The computer whirred to life. I clicked, typed and scrolled. ‘Aura is an electrophotonic vibration response of an object to some external excitation’ I read. ‘Human aura is composed of electromagnetic radiation, spanning from microwave, infrared, to UV light. The low levels, microwave and infrared, are related to body heat and the function of our bodies, but the high frequency, or UV light, is related to conscious activity, such as thinking, creativity, intentions, sense of humor, and emotions.’ I searched on.

One website said that a person lacking an aura had at least partially crossed over. Would that mean he was half dead? How could someone be half dead? That just didn’t seem right. Even people who had watched others die - soldiers, old people, nurses, doctors - didn't lack auras.

I followed a link to an article on emotion-color synesthesia, where people see certain colors when they feel certain emotions. It described this condition as wires crossing in the brain. This sounded closer to what I had, but I was born with an extra sense, not a confusion of senses.  What interested me most, though, was that there were other people out there similar to me. So what if they could smell feelings? I could see thoughts! Both were unique abilities. What if the guy was really just my opposite? What if he was born with an ability that blocked mine?

“Brynn. Dinner’s ready!” I jumped a mile out of my seat. Because I was looking at the screen, I hadn’t noticed my mother’s aura. My face flushed, embarrassed that she'd walked in on me thinking about a guy. Then she laughed. I began to laugh along with her, a forced, staccato laugh, just to break up the uneasiness in my chest. I realized there was no way she could read my thoughts and that I needed to get a grip.

I heard her heading to the kitchen, but I sensed more than the sound of her exit with my gift. From behind a wall, an aura dissipates into a kind of fog, losing its shape and dulling its color, but it still gives me a faint idea of the person's presence. The fuzzier the aura, the further away the person is from the wall. When they move, the aura's thickest concentration moves with them.

The fact that I was startled just now, having been unaware of my mother's aura before she entered my room, made me wonder. Was I losing my ability? I needed to test myself.

I walked to the kitchen but stopped short of the door. I focused on her aura beyond the hallway wall, a calm blue right now while setting the table. I heard the plates chink against the wooden tabletop. I side-stepped into the kitchen doorway, looking right at her, and her aura became more defined into an orb shape. She was indeed in the exact middle of the fog where I gauged her to be.  I vowed right then and there to practice and train myself.

I've always had a strong connection with my mother. From the day I was born I knew my mother by the pattern of her thoughts. Thought patterns are separate from auras. Perhaps they are on another frequency, but I can see the tiny electric impulses that make our brains function. They are magnified out of the body in the aura. The two ride close together, because our thoughts influence our moods. The difference is that the thought patterns remain the same for a person, while aura changes color and shape and size.

Her brain pattern sparkled pink and warm in my mind’s eye like glittery goo, alive with energy, light, and warmth. She was a reflective thinker. When she was mulling something over, the thought would bounce around, repeating the same bright pattern of light over and over around her head. The pattern would dim and brighten as she moved about, her concentration shifting, but it would be nearly the same. As she thought about different ways to solve the problem, the pattern would change slightly, but often it would return to the original. I would find myself staring at her as a child, just watching her think. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she would ask when she caught me staring, making her aura tinge purple. She made me resent watching her, her face all upset. “It’s like you’re reading my thoughts!” she would exclaim before heading into the next room. I can't see the tiny thought patterns through walls, so, in a way, I guess she was right.

I’d spent most of my life trying to block out my gift. When I first went to school I quickly learned that others couldn’t see people’s auras. I had worked up the courage to share that Billy’s aura was green while Sam’s was more of a teal while we were coloring one day. I said, “I’m going to color this one Billy and this one Kaci and maybe that one Sam.” At first they thought it was funny and named their crayons after people too. When I started correcting them, “No, Haylee is yellow,” they didn’t want to play with me anymore. My teacher said they could name their crayons what they liked and I could name mine what I liked, as long as we all were nice. She didn’t understand.

I usually tried to block out most of the activity around me during class so I could concentrate, but I really hated passing periods. It was a psychedelic prison; living in a rainbow that sparkled and moved and many times made me experience vertigo. I had learned to ignore most of it. Some days it bothered me more than others. You know how annoying it is to hear a fluorescent bulb hum? Well, you can imagine the constant swarm of mosquitoes all the brain activity is to me. I have tinnitus of the eyes.

It was now time to embrace it. The next week, I worked on identifying the students in my class by their basic thought patterns. Each person thought about things with either a more geometric pattern, or with an erratic or more flowing pattern. Then those patterns would change a little with each new thought. All I had to do was single out the basics. It was actually easier than I thought because I had seen them so often, just hadn’t paid any attention. My brain knew them and it was willing to show me. Once I opened myself to being aware of my peers, I found I could distinguish each person, even while their aura color changed.

Being more aware of them actually made it easier to block them in groups. I enjoyed passing periods now, turning auras on or off in my mind's eye. In the halls I would reach out until I found everyone there, then ignore them all.

I paused outside each classroom door I was about to enter to try to guess how many people were inside by locating their auras. The colors never lied.

All this practice was for one thing and one thing only; to try to locate the guy. Once I got good at counting occupants in a room, I could peek inside and see if there was one extra student inside. Then I planned to try to ‘see’ him some other way. Why could he hide from my second sight?

But as my ability strengthened over the course of the week, I still hadn't found him. I needed to know if there were materials I could not see through, or if there were distances I could not see beyond. What if the guy was blocking me by wearing some sort of material, like a necklace or something? Then he wouldn’t fascinate me so much. I also needed to know if any of the Junior guys had moved away recently.

The End

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