I'm bullied because I'm different.
Because I don't have a home.
Because I can't afford good clothes.
Because rude things often just slip out of my mouth.
Oh, and because they're all scared that I'll accidentally kill them with my 'magic powers'.
So maybe I'm not your average teenager, but it's not my fault.
I'd give anything to just be normal and accepted.
Of course, things aren't just going to be that way.
So this is my story.


8. Time

When I wake, I feel pain coursing through my body, seeming to burn through every centimetre of my skin. I begin to panic, remembering waking up like this once or twice back at the orphanage. My heart races and I can't breathe. What if it was all a dream? What if I'm alone again? My thoughts are interrupted by a cool hand against the bare skin on my arm. I flinch back, they're not done with me.... They've come to hurt me more... 

I open my eyes cautiously, ready to jump up and fight, even though my entire body is protesting against it. To my relief, the first thing I see is Will, gazing down at me with worry. "Are you alright?" he asks. "You just blacked out after fighting off those wolves."

"I'm fine," I groan, wincing as I drag myself up. My entire body aches with the effort. I scan my body, some of it is burnt, which is strange... I've never been burned by my own fire before. Or by any fire, for that matter. 

"Magicians have increased healing power, so that should heal pretty fast." Will says, "It's a shame we don't have any Healers in our group though, that would certainly help."

"It's fine, we have to continue," I steel myself to get up, even though my body is burning. I use the air around my to gently blow on my charred skin. This helps a bit, and I climb slowly to my feet. 

"You fly overhead," Will instructs. "It'll be easier for you that way. Once you're there, just wait for us."

"I can take someone with me, if that would be easier for you guys," I say.

"You shouldn't work too hard," Alice chirps in. I'm surprised, of all people I thought she would care the least. She does seem to radiate a cold hatred towards me.

"No, honestly, I'm fine. It would go a lot faster that way. Besides, we don't have a lot of time. I can fly everyone there in just a few minutes."

"Alright, fine. Take Alice first, and then come back for the rest of us, I guess," Elijah says.

I nod, and focus on the air around me. I build it up to support me weight, and then do the same for Alice. A grin spreads across her face as she realises she's flying. I think it's the first time I've seen her smile in the short time I've known her.

I lift us up over the forest, and start an awkward conversation. "Is there any reason you seem to hate me?"

"What? No! Oh, I'm sorry I didn't realise you thought that... I don't hate you, it's just... I've been going through what I guess you'd call a tough time right now. You and Emily showed up and suddenly all attention went to you. I just felt kind of rejected, it felt like you had stolen my friends."

"Oh... I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to do that. I never really fit in back home, so having people who actually want to be friends with me and pay attention to me... It's crazy, I'm still coming to grips with it. I would do anything to pay that back to all of you." I would. I would go to the ends of the earth for these people who I barely know. They saved my life, in more ways than one, and I couldn't be more grateful for them.

Alice and I continue in silence, and I drop her off at the end of the forest. "I'll be back in a minute," I say, and continue back to the other side.

My body still burns, but the wind cools my skin as I fly, which I'm grateful for. Carrying an extra person is hard, but bearable, and it's nice to have company up in the air. 

I take Elijah, then Will, and finally Sophie over to the other end of the forest.

"Oscar is in the water, somewhere..." Elijah says. "They're only about half an hour out, I think."

"How are we going to get to them? It would be helpful if Emily was here to control the water..." I sigh.

"We're just going to have to travel by boat," Sophie says. "It's the only way. We'll follow them as far as we can and then figure out who took them."

"Do we have a boat?" I ask.

"Oscar has one... But it's gone..." Will says, "They must've used Oscar's boat."

"Doesn't that seem at all suspicious to you?" I point out reluctantly. "I mean, if someone else took them, they would've had their own boat, or found some other means of travel."

"You're saying it was Oscar?" Alice asks angrily.

"I'm not saying anything..." I mutter, looking down. "I'm just pointing out that it seems rather suspicious..."

"It... Does sort of make sense..." Sophie says. "There's a block on his mind, that's why I couldn't hear his thoughts properly, I still can't."

"But why would Oscar take Emily? It makes no sense..." Alice says.

"I'm not saying it does," I say. "It's just a possibility, okay?"

Despite all this, I still trust Oscar. He saved my life. After he left me... But he had a reason for that... Though it wasn't the most solid reason... His electric eyes would never lie to me, would they? Okay, maybe I don't trust him. I just can't believe that after all this, he would betray my trust.

"We're going to have to take someone else's boat then," Elijah chimes in. "My uncle has one, and he won't need it for a while because he's busy at work. I have a spare key." He pulls a key out of his pocket. "Conveniently."

"A spare?" Will smirks.

"Okay, maybe it's my uncle's. I just wanted to take the boat out, alright? It's not stealing, it's just... Borrowing..."

"Yeah, sure." Will laughs and pats Elijah's head in a jokingly affectionate way.

Elijah rolls his eyes and leads us over to a yacht. It's sparkling white, and relatively small for a yacht.

We all go inside, and Elijah and Will walk straight to the driver's part of the boat (I'm not entirely sure what it's called, and I don't really care).

Sophie, Alice and I find a room with, conveniently with a bunk bed and a single bed, perfect for the three of us. A chill runs down my spine. It all just seems too convenient, but I'm sure it's just a coincidence...

We settle into the room. I'm on the top bunk, Alice on the bottom and Sophie on the single. I run my hands on the plain blue bed cover, unsure of what to do.

"Do you really think it was Oscar who took Emily?" Alice asks.

Panic shoots through my chest. What if it was? "I'm sure it wasn't."

"Yeah? Then why is your voice shaking when you say that?" she retorts.

I hadn't even noticed. "Look, a lot of shit has happened in the past 24 hours. I've trusted people, been betrayed, then trusted them again, and now I'm not even sure. So just leave it, okay?"

Silence falls after that, and Sophie and Alice begin their own conversation. I rest my head on the pillow and stare at the wall, feeling lost once again in my life.


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