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Is it normal to have shivers run down your spine every time you look at someone?
Every time he said my name, it was like my entire world disappeared and my knees swayed beneath the earth's rotation. I couldn't call it love. There was no way I could call it love when I found myself so anxious at his presence. There were so many secrets dripping from his form, just waiting to be found out, and it was as if I could smell them. I could know them all in less than a second, if only I could bring myself near him.
But as much as I was drawn to him, I was equally repelled away.
I'd never felt like a normal girl. I'd always known there was something wrong. I had a glitch in my system that no one else had, there was no doubt about that. I only began to understand when I hit school. Every person I touched, their death flashed before my mind. Like a passing wind against my cheek, only much colder and bone chilling than any wind felt on earth. I saw it all in vivid detail, the time, the place, and all the secrets, woes, and joys that their life left behind.
I tried to live as normally as I could, never letting on that my heart would stop every time I bumped into a stranger in a crowd, or when I shook a new friend's hand. I'd learned to control my color as it usually drains from my face, leaving me pallor with a light sheen of cold sweat across my body.
No one knew my secret, and I didn't understand it. I simply kept my mouth shut, and so far life had been perfectly fine. I simply tried to avoid unneeded physical contact.
I had never wanted to touch someone so much in my life, just to find out why they were so beautiful. I'd never dreamed I would put myself in that position, but as I sat in my Algebra class, unable to pay attention for the feeling of his eyes boring into my back, I decided enough was enough. We were both clearly fascinated with each other. There had to be a reason.
The bell rang, announcing the end of the day. As the herd of cattle known as my classmates responded like dogs to a whistle, gathering their things, I made my plan to nonchalantly graze him in the crowd. I kept my head down as I slowly gathered my papers, watching from beneath my lashes as he loped from the room, his dark curly hair shining in an impossibly gorgeous way under the florescent lights that otherwise ruined any other complexion. His face was as perfect as a chiseled statue, as though he was a Greek god walking amongst us, an angel in the midst of men.
My heart began its attempt to beat its way out of my chest as I clumsily made my way around my desk, heading directly into his path. My body seemed out of my control at this point, and I tripped over my own feet against my plan, sending me flying into his lean form, my books crashing to the floor.
No vision, no flash of fear. The earth remained steady on its axis, and my heart only stopped because he was so near. He bent to pick up my scattered papers, leaving me standing, stunned, above his perfect features, staring at him as though he had taken a chainsaw from the teacher's desk and begun to saw off his own foot. He rose, my books and papers neatly in his hands.
"Callye?" He spoke, his voice low and sweet, yet somehow terrifying.
I forced myself out of my daze, taking my books from him as slowly as possible, being sure to graze my hand along his in one dissatisfying moment. Nothing happened. Nothing at all.
"Thanks," I murmured, still gawking. He narrowed his eyes at me.
Fear gripped at my chest, tearing like an angry bear at my throat. I turned to walk away, as fast as I could. I had to find someone I didn't know. I had to touch them. It couldn't be gone. Something was wrong, very wrong. Was it really me?
I burst out the front doors, the late October air stinging my face. I scanned the sidewalk for an unfamiliar face, walking straight for them. Feigning fault, I backed into them as gently as I could as I pretended to wave at an unreal friend in the distance.
It hit me like a speeding bus, a brick to the face. I felt the years swish by, thirty-six of them; saw a middle-aged woman in a grocery store, dropping over from a sudden brain hemorrhage. I saw her vivacious spirit drift away, leaving children and a husband whom she knew had wronged her, leaving an unsuccessful dream in her wake. I recovered as I always did, receiving air back into my lungs and feeling the earth move once again.
"Sorry," I said to the girl, truly meaning it.
Then I knew: It wasn't me, it was him. My glitch was still there, as it always was. The question became, where was his? What was his?
I began my walk home deep in thought. There was no way that I wouldn't have seen anything. It always happened, every time I touched someone for the first time. I'd even tried again. It was impossible. Or so I'd thought. The only possible explanation could be that…He was never going to die.
"Hey!" A familiar voice sounded from behind me. Before I could rip out of my stupor, a cold hand wrapped around my wrist.
It was him. He had run all the way from the school, finally catching up to me next to the wooded land before my neighborhood. My heart leaped into my throat as I pondered the fact of his immortality, or rather the theory. But there was simply no other way.
For an odd reason, anger burned beneath his azure eyes, and even disbelief. I tried to shrink away from him, but his icy fingers tightened around my wrist. Pain shot through my arm. My breath twirled from my lips in a foggy mist as I exhaled my fear, my breathing rapid. That was when I noticed. Though, to an unobservant eye, he seemed to be physically breathing, no mist appeared with his exhale.
He wasn't human.
Noticing my stare and my scrutinizing, yet terrified, gaze, he smiled wickedly.
"I was wondering when you'd figure it out," he whispered, his eyes smoldering.
Instinctively, I turned to run, my lungs gasping for air as I prepared to scream. Impossibly fast, he pulled me into his chest and wrapped a frosty hand around my mouth, muffling any attempts at salvation. Suddenly, I was pushed into the darkened woods, falling onto the damp leaves covering the earth.
I managed to sputter, "What are you?" as I scrambled to my feet.
"I could say the same to you," he accused, walking toward me slowly like a predator in the night.
"What?" I backed away, my feet tentatively trying to lead me away as some unseen force pulled me toward him. I felt like two magnets were ripping me in half, pulling from both directions. Fear was pulling me away, while he was pulling me back. I couldn't think. I could barely breathe. He was doing something to me…I felt so helpless.
"You see things," he talked slowly, as if explaining his words to a deaf person. "What do you see?"
"Nothing," I answered, automatically knowing innocence was my only safety net.
"Don't lie to me," he snarled, advancing faster.
"I don't see anything!" I cried, looking for a place to run.
That was a mistake. Suddenly, I was slammed against a tree, the bark scratching against my back. His frozen fingers curled around my throat. Tears streamed down my face as I fought to breathe.
"I don't think you know what you're dealing with, Callye."
"Death," I choked, trying to speak. I only wanted it to end.
"You see death?" He loosened his grip. I only nodded. "You see when people die."
I didn’t give a response. He knew he had it right. He knew that's why I had gone frozen when I bumped into him. He knew I hadn't seen anything. He knew.
He knew too much.
But he seemed to think the same about me.
"I can't say I never wanted to kill you, Callye. There's always been something about you that has fascinated me. Your blood has always been so sweet. Now, I only have an excuse."
I knew I didn’t have time to comprehend his words. Time was running out. It was ironic that after seeing so many deaths in my mind's eye, I had never once seen mine. My heart was pounding in my ears, bursting through my ribs, and something told me he heard it too. He smiled, cruelly angelic.
I smiled, one last time, in return.