I wanted to give a context and some lure and some jazz to the beginning of the story, so I added a glimpse of the non-happy ending of Empath to the Preface:
My name is Emma. I’m communicating with you from the other side of the Great Los Angeles fire. I used to work in a hospital, I used to buy clothes from the Children’s Support Outlet. I want to tell you all these good things about me. I want you to understand me and what I … did … in the right light.
I want you to forgive me for what happened in the world, or at least, to understand that I was trying to survive and trying like we all do from time to time… to be good.
It all started back in Old Chicago – not in the safety of my apartment where I go to bed early most nights, alone, but somewhere I’d never been. I hadn’t walked across the early spring city wrapped in my 2 good sweaters. I didn’t take the train or a bus.
But here I was, being someone else – being a man, which – I wont lie, I'd sometimes wanted! I didn't know him then, or what he would come to mean….