Part 1

Lia Hart has been living with her secret for years. She's told no one, and now she's beginning to doubt if her parents are her actual parents. If this is true, where are her real parents? Why can't she locate her birth records? And why does she have this abnormality? The questions will haunt her until she discovers the truth, which won't come so easily; especially since she's trying to hide her freakishness.

You probably don't know much about me. You might know that I like to listen to old Beatles records on a real record player or that I use honey sometimes with my shampoo. You might even know that I had a sixth toe on my left foot before it was surgically removed when I was three years old. But one thing you'll never know about me is that I can make fire jump from my hands like I'm some spawn of Johnny Blaze, the Ghostrider.

It's simple really. All I do is think fire, flick my wrists like Spiderman when he's shooting web, and fire appears in the palms of my hands; burning but never singeing my skin.

My parents don't know that I have this "abnormality". Frankly, I doubt if they even know that I'm alive sometimes. They're so busy taking care of my five hundred brothers and sisters that they lock the door to our trailer sometimes before I even get home.

My friends at school don't know that I have this "abnormality" either. I've never told them, not even my closest bestie, Allison. I'm just afraid they'll all think I'm some freak and reject me.

School is basically this way nowadays. Anyone who's a freak gets stuck at the crappy table in the back corner of the cafeteria. I usually eat my lunch in the music room to avoid such social labeling but now they're starting to lock it because someone keeps stealing our band's musical triangles.

To make things worse, I'm starting to think that my parents aren't my actual birth parents and that they've been lying to me these past 14 years of my life. Last year when I was working on this project for school, we had to find the city and hospital we were born in, I went to look for my birth certificate in the huge filing cabinet in my parents' room. I found all of my younger brothers' and sisters' documentation but I couldn't find mine. My name wasn't even in our family's baby book. This prompted me to ask for my birth record at our Town Hall [my friend Ron got his so he could emancipate himself] but the lady at the front desk couldn't find my file. My mother hadn't given a copy for their records.

I'll admit that genes can get pretty screw up but I think mine are proof as well that I'm not blood-related to my family. All my siblings have brown eyes. The kind that are so dark you could stare at them forever. Their skin is tan, blemish-free, and their hair is stick straight. My hair is wavy. The kind that makes me look like I've just rolled out of bed. The color of my hair is red, fiery red, which makes me think fate decided to play some sort of cruel joke on me considering I can do what I can do. My skin is also pale but I have freckles all over my face. And my eyes, they're blue. The icy-crystal kind that can send a shiver up your spine. Yes, these are just a few other reasons why I think I'm really not my parents' daughter.

If you take everything I've just told you and lock it away in a box and only go on appearances, I'd seem like a normal girl. I do okay in school, B's and C's, and when my parents aren't yelling or screaming, our motley crew could come off as charming. But the truth is, I'm not normal at all. I've known I wasn't normal since I was four years old when I accidentally lit my tree house on fire because I was afraid of the dark.

No, I'm anything but average. And so far this spring, life is making sure I don't ever forget it: I'm starting to lose control over my "abnormality", and I don't know why.

The End

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