“Who’s that?” Leo frowns.
Meanwhile, I’m trying not to pass out.
“Remember I said I knocked someone out the first time I used my gift?”
Roan groans in realisation.
“Oh,” Leo says. “Well that’s probably not good.”
“Thank you, Collin.” Joshua the new reporter smiles. “And thank you for joining us Billy.”
Billy smiles, dressed smartly in black trousers and a clean white shirt.
“Pleased to be here.”
“So what can you tell us about your run in with The Sadist?”
Billy’s smile falls away as he adopts a nervous, frightened look.
“Well,” he looks down at his hands as if he’s uncomfortable telling the story. “I noticed her walking home and it was down this alley. I offered to walk her home and…. I think she got the wrong idea but… suddenly I was in so much pain. I was screaming and screaming but she wouldn’t stop-”
The space around me gets bigger but I don’t care, I continue to glare angrily at Billy.
“I know this is hard,” Joshua smiles sympathetically, playing along. “But then what happened?”
“I passed out. Next thing I know I’m in hospital but they can’t find anything wrong… I thought I was going crazy! I was only trying to help.”
“Liar!” I growl, “He’s a bloody liar!”
Leo drags me back to sitting and I try to breathe out the ball of heat in my chest.
“Thank you, Billy.” Joshua shifts so he’s facing the camera, face grave. “As you can see, what some of these students are capable of is more than mere discomfort. What is being done about these students? Why are people capable of causing such pain needed in the government?”
Were suddenly back in the office where The Head has gained her composure, seeming to be back on more comfortable ground.
“As I said before, all students are regularly monitored and I happen to know from that particular students psych report that Mr. Jones was not trying to be helpful and was in fact, if I remember correctly, attempting to force himself on her. It was an act of self-defence and brought out her ability in unusual force. Since joining Saint Bart’s she has much better control and is happy.”
I see Collin frown, their Billy card having not played out as they expected.
“But why is someone such as this Sadist needed in the government”
The Head smiles.
“That’s exactly the question we should be asking. Threats from terrorists mean that our important leaders need someone who can protect, not just them, but also the civilians in the surrounding area. Having a body guard such as this student would enable the threat to be swiftly dealt with without causing any real physical injury. All of my students are training to protect the country so I’m having trouble understanding this fear of them.”
“Did you see that?” Roan whispers.
“See what?” Leo asks.
“He went to ask her a question but she seems to have answered it anyway. Do you think she’s a Reader?”
A few mumbles break out in the Snug.
“It would make sense,” I reason. “Send The Head who can read his mind and be prepared for whatever questions he has lined up… Yeah maybe.”
“It would explain why she got so panicked when they went back to the studio. She wouldn’t be able to tell what was happening.” Leo nods.
“What I think the population are worried about judging from the mountain of tweets and Facebook comments we’re getting, is that if something like this has been kept from us, what else is out there?”
“Well my students were kept from being public knowledge purely for their own safety No doubt you have received some tweets and comments that talk of ridding ourselves of people who are different?”
Collin looks down at the iPad in his hands.
“She didn’t mention the hiding things from the public thing.” Roan notices.
“Yes, we have but-”
“Then surely you can see why my students were kept a secret? Perhaps if we were more readily accepting of people who are different, they wouldn’t need to be hidden. At the first signs of having such an ability, young people and children would feel free to seek help and incidents such as Billy’s wouldn’t happen.”
Seeing that he’s fighting a losing battle, Collin nods and thanks her, turning to face the camera.
“That was The Head of Saint Bartholomew’s and I’m Collin Wentworth, please keep sending in your comments but from us, it’s goodnight.”
The TV falls black as it’s switched off and we sit in silence.
“Well I don’t think that went too badly.” An Upper girl shrugs.
“You weren’t the ones being accused of being psychopaths.” Leo snarls.
As an argument breaks out, I feel Roan’s hand on my shoulder. I offer him a smile but he can see through it.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, just a bit of a shock.”
He nods and turns back to Rin who tugs on his arm like an attention hungry toddler.
He knew what I could do, knew it was real.
He knew where I lived.
And I knew he would come for revenge.
It was just a matter of time.