Gryphon's Gift

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"I am, actually. Studying to be a psychologist, and I work here to pay for university. Unfortunately that leaves me no time for anything else," he replied. "It's been this way for the last couple of years. I'll be glad when it's over, I'll finally have some time to myself."

She was surprisingly easy to speak to. Something about her demeanor broke through his walls, loosening his tongue. He smiled at her as she told him about her passion for birds. "Do you plan on pursuing your interest in birds further?"
"Actually I'm thinking of becoming a bird specialist, owning my own nursery one day. I go to the observatory next to the zoo to study and take lessons on them. Maybe you could join me one day."

The invitation slips out of her mouth before she can think about it. She silently reprimands herself. She knew almost nothing about him, least of all whether or not he would even be interested in seeing her again after tonight. She continued hurriedly.

"I usually get out of there late at night. Around this time."

Cathlyn feels her phone vibrate in her coat pocket. She flicks it out to check the messsage.

Found something important. Come to the East Nursery at 8 am. Urgent.

She frowns, perplexed. Her professor only texted her in case of an emergency. He must have found something. Something big enough to unsettle him.

She shut it off to conserve the battery and smiled back up at the man, and begins to eat her meal. She swallows before asking another question.

"How early does this place open? I might come here for breakfast. And also, Do you have any pets? What kind of animals do you like?"
"I...I would like that, yeah." He was surprised at the invitation and he was even more surprised at himself for accepting the invitation. He hardly knew her, so he had every right to decline, but he just ended up blurting out his gut reaction.

"We open at eleven a.m. I'm afraid we don't serve breakfast, but our lunch specials are fantastic. It gets pretty busy here, but if you text me," he hastily scribbled his number on a napkin and handed it to her,"I'll be sure to save you a seat."

"I have an orange tabby named Hobbes. He's a little brat, but I wouldn't trade him for anything. What about you? Any pets?"