Paige always wanted to be a hero, ever since she developed powers, but she always felt condemned to mediocrity. That was until she met Mackenzie...
Minimally edited NaNo 2015.
Mature Story, Trigger/Content warning in the author guidance. Lesbian Romance.
Noun or Adjective
Children and teens who after experiencing traumatic events develop paranormal abilities. The existence of which were first recorded in 2022, currently one in 500 youth worldwide are classified as biodivergent, often shortened to Divergent or Div.
It’s odd how your life can change over the stupidest of things. Sometimes the end of your old life, doesn’t come with a bang but with a whimper.
And sometimes what change how your whole life will be is nothing more than an idiot throwing eraser bits at the person in front of you in science class.
At our school, Patricia was notable for one and only reason: she was a grade A bullying cunt. She made a hobby out of annoying people and being an unrepentant bitch. That day, her need to harass people had fallen onto Mackenzie.
Mackenzie was this girl in my class, I didn’t know much of anything about her than what I could see with my eyes; she was obviously Inuit, she was very boyish in presentation with short hair, glasses and flannel as the staples of her look and lastly she wore an elaborate set of leg braces over her spray-painted on level of tight jeans.
In the five or so months we’d been in the same classes, the dialogue we’d exchanged could have been written on a three by five index card and had mostly been about clarifying what was written on the blackboard since she couldn’t see all that well at a distance.
Mackenzie did her best not to pay attention to Patricia’s juvenile behavior, occasionally removing a white bit from her hair. When their gaze crossed, Patricia gave her best shit eating grin, Mackenzie on the other hand was simply annoyed.
And that’s how science class went, I was left too distracted by that scene to pay any attention. Next class was Mathematics, I wasn’t sitting next to Mackenzie anymore, being on opposite side of the room, Patricia was now sitting behind her and four times during the class she got up to sharpen her pencil or throw something away only to throw Mackenzie’s things on the ground by ‘accident’.
Still, I didn’t say a thing. I just watched. It wasn’t my place to intervene now was it?
Eventually school ended and I was free to go home, pretend I hadn’t noticed anything…
After dropping my books at my locker, I stepped outside into the early january cold, wearing nothing but a hoodie.
I saw Mackenzie outside on the curb, she was waiting for something, probably a lift home. Even with school being out, Patricia hadn’t had her fill of being a bully. She and two of her friends hovered over Mackenzie, her friends remained slightly away, letting Patricia make crass comments to Mackenzie. The two friends were boys and they were night and day, one was a tall and muscled white dude while the other was a tiny willowy latino boy.
Seeing her made my gut twist. I couldn’t stand aside anymore, I gathered my courage, knowing Patricia would probably be pissed but I knew that she couldn’t hurt me...
“Why don’t you just leave her alone?” I yelled, coming closer, making my heart race.
This is a dumb idea Paige… You shouldn’t get involved. I told myself.
Patricia turned my way, smug as a snake, she stepped closer, her friends staying back and looked me down from her six inches height difference. I was pretty sure she was wearing heels. I wasn’t that tiny...
“Who the fuck are you?” She said after eying me for a good ten seconds. Five months in the same class and she’d never noticed me.
“Just leave her alone...” I said, not too terribly convincing.
I didn’t have an answer. I hadn’t thought this through at all. I could almost definitely hurt her, but I didn’t want to.
“Getting scared?” She mocked me, showering me with the contempt of her tone as well as spits.
“I-” I began but didn’t get to elaborate as she shoved me and I tripped.
“You have no idea who you’re fucking with.” She declared, as I got off the ground. “Why don’t you just run home before I get mean?”
“No, I-” She didn’t let me finish as she swung her fist at me.
In the split seconds before she could hit me, my armor materialized, created from the flash frozen atmosphere; an inch thick shell of solidified nitrogen and oxygen. Her clenched fist hit the armored layer of my chest and the surface rippled, part of it liquefying and diffusing the shock of the blow all through my body. Once that was done, the part she hit turned to liquid and her hand sunk in the liquid, exposing it to temperatures not far above absolute zero.
She pulled back and screamed, thankfully for her, liquid nitrogen evaporated quickly before it did too much damage. Still she would probably get second degree frostbite.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that! I swear it does that on it’s own.”
Her big jock friend commented about how I was a 'fucking divergent bitch'and she began spewing a litany of insults and curses toward me.
“You fucking cunt… I’ll kill you, you bitch, you whore...” She kept going and her hand reached out the bus nearby but her friends caught her, subduing her.
“She’s not worth it, Pat!” The mousy guy yelled.
She kept screaming and struggling against her friends while I stood there like an idiot, unsure of what to do.
I felt someone grab my arm and saw it was Mackenzie. “Let’s get out of here.” She whispered to me.
We left the trio and walked for a while until we got out of sight, she walked into the children’s playground a block away and sat down on a bench, inviting me with a pat to the seat.
“I’m sorry you had to get involved in this.” She said.
“It’s okay, I’m the one who chose to help.” I answered. “I’m Paige.” I then added after a pause.
“I’m Mackenzie.” She said with a smile and I couldn’t help but think she looked cute.
“I know. I sit right behind you in Science class.”
“Yeah, I remember you now. Well, I’m glad to meet you for real.”
“Me too. Does she bother you often?”
“Only since the end of the Christmas vacation, we kind of bumped into each other then and she’s been pissy about it. I’m not worried, as they say; she’s all bark and no bite, I could take her if I didn’t want to not cause trouble. Say, aren’t you cold dressed like that?”
People were often worried to see me walking around the Alaskan winter wearing nothing but a cloth hoodie, as cold as it could get, my ability exposed me to temperatures close to absolute zero, winter temperatures couldn’t even begin to phase me.
“No, I don’t really feel temperature because of my ability. I haven’t bought or worn a coat since I was eleven.”
“That’s pretty cool. I wish I had that.” She said with a shiver.
“Want to get inside? My home isn’t far.” I looked down at her leg braces. “You don’t mind walking a few minutes?”
“Yeah, don’t worry about it.”
I guided her to my apartment, a five minute walk, which we spent chatting.
“Did you move to Anchorage recently? You weren’t in my grade last year.”
“Nah, I’ve been here about two years, but I had to change school this year due to personal problems at my old one.” She answered. “You have a pretty good memory if you could tell.”
“I have a good memory, I remember people easily, I can’t say the same about people noticing me.”
“Well, that’s a shame. I’m sure they’re missing out on quite a lot.”
“Thanks?” I blurbed it out without thinking, Was that a ‘thank you’ worthy comment? I had no idea and that made me uncomfortable.“Can I ask where you’re from? I’m just curious, I don’t mean in the racist ‘Really really from’ I mean like you said you weren’t in Anchorage before.”
Great, now you’re babbling. Bravo Paige, you couldn’t last two minutes without sounding like a dummy. I scolded myself mentally.
“You probably haven’t heard of it, it’s a small city way up north called Atqasuk. Since I left, I’m not sure the town is above the three-hundred people milestone anymore.”
“That’s pretty cool… I’m not really from anywhere, except here in Anchorage, I guess. My dad was born in Montana but I never left the state.”
“Well, Anchorage has it’s own charm.”
Despite her claim that she’d be fine, I couldn’t help but notice her wincing as we walked. At least it wasn’t too long before we arrived at my apartment, it was an old nondescript hospital green building with four floors. I unlocked the front door and went for the elevator. I normally used the stairs but I didn’t want to make Mackenzie suffer through four landings worth of steps.
“I live on the third floor.” I explained as I pressed the correct button before retreating to the corner, grabbing the rail tight. I hated elevators, they made me feel cornered.
Once the elevator opened, it was just a matter of going to the left and taking the second and last door on the right, which I unlocked and let us in.