Chapter One - The Mall

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I walk beside my sister, Marie, as we walk through the mall. My eyes are darting everywhere; my ears are picking up everything and in my mind rings the thoughts of everyone around me. I try my best to block it out like I do at home but I can't. I'm a nervous wreck.

You see the thing is, I'm fifteen and have never really been out in public but on Monday I'll be starting High School. Never, in my life have I been to school. I have always been home schooled and that's the way I like it. For a reason that I have had to keep to myself since I was five years old and came into my first ever power. Even my parents and sister are not aware of what I am.

"Calm down, Sang. Doesn't it feel great being out of the house?" I look to my sister with wide eyes. How can she feel this calm? She too has been home schooled her whole life and is getting ready to start her first day at school on Monday. The difference between Marie and I is that she's more confident, less self-conscious about herself unlike me. Marie interacted with our neighbors as we grew up when I didn't because of what I have, who I am.

I shake my head. "No, not really." I mutter, turning my attention back to where we are walking at the moment. Truth is, Marie and I have never been close but before we moved here to Charleston three weeks ago, she passed her driver's test and now has her license and a car. Our parents made Marie bring us here, to the mall, so we can collect any school books, pens and pencils and everything else that goes along with it, making sure we tick the things off the list our Mom gave us before walking out the door.

This is the first time I have been in such a crowded place. This is the first time Marie and I have been in such a crowded place together and alone without our parents. In not so much busier places, I'm able to block it all out but today, today I can't.

"Grow up!" My sister's voice rings in my head. Yes, my head. I can hear her thoughts and I hate it because when she's around me, she always thinks such nasty things and I hate it, it's what has made me so unconfident and conscious about myself. Her nasty words, that I will never repeat, always knock me down and I can never find the energy to get back up.

Getting a little frustrated, I block her out unlike the rest of the world around me. I have gotten used to being able to block her out and the shield always slips easily into place. Marie looks over at me as I let out a small contented sigh on not being able to hear her thoughts.

She must see the relief and relaxation on my face for a moment as she smiles. If I wasn't blocking her out, I knew she would being thinking that relief was because of where we are, what she doesn't realize is that it's because I no longer have her thoughts screaming in my head like the rest.

Ignoring her, I start darting my eyes around, using my long distant vision and photographic memory to remember faces and places.

Never have I been so aware before so this is a little new to me. When I was younger, I would sit at my bedroom window and watch the other children play over at the park which was on the opposite side and right down the bottom of the street.

To a normal person's eye, they would have only seen little people running around but me; I captured their smiling faces and heard the ringing of their laughter. I always became jealous because since I came into my first gift, I have always wanted to be normal.

I follow Marie into a store where I guess we're getting our supplies for school. I follow her down the middle aisle, a basket on my arm and a basket on hers and start looking at the different sort of biro's and gel pens I can get. "You get what you want; I'll meet you at the register in ten minutes." Marie says and then walks of. I shrug and start scanning the shelves.

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