You finally hear the front door to the apartment open. Happily, you run up to the door, the scent of macaroni and cheese in the air. You're stopped in your happy tracks, however, when you see that your mother is not the only one standing in the hall. She's wearing lipstick. There's a man next to her, with a grin splitting his face ear to ear. He looks just like your philosophy teacher. Your eyes widen, and you reflexively take a step back, your ears flattening against your head.

"Charles, baby, I brought a friend home. You don't mind, do you?" Mom says, and the man nods and waves at you. You shake your head, not because you agree but because you're afraid. Your mother sniffs the air.

"Did you make dinner? Silly boy, take that off the stove. Nathan is taking us to a restaurant."

You don't know what to do. You are almost paralyzed by the fear you feel. Those things in the train station... that teacher telling you you weren't born the way you were... and the way the school was suddenly empty after that. You can either do as your mother says, or run. You're afraid it won't go well no matter what you do.

-Turn off the gas for your mother.

-Run away.