How To Feel

She wakes up and feels for the first time. It had never happened before. It's an experiment and there are more like her. Now she just needs to find them.


12. changing who you are

"You really could've killed him y'know"

"That was kinda the idea" His rigid jaw line was covered in stubble but still got the message across. No talking or you might be the next to die.

"So who should we go find first?" Changing the subject seemed like the best option at the moment and I was happy to do it.

"Your choice" he motioned to the backpack sitting on my lap. I pulled out the file and read through the last known locations.

"There is one in the suburbs, that's the closest. She's eight?" I gazed in awe at her birth date- it was such a huge range.

"Sure" his gruffness faded away as we pulled onto the expressway, his smile returning.

"Y'know I'm really glad we found each other, I knew I was different. I mean my first job was working with computers at the local grade school and well with my whole electricity problem it didn't last very long. I guess that's why I like books, I can't ruin them like I ruin everything else. Computers, jobs, families, relationships" My curiosity sparked. Relationships? I always assumed he was like me. A loner. "Do you know what powers this girl has?" I searched her page, looking for information.

"I don't know, I think it says undetermined or unknown"

"Ok I just like knowing what I'm getting into"

"Me too"

"By the way, you look pretty good in my leather jacket" I blushed and turned my head towards the window, gazing at the disappearing city lights.

"You don't look too bad your self." I turned back to see his eyes on the road, a small smile played across his lips as our conversation faded into silence. City high rises turned into sprawling mini-marts and suburban homes, the radio station played the national anthem signaling that it was noon. The thirty-five minute trip had flown by as I began to get nervous. It was a Saturday so this kid might not even be home. Her parents wouldn't want two teenagers talking to their daughter, and how exactly were we supposed to convince them to let us take their daughter for a few days. And what if her parents were like mine. Scientists, not even her real parents.

We pulled onto a dead end road, making me even more nervous. What would happen if her parents called the police? We couldn't just try to run away. I let out a little sigh as Connor pulled into a driveway, the address on the house matching the one on the file. Through the window I could see a dining room table and the family eating dinner. It was all so picturesque it made me want to cry. Just a few hours ago I was that kid, with my parents, with the perfect house. With everything.

"You ready?" Connor looked over at me as I wiped beneath my eyes, "Or do you-"

"I'm fine, lets go do this" is this what my new life had become? Ruining perfect families? Running from thugs? Getting emotional when all I see is a normal family doing normal things? I clambered out of the car, the file tucked under my arm. The uneven gravel road led to a small set of steps. I climbed up the last one as Connor rang the doorbell.

"Hello?" the mother opened the door, the husband standing behind her.

"If you want to sell us something then we are not interested, we have already found The Lord and it's too late for the cable guys"

"Umm sorry, I know it's late, we were just wondering if Bella was home" the mothers face froze and her husband grimaced.

"Are you from the school? Listen we've already told you that she is going to stay the way that she is.

"Excuse me? No! Umm we are..." I froze, lying wasn't my best talent.

"Buddies, didn't she tell you? Our school, the high school does a buddy system and we were supposed to meet her today. There are more high school students than second graders so she gets two!" I smiled, playing along. Connor was good at this stuff.

"Well in that case, she's in her room. Normally she's grounded but tonight I will make an exception" She gestured up the stairs, to a bright pink door. Connor and I began the climb up as her parents returned to the dinner table, meaning the little girl at the table must have been Bella's sister.

"Lots of pink"

"I've noticed" I responded as I knocked on the door, gently. No sound came from behind the door except rapid, anxious shuffling.

"Just go in, her parents can't figure out she doesn't know us" Connor shoved past me and into the room. The girl sat crouched by her nightstand, her hands over her head.

"No- we aren't here to hurt you...?" her closet door was open, skateboards and car posters, band posters, legos, and boy clothes covered it. My gaze fell on the girl again, her hair was in a boys hair cut, or was, it was slowly growing out into a average shoulder length bob.

"Have you always..." Connor stepped towards her and she yelped, he hands coming to the back of her head.

"Hey, hey, it's okay," I kneeled a few feet away and opened my palm. I willed her legos to come into my palm. They zoomed over and began to dance over my open hand. Her eyes widened in fascination and her hands came off of her head. That's when I noticed the burn marks on her head, it looked as if she had been shocked. I gasped as my heart burned for her.

"We can do cool stuff too," I whispered, "What can you do? I promise we won't tell anyone, even your parents" she smiled and reached out for my hand, gripping it tightly. Her mouth moved into a grimace, suddenly her hair receded into her head, her eyelashes shortened, her jaw line became more structured, and her shoulders filled out until she became a he.


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