"Wow," Trevor says, taking in everything. "And you've been on your own since?"
"Yes," James Slenderman says with a sigh. "I never saw my clan again. I have no clue where they are - or if they're still alive. I still have Margareta's jacket. Even if I never see her again, it's a small piece of her I can always have with me."
"I'm sorry," Trevor says. "You shouldn't have had to go through all that."
This is not the reaction James expected. "You're not mad? Or scared?"
Trevor shakes his head. "Why should I be? Besides, you can't help being different than everyone else. Trust me, I know."
It occurs to James right then how similar they are. They look different, for sure, but they both have been singled out and have had to struggle with their differences. He reaches out and pats Trevor's arm. "Thank you for listening."
"You're welcome." Trevor smiles. "So, about this Margareta...Did you like her?"
It is a good thing Slenders cannot blush; otherwise James would look like a tomato right now. "I did. I was very close to her and her brother Kendrick. We spent nearly every day together - until that day in the park. After that, I couldn't bring myself to hang out with anybody. Margareta would sit next to me and we'd talk, but she never pushed me to do anything else."
Trevor extends a hand out, and it takes him a few tries before he manages to lay a hand on James' shoulder. "It's okay, James. You'll find her again."
"I like your optimism, Trevor."
"Thanks. It helps me get through the day." He pauses for a moment before asking, "So, what's so special about forests? You said something about humans not understanding their importance?"
"Well, forests are the primary home of all Slenders," James explains. "Sure, we can go off and live somewhere else, but we thrive best around trees. Plus, we can easily hide behind a tall tree, not so much behind a small shrub."
"What's so funny?"
"I was just imagining you trying to crouch down behind a bush." He laughs again, and James joins in. It feels good to laugh.
Even so, when they calm down, James sighs. "I miss Margareta. I miss them."
"Want me to help you find them?"
"How can you do that? You can't see anything."
"Yeah, but I have a friend who knows everything about Slender...well, the game and myth anyway."
James is silent for a moment, considering it. He trusts Trevor enough, but what if his friend tries to hurt him? Or what if he calls the police? But it would be wonderful seeing his family and clan again. "Alright. We'll go see your friend. What's his name?"
"Kevin. I was at his house the day we first met."
"Right, I remember you were looking for that cat."
"Yeah. So, ready to go?"
"You mean now?"
"Sure. The sooner, the better."
James hesitates before saying, "Alright." They stand, James grabs his friend's shoulder, and he teleports them in Kevin's backyard. Trevor can tell because of the fresh air. "I'll be behind the tree if you need me," James says.
Trevor nods and, tapping the ground with his stick, he makes his way to the glass back door and knocks twice.
He hears muffled sounds through the door, and a minute later, the door slides open. "Trevor?" Kevin says, obviously surprised. "What are you doing here? And in my backyard?"
"I wanted to know if you could help my friend," Trevor replies. "You see, he's-"
"Who's that?" a voice calls from inside.
Kevin shouts back, "It's a friend of mine."
The other boy walks in from the other room. James gawks at him from behind the tree. "Charlie?!"