The woman goes and does all kinds of leaving before I can tell her more, and I'm listening for more people to talk to, and all kinds of really gooey-happy inside and I know I'm being stared at but I'm sure it's because I got all featured.
"Jay." I didn't hear Charlie come out of the clothing store because I've been all kinds of busy. "Generally, old women in their seventies do not run away from ten year old kids. What did you do?"
"I told her I got featured of courthe! Because I did, and --."
"You can't bind links to the stories inside people's heads like this, Jay. For one thing, human children don't do that. For another, you are going to be noticed. It is rather hard to hide what you are if you do things like that."
"But I got blue tags!"
"And you expect people to understand that?" Charlie asks.
"I totally explain it. With pictures, too," I say proudly.
"Inside their heads." It is almost a question. I nod anyway. "Jay. People are going to pay attention to things like that, and not in a good way. You won't be able to hide," Charlie presses, because she knows hiding is all Important to me and she can be all kinds of mean.
"I know!" And my eyes are all broken-damaged so I can't cry, but my voice is all tight and crackled. "But I was featured because I have so many awethome bindings with friends and making new friends and I want to make more friends so they can know!"
"I know you do. But you need to tone it down, or we will be noticed in very bad ways by people who would want to abuse such an -- interesting talent."
"But .... but I am toning it down."
Charlie pauses, the Charlie-pause slow and careful. "This is you toning down your excitement to strangers."
"Uh-huh, and -."
"Walk. Beside me, don't look around. We're leaving the town now."
And she says it all in a tone I don't get to talk about, all angry and scared so I really hope she doesn't see the billboards I changed bindings to at all.