This is a chapter series I am working on…
By Diana Jillian
Monday, February 12th, 2007 17:30
Mary Pratt couldn’t handle watching a movie like Steel Magnolias, especially after the scene where the daughter was having a diabetic seizure. It was almost like she could feel the moment happening….again.
Yes, it’s just a movie, but to her, it’s reality. Her younger brother has been a diabetic for years, and as a result, he has had seizures before. This was how Mary knew she was different from the rest of her family. She was starting to become an empath, and only to learn in the end empathy, among many other kinds of powers, run in her family.
Well, not exactly in her immediate family. Her mother had the power, but chose to give it up when she met a regular human. They fell in love and got married, and then Mary was born…And eventually Toby came along several years later.
Mary is very popular despite having received her powers. Even though she knows how others feel about her, they don’t exactly say it out loud, but she knows. There are some out there that genuinely care for Mary. She’s often noticed many times it’s the kids that are considered outcasts, and she’s alright with that.
In Mary’s eyes, she believes that eventually the outcasts often become popular in adult hood. For now, for the next few more months, this is still high school. Being in high school, no one is truly your friend; everyone is out for themselves, or so it seems that way.
Despite all of this, Mary lives by the mantra of faking it till you make it. Even though there are some sad scenes, she does love the movie for their quotes. Her favorite one is, “Smile–it increases your face value.” From what she can feel from others, no one suspects she knows what they feel.
For as long as Mary can, she will not let anyone know she’s an empath, and to do so, she has had to do some pretty gruesome things to keep it under control. Every day she practices smiling through rough emotions in order to keep herself in check. This includes cutting herself. Inflicting pain physically and emotionally is how she gets through it all. And so, she forces herself to watch such movies as Steel Magnolias to begin with. The diabetes part was sad only because it truly does remind her of her younger brother.
Mary has watched Toby go into seizures due to diabetes. They would get so bad, she had to call an ambulance on more than one occasion. Now-a-days it’s more under control, but you never know.
There will be more technology soon, but only time will tell. In any case, Mary is dreading her homework assignment that’s due on Friday. She actually has to pair up with a partner, and not just any partner. This partner is a tad different from the rest of the people she’s around on a daily basis.
While she can feel emotions, she tends to block them out–well, as best as she can–by putting some headphones on her ears, and listening to her MP3 player. She likes taking her CD’s and downloading them onto her player. Her favorite one is Breaking Benjamin’s Phobia. It was released about six months ago, but she never gets tired of listening to it.
The album is an expression for her. If she could write, this is probably exactly what she would write. If she had the choice, she’d be a shut-in for the rest of her life and never leave her house. Some emotions are just too much, but her partner she’s paired with, that’s a completely different story.
She’s lucky she lives in a small town of Hewlett, because she knows just about everyone that lives here. She even knows her elderly neighbors, and always has pleasant thoughts about them. That’s because the only emotion she feels from them are love and care. It gives her a nice feeling to know there are still kind and caring people out there in the world. She wonders if her peers will change with age, or if they’ll just stay the same the rest of their lives.
But Jeremiah Thompson–the boy she’s paired with on this assignment–she can’t get a read off of him. Nothing. Mary can only observe Jeremiah from afar. She notices he seems to be a bit of a loner, and he seems over-protective when it comes to his sister–even though she’s only a grade under him. When Mary, Jeremiah, and the rest of her peers graduate at the end of June this year, Sally–Jeremiah’s sister–will be leaving her junior year, and entering her senior year in September.
Jeremiah and Sally also seem like complete opposites as far as siblings. Sally has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a tan complexion. Jeremiah has the same blue eyes, but that’s about it. His hair is brown but he dyes it black, and his complexion is fair. She knows something is not right with him, but she doesn’t know for sure.
At one point she could have sworn that Jeremiah was named Jonathan, and that he had attended school before–right about the time Mary was old enough to walk and talk. But then she was informed by another classmate Jeremiah was the cousin of Jonathan, and that Jonathan and his family left years ago, causing Jeremiah’s family to move in and become caretaker of Jonathan’s old home.
Mary remembered those words and is still glad she never uttered her ridiculous theory that Jeremiah is indeed Jonathan. But still, even if Jonathan were pretending to be his younger cousin Jeremiah, how would Jonathan still look like a kid? Yes, twenty-seven isn’t old, but there are features on a person in their late twenties-to-early-thirties that a seventeen-year old doesn’t have.
For one thing, the build of any human changes with age. You either become skinnier, or you bulk up. The body is never the same. Jeremiah is tall, about six-foot-two, and is very slender. Also features in the face seem to lose baby fat or something changes like the nose or the ears or, something. No, instead, Jeremiah looks like your typical, average teenager.
Alright, he is a typical teenager, except for the pallid skin. It’s expected to have pale skin in the north during the winter, but his skin tone practically matches with the color of fresh snow. Her thoughts about him drift away as the song “You” pops up on her player. She hums along as she is walking the way less traveled, along this dark evening, heading towards the library.
She looks up and notices the moon. There should be a full moon coming up soon, she thinks to herself. She doesn’t know why she just thought of that, but she always has. Mary has always been drawn to the moon. She feels that phases of the moon bring out different personalities of people. Those are the days she tries to stay home, and watch the moon from the window in her bedroom.
She brings her mind back to the present when she realizes she’s nearing the library. She knows because she can feel all the emotions all swarmed up in there. She knows her fellow classmates are in that library too, working on their research as well.
Why did Mary have to get stuck with a partner? Couldn’t she have just looked up rain forests and waterfalls on the computer? No. Her teacher wants the students to do their research the old fashioned way.
|Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls|
“What if some day the computer goes down?” Mr. Wallace, their science teacher said earlier in class today. “You would have to know how to look things up the old-fashioned way. Go to your local library and look up newspaper articles, encyclopedias, books, anything but Google, and show me your research and proof by citing your sources. I’ll know if you Googled or not.”
Mary knows this is more than half her grade, and she also knows if she does not pass, she will have to take this class again in summer school. She just wants to be as far away from people as possible right now. She takes a deep breath and starts to head in, when she can feel her frenemy Anastasia Anderson, nearby.
Stacy–her name short for Anastasia–can be a good friend. They’ve been friends since Kindergarten. But when Mary started to develop empathy, she knew Stacy was jealous of her. Usually Mary can fake her way around Stacy, but she feels so exhausted and overwhelmed right now because of having to complete this project and working with someone. She decides to hide at the back of the building until Stacy leaves.
Little did she expect when she turned to the corner of the building to hide, she would bump into someone who seems like he’s been waiting for her. Like he expected to see Mary behind the library at the exact same time.
She looks at him in shock, but he seems undaunted by her shocked appearance.
“Are you ready to work on the project?” Jeremiah asks.