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2:45 Dismissal You were not expecting me: you blinked and looked again as though perhaps my image had only flitted through your mind for an instant. Then you came stumbling into that half-light, words tumbling, uncensored still, awkward still, like no time had passed. Fearful, because time had passed. A man your age should know you don't just let things die. A man your age should know. The changeling knows it will never belong. It knows it is far from home. It knows at any moment, the ground could swallow it whole. It does not expect a welcome. But you took its terror without being asked. You took a step toward me. I backed away, hands flat against metal lockers. Eyes confirmed then: the conversation was finished (though we kept talking, though you recited my last letter like you were being graded, though you came back out to stare after me when you thought I had gone).
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