High-school freshman Nerissa Blane has problems. They're not exactly the same as your average teenage girl's either. Nerissa is adopted and on a quest to find her birth mother. But this story isn't quite so cookie-cutter. Why is she finding her biological mother? Oh, because the voice inside her head is telling her to. Not to mention the fact that Nerissa makes water fountains explode. On accident, of course. Is she just plain mad, or is something bigger really going on?


7. Communication

I can't take it anymore. "How do you know all of this stuff anyway? Who told you?" I spit at her.

She looks at the two of us before vaguely answering, "I think you both know." What? Okay, am I the only one not getting this? I check to see if Nerissa understands. Sure enough, her jaw dropped and she looks like she's experiencing some huge revelation.

"You mean... it's her? How?" she asks, still looking completely shocked.

I interrupt Gina's nod with a "What the hell are you talking about?"

Nerissa turn to me and says, "Blaze. The Voice? You don't hear it?" So, I'm not the only one that hears it.

"What does that have to do with anything, though?"

"Don't you get it, Blaze! It's her! The voice in our heads is our mother!" She shouts.

"No. No, it's not."

"Yes! It is, " she argues.

She talks over me when I tell her, "Okay, unless our mother sounds like a man, which, I guess could happen. It would be pretty unfortunate, though..." Gina and Nerissa are staring at me blankly. So is Angelo, but he's been doing that the whole time. "What?"

"What do you mean 'sounds like a man'? The voice is definitely a woman's..."

Gina gets very serious. "It's him." Okay, I think I know what that means. She shakes when she gets up from her chair, saying, "We have to leave. Now. He knows you're together."

"Nooo..." it was like a whisper across the room. A slow hiss. Judging on the looks we're giving each other, I think we all heard it this time.Was this my mother or my father?

Nerissa talks first. "Who was that?"

"It must have been your father." Gina says. "We must leave soon. Tonight."

"I can't go tonight. My mom and dad, they'll know I'm gone. They'll miss me."

"Right, right. Of course. What about you, Blaze?"

"What about me? Lilith won't know I'm gone. Even if she did, she wouldn't care, as long as the checks keep coming in." Nerissa looks confused, and then it dawns on her. Yeah, that's right, sweetheart. I wasn't as lucky as you. She ducks her head down, not wanting to look at me.

Gina answers back to me, "Perhaps that's for the best," before making a plan with Nerissa about leaving.

I didn't pay much attention until Nerissa jumped from beside me and points to a black and white clock on the wall exclaiming, "Oh my gosh! They're gonna kill me!" What? Oh. I guess it is kind of late now. Gina agrees and tells us we should go home. We then say our awkward little goodbyes and Nerissa and I head to the door. When we step on the porch Nerissa turn to me and asks me, "Blaze, do you want to... come over? Spend the night?"

I almost laugh at the idea. Sure. I'll have a slumber party with my long-lost twin the night before we become fugitives of our insane father. "No thanks," I say. "I'd rather not make you explain to your mom and dad how you found your twin."

She nods slowly and then says, "But, they don't have to know."

I sigh. "Okay." And we walked. We didn't say anything. We just walked. It was getting dark out, but she didn't live far so we got there soon.

We finally got to her house. It was about the size of a normal house, bigger that anything I've ever lived in. It looks like it has two stories maybe? All white with a gray trim. We stepped across her lawn and got to the front door. Nerissa opened it quietly and we walked in. The first room was a living room with two black sofas, a dark coffee table and a huge TV. Then we heard footsteps. Nerissa's eyes got wide and she pointed to the stairs. I silently climbed them and, not sure what to do next, I took a chance. In front of me were a pair of white doors, so I crossed my fingers and opened one. I peaked my head in and saw that it was a bedroom. Just one room. There was no one around, so I walked in. The room looked familiar. Where have I seen this all before? The bed with the purple blanket by the window, the white desk and chair? Oh! This is the room for the web chat! Duh. This is Nerissa's room.

I take a seat on her bed and just look at things. Her walls are white, but they have posters and pictures all over. Some of the people I recognize, actors and singers and stuff. Wait, is that One Direction? Ugh. She likes them? Well, I guess the one with black hair is pretty hot. On her desk are normal desk things. Lots of books and a notebook or two. There's a picture frame on the back-left corner. I pick it up. Oh, it's a family portrait! How cute. GAG! What a perfect little family. The mommy and the daddy and their little baby girl. Just precious. The man is wearing a suit, he looks like a lawyer. The woman is dressed in normal clothes so I guess she's a stay at home mom. I bet their lives are just like some old 50's sitcom. I wonder what it must be like to be the normal twin. The one people actually wanted. I'm fuming now. I can feel the heat being exerted from my finger tips. The edges of the picture are slowly turning black and curling up inside the frame. Stop it, Blaze! I put it back and try to calm down.

The door opens and I jump. Oh, it's her. "Sorry," she says. "Do you want anything to eat? There's—" She notices my sideways glance towards the picture. I didn't put it back in the corner, crap! She's gonna notice. "Sorry," she apologizes again. Why is she apologizing? She picks it up and takes a second glance at it before putting it back. I grimace. "It's okay," she says before turning around.

I duck my head down, not wanting to meet her eyes when I sigh and say, "No. No, it's not." I've never been very good at saying I'm sorry, myself.

She looks at me with an excitement in her eyes that kind of scares me. "What's not?" She's says quickly. "What's not what?"

I'm so confused. What... What is going on? "Um, what I did... to your picture? It's not okay. I shouldn't have lost control like that."

"Who said it was okay?" She says, nearly jumping out of her skin with what appeared to be just plain hysteria. That was the weirdest way she could have taken my apology. Nevertheless, I answer her question.

"You just did. Didn't you? I could have sworn you just said, 'It's okay,'" Is this chick crazy? Am I crazy?

She grabs me by my shoulders and looks me dead-on when she says, "I didn't say it! I thought it! I was talking to you through whatever wavelength The Voices talk to us through. This is great!"

And that's how the night went on. Nerissa did forgive me for messing up her (still stupid) family picture, and we kept trying to communicate like that. I wonder how our mother does it, being dead and all. We both agreed that we might not know until we are too. We kind of just talked sometimes too. We talk about that, about being dead, about our parents, about... everything. I don't think I've ever actually talked to someone like that. No quips, just talking. We must have done that all night, because the next thing I know I'm being woken up from the weirdest dream I've ever had in my life.


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