I'm amazed at how small the world is sometimes.
After Not-Redlight attacked me, it became clear that the Ten Masks can find me fairly easily. Speed has become more important than laying low, and while I'm hesitant about my potential safe house, I'm willing to risk it. To get there faster, I decided to take a bus.
It shouldn't surprise you to learn that pretty much everything I have is crammed into my pack. I literally can't live without it. Well, I was at the station, getting ready to purchase my ticket, when a guy swiped it. I don't get why he went after me. The pack was right beside me, meaning that I'd notice right away if it were taken, and I'm not the sort of person who looks like he has a lot of valuable possessions. So why me? Almost every single person in the bus stop would have been a better person to rob.
I grabbed Lily and chased after him as he ran out the building. Even with the pack weighing him down, he was fast. He couldn't outdistance me or shake me off, but I couldn't catch him. I tried to get a good look at his face, but I mostly just saw his back: dark brown hair tied into a ponytail and a long, deep brown trenchcoat. I burned those memories into my mind because they were all I had to identify him.
After a wild goose chase around town for about ten minutes, he must have given up on losing me and dropped the pack. "Better not miss your bus!" he yelled, raising a hand and waving without looking back or breaking stride. I wanted to go after him and bring him down, but he was right. I had a bus to catch.
I was winded, and between that and not knowing the town too well, it took me a while to get back to the bus stop. By the time I got there, the bus I had been planning on taking had already taken off. I got a ticket for a different bus and waited.
A bus came by shortly after than and unloaded, and there was something...familiar about one of passengers. Not in what she looked like, but in how she acted. She kept throwing paranoid glances everywhere and looked extremely tired. And she seemed to be traveling very light. On a whim, I decided to try to talk to her.
She was a bit shorter than me, and looked a bit older too, with dark brown hair and eyes, dressed in thick-looking clothes. I walked up to her and tried to speak, only to be met with an instant reply of "Leave me alone!"
I paused, trying to figure out whether or not to drop it or press further. "Are you running from something?" I asked.
She pulled a pair of earphones away. "What?"
"I said, 'Are you running from something?'"
Relief crossed her face, but she still looked at me suspiciously. Her eyes fixed on my staff. "Are you...are you The Wanderer?" She smiled a bit at my stunned expression and said "I'm The Wayward Son."
A confused "...Son?" was all I managed as the gears started turning in my head. I had stumbled across her blog recently, and knew that she had burned her house down and began running from the Choir, but I had no idea that Wayward was a girl.
"It's a reference to the song," she said sheepishly. We stood there awkwardly for a little bit, neither really knowing how to react.
"Um...I know how hard it is to be on the run like this," I finally said. "If you need somewhere to go, I have a place you can stay. I mean, I don't, but I have somewhere to go and I know my host would welcome you too."
So that's how I ended up in a west-bound bus with Wayward. Like I said, it's really a small world sometimes.