“Well, I hope you like it here,” Angela said. “If there’s anything you need, I’m right across the hall.”
“I might take you up on that,” he said. “See you around, Angela.”
He headed into his apartment. She glanced after him, and Tommy looked up from his comic, stared right at her. A wave of sadness washed over her; no thoughts or memories, just pure pain.
Angela staggered backward into her apartment and shut the door. Tears streamed down her face. Her heart ached and she felt a powerful urge to call her mother. She squeezed her eyes shut, inhaling and exhaling sharply, almost hyperventilating.
She felt the temperature of her skin rising, flames simmering just under the surface. She hurried to the bathroom and splashed water in her face. It didn’t help. She took a cold shower and eventually her head began to clear.
She dried off with a wave of her hand and returned to the living room. The crushing sadness still clung to her. She turned on her computer and spent the morning distracting herself with Akkraemyth until it was time to leave for work.
“Hello. Earth to Angela.”
Angela blinked. Leigh stood on the other side of the counter, her bubblegum pink hair hanging lopsidedly over her right eye. She grinned and held out a copy of a World War II game.
“Sorry,” Angela said, ringing in the game. “I’m a bit out of it today.”
“More than a bit, I’d say,” Leigh replied. “Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s fine,” Angela said. “I read someone’s mind this morning and he’s still stuck in my head.”
“Ooh,” Leigh said. “Is he hot?”
“He’s twelve,” Angela said. “His mom died and he’s in a lot of pain.”
“Yikes,” Leigh said. “Poor kid.”
“Yeah,” Angela said, gripping the edge of the counter.
“Hey, you know what you need?” Leigh said. “An adventure!”