You know me. You like me. I’m the quiet one in your group, the one who listens more than she talks, the reliable one. I make sure the waitresses are tipped adequately, and I walk you home when you’re too drunk to be trusted on your own. I mediate when you argue about the merits of two-handed broadswords over that of the sword-and-shield combination. I hold your coats while you test out your theories with blunted homemade weapons and lots of padding, and I step in before you impale yourself in the foot with your own sword.
I listen to you when your girlfriend is no longer interested in your theories of multiple worlds.
I listen to your girlfriend when she complains that you care more about multiple worlds than her.
I blend in. When the rest of the girls dye their hair, I dye mine. When they wear high boots, short skirts and long coats, I dress the same. I’m a rebel–exactly like the rest of you.
You know me. You know that I grew up in the suburbs around New Warden. You know I spent two years in the military like so many of the directionless youth do. You know I rode the rails across the continent and held temporary jobs: fish-packer, strawberry-picker, dock-worker. You know that my life has been a lot like yours, except not as dangerous, adventurous and enlightening.
You think you know me.
You’d be wrong.
I’ve lived in three worlds. I’m an outlaw in two of them.
I’ve killed warriors and betrayed kings. My mother called me demon.
I’m Kai. And this is my story.