Word count: 550

Genre: Romance

Character: A soulless man

Sentence: "I can't see you."

His life was dull, and dreary, which was no surprise, as he had no soul. He could not feel, and therefore he could not experience life as other human beings did. He would never laugh at a joke that someone said, never cry when a family member passed away, never dance with joy when something good happened. It just wasn't possible for him. He went through life robotically, keeping the same patterns and going through all the same motions. Wake up (at 6:15 exactly), get dressed (which took 7 ½ minutes), eat a bowl of oatmeal (with no add-ins, mind you), and leave the house by 6:45. From there, he would ride bus 34-A all the way to his job at the bank, where he would work until 5:00, and then go home on bus 2-B. He never grew weary of his repetitive schedule, for a soul was required to do so. He had never wished for a soul either, until March 21rst, 1987, when his schedule was thrown out the window.

The day had started out normal, and he made it all the way to work before something different happened. As he was walking to his office, a young woman came out of nowhere and careened into him, knocking the both of them onto the floor.

"I'm so sorry!" The woman twittered, quickly standing up and gathering the papers that had flown out of her grasp. "I was in a hurry, and I really didn't want to be late for my job interview, so I thought it would be okay if I just -" Her sentence cut off as she met his gaze, an expression appearing on her face that he had never seen before. He looked back at her, waiting for her to get out of the way so that he could get into his office.

"I can't see you." She whispered, still looking at him with that odd expression. "Why can't I see you?" He had no answer to this, and walked past her into his office, muttering a quick 'excuse me' as he stepped inside, closing the door.

He could feel her eyes on him for the rest of the day, burning holes into the back of his head whenever she thought he wasn't paying attention. He was, and as she continued to observe him, he began to feel odd. The first time was when the man in front of him was taking a very long time to pay for his lunch. What should have been a minute-long process had already taken him five minutes, and he hadn't made any progress. He began to feel a strange pressure building up inside of his chest, giving him the oddest desire to raise his voice at the man, and making his muscles tense up. Once the man had finally paid, the sensations went away, and he was able to order his sandwich without any more setbacks. The second time it happened was when he got a text from his sister, telling him that his nephew had fallen and broken his arm. He began to feel the strange pressure in his chest again, but this time it made him want to rush to his nephew and fix his wrist as quickly as possible. This time, the odd feeling didn't go away for almost an hour, and his mind was wrapped up in thoughts about his nephew.

"What is this?" He muttered, running a hand through his hair, standing up from behind his desk.

He stepped out of his office, deciding to get a drink of water. Maybe he was just getting a cold. That's it, a cold. People always feel funny when they had colds.

When he reached the break room, the woman from earlier that morning was there as well. When she caught sight of him, she rushed over to him, her eyes filling up with what looked like curiosity.

"You're easier to see now." She said softly. "I wonder why that is. Maybe… no that couldn't be right. After all, one cannot just grow a soul out of nowhere."

And for the first time in his life, he wished he had a soul, just so that he could possibly understand this strange woman a bit better.