I knock the wood weakly. I feel awkward standing before the green door. This is the house I grew up in. This should be home. But it's not. Home is with Scott.
"Just a second!" My mother sings from inside. Her voice brings a small smile to my tear stained face. I wait for a minute longer before she swings open the door.
"Mum!" I drop my bags and hug her, sobbing into her shoulder.
"Oh, Evi, honey! What's happened?" She holds me back to look at me, with an empathetic expression on her face, before bending down to pick up my bags. "Let's get you inside."
I nod silently. We step into the warm house, my mother closing the door behind us. The familiar rooms feel so strange now.
"Go sit down in the lounge. I'll make us some hot cocoa." She says sweetly. I comply, quickly falling into the soft sofa.
I don't like being alone now. I don't want to be all alone with my thoughts. They torture me and pull at my mind. So, I am extremely thankful when my mother returns with two steaming mugs. She passes one to me and sits beside me.
"What's happened, honey? Have you moved out of the institute?" She places her hand lovingly on my knee.
I nod. "Scott's split up with me." The words cause more tears to flow.
"Oh, Evi!" She hugs me tightly. "Shhh. It'll be okay. Did he say why?"
"W-we had a f-fight!" I stutter through the sobs.
"Why? I thought you were so happy together." I sense her sympathy. It makes me feel weak. I hate feeling weak.
"We w-were!" As happy as you can be when every day runs the risk of your mutation being exposed and the world hating you.
"Was there someone else?" She questions, finally releasing me. I simply nod. Technically, there was. "He cheated?" She sounds shocked.
"Oh, Evi, you didn't! No, honey, I thought you-"
"I didn't." I cut in. "He was just a friend."
"Then, what happened?" She pushes. As much as I love her, my mother's addiction to gossip is so irritating sometimes.
"I met this guy, John, and we found out we had a lot in common. He gave me his number. Scott made it clear when they first met that he disliked John, but I really liked him. So I rang him and we started meeting up." I take a few more deep breaths, to keeping my words clear of sob-induced stuttering. "But we had to do it behind Scott's back, so that he wouldn't stop us. It went on for months. Then, John did something to upset me, so I said I didn't want to friends. To get back at me, he told Scott everything."
"Oh, Evelyn." She shakes her head. "You know that was a silly thing to do!"
"I know." I sigh. "And I wanted to tell him sooner, but John kept persuading me not too."
"But nothing more went on between you and this John guy?" She questions.
"No. He was just a friend." I can't really tell her we have a psychic connection and we made out telepathically once. "And now I've lost both of them!"
"I'm sure Scott will forgive you in time, honey." I'm not. "But in the meantime, what are you doing about school?"
"I'm going back to public school. I didn't learn much at the institute anyway." I lie.
"Okay, honey." She hugs me one last time. "Why don't you go and unpack, while I get started on dinner?"
"Yeah." My voice is almost too weak to carry the word. "Thanks, mom."
I take my bags and slowly walk to my old room. This isn't right. I shouldn't be sleeping alone again. This is all his fault!
"Pyro!" I snap in my mind.
"What?" He sounds irritated, which annoys me even more.
"You know what!" My thoughts are loud and I'm sure he will be able to feel my anger and pain.
"He deserved to know." He replies casually.
"Oh, don't pretend you're so righteous!"
"Fine! I told him because you don't belong there!" His emotion seems to peak to match mine.
"No! You've just ruined my life! I've lost my boyfriend, been rejected by my team and been thrown out of my home. You've destroyed everything!" I battle with myself to keep the tears away.
"You still have me." I don't reply. I can't. What am I supposed to say to that? I've lost everyone who knows the truth about me... Everyone but John. I hate him for what he's done to me. But he's all I have left. No. No, I can't just forgive him. Can I? No.
"They can't hold you back anymore, Ardor. I freed you."
"You broke me, John." Even my thoughts are weak now.
"We need to talk." He changes the subject quickly.
"So talk, Pyro!" I snap.
"No, I need to see you."
"Fine." I agree, though I'm not sure why. "Midnight. The usual place."
"Thank you, Evelyn." His thoughts are calm now.
"No. You still can't call me that." I cut in.
"I'll see you tonight, Ardor."