"I saw your picture with your dad," Jade said after a few minutes. "I came to give you coffee last week and your door was unlocked. I didn't mean to pry, I didn't know you weren't there."

Tyler's smile vanished.

"He seemed like a nice man," Jade said, wondering if she shouldn't have brought up the topic.

"He was," Tyler said, almost inaudibly.

"You never did tell me," Jade took the opportunity to ask a few of the questions she couldn't stop wondering about. "How you came into the city? I mean, you told me your tribe doesn't come into normal people. But you've clearly been to college. You even work here. I was just ... thinking, you know."

Tyler inhaled deeply.

"It was my mom's wish," he said. "Kind of a long story."

"I have time," Jade said calmly.

Tyler looked reluctant.

"Talking helps," Jade said and Tyler rolled his eyes.

"Being my therapist here?"

"Trying to be a good listener," Jade corrected him.

Tyler took a deep breath, putting his hands behind his head.

"I told you the truth," he began slowly. "My tribe doesn't come into the city. They live in a valley down north, away from all the people, all the civilization. They have no technology, no phones, no import export. They grow their own food and live their peaceful lives. They have powers, and let me tell you, mine arenothingcompared to those. My own story is a little different though."

"Well, you know my story, I wanna know yours too," Jade said truthfully.

"Okay, then," Tyler said with a short scoff. "It all begins with my mom, I guess. She wasn't like us; she was normal. A normal human, with a normal family, living in a normal city. She was rich, filthy rich."

"Oh, like you?" Jade said, and Tyler rolled his eyes. Jade could never get over the fact how much the simple act became him.

"One day, she was flying in her personal jet over the valley when it broke down," Tyler went on. "She crashed into the nearby woods, and my dad found her. He helped her out, brought her home, took care of her. And ... I've been told, it was love at first sight. Mom spent time in the valley, most of it with dad, of course. And when she was well enough to go home, dad made her promise she won't tell anyone about them. She didn't know the supernatural yet, but she still promised.

"Grandma told me mom just couldn't stay away. She'd come every month to see dad. It was such a visit when she finally discovered the truth. But apparently she loved dad too much to leave him. So she left her family, left her home, her entire life. Seemingly, she disappeared. She married dad, and they lived happily ever after."

Tyler shrugged as if the concept was incomprehensible to him.

"That's so sweet," she said and Tyler gave a stiff nod. "And then you were born?"

"Yeah," Tyler said. "Things were perfect. Mom and dad were crazy in love. Things couldn't be better. And then one day, when I was three, I was out playing with the neighboring kids. Dad went out and he left the fire burning. It was a fire Dad had lit. Its not like normal fire. It doesn't go out by itself. It grows stronger. Builds on itself. Feeds. Devours. Mom was asleep. I don't remember much of it, and nobody talks about it. All I know is that my house burned to ashes, and so did my dad's perfect fairytale life."

"Oh," Jade whispered.

"Dad blamed himself," Tyler told Jade. "He never forgave himself. And to punish himself, he vowed he would never use his powers again. Now as for me, Mom had always wanted me to get an education like her. She'd been an optimist, saying we didn't have to hide away from the world, hoping that if we wanted, we could live with normal people. And dad wanted to make her dream come true. I remember, right after mom, dad would take me to the woods. He forbid me to use my powers. He trained me to be normal, toactnormal. It was for mom's dream, that dad came into the city to get me into a school. I got in, but we didn't have money. So dad would sit up all night to carve wooden animals, and he'd take them to the city in the morning to sell them. While I was studying in my class, my dad would be sitting outside the school gate, selling wooden toys on a sheet on the sidewalk. And at the end of the school day, I'd find him walking a few feet behind me, so that my friends wouldn't know he's my dad. He said he didn't want me to be embarrassed of him, but I think it was his fear of interacting with people so closely.

The Perfect Jade ✓ |To Be Taken Down 1st May 2019|Read this story for FREE!