All the lights were out; everyone had been sleeping, since her mom was sick with a cold and her dad was out of town. One of the joys of being an only child was that she didn’t have to worry about complaining little siblings, like Jake had to.
Suddenly, her right rib cage felt as if it were being stabbed, and a familiar pain washed over Hazel. “Oh, great. Not again,” she mumbled, gripping her right side and hobbling into the house. As quietly as she could and trying not to groan with pain, she silently opened the door and shuffled into her room, closing her door just in case her mom woke up. She felt her phone vibrate, but ignored it for now; she had bigger issues to take care of.
Hazel got out of her costume and tossed on her bed. Slipping on a sports bra and sweat shorts, she studied her right side in the full-length mirror. She had been born a mutation, and always will be. The only people that have seen her rib cage are her mom and dad, and that’s how it was going to stay.
“You must keep this a secret, Hazel,” her mind flashed back to when she was a little girl, her mother gently explaining to her, “people won’t understand why they can see your right rib cage. They will be frightened just because you are different.”
“But mommy,” Hazel had tried to argue, “what happens if someone sees it?”
Fear clouded her mother’s gaze, “you won’t understand now, but you will someday.”