I don't even bother to use my own key to open the front door of my house. I knock and wait, almost like a stranger, for the door to be opened.
I had excused myself from the plans that Connie, Sarah, and I had created and I had walked, steadily, but silently home. You can be assured that I had a while to myself and the heat of the afternoon had made my thoughts appear all the stronger, almost like a mirage.
My mom opens the door, half annoyed at the prospect of a salesman, but her annoyance is soon turned into surprise. "Angelica! Did you forget your key?"
She moves aside to let me in, but I don't budge from my spot on the heated cement stairs that lead up to the door. "Mom, do you know what's going on with me?"
She appears genuinely confused before she mutters, "Get in the house Angelica."
"No, answer me please."
She recovers herself and steps into the space that she had created for me to walk through. I notice with a nervous glance, that she is playing with her wedding band. "I don't know what you are going on about, now please—"
"I met a boy today mom." I say casually, ignoring her anxiety as it starts to show in almost every aspect of her being. "His name is Dominique and he told me that you knew everything."
This knowledge does something strange to my mother: she completely freezes up. "What?"
"You knew that when I said that I was glowing it was not some hallucination; it was not a trick of the light and it was not a case of too much television."
My eyes play a trick on me and I see a sort of diamond fall from my mother's eyes, but a quick reality check makes me see that it is simply a bright tear drop. "Angelica—"
"Please, for once in my sixteen years of life, tell me the truth!" I almost yell this, my patience running thin.
I hear a car behind me and realize that my father is home from work, almost on cue. I take a step back and hold my hands into fists at my sides. My bag feels heavy on my shoulders and my feet are itching for a getaway.
"What's going on?" My back becomes rigid as I hear my father's semi-cold voice breaking through my curiosity. "Angelica?"
"She knows." My mother utters in a voice so low that no one but us can hear it.
My father's face becomes a contorted mess and I almost stagger back in fear. What is this? Before I can function, my father grabs my arm, not softly may I add, and pulls me into the house, past my weeping mother. I hear the door close behind me and I am forcefully placed on our leather couch.
When we had first purchased the furniture I could not stand the smell and sitting in it had not been an option for me. I'm not surprised to find myself almost gagging at the smell that still lingers in the crevices of the worn leather.
"You have to understand that the world isn't exactly as you imagine it." He begins, cracking his knuckles as he talks; a habit I had never witnessed before in him. "You were so little and we were lucky to have found you at such a young age."
I feel my mother's weight on the couch beside me as I begin envisioning the story that I am being told.
"I don't work for a bank, as your mother and I had been telling you for so long, I work for a major corporation who deals with children much like yourself, but none were as young as you.
"You were only a small baby when we found you, eleven months old to be precise. You were in a cardboard box outside of a hospital. You were cold, but you were not crying. You seemed almost—angelic. The company was astounded by such a discovery and we worked as well as we could. We were accustomed to finding children from ages twelve and up appearing at the doorstep of our company, not infants.
"We absorbed as much from you as we could and in return you would not remember what you are—a first in your kind. You are a miracle child, a walking poster-child of what is possible in modern science; the proof that children like you can live amongst us without knowing what they are, without being conflicted."
"What am I?" I ask, trying to keep my voice steady. The vibration of the world is all ready changing for me.
"Dominique was our second test subject at the time. You see, we only undertook two subjects every year, ignoring all others until we figured the full extent of the current children. He took a strange wanting towards you. He was a miracle in his own way, being the second youngest that we had ever found; second to you of course.
"He was four, but he was highly interested in you. Before he escaped he had sworn that he would save you; that he would bring you to the truth one way or another; we humored his bluff by having your mother and I adopt you. We promised secrecy, ignoring the signs that you were still one of them, and fantasized about the fact that you may never know. We were foolish to think that your sworn protector would not appear."
My feet begin to feel nervous, wanting to run away, but I have to ask, I need to feed my wonder. "You still haven't told me what I am."
"You are an Angel."
The silence in the room is enough to cut through the thickest of New York style steaks. My hands, which had been grabbing at any loose material on the couch, become slack. My feet are more anxious than ever and it takes immense control to not run away at that instant.
"What?" I finally say, thinking that this is some kind of sick joke.
"There have been, and there are thousands of people like you; your kin. We have been investigating your kind for many decades, but you were exceptional, extraordinary."
I finally stand up, my legs are now in union with the anxiety of my feet and they are not willing to stay put. "I'm... I'm a test subject?"
"You are a miracle on this Earth. You are our daughter and we love you very much—"
"—we just didn't know it would happen this quickly; you finding out." This stranger, who I once called mom, interrupts the man that now occupies the place that my father had once been in.
I am out of the house before they can react, I don't know how, but the glow that exerts from me is no longer a dim shine of life, but a bright light that blinds them long enough for me to escape.
Now I am running, faster than I have ever been able to. I start seeing the reality of the world as it has always been and I start wishing I had those wings that Dominique had been talking about.