The Shock Sets In.
It all started on a Wednesday; on the 12th of April 2:34 to be precise. It may seem odd that my memory is so clear, but that was the one day that I got to my Wednesday English class on time. Due to the lack of numbness in my legs caused by forced physical education. Getting hit in the face with a tennis ball before the game even begins is definitely under-appreciated.
One minute early to class and yet I was the only one there. Except from Mila, the girl who always had her head in a book and everyone called a nerd. That is minus me of course. Honestly, I actually got better grades than her. But my nerdiness is just slightly less conspicuous.
I do try my hardest not to stick out, despite my wacky ways. Although blending in had been made a terrible challenge; due to my clumsiness. Plus I’m about as lucky as a leprechaun in reverse. Trust me, those two do not mesh well. And I have a body covered in cuts, bruises and broken bones to back it up.
That's why when I tripped over Mila's desk, sent it crashing to the floor and toppled over, it seemed like just another day to me. I just thanked my lucky stars that the only person in the room was one that had been too tortured by cruel teenagers to allow them self to pass judgement onto others. Maybe it’s just because she’s a genuinely decent person – but who really knows?
With my head tilted to the side, eyes squinted shut and arms held out in front of me, instinctively, for a short moment I was still awaiting the impact. Slower than I’m proud to admit, I began to realise I was still – no impact.
For a second I was afraid to look ahead. Did I fall so hard that my body had turned numb from shock? A strange conclusion I’ll admit, but panic always did strip away my logic. My eyes widened as I noticed not more than three or four inches between me and the ground. With that, I hit the floor in an instant. This made the fall far more of a jolt to my system than I was used to.
My paralysing stun which left me lying face down in the middle of a classroom was ripped away as I recalled a fellow human being in view of me. Luckily, Mila seemed far more interested with the book she had in her hand than the mess I had put myself in.
Overloaded with panic, I stumbled to my feet, threw her desk back into place and scurried to a seat at the back, just as the students flooded in.
An uncountable amount of thoughts were attacking my mind at once. Each one making my heart beat faster and the palpitations thump harsher against my chest.
Of course, the first thing I convinced myself of, was what anyone else would - that I was crazy. I mean it’s the only plausible explanation.
But a part of me knew. Even if I was blocking it out. I knew that I had defied the laws of gravity, even if only for a brief moment. The one time my mind jumps to a reasonable conclusion and sticks with it, is of course the one time it was actually the completely unexplainable one.
The rest of the day I was in a haze, internally debating out what could have happened to me. After several hours of pondering, there seemed only one answer. Thankfully it wasn’t the very prominent “you were simply sucked into a worm hole and spat out which delayed your perception of time”.
My mind went numb and my body stiff, standing spookily still in the middle of the hallway as it dawned on me with crowds of people rushing past to get home. I was either losing my mind or the impossible has happened. The question:" which is more realistic?" relentlessly played over and over again in my head. It may seem like an overdue realisation but when something as significant as this happens and it finally hits you that you really must be medically insane, it’s more like a bulldozer than a hammer.
Deciding that I had no choice but to compel my thoughts to enter the furthest reaches of my subconscious, I pursued the art of repression. I can safely say I have absolutely zero expertise in that area.
In my hopeful state, I planned to engorge myself on junk food, relax with a light hearted movie and be snuggled up, ready to be a peaceful prisoner of the sand man by nine. Surely I should have foreseen that the alternative for ME was: no appetite, no concentration, no sleep and overall absolutely no peace whatsoever. It wasn't until quarter past four in the morning that my mind gave into my exhausted body and allowed me to drift off to sleep. All my tension and stress washed away… For about 5 minutes. Until my eyes shot open to find myself hovering over my bed. Again, I collapse immediately, face down. At least it removed any doubt from my mind about it actually happening. It's always been so tiring creating an upside to everything.
Though rather than ease my mind as you would think, it just gave me more questions. What could possibly be happening to me? Unquestionably my worm hole theory couldn’t stand up as the answer. So what was the answer? Was I missing something?
I think one of the things that scared me the most was that I couldn't tell a soul. I mean what kind of person wouldn't have declared me insane right there on the spot? It took me the better part of the day convincing myself it actually happened.
It would have been so much easier if my life was a movie because everything is always so normal to them. You never see anyone on TV having sleepless nights over supernatural events. They just go with the flow. I wished I was more like that. Able to treat something like that as an everyday occurrence. I sure hope I was right to think that's not a reasonable reaction from any normal person. Though I'm afraid to say I am undoubtedly not normal - but I never really was anyway.
I awoke at ten to nine having had three hours sleep. After five minutes of waking up, I glanced down at my watch. Noticing the time, I flung myself out of bed, threw on the first clothes I found and rushed out the door; still ending up an hour late.
Of course it's me so the second I walked in the door vice principle Herman struts past, along with his infamous aura of condescension. I despised the walk of shame to the principal's office. Most people don't give a damn but apart from my history with tardiness, I was actually a bit of a goody-two-shoes. So I wasn't really used to, nor in any way at ease during confrontation with authority figures. Although that day it actually wasn't nearly as bad as expected.
Nervously, I kept my head to the ground the whole way. I must sound pretty pathetic but hey, there are a million worse qualities than being a bit timid. The receptionist Ronda shot me the same disgusted glare she did to every student that crosses her path, turning the butterflies infesting my stomach into a nest of hornets. As I approached the door to Principal Molden's cramped waiting lobby I slowed right down, stopping inches from the handle. After short hesitation, I took a deep breath and swung the door open confidently. Expecting a quiet empty room I could collect my thoughts and think up excuses calmly, my confidence and feeling in my legs shortly disappeared when I made eye contact with an incredibly attractive guy about the same age as me; giving me a confused look. As I stood there looking like a complete imbecile, he sat back, crossed his arms and gave me a cheeky smirk. "Did I startle you?" He remarked as amusement took over his face.
There was a moment of silence as I was both stunned and at the same time, still taking in the three fold perfection of his scruffy jet black hair, luminous crystal blue eyes and his intoxicating smile that along with the sense of enthralling tenderness that emanates from him was almost mesmerising enough to distract me from my current predicament. Almost.
"Oh, I uh… just didn't know anyone else was in here." Still as stiff as a dead man, I mumbled as if my jaw was frozen shut.
"Well, the shock must have set in by now. You gonna sit?"
I found it fairly awkward that I had to sit next to him. Lack of space equals lack of chairs. "I haven't seen you around before," I said to break the tension as I sat down with not more than a foot between us.
"I've only been going here an hour."
"That's why then." I shrugged awkwardly.
You can see I wasn't exactly the most profound conversationalist. Glaring at the wall opposite me with an intense concentration, I could feel him eyeing me up and down. This is the point where hindsight kicks my past self for not taking a few minutes more to pick out a better outfit. The tension became too much for me and I just blurted out what could probably make it into the world records for weirdest conversation starters: "So, necrophilia, pretty weird stuff huh?" The second the words came out of my mouth, my head fell straight into my hands. “Next time, just learn to live with a little tension,” my inner voice grunted. “And you seriously need to stop watching those strange documentaries before bed.” I kept my face covered until I felt a cool, gentle grip around my wrist. He continued to pry my hand from my face softly whilst replying "You can't expect to always be perfect." "Plus… necrophilia? Not actually a dull topic." Then he wrapped it all up with that boyish smirk that makes me melt. At that point, the principle strode out from his office, murdering the moment in cold blood and spat out my name impatiently. Instead of putting my tail between my legs, my head down and cowering into his office, I gave Mr Perfect here a beaming grin and swiftly strolled in with my head held high. I know for most people that's nothing but for me it was definitely a first.
Without any eye contact I glided past Principle Malden and perched on the edge of the chair opposite his. No words were exchanged for the first few moments. He just sat there glaring at me, clasping his hands in front of him on the desk; attempting to intimidate me as per usual. Examining my face it dawned on him that I was different that day. He could see a hint of something in me that you usually couldn’t detect with a microscope… confidence. You see I never really conversed with guys that much at all because I would get nervous talking to people. And then when they spoke to me I wasn't very responsive and I would blurt out something super random. So when Mr perfect not only didn't pull a sour face and leave but actually said "Don't worry, you're cute" with his eyes, how could it not have given me a little boost? As I strolled out with a warning, Mr perfect caught up to me in the hallway. "Hey, wait a sec; I didn't catch your name."
"Lila." I stared straight at him, blankly, awaiting his reply. "Do I get yours or do I have to just keep calling you Mr Perfect in my head?"
I still can't believe I actually said that! Curse my loose lips.
"Mr perfect huh? I like it. I think I'll just stick with that." This time along with the smirk he added a playful wink. As he began to walk away, he turned halfway around and added, "Lila suits you; a beautiful name for a quirky girl."
The warm buzz that formed inside my chest didn't leave me for the entire day. In fact, my mind was so preoccupied that when I opened my locker and reached for my book, I almost grabbed it, threw it under my arm and skipped along not realising that in my daze it somehow levitated into my grasp.
It was beginning to get spooky. And I was beginning to get freaked out. Abruptly slamming my locker door shut, dropping the book on the floor and speeding away from it, I noticed from the corner of my eye Mr perfect staring intently at me, leaning against the wall of lockers opposite mine. Gradually I came to a halt and jilted my head back with curiosity to see him still eying me with an intrigued look on his face. Nonchalantly, I moved my gaze to forward and continued my swift walk to nowhere.
No matter what the hell was happening to me, these random unnatural phenomena's couldn't keep occurring at school or eventually someone was going to see something.
This was when I decided it was time for an attempt at focusing the ability; whatever it was. After rushing home from school, I locked myself in my bedroom and aimed all my energy at a pencil I was struggling to levitate. Despite my best efforts, I was getting nowhere until there was an abrupt crash. Ducking down on instinct, I found a layer of pencils; exact copies of the one I was trying to lift, across my floor. Plus a couple that managed to become entangled in my hair. At least I was learning to control it, just not in the way I had expected; at all.
After about another three hours of freak winds, flying cupcakes and grazing goats, the levitating was beginning to feel more and more natural to me. At one point, I focused enough to peel off the stickers that I regretted decorating my ceiling with since I was seven.
Every day of my life I wondered why I never seemed to fit in. Finally I had answers to questions I thought I had no one to ask. Even with the lack of people to care about in my life, you never feel as lonely as when you have a secret that you're dying to share. If I'd had one person in the world I could've confided in; it would have been Sammy.
It's not like I could have even contemplated telling my parents. I wouldn't have been able to finish my first sentence before they would be making arrangements to get me carted off to the loony bin. That's if they even listened. At least then I knew if the worst came to worst; I wouldn't have to duck and roll out of the car, I could duck and float. I doubt I had any worries about my parents finding out; I could've probably grown a beak without them noticing. Sometimes I wondered why they didn't just abort me. Or at least have put us both out of our misery and given me up for adoption. Why are people like that even allowed to have children when they mean nothing to them? I mean I'm sure they would have shown up to my funeral but would they have shed a tear at the loss of their only daughter? I highly doubt it. Maybe a forced emotional moment to keep up appearances but no genuine anguish would be felt.
Ugh, it sickens me to think so much thought was wasted on people who didn't acknowledge my existence for more than twenty seconds each day. Every time I started thinking about something upsetting, it always came back to them. Did I not have enough on my plate to deal with? Focusing on my new-found abilities seemed much more logical. As I diverted my concentration back towards the only interesting thing that has ever happened to me; excitement began festering as if it were Christmas eve, with the anticipation of letting Sammy in on the most recent extraordinary occurrence in my normally mundane life.
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet.
Fully optimistic, I made my way to school, expectant that Sammy would be at the lockers waiting for me like every other morning. When I found he wasn’t my mind wondered. Sammy wasn’t the perfect attendance type but he always made sure to notify me if he was planning to ditch. He knows I loathe wondering around school by myself. When he’s by my side, if people approach me attempting to start up a conversation, he saves me from the utter humiliation of my response. So where’s my text? Of course I completely blow it out of proportion, imagining his blood painted across a highway and call his Mom in desperation. Just as she picks up, I hear a familiar booming voice, followed by a crash. What has he gotten himself into now?
“Hello dear, is everything alright?”
“Oh sorry, turns out he’s not dead.” With that I hung up as fast as my hands could move and barrelled around the corner to find Sammy with a smug grin on his face; confidently looming over Ben who was cowering on the floor, rapidly bleeding from his nose. As he noticed me and my expression, his face began to drop.
“He started it!” Sammy whined in anticipation of another one of my dragged out lectures.
“He thought that just ‘cause I’m gay, I was staring at his ass.” “Someone needed to deflate his ego.”
My lifeless gaze spoke for itself which he took as another chance at a pathetic excuse.
“I tried reasoning with the guy but he somehow convinced himself I had some crush on him.”
I know I seem a bit cruel. I mean it’s not like the guy didn’t deserve it; it’s just that this is Sammy’s regular behaviour. Someone says something Sammy doesn’t agree with and instead of expressing his emotion through words, he does it with his fist. And especially with bigots, violence only makes it worse. Now they just have more ammo and their mind set is still the same.
As Sammy is desperately attempting to defend himself, the three gay haters tried to scuttle away like frightened beetles until I stopped Sammy in his tracks by calling out to them. “Hey, professor dick-wad, I see introduction to being a douchebag 101 is open to everyone now. What in that twisted head of yours made you think you were good enough to be in Sammy’s eye line?”
All three halted simultaneously. The largest one, Ben, spun around and arrogantly strolled up to me.
“He’s gay.” He spat out with cocky grin smeared across his face, without a moment’s thought.
I’m beginning to understand Sammy’s impatience. “Are you serious?” I glared at him and crossed my arms, infuriated at his ignorance whilst he widened his eyes as if I was the idiot.
“So by that logic, every straight girl must have a crush on you too?” Missing the sarcasm like his head does a brain, he seemed to take this as a compliment as his face shone with pride. “Why not?”
“You would have thought with a head that big, you would hear how much people hate your conceited, bigoted, self-entitled ass.” Alas every word of what I said seemed to fly straight over his hollow head. Shortly after my remark, he and his friends dispersed without a reply. But at least I got my point across for the people that did hear and understand me. Sammy certainly appreciated the sentiment. I also noticed a mysterious figure all in black at the end of the hallway, intrigued in my useless effort to enlighten that lost soul. I rolled my eyes as I took a wild guess at who that was.
“Are you blushing?” Sammy chuckled, interrupting my daydream.
“Uhhhh… it’s just so hot in here!” I protested, fanning my face with my hand.
“Sure. “ He gave me a sarcastic eye roll then continued with: “I’m never going to understand girls. “
“At least the feelings mutual,” I sighed, with my head turned to face him as we were separating to head to class.
See Sammy is gay as I’m pretty sure you have figured out by now, but he is completely open about it. I remember when he first came out. It wasn’t a shock to me at all but everyone else seems so set in their views of what a homosexual person is like and Sammy doesn’t fit a single one of the stereotypes. He doesn’t give a second’s thought about clothes, he doesn’t gossip, he doesn’t drink cocktails, he doesn’t live to party; the list can go on and on. He seems as straight as they come yet he still doesn’t fit into that other category of being a “top”. He isn’t promiscuous, he isn’t a frequent gym visitor and he isn’t particularly dominant. However, he still gets a lot of shtick about what he’s “supposed to wear” and how he’s “supposed to act.” And they’re not even the ones that are particularly against gays. You can see how he gets into a lot of fights.
Today was the worst possible day for it of course because I was dying to tell someone about what was happening to me. And it only got worse as the day progressed.
One class left until lunch, one class until I can finally tell Sammy. My body was filled with relief. That was until Mr too lazy to plan a lesson, placed a pop quiz in front of me. My luck is going to be the death of me I swear. This is the subject I was supposed to be studying while I was obsessing over my newfound powers. I just needed more time!
Everything was closing in around me, the ONLY thing my parents care about is appearances and even on a pointless pop quiz, if I fail; I’m therefore a failure. Panic overwhelmed me and minutes were going by like seconds. The monotonous sound of people scribbling down their answers and turning the pages was playing so loud in my head whilst I was getting nowhere. With that, the room fell silent. No more endless scratching of pencils, no more of the deafening tic of the clock and no more sound whatsoever. My gaze gradually moved from my paper to around the room. I could see it coming; I just hoped I was imagining it.
Nope. I was right. Everyone is frozen. How am I supposed to get out of this mess? I could barely control my first powers and now I’m finding more? Have I frozen the whole world or just this room? Desperate to see everything was normal elsewhere, I sped straight into the hallway. Sure enough, when I looked through the glass on the door of the classroom opposite ours, it was the same. “Uggggghhhhh!” I threw my hands up to my head and groaned. “WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!” I screamed at the ceiling frantically.
“I thought there was something different about you.” Dropping straight to the floor in surprise, I saw none other than Mr perfect leaning against the lockers facing me, looking incredibly amused.
I'm a what?!
Who what why? Why was Mr perfect not frozen like the rest? What did he mean by” I thought there was something different about you” how did he know? Endless questions were running through my mind like they were competing in a marathon. Of course a normal person would have just got up and asked these questions rather than cowering into the nearest Janitor’s closet, torturing them self, when the answers are just beyond the door. But it’s me we’re talking about here; the logical approach has never been my forte. What can I say? Normal is boring. Okay I had been sitting in there long enough; my problems weren’t just going to disappear. I had to face my demons; which in my case happened to be a sweet, gorgeous sixteen year old boy. At least I think he’s sixteen. My mind wondered, attempting to distract myself from my most recent predicament. Abruptly I snapped myself out of my daydream, knowing that I needed answers and if there was even a slight chance that he knew something, I should’ve been jumping on it. With that I swiftly arose and threw myself out the door; only to end up on my ass. Yes… That’s right as if it wasn’t bad enough, I had just tackled Mr Perfect. “You’re always popping up where you shouldn’t be.” I mumbled, dusting myself off.
“I like to make an impression” he chuckled. “So in your mind, you run into a closet and you are magically invisible to the world?”
“I never came to that conclusion, but it wouldn’t exactly be a far stretch,” I shrugged. “So I’m guessing you noticed time being frozen?”
“It’s pretty hard to miss.”
“Thanks for the help Mr Sarcasm.”
“Awr what happened to Mr Perfect?” He grumbled, along with a signature puppy dog face.
“Well maybe if you told me what the hell you have to do with all this then you would deserve that title again.” “Wait - I meant if you actually tell me your name, none of these Mr titles would be necessary”
I couldn’t be angry that he laughed at me again because he has an unfair advantage every time he flashes me that priceless smirk of his.
“So… am I spending the rest of my life in the dark?”
“Fine I’ll tell you Miss Exaggeration.” His amused grin shortly disappeared when he noticed the highly unimpressed look smeared across my face. “To be completely honest I’m just as weirded out as you are. I mean finding out there is another witch at this school? What are th-”
“A what?” I screeched as he continued completely oblivious.
“Well obviously I’m a witch too or how could I be talking to you right now?”
Eyes widened, I clung to my hair in disbelief and backed up into the wall, sliding down it until I hit the floor.
“I admit… it’s a surprise but don’t you think your being a bit melodramatic?” His eyebrows furrowed with curiosity.
“I-I just… I can’t believe it.” I knew I had powers but I had no idea there were others like me. And now instead of being gifted I was suddenly a witch!
“Have you never met another witch before or something?”
“I didn’t know I was one!” Our eyes were locked.
“Oooooooooh.” He held his hand up to his face awkwardly. “Oopsi I kind of bombarded you a bit there.”
“So you’ve never been to the witches’ clan?”
“There’s a witches’ clan?!”
“Stop screaming already.”
“Why?! Who the hell is going to hear me?!”
“Well for starters… me.” He whined while squinting his eyes and rubbing his temple.
“Oh man up.”
“I, am plenty man, thank you.” I rolled my eyes with annoyance as he proudly patted his chest with his fist.
“Just found out I’m a freaking witch over here!”
“Aaand back to the shouting.” Again, he rubbed his temple, over dramatically.
Gently, I arose and began walking towards him.
“I’m going to ignore your constant sarcasm and just ask you nicely to please help me get time back to normal.” I gritted through my teeth, calmly, attempting to hold in my frustration.
“Oh that’s easy.” He scoffed.
“Thanks for the confidence boost.”
“Okay, close your eyes.”
“Now you paused time because you wanted it to stop right?”
I nodded in agreement.
“So just do the opposite.”
I stood there for minutes attempting to re-start time. As I was becoming frustrated at my lack of progress, my face screwed up whilst straining and I started stamping the floor.
“You’re over thinking it.” He said, behind a slight chuckle. “You have to feel it.” He placed his hands on each of my shoulders delicately and I instantly relaxed. “You don’t want time frozen forever do you?”
“Who would make the food?” I whined.
After a moment of meditation, everything felt like it was moving around me and then there was a sudden jolt. Sure enough, it was back to normal. Birds chirping, cars reving; the whole package. However, the second he removed his hands from my shoulders, I felt a wave of disappointment wash over me. And just like that, everything stopped again.
“Okay, let’s go over this one more time.” He sighed as I pouted.
It didn’t take me that long to master, just a bit more than the average witch, apparently. Of course when I did get back to class, I had to pause time again to be able to pass the test with all the extraordinary information swimming round my mind. This left me with an amused Mr perfect outside the classroom door, glaring at me. All that talk about witches and clans and he still didn’t tell me his name.
He even got around to telling me about how back in the 1600’s a witch got caught hovering and suddenly mortals everywhere were being accused of possessing powers. And thus, mythical witches were born. But he didn’t have a second spare to give me something to call him. How big a secret do you have to share with someone to be allowed to learn their identity?! He frustrated me sometimes; it would have been so much easier if he wasn’t so damn perfect. At least I wasn’t alone anymore, I had someone to confide in about my powers and who could aid me into attempting to control them. I was still going to tell Sammy, but I decided it was best to wait until I understood everything myself, instead of leaving him with all the unanswered questions that I was still attempting to process.
I thought it was best to let all the witchy stuff set in before I started learning more so I told nameless I would meet him after school the next day. I went straight from school to bed, but not before using my new ability to avoid my parents’ bitching. At least it was coming in handy. Although, I was still unsure at what to do with the stray goat that was stranded in my bedroom.