Gifted, Ch. 3 - The Meteor Effect

Tia

“…those are all the books you need to read this summer,” Ms. Paris says, “I have plenty of sheets for the minor book reports due, but a bigger one, from a book of your choice, will also be due. I’ve talked to the sophomore language arts teachers and they said it was a great idea. Two minors and one major are required. Any more than that will count as extra credit. Any questions?”
The room turns silent and the dull looks on our faces says it all. Ms. Paris nods her head and goes to her desk. “Talk quietly amongst yourselves for the last ten minutes.”
I can’t believe I’ve got all this summer reading to do. You’d think that teachers wouldn’t even dare to think about assigning it because when we all get back they immediately have papers to grade.
What Leah said this morning was hard to believe. For a while after she left my room, I thought it was a dream for some reason. Once I got in the shower, though, reality kicked in. I realized that our lives are changing dramatically and that I’m more powerful than I thought I was. Now, what’s been on my mind is whether or not our lives will change for the better. I mean, Leah and I can’t be the only two in existence with these extraordinary talents. There’s got to be someone out there to help us. In the back of my mind, though, I feel like my biological mom could.
The powers Leah said I’d be getting are great. Summoning? Now that’s cool. Way better than seeing auras. And the whole invisibility thing will come in handy. As far as the shield, well, Leah thinks it might protect me from mental attacks like telekinesis, but I’m hoping it’ll do more. Enhancing my mind reading abilities is what I’ve needed for quite some time now. I know the future’s changing, and all, but since Leah saw it I know I can do it. I don’t know why, but I just got this big boost of confidence today. I’ve had my abilities for almost six years now, and up until now, they’ve been the same (well, at this moment they still are, but you know what I mean).
Leah told me about that whole meteor thing, too.
I wasn’t sure whether to say it was a coincidence or real, but I’ve never heard of a yellow meteor. Leah thinks that maybe it wasn’t a coincidence because when she saw us getting our powers in her vision, the image of the meteor shooting through space stayed in the background. She thinks her vision was pretty much trying to tell her that because of the meteor, we’ll get our powers enhanced with some new ones. I have no idea, but I guess it’s something I’ll just face in the future.
I look at Ms. Paris sitting at her desk, writing in her journal. Her pale face is wrinkly and she never really smiles. Her nose is up turned, and she’s not the prettiest. I tilt my head to the side and focus on her aura. Its gray (bored) and her facial expression is dull. I squint my eyes a little, and decide that I’ll try my mind reading on her.
…I can’t wait for the summer…mountain climbing…Rose and I’ll will go to Rome…Natalie will…I can’t wait to…, I hear Ms. Paris think.
I succeeded! Yes!
A lot of parts were cut out and interrupted, but it was my first time so I’m not even going to critique myself. I finally did it! Maybe that meteor did have a huge affect on me and Leah because yesterday I couldn’t have done that if I tried.
I continue to read the minds of my classmates until the bell rings. I didn’t socialize at all, even though some of my guy friends are here, because my new discovery of myself is huge. I had no idea that I had this in me. Man, I can’t wait to tell Leah.
As I make my way to my next class, I start to feel a little dizzy. I stop for a second, taking a deep breath, and then I continue to walk. While I walk, a senior walks briskly in my direction, looking like he’s going to run me over. With our crowded hallway, I can’t move out the way, so I expect him to. He comes closer, not seeming to notice me, and we collide.
“Hey! Watch it!” I snap. Cleary, he could see me. He’s not that much taller than me. He looks around, confused. He doesn’t make eye contact with me or even bother to help me up with my books. I pick them up by myself, mumbling insults about him, and stand up. People start to bump me out the way like I don’t exist, and then I start to get irritated. I make my way violently through the halls, pushing anybody that gets in the way.
When I get to my science class, I slam my stuff down on my desk, and sit down with a huff. The people, who sit near me, look around, confused. They look right through me, wondering where the noise came from like a bunch of idiots.
I sigh and stroke my hair.
It’s your job to make every day a good day, I tell myself.
I sigh again and force a smile.
“Ok class, it’s time to take roll,” my teacher, Ms. Pat says.
“I’m here Ms. Pat,” a football player calls out sweetly. Whether he was being sarcastic, I don’t know. Ms. Pat begins to take roll.
“Burke?”
“Here.”
“Burton?”
“Here.”
She continues on.
I sit in my seat quietly, wondering why the bimbo sitting next to me isn’t talking my ear off. I don’t know, but he seems to think that we’re friends and that I want him whispering to me the whole class period. He would be cool if he didn’t only talk about politics.
“Wa-?”
“She’s not here,” the bimbo, Andrew interrupts. He’s even got the name of a president.
Wait, what?
“Oh, she isn’t, huh?” Ms. Pat says, looking directly at me. My jaw drops in astonishment.
What am I today? Invisible?
“I’m right-!”
I suddenly look in the mirror above the sink next to me. There’s no on in the reflection except for Andrew…oh my gosh, I really am invisible!
What am I gonna do? What I’m I gonna do? I think to myself, panicking, I can’t just suddenly reappear, whenever that happens! I’ve gotta get out of here!
Without making a sound, I get up from my seat and leave the classroom (luckily the door was still open). I make my way to the bathroom and put my stuff on the wet counter, not caring about water damage. I look in the mirror, still not seeing myself. I check the stalls, not finding anybody.
“Ok, ok, ok,” I say to the mirror, like I’m in a pep talk, “You can do this. You have the power to. Just make yourself reappear.”
I close my eyes and then open them again…still nothing.
I look down, surprisingly able to still see myself. I touch the mirror and sigh.
So I can see myself, but others can’t, I think, At least my clothes went invisible, too, and I guess my stuff did also ‘cause then people would’ve just saw my binder flying all over the place.
“Alakazam!” I say suddenly, going into a magician’s stance. Nothing happens. Maybe I’m going about this all wrong. “As I look into the mirror, powers make me reappear!”
Nothing…again.
Ok, so I’m not a magician or a witch (that was pretty cool of me to think of a rhyme on the spot like that, though). I get that, but how am I gonna change back. I can’t just go through the rest of my life invisible. Nobody would want to talk to me either because they’d know they’d look stupid talking to a supposedly non-existing person. Oh the horrors of being a “nobody”!
“Ok,” I say gently, “if I can purposely read the thoughts of others now, even though I’m not that good, then I can get myself to reappear. All I gotta do is concentrate, focus.”
I blow out some air, cracking my neck, and throwing my shoulders up and down. Ok, I’m not about to go into the boxing ring, I tell myself, Focus…
I gather all of my thoughts, and only think of one thing…becoming visible again. I channel my powers and mind into reappearing, the world around my seeming to disappear as I concentrate. Suddenly, my head starts to slowly reappear in the mirror, my visibility traveling down my body. I smile, happily sucking in air as I watch my success.
A girl walks into the bathroom just as I fully reappear. She smiles at me and I smile back. I walk over to where I put my stuff, not even thinking, and pick them up. I look back in to the mirror and see that my binder isn’t really in my hand. The girl looks at me suspiciously.
“Uh…,” she says, “Are you holding your imaginary dog there?”
Ok, I think to myself, let’s turn the tables here. I’m not going to be the stupid one.
“What are you talking about?” I ask the girl, “I’m holding my binder.”
“No you’re not,” she argues, “There’s nothing in your hands.”
“Yes there is.”
“No there isn’t.”
“Yes there is.”
“No there isn’t.”
“Yeah-huh.”
“Prove it.”
“Come feel,” I say. The girl walks to me and puts her hand where my binder is. She gasps dramatically when she feels it and looks up at me, not wanting to believe it. Then she looks back down, then up at me
Down, up.
Down.
Up.
I nod my head at her, smiling.
“Yes there is,” I say. With that I leave the bathroom, not looking back whatsoever. I make my back to science and right when I open the door, my binder appears. “Perfect timing,” I say sarcastically.
I walk into the class, ten to fifteen minutes late, and everybody stares at me.
“Nice of you to join us Tia,” Ms. Pat says.
“It’s a pleasure,” I say as I make my way to my seat. The class still stares at me. “Oh, sorry. Continue on. Just act like I’m not even here.”

***
Leah


How long are people supposed to go into shock? Shouldn’t I be hyperventilating by now?
I’ve come up with a theory that maybe Tia and I are able to endure more than normal humans. By that I mean, oh I don’t know, near-death situations. I’m still waiting for reality to kick in and for me to fall to my knees, but I haven’t. Why haven’t I? I’m not scared at all, right now at least, and I keep forgetting all about yesterday’s situation. Maybe I’m braver than I thought and deserve more credit. Same with Tia.
I sigh internally.
I don’t know. I just don’t want to dwell on it anymore.
As I sit in class, I can’t help but stare to space out. I usually like history, but not when you’ve got the worse sub in the world what can you do when you don’t feel like getting into trouble? M
My eyes involuntarily dart to the wall to my right, not looking at anything in particular. My thoughts become silent movies that slowly start to gain sound as I space out. I start to think about me kicking that creature’s a** with my new powers, gaining eternal bragging rights. Suddenly my thoughts go into a vision that seems so real:

Below me are trees whisking past at a rapid speed. Ahead are more trees and mountains, seeming to never end. To my right, the sun shines bright, hitting my skin so perfectly. How am I doing this? I have no idea. I can’t see anyone but the scenery as it flies by. I just know I’m there and I’m happy.

“Flying…,” I say breathlessly, figuring out what the vision was.
“No, Ms. Washington, the Chinese did not win the war by flying,” the sub says. I look around confused, people giggling quietly.
“Wait, what?” I ask. The bell rings and everybody gets out of their seats, leaving the room. I slowly get up, not even embarrassed, but thinking about that vision. It was so weird, but so peaceful. It’s like I finally found my happy place again after seeing that vision…But why can’t I help but think someone was missing? I’m not a flyer…well, not that I know of.
I walk into my fourth period class and sit next to Lexi, not ready to face the horrors of math. Lexi smiles at me and I smile back weakly. I take a deep breath and try to focus. Lexi stays quiet and the bell rings.
Wow, usually Lexi would be drilling me with questions, wondering why I’m so out of it, I think to myself, or maybe…she’s use to it. I’ve been so caught up in studying for finals and rehearsing for our end of the year recital that I haven’t been being myself from all the stress. On top of that, ever since the situation with Jay, I haven’t been as happy either. Dealing with a broken heart isn’t easy and dealing with all these crazy dreams and visions is even harder. Ugh, I’m irritated.
As my boring teacher, Mr. Greene, starts to talk, I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. I put my math journal on my lap and quickly slip my phone in front of it. I’ve got a text from Tia:

U will not believe what just happened 2 me! I went invisible as I was walking thru the hall & I didn’t even notice. Then I walked into my class & finally realized it when I was announced absent. So I slipped out of class and…

In the text, she continues to explain to me what happened to her. Once I finish reading, I hide my smile by biting my lip. With my new speed, I text back:

OMG, I can’t believe it! That girl is gonna b scared 4 life! Wow, that’s amazing. But I guess we’re in sync ‘cause I got my 1st conscious vision today 2. I was flying thru the air of some place I’ve never even seen before. It was incredible…

I send the text and look up at Mr. Green, acting like I’m interested. I purposely didn’t mention to her how I felt like someone was missing, she might think I’m crazy. Anybody could think that it’s because of my bad breakup and it’s just how I’m dealing with it or whatever.
Tia texts back:

Do u think it had somethin 2 do with the meteor? IDK. Maybe…but I also finally READ some 1’s mind 2 day. It was my teachers & some parts I couldn’t read, but 4 the most part I succeeded! But about the whole flying thing, that’s so cool! Maybe u were riding on some 1’s back.

I think about that for a second and then text back:

It was most likely that, but who? Does that mean that some 1 else could come into our life that’s just like us? I’m not sure, but maybe I could search into the future and find out.

Yeah maybe. I mean, we can’t b the only 2 that exist w/ these powers can we? B careful though. U don’t wanna get stuck in a vision like I did w/ my powers…lqtm.

Yeah, most definitely not. Hey, do u think I’ve been actin sorta weird lately? Like, not bein’ myself?

Yeah…I guess so. But I can so c where ur comin’ from w/ Jay & dance & finals & all these crazy powers. I’ve been feelin’ a little different lately also, but don’t freak out. Just give ur self some alone time & relax. Let go of ur problems & move forward. Joy comes in the morning.

Tia u r such an ol’ soul, but you’re absolutely right. (Sigh) Things will get better, I noe they will. I just wanna get my thoughts together & then relax. I always need 2 noe where I stand in situations, as u already noe.

Jus put u 1st & stop thinkin so much.

Yeah…& I miss the old me 2. I’m not even sure who she is anymore, it’s weird. I guess odd circumstances bring out the worst & best in ppl…no. No, that’s just life.

Well, while u get ur thoughts together, I gotta take an exam. TTYL.

I put my phone back in my pocket, surprised that I didn’t get caught, and tune back into math. Mr. Green starts to hand out papers (for what? I don’t know) and I look over at Lexi.
“Hey,” I say.
“Hey,” she says, glancing up at me.
“Look,” I say sincerely. She looks up at me. “Wanna hang out this weekend?”





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