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“Freak!” “Weirdo!” “Stay away from me!” They circled around my mind, constantly reminding me of who I was. How I was different. Those negative voices in your mind bringing you down.
When I transferred back here to Greenwich Village, I wasn’t surprised that I had to go back to the same school I had attended 5 years ago. Chester Ida Middle School. But seeing I skipped two grades, I would be in Chester Ida High, 10th grade.
It’s funny, isn’t it? You’d think 16 year olds would be more mature than those 5th graders you used to study with, despite them being the same person. That’s what I thought at least. Oh how wrong I was. But I guess I should start from the beginning.
* * *
“…Miss! Miss! We’re here!” I groaned, upset that a voice woke me from my slumber. Rubbing my eyes, I realized I was still in the taxi. Apologizing, I got out to get my bags from the back. With the driver’s help, I brought them to the porch of my house. It’s been years since I’ve been here. Unlocking the front door, I stepped in. Exhaustion came rushing toward me. Unsure of the time, and not bothered enough to care, I immediately wandered to the closest room and collapsed in the bed there.
I was awoken by the faint buzzing in my pocket. Sitting up, I looked around, wondering where I was. Then the events of yesterday came rushing back at me. Panic seized me. I pulled out my phone to check the time, nearly dropping it in the process. “Oh ******* I ran to the bag containing all my clothes. Pulling something on, I rushed out of my room. I grabbed the note that left for me by my foster parents.
My foster parents have been taking care of me since the year before. They had been kind to me, no matter how I was seen by other people. They were the only people who cared about me, for a long time. Since… my mother died.
Without actually reading it I raced to school. I bolted to the office straight, too panicked to care about the insistent voices begging for my attention. I collected my schedule, locker number and password and headed straight for my locker.
Weaving through the students I threw in whatever I didn’t need for first period. I checked my phone once more. 7.20. Phew, still got time. My guard went down and the voices came swinging at me in full force. It was like being strapped to a chair with a thousand different channels playing at once on full volume. The actual voices of the wandering students around me worsened the situation.
Gritting my teeth, I entered the nearest bathroom. The wooden door lowered the volume of the screaming, but not completely. My head pounded against my skull. I focused on the details of the sink in front of me, breathing heavily.
My hands darted to my temples, trying to massage the pain away. Slowly, I gazed up. Looking at my reflection, I observed the girl in the mirror and the rest of the noise dulled.
She had dark brown hair with a streak of pink down the side, a make-up-less face, pale skin and ice blue pupils, slowly fading to teal. Right, here’s two things that’s different about me. My eye color changes according to my mood and there’s always screaming in my head. My eyes traveled down. The girl in the mirror wore simple long-sleeved shirt with a pair of jean-shorts. Not something, I’d usually wear but it was fine.
A warning bell rang as I came out of the bathroom. I followed the horde of students to my classroom as the screaming and headache started again. Clenching my fists, I endured it. I handed the teacher my transfer slip and grabbed a seat at the back. And perhaps it was just me but, I could immediately feel everyone’s stares on me and hear everyone’s whispers and thoughts about me.
Whatever. I was used to this. I could care less what they thought. I closed my eyes, focusing on what the teacher was saying. It helped with the blaring thoughts. But not much. So, I was grateful that no one noticed as I put in earbuds to cancel out the racket in my mind. Everything went as well as it could have… up until lunch. That’s when she made her move. After all, what’s a high school without a mean girl?
Focusing on the music rather than the noise, I closed my locker. An arm slammed down beside me and ripped my earbuds off. I jumped, spinning around, pretty sure my eyes were lime green. The noise came straight back, stabbing my skull like needles. A tall, thin figure of a girl stood in front of me, flanked by two others. “Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in. After 5 years, we meet again, Miss-know-it-all.” Britney crowed. “You’ve certainly changed, haven’t you?” This freak of a girl finally dares to show her face around again.
I narrowed my eyes. I was in no mood for this. “Not now, Britney,” I warned, stepping around her to leave. “What’s wrong? Are you scared?” she mocked, blocking my path. I rolled my eyes. “Scared? Of you? In your dreams. After all, you are still that shallow, immature, jealous little girl, aren’t you?” I remarked, smirking. Her triumphant face quickly changed to one of anger. “Why you little!” she cried, her hand swung, aiming for my face.
With all the voices penetrating my brain, my reflexes were slow. My arms came up to block and I squeezed my eyes together, bracing for impact. When none came, I opened my eyes and lowered my arms, only to be met with a sight I never thought was possible. A boy had his hand clamped down on Britney’s wrist, whispering something in her ear. Her eyes glazed over and she nodded, before stalking away with her minions.
As I watched them go, confusion swept through my mind. Even without a mirror, I could tell my eyes had changed from emerald green to yellow. I glanced back at the boy, wanting to thank him. But what he said left me completely at a loss of words. “Your eyes…” he whispered. “You can see…?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“Come with me,” he said, grabbing my wrist. I was still in such a state of shock, I just let him pull me along. It wasn’t until I saw the trees and the buildings did I realise that I was out of the building.
“Wait. Where are you taking me? What the hell is going on? How can you see my eyes?” I asked, pulling free of him. Panic had set in again. My questions came shooting like bullets from a gun. “Trust me. I’ll explain everything. I promise.” His words were like a cosy fog. A sense of warmth came over me. As soon as he stopped talking, my mind cleared. “Who are you? How did you…” I mumbled. “What are you— mph!” his hand covered my mouth and he whispered, “Shh… don’t speak. They’re here. Just follow me.” He grabbed me hand and this time, he led me to an alley between two buildings. “We should be safe here but just in case…” he closed his eyes and the shadows around us seemed to move, forming a circle around us and darkening our surroundings even more.
“Now that we’re all alone. Care to explain?” I asked. “Who are you?What are you?”
“My name’s Orien Merriston. We don’t have much time here but Kyra, we’re not normal. We’re Raithens.”