I set off early in the morning tomorrow, having to splash my face with water to wake myself up proper. I did NOT want to be off late enough to be caught in the morning rush hour. Besides, I wanted to arrive on the earlier side to Rose Tower. It would show my commitment, in yet another way.

The train I took there was fuller than I had expected. Mind, I still had plenty of room; Hatenna would have been able to sit next to me comfortably, if she wanted to. But there were some Macro Cosmos employees on the early train to Rose Tower, as well. They likely had an early shift, for whatever reason.

All young adults in their black-and-white uniforms, sharp and straight, not a hair out of place. And I was the one child on the train, a book and a Hatenna in my lap. Too-small, too-skinny and too-dirty from years of living in a too-poor town. I felt out of place. I felt disallowed from opening the book up, or moving much at all, so I stared at my feet, stomach twisting into knots from nerves. I felt their eyes on me, and I didn't know if I was imagining it or not.

I let out a quiet sigh when the train arrived at its destination, willing the knot away with my breath out. I let the rest of the train empty out before I left last, trailing behind everyone to watch where they went to get to Rose Tower.

My book was right in that the way there was built right into the arrival station. An elevator, at the top of a set of stairs; big enough for around 4 or 5 people. I watched the group of employees dissipate with each round the elevator went, trying not to think about the smell from the food court. Finally, after a short while, I went up the stairs and bolted into the elevator with the last group of employees, already inside before they could ask any questions. I nearly stuck out my foot to make sure that Hatenna could make it on, but found her right behind me, settled right next to my foot before I even had to worry about the door closing.

I breathed out again once I was on the elevator, but held my book tightly to my chest, staring straight ahead and keeping my posture straight. I knew I wasn't imagining it now. I was definitely being stared at. I wanted to shift my weight from foot to foot, but kept my appearance focused and formal. I wasn't a bad actor here.