Special

I promised myself I wouldn’t let her words affect my life but quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to keep that promise. They echo in my mind with every step.

“We are special.”

Every family thinks that, right? It doesn’t mean anything; just a simple sentence to make us feel not-so-simple.

But then it became inescapable.

Even as I sit in this room, in front of the computer, with my hands on the keyboard. I hear the conversations from next door, I smell the frying lunch meat from down the block. We are special, we are animalis.

My mother was right.

I can’t sit here anymore, surrounded by the suffocating scent of human sweat and the blinding modern art that flickers on and off throughout the day. Everyone else sees electric green – I see gamma rays. The door slams shut behind me and even the breath of fresh air turns my stomach.

After she told me the truth, I had cursed her. I refused to believe, sent her away from me and my family. The last time I saw her was with tears in her eyes, trying so hard to get me to understand.

Now, she’s gone and it is too late. All I have are questions.

“Hey!” A stranger’s voice bellows in me ear as I slip onto the busy sidewalk. Downtown is no quieter than my office, no less intense, but at least here I can walk. “Lady, slow down!”

I ignore him and keep moving forward. His smell trips my steps though, it’s a mix of sandalwood and familiarity. I think about stopping but the warnings against curiosity ring in my mind. Instead, I increase my pace to a light jog.

The man is faster. At the next block a hand locks around my forearm, pulling me to the side. Some passersby give us an odd glance but I shake them away. He has me now and my curiosity will win.

Plus, animalis means that my claws can descend at any moment.

“I was hoping I’d find you,” he says. His eyes hold mine, silent and waiting.
I watch as his pupils shrink, transforming from a circle to a single line. I know that line, I’ve seen it in the mirror. “You have questions.”

I nod.

“We are special.”

I nod. I’ve accepted it, now.

“I have answers.”

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