Dear Coraline

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Is it so surprising

It is cold and dark.

A clock ticks on the old wall.

or is it his boney fingers tapping on the table?

Maybe it is both

I fiddle with my fingers.

Wondering if he is as cold as he looks.

There is the sound of material shifting.

His eyesockets find mine.

What he says is not what I expect.

“Do you mind?”

He lifts his cup before he pushes it towards me.

“My breath doesn’t seem to hold the same strength as the living.”

I push myself forward and blow on the steaming liquid.

“Thank you.”

It’s in his hands again.

And he drinks, a satisfying hum leaves him.

He finally says something that I expect.

“You shouldn’t be here.”

I look out the window before I respond.

“You’re the one who’s been following me, not the other way around.”

“I follow many. None of them became obsessed. In fact, they do the opposite.”

“None of them had you invited to their birth.”

“Some did. Do not think you are alone in this universe.”

I find his eyesockets, watching me intently.

“You are not that important.” He continues.

His voice leaves me cold.

“Indeed,” I respond. “Yet Here I am. In this universe, trying to make you proud.”

“Proud? Me?”

“Why of course. I need to prove myself to you.”

He is silent for a moment. His tea forgotten. “Prove yourself how exactly? For what reason?”

“I need to prove that I am worthy, of slipping out of your fingers.”

The silence continues. His stare is heavier.

“I let you escape.”

“I know. I want to prove it anyway.”

He tilts his head. “You are ....irrevocably strange.”

I'm silent for a minute, taking in his words. "I guess I am." I look up at him once more. "Is it so surprising though?"

"Not really" he sips his tea. "Neither is it a bad thing. I don't know about humans, but I quite like your....tenacity."

"Thank you."

"Good luck."

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