to stop and stare

If there was something Deston had gotten used to, it was all of the stares.

When he was a stranger, they never happened. The new towns, cities, trade caravans… they didn’t look at him twice. At least, not until he had acted or something else had drawn attention to him. Only in the places that he stayed at for extended periods of time did this occur. The people who would look at him, try to confront him, try to be friendly, but all the while unnerved by something about him. Deston wasn’t sure what. He didn’t remember that being the case in his youth, but he had been a very different person in his youth.

It wasn’t the fact he didn’t say anything. At least, Deston didn’t think that had anything to do with it. That seemed to bother the people he’d been closer to before, like his sister. Or Shields. Then again, the two of them could talk like nothing. Deston didn’t remember Shields having been this talkative when they were younger.

Then there was Roland. “Morning, Deston. How are things?”

Deston nodded and Roland smiled in return. It had to have started with guesswork, but Roland had determined Deston’s general responses fast. Then again, Roland was the only one who didn’t seem to expect that he would be the same.

“Mom wanted me to ask if you and Temp would come over for dinner. What do you think?”

Deston thought that Temperance would be ecstatic. He nodded.

Roland clapped a hand on his shoulder. “I’ll let her know then. I have to go help Shields with a delivery, but I’ll see you tonight.”

Deston placed his hand on Roland’s wrist for a moment, with a final nod. He watched Roland leave, everyone greeting him as he passed.

After watching Roland until he was out of sight, Deston went to let Temperance know of their new dinner plans.

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