Isabelle Blackstone has been able to read minds since she was nine. Now she's 16 and she frequently wastes time reading people's thoughts; undisturbed and undetected. Until one day, someone talks back...


7. Chapter 6

I run through the streets, avoiding people and their thoughts. I catch glimpses of their lives as I run past them and some people's thoughts are just begging to be heard. My head is crowded with the early drunks' thoughts and the adrenaline fueled young adults. My mind, however, is focused on finding Mahi and getting her somewhere warm. I have a jacket in my arms, a last minute addition from my mum, who is excited to meet the girl who was taking up my time today. Jon, however, isn't too happy about the sudden new member of the household. 

I run to the place we met and, sure enough, there is Mahi. She's sitting exactly where she said she'd be and she's changed into some clothes of her own.

I jog up to her and take a seat next to her. "Here," I say, offering her the jacket. She's been sat her in the cold for a while so she takes it with a smile. She puts it on and we stand up together. 

We take the walk home slowly and with limited small talk. We get home and I unlock the door. 

We take our shoes off and leave them where we did earlier. I lead Mahi through to the living room where mum and Jon will be. They introduce themselves, some compliments are traded and I attempt to get Mahina up the stairs as quickly as I can. 

I show her to the guest bedroom, which we always keep ready for last minute guests. She puts her bag on the bed and takes out a pile of folded clothes. 

"I washed them for you as soon as I got home. Thank you for letting me borrow them," she says, handing them to me. 

"It's not a problem," I smile. "If you need anything, you can just come to my room."

She nods and I leave; never one to hover when people need to settle. 

I put the clothes back in their places in my wardrobe and put a vinyl in the played. I flop onto my bed and close my eyes, dozing off quickly.

I'm woken by a small, gentle knocking on my bedroom door. I check the time and give the person access to my room. Mahi steps in, closing the door gently behind her. I put my vinyl away carefully. 

"Hey," I say softly, sitting back down on my bed and patting a space beside me with a welcoming smile.  

Her nose and cheeks are slightly red tinted and her mascara is running a little bit. She has a blanket wrapped around herself. 

"Have you been crying?" I ask softly. 

She nods, her eyes tearing up again. I pull her into a hug before she can start crying, my heart dropping at the sight. 

"What's wrong, Mahi?" I ask softly after a moment of silence.

"I just... I just don't understand why my mum hates me," she cries quietly. 

"I'm sure she doesn't hate you," I try to comfort. 

"She does. She manipulates my dad and she hates that she can't do the same to me. My dad's finally getting annoyed with the constant manipulation- the constant excuses for unacceptable behavior, the constant bad manners. And not only is he getting sick of it; I'm supporting him in his decisions to start clamping down. He needs to start putting his foot down. If she didn't hate me before- she does now that I'm no longer on her side," Mahi rants, sitting up from my embrace and using wild hand gestures.

"It seems to me like maybe it shouldn't matter. I understand that it hurts... I get that it must suck. But maybe it's a good thing in disguise that you're taking your dad's side and investing in what you believe- not what your mother wants you to believe. Maybe by doing this, you're helping your dad see what your mother is really doing... how she reacts when she can no longer manipulate. It must hurt, having that amount of hatred radiating towards you from someone who is supposed to be one half of a pair that loves and supports you... but a lot of people don't have that pair. A lot of people have one out of two, or two out of three because of step parents or whatever. And maybe a pair isn't always the best option."

By the time I've finished speaking Mahi is biting her lip and looking at my wall intensely, lost in her own little thought bubble.

"Maybe you're right," she says slowly, almost mumbling it. "Yeah. Maybe you're right."

Her voice grows as she says it a second time. "Maybe a pair isn't what I need. Maybe I just need to invest more time into my dad- even though he works the long hours. Thank you, Isa. It means a lot that you're willing to help me out like that," she smiles, standing up and sniffing one last time. "I'm gonna actually head to sleep now. Thank you again."

"It's not a problem, Mahi. Any time," I smile. She closes the door behind her and I stand up. I change into some more sleep-friendly clothes and turn off any lights before walking directly to my bed in the pitch black, hitting my shin but not making a sound. I get comfortable and let my eyes flicker shut. A new day starts tomorrow.

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