A/N: Woohoo! After a long writer's block, I'm finally back into writing this. Hopefully those of you who liked it will still follow along.
I shortly arrived back in the room with the table, the chair, and most importantly, the man. While after having arrived back from Grace's body, he had looked like stone, now, he simply looked angry.
"Sit down," he instructed. "Now."
I scrambled to obey, and within moments, I was seated across from him. A nauseas feeling hung in my throat. "You're mad," I said.
The man smiled, but not because he was amused. "Yes, I supposed you could put it that way, Avery."
"You didn't even try."
"I failed with Grace, and you weren't mad."
"You didn't exactly understand what you had to do with Grace, now, did you? You knew what to do with Lillie. And you wanted Lillie to die."
"What, are you a mind-reader or something?"
"It's easy enough to detect without such abilities. You wanted Lillie to die, Avery. And she did die."
"She would have died anyway."
"Yes, she would have. But I didn't send you in there to think 'Oh, I want Lillie to die'. I sent you in there to help her live."
"It's not like I asked to go into bodies and make them try and live a little longer, did I? No. All I fucking did was die almost 50 years too early. Why do I have to pay for it?"
"Because it happened that way - that's the way it is. Hey, do you want to go and stop existing all together? Because just ask, and it'll be, Avery," threatened the man.
I simply shrunk back in my chair. "I didn't like Lillie."
"Do you think you're going go like everyone whose body you go into, Avery?" asked the man.
"No. But maybe I won't hate them that much. Lillie was a bitch."
"... and that's why you didn't even try."
"Yes. I didn't like her. How the hell was I supposed to be all happy about life when I couldn't stand the body I was in? I hated her. She was a bitch."
"Bitch or not, did she deserve to not have a chance because of that? Because of how you felt about her?"
"She would have died anyway!"
"But you were supposed to try and delay that death! With Grace, it was fine. It wasn't as if you wanted her to die. You thought you were keeping her alive longer. You didn't. But you tried. With Lillie, you didn't try. In fact, you tried not to try."
"I don't care."
"Avery, you're not going to like everyone."
I didn't bother to reply at this; I simply crossed my arms in front of my chest and starred down at my lap. "Am I supposed to be sorry?"
"Don't ever do that again."
I hesitated before saying, "I won't."
"Okay then, Avery. It's forgiven. But, I stress, you are not going to like every single person whose body you inhabit. And you're still going to have to have the will to live, still going to have to save them for a little while."
Still staring at my lap, I shook my head back and forth, and then nodded. "Fine," I said.
"Do you want to go to your next body now?"
I bit my lip. "Do you want me to?"
"It's another teenager."
My head flung up towards him. "Why?" I asked.
"I want you first many people to be teenagers. You know how with Lillie it felt natural, but awkward?"
"Well, with an adult or someone older, it will probably be the same. So until you are used to this - until you've actually helped someone beyond their scheduled death date - I'd like you to go to teenagers. It will be the easiest, even if it is hard to comprehend that people your age are scheduled to die."
"Is it another person like Lillie?"
"Who is it?"
"A fourteen-year-old. Claire Colella. She dies in a house fire."
"Yes. But that does not kill her."
I bit my lip. "Can you at least tell me when the fire is? I mean, in the day?"
"No, Avery. It's better left unknown."
"Okay then," I said with a sigh. "I guess I'm ready."
"And Avery..." the man said.
"Even if you dislike Claire - which I don't think you will - please try to help her live. Just do it. Grin and bear it. At the most, it will only be a week. With your level of... skill... the day after she's scheduled to die would be a great success."
The familiar was vanished with a blink.