Authors: Dewayne Haslett
It turns out the man was Mr. Neville, the school principal. He looked as though he was in his mid-forties with grey strikes through his black hair, a round figure and a few wrinkles across his face.
We walk into his office and I take my seat, staying quiet until further notice. As Mr. Neville sits in the seat across from me, his brown wooden desk standing between us, he starts to glare at me.
"So Mr. Connor," he says, "would you mind telling me what happened yesterday?"
After a few seconds of thinking over what I wanted to say, I begin to talk.
"Well, sir, you see I had a terrible headache," I say to him. "I tried to head to the nurse, but Rick was in my way and wouldn't let me move. That’s when he kicked me."
"Is that all?" he asks. "I believe there's more."
"Yes. I got up and I kicked him back," I reply.
Mr. Neville’s eyes widen in surprise, as if he were unable to believe how nonchalant I was to all of this. "Are you aware that Mr. Evans' ribs were almost shattered as a result of what you did to him?"
"What I did to
?!" I say furiously. "He's been attacking me ever since I got here, and that's only been two days!"
Adrenaline shoots through me. I look down at my hands and find them shaking like crazy. I just wanted to jump over the desk and grab Mr. Neville by the throat, but I had to resist, knowing that I was already in enough trouble, and wouldn’t risk my abilities for something as stupid as this.
I try to relax while Mr. Neville looks at me, not with an expression of surprise, but rather one of annoyance.
"Yes, your guardian, Mr. Connor, has informed me of that. However, I have the privilege of knowing Rick first-hand, and he's actually a really nice kid."
This guy was really making it hard to calm down. Who in their right mind would think of Rick as a
"But he's a bully."
"Trust me, you aren't the first person to say that."
I sigh in frustration, unable to believe the words coming out of his mouth. At this point, I wish he’d just cut to the chase
. "Why am I here, Mr. Neville?"
"Well, luckily, he and his family are not pressing charges, but you, however, are suspended."
I remain silent, looking at Mr. Neville with no emotion. Since the whole conversation was basically built upon this moment, there was really no surprise.
"What?" I say sarcastically.
"You're suspended," Mr. Neville says, ignoring my attitude. "For two days."
"Yes. You're just lucky you're not expelled. The school board decided that since you are new, we'd let you slide a little."
I shrug my shoulders. "Okay. Well, what is Rick getting?"
Mr. Neville stands up and bangs his fist against the desk. I didn't know if it was supposed to scare me or not, but if that was the purpose, he’d have to do better.
"That is none of your concern!" he shouts. "All that you need to know is that you are suspended, and can return withi
n two days. Do you understand?"
There was no point in arguing with him anymore, so I nod my head. "Yes, sir.”
Mr. Neville nods his head, clearing his throat as he returns to his seat. "You may call your guardian to pick you up if you wish," he says. "You are dismissed."
Without a second’s hesitation, I quickly get up from my seat and exit the office.
I ask for the secretary, Mrs. Parr, to contact Brad, deciding it would be too obvious if I "took the bus" again. As she dials the number, I stare at the awards on the wall, trying to figure out why Mr. Neville was being so defensive of Rick.
Then I realize it. Rick was the star player of the football team. He was giving the school a reputation—a good one, at that. That's why Mr. Neville’s refusing to believe anything people say about him. He was blind, and as long as Rick keeps scoring touchdowns, he will continue to be that way.
The time was now midnight. Brad was sound asleep, I was sure of it. I grab my coat, and run quietly through the house, heading towards the backyard.
I remember when Brad picked me up from school, expecting another lecture. And yes, he was disappointed, but not as much as I thought he’d be. He said he saw it coming, and wasn't the least bit surprised.
After that, I spent all day in the waiting room at the dentist's office while Brad continued working, because he didn't want to leave me at home unattended. It was boring, but it gave me some time to think about Taylor.
Who was she to me now? A friend? Enemy? Neither? I wasn’t sure. Of course, I had Jack, who I was starting to like, but there was just this weird feeling that things wouldn't be normal without Taylor.
Well, things weren't normal
Taylor either. I still had these powers that needed checking out. I've already conquered the super-hearing and super-speed, but what about my strength?
It ran through my mind when we got home, when I ate, when I sat outside, and when I waited in my bedroom for Brad to fall asleep.
It would be the next thing I’d have going to test.
I stare at one of the trees, thinking that would be a good place to start. I figured I would just climb up and
pull one of the branches from its trunk. But it sounded easier said than done, a
s the tree was so big and tall.
I could tell this would be an interesting climb.
I walk towards the tree and stop, looking up at one of the highest branches. I take a deep breath and try to relax; telling myself there was nothing to worry about.
And then, with nothing to lose, I jump.
That was when something rather astounding happened.
I went higher than I thought I would. Instead of stopping at the middle of the trunk, I quickly scaled upon it, and before I knew it, I was shooting straight above the entire tree! I was so surprised that I couldn't help myself when I yelled. It was just something I couldn't hold in.
Soon after, I found myself descending towards the ground. I didn't want to break any bones, so I reached out my hand to the branch that I intended to pull, and grabbed onto it.
I catch my breath, relived at the fact that I was still alive. I then stare at the house. No lights turned on, and judging from my super-hearing, it didn’t sound like Brad was awake. I was safe.
Suddenly, I hear a thunderous crack. I look up and see that the branch was slowly starting to snap.
Before I even had time to react to it, it breaks.
I start to fall again, letting go of the branch and closing my eyes, screaming. The wind slams against my face, and I could tell that I was going to land on it as soon as I hit the ground. I just hope things wouldn’t end up broken in the process.
But just as I was—literally—ready to face the pain, the wind stops blowing. And I hadn't hit the ground yet.
What was going on? Why hadn't I fallen and hurt myself?
I open my eyes to see what the problem was, and I was stunned when I realized it.
The reason I hadn't fallen was because I was suspended three feet from the ground!
It was incredible! It was by far the most exciting thing I’ve ever experienced. This floating thing was so much better than trying to break some stupid branch.
The word hits me in the face in the same way I thought the ground would. The night I had the dream, the night I fell onto my bed. This was the reason why. I was floating in my sleep.
Then I discovered something else. If I could float in the air, that meant I could...fly.
I was overjoyed at my new discovery, but at the same time, I was a little more concerned about how I would get down from here.
I tried to lift my torso, but it wasn't an easy task. After swinging around for a few moments, I finally managed to secede, and my feet were planted safely onto the ground.
I was so happy. I found out that I could fly, and most importantly, I didn't get hurt in the process.
The thick branch that I’d planned to break was lying beside my feet. I pick it up, deciding to finish what I'd started. I grip onto it, balancing it in my hand as I make an aim, and then threw it towards the farthest tree.
I was amazed at how fast it went, flying with lightning speed. I almost went insane when I saw it fracture against the tree, its roots shaking from the maneuver.
So that showed how strong I was. But the jumping thing was something I would have to wor
k on, and obviously the flying.
I yawn. Apparently, that was as much practice as I was going to get today. I guess jumping exercises can really wear you down.
Maybe, I'll be more active tomorrow night. But right now, it was time for bed.
It was seven o' clock, on the last day of my academic freedom. Brad and I were fixing up the house—he told me earlier this morning that one of his friends would be coming over for dinner. I was kind of shocked. With the way I've seen Brad, I was surprised that he even
And to make the situation even stranger than it was, he added that his friend was a police lieutenant.
My mind goes back to the first day with Brad. The moment when he was on phone, discussing my predicament to an unknown figure. Was this that person? I couldn’t be sure. I didn't want to act too suspicious around an already untrustworthy Brad, so I decided to keep my thoughts to myself.
After a while, the doorbell rings.
"That must be him," Brad says as we set the kitchen table.
After a few more seconds of adding the finishing touches, we head towards the door.
"Are you nervous?" he asks me.
"No," I reply.
"Good. You don't have to be. Ryan's a nice guy. You'll like him."
I nod my head in assurance.
Brad opens the door and standing behind it was a tall man with brown eyes, brown hair, and an average build.
"Hey, Ryan," Brad says. "How are you?"
"I’m good, man," Ryan says. "You?"
"Same old, same old."
Ryan then walks inside, looking away from Brad’s face and turning to mine. "Is this him?" he asks.
"Yes," Brad replies. He then turns to me. "Troy, this is Lieutenant Ryan Grace. Ryan, this is Troy."
Mr. Grace and I shake hands.
to meet you, Mr. Grace," I say.
"Call me Ryan," he says. "And the feeling's mutual."
I laugh. "Okay...Ryan."
Dinner was going off to a good start. Ryan was talking to Brad about how his wife and two sons were doing, and asked if he could set up an appointment for them to get their teeth cleaned. He then asks me how I was doing in school. I didn't tell him about the fight, but I did say that school was going very good.
"So, Ryan, how did you meet Brad?
" I ask.
There was a moment of dead silence. The kind that was so silent, you could hear a pin drop.
"Well, um...," he says, glaring at Brad with worry. "I met Brad when...when...uh…"
"He was the person who told me about Sara and Zoë," Brad interrupts.
The moment of silence briefly returns.
"Um...yeah," says Ryan, eagerly grabbing a glass of water, drinking it with a sense of awkwardness.