By Lion Prince
You learn your name when you meet her.
"Wilson," she says.
"Wilson," she says. "Hi," she says again.
And that's it. That's how you know.
You know, because the identification code tattooed across your chest
begins to look a lot less like a bunch of alphabets and numbers strung together,
and a lot more like a single coherent word.
A lot less like 'W1L50N', and a lot more like a name.
A lot less like 'W1L50N', and a lot more like a name. Your name.
Wilson. You like that.
"So I hope I don't sound too creepy when I say this, but I've been watching you."
"So I hope I don't sound too creepy when I say this, but I've been watching you." She looks at you, pausing for a moment, before smiling.
"Okay, it's more like I've been eyeing this spot," she says, gesturing around you.
"And it so happens that you're always here, resting."
You both know that you're shutting down, but you appreciate the subtlety.
You don't see that in a lot of people nowadays, especially after news broke out about the big show.
"This place is nice. You can see a lot from here," she says, sitting down next to you.
She's right. This place has a great view.
"You don't mind some company, do you?"
You don't. You really don't.
You watch as a bird falls from the sky, dead long before it even reaches the ground.
You watch as whoever is left of the people walk around the splatter of blood and beak and black feathers.
The roads are full of them - splatters.
You watch as she smiles at the sight.
You watch as she smiles at the sight. And you learn this is what resignation looks like.
When she leaves, she doesn't say something thoughtless like "I'll see you again".
Because no one makes such promises anymore.
So she says something that doesn't carry the weight of tomorrow.
She says "goodnight".