type I have," Mrs. Turough said.
"You'll get better, right?" Zeo said. He liked her to much. She had been so nice to him since the beginning. He'd like to think of her as his friend.
"Oh, Zeo." Mrs. Turough walked over to Zeo and kneeled in front of his desk. "Some people do, and some don't. We're trying to find a cure. We're closer than we were before."
"I don't want you to die. . ."
"I like you, too." Mrs. Turough gave a very, heart warming smile.
Zeo hugged Mrs. Turough from over the desk. He could feel the pain and weakness that was in her entire body. It made him really sad. He'd hae a sense of loss if she was ever to pass on. Just like when his mother disappeared. Leaving him all alone. Mrs. Turough hugged Zeo right back.
No. He wasn't going to let her leave him. He had to much of death. Some of it he caused. Which made it far worse. He wasn't going to let Mrs. Turough go. She WAS his friend. And she was going to stay and see him become a member of society.
His whole body started to glow. Warmth swept over. It extended to Mrs. Turough. She was afraid at first, then curious. What was going on. There was warmth washing over her as well. Zeo was clinging to her, holding on tightly.
"Zeo," Michael from grandma's meeting group said. He was standing at the door of the classroom.
"Mr. Michael," Zeo squeeked. The light was suddenly gone. Mrs. Turough stood up. She felt better. No pain, no weakness.
"Excuse me, who are you?" she asked Michael.
"I'm a friend of Zeo's grandmother. I've come to take him home," Michael said.
"I don't want to go with him," Zeo whispered.
"Then you don't have to. Mr. Michael. I have to ask you to leave. You're not permitted to be in the school," Mrs. Turough said.
"I am if I deam something dangerous, and I have seen and do deam Zeo Alexander Mason, dangerous," Michael said.
"Go before I'm forced to call the police," Mrs. Turough said.
"Very well. But you can not protect him forever," Michael said. He left the classroom.(Dec 10)
"Zeo, who was that man?" Mrs. Turough said.
"He was. . . is. . . one of grandma's friends," Zeo said.
"Do you need help?"
"Ar-aren't you afraid of me? For what I did."
"Sure, I'm afraid. But I like you, Zeo. I won't let anything happen to you. Even if you are different. Especially if you're different."
"I'll be okay."
"Let me give you my cell number. If you need anything."
"I. . . okay."
Mrs. Turough went over to her desk. She wrote down her cell number and gave it to Zeo. The rest of the students started to file in after the warning bell. Zeo hid the number in the inside of his vest pocket.
Zeo got passed the first class and then went to the second. He was concerned about Mrs. Turough. More than his own safety. He knew he could protect himself. Her, though. She seemed to really care about him. What if she got mixed up in something dangerous? He'd never forgive himself if she got hurt because of him. Especially after he healed her from that disease.
He tried to pay attention in his next class, but there was just so much happening. Things were going to only get worse from here. That made him start consider leaving. Running away. Protecting himself, as well as everyone he loved. He could take Peter, his dog, and just leave. Survive in the wild. Like he had been trained to do.
Everything was set in his mind. Until he saw Michelle walking down the hall. Could he really leave her?