Normally, I wouldn't of stayed seated. I have a tendency to want to move around when people are talking to me but I forced myself to stay seated next to Hayden.
"What do you want me to tell you?" He asked quietly. I didn't know what to say. I could hardly believe that he was prepared enough to tell me everything he had been keeping bottled up. He looked to me slightly. "That's if you want to know." A small smile spead across his face, showing the dimple in his left cheek in more depth then I had seen it before.
I tightened my grip on his hand. "Only tell me what you think you need to." We both fell silent and we let it take over us. I used it to try and clear my head and forget about everything - my father's death, the warehouse but most of all... the dream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hayden playing about with the bottom of his eye-patch before he rubbed his eye and returned it to it's original position.
He caught me looking and I shyed away almost instantly.
"I'll start with this then." He began, turning his body to face me. "And just to clear any inital thoughts, there is nothing, entirely wrong with my eye!"
"Entirely?" I questioned, looking from our hands to his face. Hayden nodded slowly. His nod slowly changed into a shake of his head when I asked if he wore it just for fun.
This is what Red wanted him to tell me. There was no medical condition relating to his eye, nor was it there purely to make an effect. I didn't want to rush him into it if he didn't feel like telling me much more then that. Usually, I would question people but I tried to fight that back as well and just let Hayden explain. It was hard enough from what I could tell without my butting in after every phrase and questioning him about everything.
Without thinking, I placed my free hand on top of ours like what my mother used to do to me. There was something about it that always seemed to help me focus my thoughts and control my feelings. A thin smile painted itself onto Hayden's face and I saw that he went to do the same but decided not too.
With a deep sigh, he started to talk. "No. Wait. It will be easier to explain the stutter to you first." Again, I didn't reply but eagerly awaited his continuation. I wasn't going to force him too as he lowered his head to his other hand.
"Hayden, it's alright." I told him shyly. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
He shook my comment and asked me a simple but blunt question. "Do you want to know why I won't make eye-contact with anyone?" Without thinking, I nodded my head slowly.
"I don't know how, or why, but if I look into your eyes.... I can see..." He trailed off, repeating the final three words he spoke, each quiter then the last.
I wanted to stop him from telling me; it was paining him to find the strength and unity to come to terms with it.
"If I look in to your eyes..."
"Hayden, I'm serious. You don't have to tell me!"
"No, Nieve. You need to know." He paused and gulped and I could feel his hand go numb from fear so I clenched my fists around it. "I can see how you will die." He spoke the last bit so fast that he stumbled over his words. My jaw dropped. I didn't know what to say and nor did he. The silence eloped up again and I sat with my eyes closed, allowing his words to sink in. After a few moments, my head started to rock side-to-side in denial.
I had to say something. "How...?" That was the first and only word that tumbled from my mouth which had turned almost bone dry. He looked away.
"The eye I cover is the one I can see that with. The other one allows me to see fears." This was getting stranger for me. No wonder he was reluctant to tell me. I tried to make sense of it.
I slowly unlinked my fingers from his and wrapped my arms around him in a sympathetic hug. I could hardly even start to imagine what it must be like for him. An eerie silence hung over us as we both retreated into our own minds; my trying to decipher what Hayden had told me and I could only guess that he was still trying to come to terms with it himself.
"That's not even everything though." He concluded, finally. "I stutter because that is what happens when I feel fear or threatened. It also occurs when I accidently make eye contact with someone."
I didn't want to ask him but the words escaped my mouth anyway. "How do you see it?" He didn't answer for a while but I couldn't blame him. I understood that it was a sensitive topic we were discussing and if he chose not to answer some of my questions then I would not force him to.
He was about to speak again when the dorm doors opened and Red strode it, the green glow of a emerald PetPin behind her.
"Sparky." Hayden said with a smile on his face. He knew that the little robot of have been causing some kind of trouble. As he guided Sparky to sit on his shoulder, he whispered to simple and consice words to Red. "She knows."
Red looked from Hayden to me and I caught her gaze as I raised my head slowly. "Does she know everything?"
"The things that are relevant, yes." He averted his gaze from Sparky to just left of Red's face and that was the closest he had have came to eye-contact. "The patch, the stutter..."
I stood from the bed again and tucked a stray bit of hair behind my hair. Understandingly, I looked to Hayden with a small smile before placing a hand of his shoulder and tapping it lightly. I could feel Red's gaze watching me as I draped my hand down his arm and let it hit my side. Without another word, I walked away from Hayden and back to my own bed where I sat in silence, dejected and confused. What was so important to Red that Hayden had to tell me that?
Red scoffed. "Keep Sparky under control in the future." She told him coldly, not even mentioning what he had told me as she left the room again at a brisk pace. I watched as Hayden lay on his back and Sparky flew above him and Hayden chased the robot with his finger.
Then, through the dim buzzing, I heard Hayden confess something to himself. "Why was I made to be the freak?"
"You're not a freak, Hayden. Don't say that." I mumbled to him and he turned his head to face me. He looked back at my sympathetically for a split second before turning back to Sparky.
* * * * *
Hayden wondered how Nieve was taking the news. She didn't seem to be able to talk about it to him after Hayden had told her the reason behind the patch. In some way, it sadden him to know that if Nieve took it the way that she had done- imagine if he had to explain it his family. If it had been enough of a shock to him then he could only imagine what it felt like to other people who have to hear about what he goes through. He closed his eyes for a moment but he tore them open almost instantly.
If there was one memory he wish he could take out of his mind and never have to see again was the events that happened the same day he got his strange ability. He had assumed they were linked but couldn't confirm so had to live with it for seven years.
Before joining the AFB, he had no idea about who created the monsters that had killed his parents and fatality injured his younger brother, but now he knew. Hayden knew his name and he had back up to defend him.
Hayden knew that Oasis had been behind his parent's demise and therefore knew that Oasis was behind the monster he had become. All he wanted to do now was find him and ask why he was given the ability to see people's fears and deaths before asking for Oasis to take it away from him.
And if not, Oasis would fall to Hayden's blade.
* * * * *
I looked back over to Hayden who was entwining his fingers together and then separating them again. Something was bothering him, I could tell just by the way he was acting. Never once had I seen be this reclusive with himself; so involved within his own little world that even Sparky was struggling to avert his gaze from his fingers.
"Hayden?" I called across to him, slowly moving towards the edge of my bed, Sparky's light buzzing filling the long silence that followed. Eventually, I stood from the bed and slowly moved towards his, watching as his eyes stayed fixated to the ring he was playing with on the index finger of his left hand.
He didn't even look to me when I steadied myself on the bed post and lowered myself into a crouch at his side.
Sympathetically, I placed my hand on his cheek and smiled as he turned to look at me. "It was brave of you to tell me everything you did, Hayden." I paused, expecting for him to reply but when he stayed in his position, I continued. "And don't you call yourself a freak again. You are you and I couldn't imagine you any other way." With a smile, I moved my hand back to my side as he pulled himself up and sat himself on the bed.
With a smile, he offered me a space next to him which I took without a question. "Do you ever feel like the whole world is against you?" The question was sudden but I had to nod in agreement after what had happened with my task.
"It's not though Hayden. I guess it's just destiny."
I felt a flow of warmth rush through me as he placed his hand on mine and linked his fingers and I looked up and met his calming gazing. His eyes were swimming with various emotions, they were mixing together causing me to be unsure about what Hayden was truely feeling.
Quietly, he whispered into my ear. "Thank you, Nieve. For everything." Hearing his breath down my ear calmed me for some reason. It made me know that I had helped him through a hard situation for him. I don't know what Red was playing at but if she did it again then I would stand up for Hayden more then I did earlier.
I tried to stand but he asked me to stay for a while longer. If I left, I would of felt bad so slowly retook my seat next to him with a large smile spread across both of our faces. Neither of us knew what to say so we both just sat their listening to Sparky buzz down our ears.
Still holding hands, I felt Hayden's grip loosen and I looked down to make sure he was alright. As I did, I felt my cheek go warm and a wide smile spread across my face. I froze as I didn't want to make him feel that i didn't want it. In fact, it came as a stepping stone in our relationship.
Deep down, I knew Hayden was someone I could trust my life with and now I knew that I was right to think so.
He whispered into my ear. His voice was soft and tender like he was whispering to a newly born child. "I never thought I'd love again, Nieve. Not after my brother almost died and me being, well, me... but I guess you changed it." I didn't know how to respond so slowly lowered my head onto his shoulder.
"Best not let Red catch us." I laughed and he did too. We sat like this for many moments, my head in his shoulder and him playing around with my fingers that were entwined with his.
The world seemed to slow down around us but it didn't bother me because soon moments like this would be hard to find in the upcoming future.