Chapter 8Mature

       I let out a long sigh, bit my lip, and covered my eyes with my palms. I didn't want anyone to see my guilty eyes; my guilty reservoirs of water. At the given moment, I could cry, but the gate of the small, enclosed wells that I called my eyes stayed closed. I had a choice to either think or cry. I was thinking.

       I felt like saying "I told you so", but to whom? And why? I didn't know why, so I thought. At the end of five minutes, I had figured out that it was something to do with the meti. But that wasn't much help.

       It was on the tip of my tongue, but it had no taste; I couldn't make out what it was. I started to stand up and pace around the room, but started was an exaggeration for I was strapped to the bed. I struggle with it for a few moments, but then resigned and layed back down on my pillow. But I was far from relaxed, even laying down and closing my eyes. My pillow was too warm and too flat. All the feathers had moved to either side of my head, and I was resting on nothing but mattress.

       My eyes snapped open, I almost got it, the taste was almost there, but not yet there. And it ended up far away from there as the door to my room opened. It was as if my thoughts were criminals, and as soon as they heard the police sirens, they were out of there. But the police sirens weren't coming from a car or even a bell. They came from the door, warning me that the police man was going to come in.

       In walked "the figure", the meti. I couldn't look at him for some reason, I knew I couldn't, so I pretended to sleep. However, he glimpsed the white of my eyes before they closed. I faked a long blink and for the first time, saw a clear image of my rescuer. But the only thing that popped out a me were his blue eyes fixed on mine and I looked down.

       "I believe Nadia has explained 'What happened'?" he inquired, causing me to snap my head up, I hadn't expected him to talk, and without any trace of any kind of "animal accent". He seemed... almost normal; except for the fact that he could go through illusions and change his being.

       I caught a full view of him this time, he was scrawny, with a tattered white t-shirt and gray pants. I wondered how such a skinny boy could have carried me through the tunnel. His face was complex; his eyes were sunken in, surprisingly for a boy his age, he had a line of freckles across his nose, his nose had a point, his lips stuck out of his face, and he had no beard. Not like the metis in the zoo in their natural form.

        "I told you so!" I called out, a comment I had meant to keep to myself.

       "What?" he asked in confusion.

       "Nothing... never-mind," I tried to explain. "Don't worry about it. It's just I found what I had lost in my thoughts."

       "And what might that be?"

       I hesitated, wondering if my assumption was accurate. "When Nadia and I went to the zoo, they told us a teenage boy got into the exhibit somehow not too long ago. But a teenage boy didn't get in, did he?"

       The meti shook his head.

       "You transformed into a teenage boy, didn't you?" I confirmed.

       He nodded.

       "But then why didn't any of the other metis escape with you. I would've thought it would start a rebellion or something."

       "I tried to recruit others, but they were satisfied in their pampered state, sitting in the zoo."

       "And what caused you to change? I thought metis only transformed when they needed to," I inquired, coming up with questions I didn't have before.

       "Nadia caused it. I felt it in her, the blood of someone who doesn't agree with Him," he said, but I didn't say anything, so he continued, "I have watched too many people point and comment about me. They all saw me differently."

       "Well of course," I told him, wondering why this was so important. "That's how we were born."

       "I can say that, but I don't think you can," he mumbled. I blinked a few times, trying to take in the information, my brow bent into the usual wrinkles. But I decided not to ask. I don't think I was meant to hear this comment.

       I tilted my head and propped it up with my elbow, but hastily switched to the other arm.

       After a moment, I asked the awkward question that he was apparently waiting for: "Are you really..." I didn't finish because I knew he understood me.

       He sat down on the edge of the bed and told me, "Close your eyes."

       I did what he said, but peeked at the last moment with one squinting eye. At first, he didn't do anything at all and I thought I would suddenly see a poof, a cloud of smoke, and a meti in front of me. But it wasn't magic; I see it took skill; another reason why metis usually don't change form. After a few moments with his eyes shut tight, he started. With both hands, he started pulling and pulling on the skin on his chest until out of it used a slimy substance that was always changing shape, and color, and size. He let go of it and it plopped to the floor. By this time, my eyes had grown to there full size and my mouth was slightly open in shock. But I hadn't seen the worst, yet. One bone after another, he pulled himself apart, but his limbs didn't clatter to the floor; they floated in the air where he left them. This step required exact memory for the proper order of bones or else you would end up with a few parts not taken apart and full. I wouldn't want to imagine a human elbow sticking out of a meti if that's what happened. I shuddered at the mere thought of it and a cold rush spread from the top of my forehead all the way to the tips of my toes.

       Thankfully, the last step of the changing process was the least gruesome. It only required for the bones to simultaneously shrink, and snap together. Surprisingly, the fluid stayed the same size.

       In front of me stood a meti, fully scaled, Mohawked, and bearded. Suddenly, he snapped back into a human form.

       "You were peeking," he plainly stated.

       I had no response to him.

       I shot questions instead: "It took you so long to become a meti, but to become a human, it was like... that," I said, snapping my fingers. "Why?"

       "It is harder to undo than to do."

       "But why would you want to keep changing into a meti if you could stay a human your whole life?

       "I would never want to be a human for the rest of my life, no matter how much you paid me," he replied plainly.

       My mouth hung open. I took it as an insult, but not personally.

       When I regained my knowledge of speech, I questioned him yet again: "What was that fluid that came out of your chest?"


       Each of his answers told me to stop and think, but they were so straight-forward and simple. I couldn't explain it.

       "Why didn't it float like the rest of your limbs?"

       "The soul is not a limb. My limbs floated because they were weightless. My soul didn't float because it is the heaviest thing in your body."

       Again, I tried to explain this new concept to myself. "Why?" I asked.

       "Because the soul carries the burden of your thoughts and secrets."

       This, I understood, somehow.

       "Why didn't it get smaller when your bones did?"

       "Because no matter what form your body is in, you stay the same on the inside," he calmly explained.

       I stared at him in astonishment. His answers were literally unbelievable. And after that conversation, I couldn't stop myself from peering over the edge of the mattress to see where his soul had laid not long ago. It hadn't left a trace; the floor was as white and spotless as ever.

       I looked down, trying to comprehend something that my school teachers would say was physically impossible. But I had just witnessed it; a miracle had occurred in front of my eyes. I opened my mouth to comment on something, but decided to use my words wisely; after all, I still knew at least one important fact too little.

       "What is your name?" I asked.

       "Cal," he answered.

       "So Cal," I began. "Why did you just change form? You didn't need to."

       "I did need to," he replied to my astonishment. "Because you didn't believe that I could."

       "So," I said, knowing that was true. "What does my opinion matter to you?"

       "Because it does."

The End

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