Chapter 1: The Difference
I had always been a pretty normal kid, led a pretty normal life – except for the fact that my sister was a genius and a master artist – so it all seemed pretty perfect to me. I had no idea that it was all going to change so drastically. So soon. It’s like my whole life was switched upside-down. I remember what happened as clearly as if it happened yesterday instead of a while ago. It all started a few months ago with this really strange dream I had....
“Steve, wake up.” A girl’s voice that sounded like popping bubbles said to me through my sleepy haze. To me it sounded like the voice was talking through something thick like a glass wall or something. I realized that it was probably because it was muffling the wonderful voice that I thought this perfect voice was talking through something like a door or something along those lines.
I was so tired that I could hardly mutter a tired sigh in response. Even that was hard to do, so I wasn’t sure if it had made any noise or been completely silent.
“Steve? Steve! Are you okay!? What happened?” The bubbly voice raised at least an octave in distress and yet it still sounded perfect. Like caressing hands to calm any problems away, even when there was nothing to be worried about. And it was obvious in this second that, whenever this voice was around, there couldn’t ever be any problems. And if there were, the problems would all get solved before they were presented to anyone. Nothing could ruin this perfect voice in my head. I sighed again – except this time it would be a silent sigh in the back of my head where nobody but I could reach. The perfectness of the voice almost lulled me back to a deep slumber, but it didn’t.
Instead, the worry in the voice startled me enough to finally be brought back from my dreams. Not just a voice, THE voice. I’d know that voice anywhere in the world, but I only heard it when I was asleep. Still, the fact that she was worry about me brought my focus back to her worried plies.
What was it that was making her so scared? Was there anything I could do to help protect her before she got harmed? What was hurting her?
Then it hit me. I was the thing that was hurting her. She must think that I’m hurt or something to be so scared about me. Maybe there was something that I could do to stop her from being worried about me....
My eyes flashed open in less then a second when I realized who it really was that was worried about me and I instantly knew that she’d been here waiting for me when I mysteriously arrived – we’d talked about it before, but neither of us knew how it was we were talking to each other, though I had reason enough to believe that she knew more then she was letting on – and when I finally did, sleeping, it had made her really nervous and not to mention very anxious. Imagine how you would feel if someone you cared so deeply for was partially unconscious when they arrive at your side. I don’t think that I’d of been able to stay as calm as she had. Nope, I’d of been freaking out by now. Screaming at the top of my lungs until I couldn’t make any noise because my voice was lost and there was no way that I’d of stopped screeching when she woke up.
As I stared into her beautiful lapis-lazuli eyes and wondered once again, how anyone could live without seeing this beautiful face and not care about it. I then remembered that they never knew that eyes this beautiful could ever exist.
“Susie....” I sighed in deep satisfaction. I reached over to where she was crouched over me and ran my thumb down the length of her jaw.
On Susie’s face I instantly saw worry was the main emotion across her face. The fact that I hadn’t been able to answer her right away had made her way too upset for my liking. It looked like she was about to start crying.
I quickly sat up – much quicker then I had been able to before I had met Susie – and pulled Susie into the protection of my arms so I could calm her down. I had never wanted to make her upset. To tell the truth, I didn’t even know what was going on right now – not that I ever did anymore.
Susie hugged me close to her as she hid her face in my chest. She was trying so hard not to cry in front of me that she was visibly shaking.
“Sh.... Calm down, Susie. Its okay, I’m not hurt, you’re not hurt, so you don’t have to be upset. I’m sorry I worried you.” I said trying to comfort her.
Susie pulled her face back from my chest to read the emotions that were on my face. As I told her that I was worried about her and I was clam and telling the truth, the shaking stopped and Susie bit her lip.
“I’m sorry, Steve. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions so fast, I just don’t know what I’d do if I were to loose you.” Susie said tensely, like she was anticipating some sort of rebuke from me.
When she understood that it wasn’t coming, she loosened up and a slight smile started to show on her beautiful and perfect facial features. “I’m just so happy that after all of these years, I finally found you. I don’t know if I could live if I ever lost you.” She continued quietly. To me, she sounded shy and unwilling to admit this to me. Like it was some sort of problem telling me what she really wanted to say. That right there made me a little bit upset, but I’d never let it show on my face in front of Susie.
“Don’t worry about it, Susie. I’m not going anywhere unless that means closer to where you are. I promise.” I instantly realized the truth to my words as I pulled Susie closer to my chest so that I could sure that she was safe in the protection of my loving arms. Nobody would ever take her place in my arms – it was like they were made specially to fit around Susie. And NOBODY would ever be able to pull her from my arms – no matter how strong they were. She was mine and I was hers. We fit together like the last missing piece of each other’s puzzles. I’d always love her unconditionally.
That defiantly wasn’t the first time that I dreamt about Susie, but it’s the time I can remember the most clear because of the pain on Susie’s face. The other times I do remember, but they defiantly were not as significant as this dream.
Ever since I had that dream, I’d gotten noticeably quicker and smarter. Not in the normal sense that everyone would expect – definitely not that. Instead of my speed and intellect increasing – that happened after the first dream I ever had of Susie – my ability to read peoples’ emotions got way better. I also found that, if someone was either worried about me or felt some kind of anger towards me, I could tell the second that it happened and try to stop it from continuing. Or at the very least, I would know what I would be up against. But, the only down side to knowing what people were feeling made them suspicious of me – which I was also starting to be able to sense, but not nearly as strongly – and so it would make me anxious when I couldn’t tell what they were thinking of me if they got too far away – my abilities only worked on people that I was focused on, and/or were in a five mile radius of me.
Sometimes I just have to wonder what this all means. But, whenever I start thinking about this, I get the strangest gut feeling that Susie knows a lot about this. And yet, she still continues to act completely innocent about it. If only I knew what I was going to expect, then maybe my life would return to normal. But then again, sometimes being abnormal, or being above normal, was the best thing for any one person. At least, that’s how I learned to see it living up in this boring old town in the middle of nowhere that wasn’t even on most maps.
I sighed and looked at the clock sitting on my desk across the room from my bed. At the angle I was on I couldn’t tell the time, so I sat up to get a better look. Bigger sigh. It was almost seven o’clock in the morning and I hadn’t been able to fall asleep yet. Lynn – I mean mom, was going to come in at any minute to tell me it’s time to wake up.
Huh, I’ve been up all night and yet I don’t feel tired at all. I wonder if that has something to d with those dreams….
Just at that minute, the door creaked open and somebody slipped into my room. Instead of being mom like I expected, it was somebody that completely took me off guard.
“Tania?” I asked shocked.
“Sh! Mom and Dad are still asleep.” Tania answered.
“What are you talking about? It’s almost seven in the morning.”
“Steve, its Christmas vacation. Why would anyone purposely be up this early in the morning?” Tania said looking me square in the eye.
“I could ask you the same question.” I said quickly to distract Tania from her question.
“I’m always up this early. Plus I have to go to work soon anyways. Neither of those excuses applies to you, so…?”
Ugh! I forgot about that. Think Steve, think! Oh, I’ve got it! “Well, you know how this time of the year makes everybody stressed out. All of the stress woke me up early, and I’ve been sitting here thinking about stuff for a while.” I smiled apologetically at Tania at the end so she’d think I was telling the truth.
“Yeah right.” That’s right…. That kind of excuse never works on Tania. I should have thought of something better to say… “Whatever. As long as you stay out of my way today, I won’t mention this to Mom. Okay?”
“Deal!” I said quickly. All I’d have to do is stay in my room for as much as possible and she’d never think I’m in her way.
Tania smiled once quickly in victory. “And if you make it the whole day without getting in my way, I’ll do something special for you. How about I do your room for you?”
“Sure. Can I have blood red walls and a midnight black ceiling?”
“Why not? But remember, stay out of my way all day or deal’s off.”
And with that note, Tania walked out of my room with a calculating look in her eyes. As she shut the door, she smiled in victory again. Probably thinking that either way she’d win. Either gets me in trouble for staying up all night, or I’d stay out of her way and she’d get to re do my room with her artistic abilities. Either way, I’d let her have her fun with it.
I wonder what Susie’s doing right now…. Probably whatever she wants. I wonder why I’m the only one that this is happening to…. Why am I the only one that knows about her? Or does somebody else know about her but she never let me know? Is there something seriously wrong with me, or am I just going insane. Are the people around town seriously starting to hate me because of what I’ve become? What have I really become? Am I still the person that I think I am or has it all changed? Am I a vampire or something without knowing it myself?
Now, I wonder if sneaking into Tania’s room while she’s gone to use her computer to figure out what all of this stupid stuff is about without her permission would constitute me getting in her way…. How would she react to that? Do I dare try it and possibly get caught?
I smiled because there was no way I had to think about that question for a second before I knew that I’d do what I always do. I slipped off of my bed as quickly as I could without making too much noise.
I pulled on the shirt that I had flung on the floor last night before I had crawled into bed at a lazy attempt to fall asleep before twelve. I looked around my room until I saw my last clean pair of jeans sitting on the end of my bed. I pulled those on quickly so my mom wouldn’t freak out at me for wearing just boxers again. I never wanted to have to sit through that lecture again. Pus maybe this way I’d win some brownie points and I’d get something really good for Christmas this year.