I think it’s safe to say that I was more chuffed than most people when the story about the institute for psychics appeared in the newspapers and on the televised news. More chuffed than most because I was psychic. And though I was horrified with the rest of the world by the acts of the evil Mr Zetes, I was heartened by the knowledge that I was not the only one. And wasn’t it fantastic that five of the psychic people were heroes? Five psychic teenagers. It gave me something to aspire to. Some day, if the world ever needed me, I could save the human race too.
I tried to cling onto my optimism as I attended school and came home to have to cope with wary expressions on my parents’ faces. But society’s new acceptance of psychic persons was diluted in the tiny world comprising my apprehensive peers, my frustratingly neutral teachers and my frightened parents. I received tolerance, which was all I’d ever received.
But I coped. I didn’t let people disillusion me. I found solace in a comfy corner of the public library. I visited that corner so often that I almost imagined a name tag attached to the single armchair inhabiting it. In the silence not made awkward by the thought that people might be glancing at me out of the corner of their eyes as if I was about to turn into a big blue blob or something, or that people were talking about me, I sat, getting my homework done and then snatching a chance to read before I went home for dinner.
Beneath the coping, though, was an underlying sense that I was... waiting. Waiting for a person who understood me, either because they were psychic too, or because they were just that nice and accepting of differences.
And that waiting seemed to pay off. On a chill but sunny day in November, a new student joined my class. His name was James. He was tall, lightly but firmly built; he had dark hair and his eyes were a curious pale blue. I sensed - my powers include the ability to sense a person’s mood, feeling it almost as if it were my own - a coldness about the guy which made me more sympathetic than scared of him like a few other girls seemed to be, but a bright spark like the glint of steel which suggested superior intelligence or the knowledge that he had power. And something like instinct told me that was psychic power. So, despite James’ frigidity, I decided I would try to make friends with him. This was the chance I might not get for another several years, one I didn’t want to miss out on. I found myself the only one who volunteered to be James’ guide, not put off by the warning look in his eyes as the teacher asked.
When the teacher chose me, with a slightly concerned look on his face, James looked moody. He came to sit next to me at the desk but didn’t say a word.
“I’m Diana,” I told him. “I hope you like it here.”
The look I received in return was icy.
This might not go quite like I expected...