Gifted

By , Seattle, WA
Prologue


The Creature. That’s what we call it. The thing that triggered our powers, the thing that almost took our very lives. Yet, from this experience everything happened. Everything changed.
My sister and I had an encounter with this creature when we were playing at the park. Its presence weakened us and we barely got a way. We’d never seen it before. It hovered around, had a black, hooded cloak on, and a staff. It seemed to have a body, but we couldn’t see it. Its sleeves were too long to see its hand holding the staff. We couldn’t even see its face with the cloak. It was like the Grim Reaper. We both thought we were going to die. Its screech gave my sister, Leah, a hemorrhage. Its presence also caused a storm. It was trying to kill us with just one touch, but by some miracle we got away. By some miracle we survived.
We ran home after that, scared out of our minds. Our parents were just about to come get us, too. They’d experience the sudden storm-which ended once we got away-but when we told them about The Creature, they thought it was just a figment of our imagination. Of course, they made sure it was an actual human killer, but that was it. Even the blood from Leah’s hemorrhage had gone away. It was like everything The Creature had caused went away once we got away. I was happy to be safe, but upset the thing couldn’t be stopped.
The next day, though, we got these supernatural powers and everything changed. We were more than just an ordinary eight and nine year old. Yet from then, it’s been our little secret. We didn’t want to end up as lab rats or in a mental institute. We’d just been adopted, we weren’t about to mess that up.
From then, the days went by like they’re supposed to. Life went on, but we never saw The Creature again. To this day I wonder where it came from and where it went. Who created it and why? Why did Leah and I get powers after we encountered it?
Why was I chosen for something crazy like that to happen to me?


Chapter 1
“Special Skills”
Tia


“Tia!”
I spin around one hundred-eighty degrees to sound of my name. I search the huge crowd of high school students for someone to give me a look as if to say “yeah, I called you.” I look around a tall, skinny kid to see a girl named Justice, eyeballing me. I walk over to her.
“You called?” I say in a monotone pitch.
“Hey, I was just wondering if you were coming to my party this weekend. It’s gonna be out of this world, but out of this galaxy with you there,” Justice says happily, smiling. I chuckle a little.
“Okay, what cheesy Hallmark card did you get that one from?” I ask, smiling a small smile.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Justice says, “but I really want you there. You and Leah.”
This is Justice’s fifth time reassuring that I’ll be at this party of hers. My sister, Leah, and I that is. I’ve already told her yes, but Justice is kind of a people pleaser. Actually, I might as well tell the whole true, she is a people pleaser. Every party she throws has to have the most coolest, popular, and funniest people there. And, of course, the alcohol and latest cuts.
And yes I did say the most popular.
Yupp, that’s right. I’m popular, but I don’t think much of it.
My name is Tia Washington and I’ll be fifteen years old next month. I’m just finishing up my freshman year here at Maynard High School, t private school with preppy, plaid outfits. As for the popularity, well, the A-List crowd picked me, but I’m kinda getting ahead of myself.
Okay, my mom gave me and Leah up when we were babies. Leah was one and I was just a few months. We’re only ten months apart, meaning we’re in the same grade also. Anyway, she just left us in a hospital with very little information about ourselves. We were found in a double stroller by Dr. Beckham, a man we still know and thank to this day, and he got us situated in an orphanage in Washington.
Did we ever find or here from our mom? No. Do we want to? Hell no.
We went through years of tragedy in that orphanage, Leah and I did. They were able to give us counseling, clothes, full meals, and send us off to school, but some kids still couldn’t handle it. I’ve experienced five suicides and many run-aways. Kids there were constantly depressed. Many had anger issues. I always wanted to come home to a joyful, supportive family, but instead I got an orphanage. Don’t get me wrong, though, they were cool peeps. I made friends there-some I still talk to now-and they were nice, but nobody wants to live in a broken home. Nobody wants to cry themselves to sleep. Nobody wants to think they have no future…sorry for being a downer for a moment.
Leah and I didn’t have a great time with the whole adoption thing either. Sometimes they forced us to go to a new family, but we always came running back. You can do as many background checks on a family as you want, but you won’t really know them until you give them what they want. A lot of them were crazy, stupid even, and Leah and I just couldn’t deal with that. We were thankful, though, that at least somebody wanted us.
My whole life seemed like it would never get any better. Like there’d never be a sunny day, but then I met the best people in the world.
Nathan and Nicole Washington.
AKA: Mom and Dad.
It was Friday when Leah and I met them. One quick meeting and-boom! They wanted us. We made no hesitation packing our belongings and saying our goodbyes. We got phone numbers of our friends, of course, but that Sunday we left for good and didn’t look back not once. Didn’t have a second doubt either. Nicole and Nathan are the best! Nathan works in finances (close to starting his own company) and Nicole owns her own very well know, very successful ballet company. She moved here from France when she was seven, her and her younger sister, but they’re Creo. As for Nathan, well, he’s just pretty much all black and he grew up in the hood, but was the first one in his family to go to college right after high school. It works out with their ethnicities, too. Leah and I aren’t really sure what we are, but we kinda have white girl hair and light skin, like Nicole, but we’re pretty much butterscotch. Not quite caramel.
“As I’ve said a few times already, Justice, yes I’m coming to your party,” I answer, “Leah, too. So don’t ask me again.”
“Okay, okay,” Justice says, “I’m sorry, I just want my party to be perfect.”
Is Justice my friend? Hmmm, well, she’s not a foe, but we only talk, like, when we past each other in the hallways or at parties. Never anything special. She’s the type of friend that most people would use as back up. No offense.
“Your party will be out of this galaxy,” I say,” ‘cause I’ll be there.”
She laughs, but no, I’m not conceited.
“Great, bring that spirit, too,” she says, “Ok, I’ll see you later, I gotta go.”
With that she heads off, her blonde ponytail swinging dramatically from side to side.
Ooh, check out that body, I hear someone that’s not me think.
I turn around all throughout the hallway looking for a suspicious face. The voice didn’t sound familiar…
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that I have “special skills”. Literally. I can hear others’ thoughts and see others’ auras. No joke. Except, my “special skills” (Leah and I made up that nickname for them) aren’t all that useful. I can’t read peoples’ minds. I hear them out of nowhere uncontrollably. As for the auras, basically it’s just seeing peoples’ emotion through a color that shines around them constantly and changes like a mood ring. How did I get these powers? Well, I can’t be too sure. We just woke up with them one morning, literally. Yet, we did have an experience, and Leah and I aren’t sure if it was real, but if it did happen we must’ve gotten our powers from it. I think.
Real or not, there was this one day when this terrible storm struck as Leah and I played at the park. We tried to run away, but some black, hooded thing came after us. We were weakened by its presence; it was trying to kill us….Leah still has nightmares about it to this day.
After that we just started to gain our powers one by one. The next day I could see auras and from my incredible intelligence (not to be cocky, I’m just playing…sorta), I knew it was like my own special visual mood ring. Then Leah started to get really strong premonition. Every morning I had her draw what she saw so she wouldn’t forget. Next, I got to hearing others’ inner thoughts. I was freaked out at first and thought I was schizophrenic, but I eventually realized what I was going through. After that, Leah’s senses became like vampire. Nothing got past her (like they could’ve in the first place, she’s always been so distracted). Next she started to get really agile. Then, days later she got mad at me and slammed her door in my face without touching it. She opened then, looking like a deer caught in headlights.
“Looks like you’re also telekinetic,” I said simply. She nodded her head slowly.
Those are the only powers we’ve gotten so far, but we want to master them. We want to learn more about them. We haven’t told anyone, though. Not even our best friends or parents. Nobody knows except for us two because we don’t want to end up as lab rats or freaks or anything that would destroy our lives.
As for the vile we got, well, Leah chucked it into the ocean, never to be seen or used again. It started to rain after that so we thought we were punished. Luckily we weren’t. Actually, we have a really charmed life. We live in wealthy neighborhood with a two story house that has an attic and a basement. We also have a swimming pool, hot tub, and plenty of backyard space. Enough for a basketball hoop. We have two cars and Leah has her own car (mine is soon to come) so we’re pretty much spoiled. Somehow, though, it hasn’t gone to our heads.
“Tia!”
“What, what?” I look around, confused. I turn around and jump from being startled by Leah. I put my hand over my heart as I try to calm myself down and lower my heart rate.
“Did I scare you?” she asks.
“No, I’m just hyperventilating for no apparent reason,” I say sarcastically. She smiles.
I’ve always thought Leah was extremely pretty. Her eyes are a pretty, liquid brown and are big. They’re almond shaped, too. She has dimples under the corners of her mouth and one right in the middle of her chin. Every time she smiles that big, bright smile of hers, her eyes squint up. Her lips are shaped very nicely, different from others. Her hair is extremely long and sandy brown. It just about passes her shoulder blades and she always has it straightened and curled with her swept bangs. She’s a bit lighter than me because her undertone is yellow while mine is reddish-orange. She’s, like, five-eight and has a slim yet hourglass-like figure.
She’s one of the girls here every boy wants on their arm and the one every girl wants to be.
Leah’s not a snob, though, or a brat. Actually, she’s very nice. She’s funny (not like a comedian, we’re all laughing at her not with her…yet we’re not being rude and she knows how to laugh at herself…sometimes) and intelligent, but mysterious in a way. Her emotions are so evident, but sometimes you can’t quite make out what exactly she’s planning. She’s also dedicated and determined. But somehow she’s also short tempered and a scaredy cat. Yet, she’s naturally charming. She has a huge variety of friends, too. From all different races, backgrounds, beliefs, and so on. She’s really easy to get along with.
“I heard you talking to Justice once again about that party,” Leah says (her and her stupid super sonic senses!), “I think its funny how-”
Leah stops talking and turns around at the upcoming presence of her ex-boyfriend, Jay. Even though I had clear view of him, I didn’t even see him.
“Hey,” Leah says once he reaches us in a casual tone.
“Hey,” Jay says.
“Hey,” I say, just to throw it in there. I smile deviously as they turn to look at me. I groan. “Ok, ok. I know when I’m not wanted.”
I walk away to go to the lunchroom to work on a few assignments. I look back and notice that Jay’s aura is blue (sad) while Leah’s is going from yellow (happy) to blue.
I sigh.
Of course, leave it to a boy to change your emotion so quickly.

***

“Hey Tim,” a red headed girl says to my friend, smiling goofily. He nods in return and she walks away, disappointment sounding in her footsteps. I roll my eyes and chuckle.
“What’s so funny?” Tim asks me.
We’re in study hall, our third period, and, of course, we’re not really studying. All of my work is caught up, same with Tim, so we don’t have anything important to do. My first two classes breezed by since the teachers were too anxious for the last day of school to really do anything (by the way, we have less than a month!), but of course tests are coming up this week.
“I think its funny how much she tries to get noticed by you, but you still fail to notice her like she wants you to,” I say, “Is there nobody here you like…?”
Tim smiles sheepishly.
“No, not at the moment,” he says. His eyes dart down the ground suddenly, thinking.
“Hmm…,” I say. I’ve always wondered who Tim liked, but he won’t tell me. He has to like somebody. I wonder why he wouldn’t tell me, though…wait, I know. He probably likes Leah and since we’re sisters, it’d be awkward for him to tell me. Even though we’re really good friends. Yet, he’d be added to my mental list of boys who crush on her.
Sean: the one in denial.
Robby: the one willing to go straight for her.
Ethan: the skater boy who’s hilariously obsessed with her.
Darren: the geek
The list goes on and on.
As for me, well, dating has never really been my thing. I’ve never been kissed or had a real relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve crushed on guys and I know of guys who like me, but it’s just…not something I want to do right now. I haven’t met a guy that can really catch my interest, that I’m compatible with. Why? Man, I wish I knew. I’m almost sixteen and I haven’t had my first kiss yet!
“Don’t go jumping to conclusions,” Tim says.
“Whoever the girl is, I’m sure she’ll say yes,” I say, “You’re hot. What’s your hold up?”
Tim and I have been best friends since sixth grade, so saying something like that is okay. He’s gone out with a couple other girls, but he’s just so shy-or whatever-to really have a nice, uncomplicated relationship. I don’t know…
“What?”
“I said you’re hot,” I repeat.
Tim’s hair is done in a gelled up-do and its light brown. He has pretty hazel eyes in the school that sometimes change to brown. He’s working out, too, so soon he’ll have muscles that I’ll have to touch. Of course, he’s not the only cute guy here. Jay’s cute; a guy in my second period is my eye candy. Maynard just got a really good shipping of boys.
I bet you’re wondering Tim and I don’t get together…Well, 1) I don’t want to ruin our relationship and 2) we’re not into each like that. He would need to have more confidence to have a date with mama (ha-ha, I crack myself up, but I’m just kidding…kinda). Am I mad that we just can’t be together? Puh-lease. To be honest, though, I feel like there’s just somebody else that’ll come along soon.
“Thanks,” is all he says. I roll my eyes and decide to drill on him later about all of this. Would Leah ever go out with him? Uh…I’m actually not sure. I know she’s attracted to him, but she also looks at personality traits.
The bell rings and Tim and I get up.
“I’ll see you at lunch,” I say.
“Yeah, see you then,” he says, smiling. He leaves.
There are many ways you can get on the A-List here at Maynard. Many, many ways. If you’re highly attractive, you’re on it (not that there’s an actual list). If you’re extremely funny, but aren’t obnoxious, you’re on it. If you’re a jock or a cheerleader, you’re on it. If you’re known to throw the hottest parties, you’re on it. If you’re rich, you’re most definitely on it. Or if you just somehow dominate others without trying too hard, you’re on it. Tim is on the A-List also. Easily because of his good looks, but like me and Leah, he doesn’t think much of it. It’s just a group of friends and, sadly, foes. As for Leah and I…back in elementary, Leah dated-for only two weeks-a boy who was considered an “A Lister”. We were new at the time so we didn’t really know anybody. He plucked her out of the “regulars” and into the popular group and Leah took me along. Then, most of us went to the same middle, and now the same high school. We’ve always gone to the more popular private schools and most of us have been together for years.
Somehow Leah and I haven’t gotten kicked out, though.
I’ve always wondered about that. I’m not happy and perky like a cheerleader, or a snob like some of the rich girls, but yet I still sit with them and go to their parties. I don’t necessarily associate with the ones who drink, do drugs, are rude for no reason, or cause trouble. Never in a million years, but a lot of them are actually good people. Besides, I hang out more with the guys because it’s just easier to talk to them. Even if they are super gorgeous, you know that you won’t get mixed up in any drama or competition. Unless some other girl comes pokin’ her nose in your business. The whole “girl time” or “girl talk” thing doesn’t interest me unless I need it so hangin’ with the guys is ok.
My life has been charmed ever since I got adopted…why do I, of all people, deserve that?
I frequently think that I don’t belong here. That maybe, just maybe, there’s somewhere else I’m suppose to be. A different life that I should have. I know, weird huh? But I can’t help myself and when you have mysterious powers like mine and have no idea who you are…you have to include all options. Leah’s always been the more adventurous one, wanting to see rare places and discover new things. But when I close my eyes, a whole new world appears, and I’m actually happy. I know most things can’t come true, like becoming queen of the entire earth, but other things don’t seem too impossible. I just feel like there’s some place out there calling my name, a cry of a whole new world. And for some reason, I think that when my mom left me, she took that world with her. Leaving me helpless, hopeless.
I snap out of my train of thought and start to make my way to class, shaking the thoughts out of my head.





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