"So why can't we kill her?" asks Earth Girl.
"That's not how things are solved in this world. You know these people don't like violence. So if we got caught, there would be no life for us," Gemma answers.
"Gemma, our cover has been blown!" shouts Austin. A car is heading down the road. I am suddenly dropped to the now-solid ground. "Do we run?"
"No, we would look guilty. Stand up, Julia!" Gemma's tone is like venom from a poisonous viper.
I do as she commands, but only because I don't want to lie on the disgusting ground. The car that pulls up to us belongs to Merrick's father. I see Merrick in the passenger seat looking horrified.
He jumps out of the vehicle and says, "Julia, get in the car. You all better stay away from her! You are all horrible people!" He rushes back into the car and his dad drives away.
"Thanks," I say.
"We'll talk about this later. Just, for now, control your thoughts and feelings," Merrick says quietly and kindly, even though he is giving me orders.
I expect them to take me home, but instead I’m taken to their house. Merrick's father calls my parents and asks them if it’s alright that I stay for dinner. Of course, my parents are fine with me not being home, and they’re shocked that Merrick’s family is accepting to have me over.
At Merrick's, we sit out back in his yard. He tells me that he sensed my fear, so he told his dad and they came to rescue me. He knew I was going to the forbidden place, so they searched all around there and finally found me. He didn't tell his dad that I was in the forbidden place. He just said that I walked around there after school. And now he is trying to convince me to confess everything that happened. I don't want to speak of it though. I hate to know that I am making people violent because of my powerlessness.
"Okay, don't tell me. But you will tell me how you feel about your present." Merrick’s eyes don’t leave mine as he speaks.
"Oh, no, you actually got me a birthday present?" I ask.
"Of course!" He runs off inside and I stare at the grass. Manipulating earth would be neat. I could make tons of grassy hills in my backyard, and trees, and flowers.
"Oh, no!" I shout and cover my mouth. Merrick is holding a necklace with the shape that symbolizes great power.
"Julia, even though you don't have a power that others can identify, I know that you are very powerful. You have self control, you're beautiful, you're an amazing leader, you're brilliant, and you help me. You allow me to concentrate. You're like a gift to me. So you better take this."
"That's sweet, Merrick, but I'm not powerful at all."
"Why are you so shocked? You know that I know you're powerful. And I can tell the happiness I feel is from you."
"Of course I'm happy! It's great, knowing someone cares about me."
"I will always care for you. And I hope you know others care for you as well."
"I hope one day you’ll tell me what happened. For now, let's eat dinner."