March, 1988
Nant, NC

  Eve walked slowly into the room, trying to take in the entirety of her
surroundings without moving her head. She smoothed her skirt and her long,
brown hair and moved slowly inside, her green eyes catching every nuance.
Being scared did tend to make one hyper-alert. Suddenly, she wondered
if this was such a good idea. But she couldn't go back...she couldn't! 
  She'd told her friend the day before that she was leaving. It had been one
of the hardest things she had ever done.
  ^"Why do you have to run away?"
  "If you can't go forward and you can't stay where you are, what else can you
do?"^
  This had been followed by a conversation taking place mere steps from
becoming heated. But they hadn't argued. Mostly, they cried.
  Eve walked to a table and sat down. The money she had wasn't going to get
her any further without the risk of running out before she could find a
place to stay as well as a job. She didn't know exactly how to go about
doing that, but certainly there were people she could talk to who'd be
willing to help out.
  The noise level in the little cafe had softened somewhat at her
entrance, but now then resumed its normal drone and she smiled to herself,
tucking her bag under the table and tying her hair back. 
  She ordered a bagel and then sat back, sipping at her water and trying not
to look out of place. Her food came and she ate quickly, feeling more and more
anxious as she realized just what she had done. She'd left home. She'd left
her father!
  *Doesn't matter,* said a small voice. *Just keep going. You always make it
through; why should now be any different?*
  "You here by yourself, sweetheart?" asked a voice.
  She looked up to see a man standing over her, smiling. She shrugged
mutely.
  "How 'bout some company?" he suggested, sliding into the booth across from
her. 
  The unease she'd felt before was nothing compared to now. She was sure she
didn't like the way he was smiling at her, but she was in a public place,
right? *Just don't leave with him and you'll be fine,* her mind insisted. "I
guess so," she managed. With those words, she slid into the situation with a
little less reservation and a lot more confidence.
  From the counter, a man watched her sadly; she didn'ít realiz that, in
time, she would come to know him.
  Sure, she knew what she was doing. And it was time to start making allies
anyway...