She stood and walked to the bathroom, stripping her clothes off as she went. She turned on the shower, and while it ran worked down the remnants of her panty hose, noticing, without much surprise, that her burned hand had healed completely. She thought, I've changed. I will never be the same. The world has shifted. And with that thought the sadness returned. I've felt this before.원주교정

She stepped into the shower and let the scalding water run over her, not noting its feel, or sound, or the color of the heat and steam swirling in the dark bathroom. The first sob wrenched its way up from her chest, shaking her, opening the grief trail. She slid down the shower wall, sat on the water-warmed tiles and cried until the water ran cold. And she remembered: another shower in the dark when the world had changed.

She had been fifteen and not in love, but in love with the excitement of touching tongues and the rough feel of the boy's hand on her breast; in love with the idea of passion and too full of too-sweet wine, shoplifted by the boy from a 7-Eleven. His name was Steve Rizzoli (which didn't matter, except that she would always remember it) and he was two years older - a bit of a bad boy with his hash pipe and surfer smoothness. On a blanket in the Carmel dunes he coaxed her out of her jeans and did it to her. To her, not with her: she could have been dead, for her involvement. It was fast and awkward and empty except for the pain, which lingered and grew even after she walked home, cried in the shower, and lay in her room, wet hair spread over the pillow as she stared at the ceiling and grieved until dawn.

As she stepped out of the shower and began mechanically toweling off, she thought, I felt this before when I grieved for my virginity. What do I grieve for tonight? My humanity? That's it: I'm not human anymore, and I never will be again.

With that realization, events fell into place. She'd been gone two nights, not one. Her attacker had shoved her under the dumpster to protect her from the sun, but somehow her hand had been exposed and burned. She had slept through the day, and when she awoke the next evening, she was no longer human.