Common Sense

   She entered the crowded place, her hood over her head and the music in her ear; and yet, the sound was nearly drowned out by the many conversations being spoken all around her. Carina Kale sighed, wishing to be alone. She felt a slight ping in her arm, and she ignored it, scanning around the room, looking for an empty table. There, she thought, spotting an isolated booth in the back of the room. She walked past the register, ignoring the aromas of espresso and cream, avoiding the eyes that watched her, and slid into the booth, her back facing the sly glances and judgmental stares of the people behind her.

    Carina opened her mind slightly, feeling the people around her, sensing them. She felt the pain in her arm, the slight pinch that felt like a safety pin sticking in the skin, and ignored it again, focusing instead on the people in the cafe. Pain, heartbreak, sadness, regret, joyfulness, love, empathy, sympathy, lust...those are the things that circuited through the synapses of her brain, and those are what filled theirs. She could sense their emotions, something she had been able to do sense she was little. No, she was not bitten by some mythical creature, for those only exist on the novels obsessed over by twelve-year-old girls with nothing better to do, nor had she fallen into a vat of radioactive waste. She could sense emotions, besides which she was a normal human being.   

    As it were, the emotions filled her, and she burst them outward, sending them in an invisible wave in front of her that was only visible to her eyes. It hit the vase on the table and pushed it back slightly. Carina smiled.  

    "Hm...interesting," she mumbled to herself. She hadn't done that before. Every time she pushed it out, it usually just dissipated. "What could this mean?"   

    She knew that there would be time for that later, and opened her mind again. She felt their emotions, all except one, which was unusual. She pushed against it, but it resisted, something she had experienced only once before. She knew what was going on and whose mind she was trying to break into, so to speak.

    Damn it, Carina thought. Why here? Why now? Better yet, why me? Doesn't he know what he does to me? Maybe....

    Expanding once more, the struggling feeling felt stronger, as if it was closer, and she closed her mind before turning around. Carina sighed as she was blinded by the sparkling blue.

    "Hello," Ryan Crowe said. "I'm Ryan." He shifted his weight from his right onto his left leg and brushed his ear-length, chocolate brown hair from his face. Yes, and I'm Carina. Are we done with the introductions now? "What's your name?"

    Why do you need to know? "Don’t try to pretend, Ryan, you know who I am." Ryan smiled at her. She could feel her face reddening. Fan-freaking-tastic...He just smiled wider, and she turned back around.

    She inverted her senses, letting an emotion that could only be described as annoyance fill her, and pushed it backward towards him. She could do that, too; let others feel what she felt, or what she wanted them to. The group behind her suddenly erupted with scoffs, but Ryan unusually moved in front of her and sat down in the opposite side of the booth.

    Carina pushed hard against his mind, but could not get through. Ryan reacted slightly, furrowing his brow before shrugging, as if to say "whatever." She groaned. God, why isn't this working? What the hell?!

    "What's wrong," Ryan asked. You're my only problem, Carina thought before shaking her head and looking down into her lap, avoiding his eyes. She tried to permeate his seemingly impermeable mind again, but was met by the same wall. Crap...

    "Ryan," she mumbled. She could hear the annoyance seeping through her voice, and hoped that he picked up on it, too, although she knew it was unlikely. "What do you want?"

    A pensive expression came over his face and his light smile disappeared.

   "Honestly, I just want to talk to you," he said, his voice soft and slightly melancholy.

   Carina was surprised. "Why would you want to do that?"

    This time, Ryan blushed, the redness throughout his face. Carina waited for him to respond, trying desperately to tear down his mental wall and make regret wash throughout his body, but, yet again, it failed.

    "It's just that...." Ryan paused as he looked down into his lap. "I really wanted to apologize."

    Here we go, she thought as she rolled her eyes. "No, Ryan, I won't accept it. What you and your little...friends...did to me was unbearable. And all of it right after...You know what? Forget it. I did not deserve it, and now you just waltz in here and act like everything if just fine and dandy, expecting me to forgive you...'

    Ryan looked up and folded his hands on the table, leaning in closer to her. "Listen to me. I didn't know what they were going to do. If I had know, I would've stopped them. Please, you must believe me, I didn't even know about it until after, and I would never, ever do something like that to you. I...I care for you much too much to even think about hurting you."

    Carina folded her arms across her chest and leaned back away from him. Please go away, please...Carina waited, but Ryan still stayed where he was. OK, then, you asked for it..."Ryan, I want you to take your apology and shove it up your--" She was interrupted by a searing pain in her arm.

The End

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