The next few days for me were nuts. I’d spend one minute in euphoria then the next in shambles. I couldn’t stop thinking about Marco. I wanted so much to be near him again while at the same time I was terrified. Since we agreed I shouldn’t train again until my leg healed, I had a lot of time to fret.
I liked him, really liked him. I wanted him to kiss me but, almost more than that, I wanted to hold his hand and listen to him talk. I wanted to share everything with him, no matter how trivial. It seemed like anything that happened to me after that afternoon came with a footnote; would have been better with Marco.
But none of that mattered. I now had irrefutable proof that I was a freak. It wasn’t safe for anyone to get close to me.
To make things worse, I didn’t even know how much of a freak I was. What had happened with Marco? I knew I could make people talk, like talk talk, but I thought they had to touch me in a certain way to make that happen.
That area on the back of my head, the one that popped like a firecracker when Marco spoke, is the key. On either side of my skull, where my spine ends, are two raised areas. They don’t stick out. Each is maybe as long as a fun sized candy bar and a quarter as thick so they’re easy to miss, but they’re there and have been for as long as I can remember.
As far as I know, no one knows about them either. Not even Margaret. Margaret isn’t the touchy sort of parent anyway so there was never a worry she’d find them accidently. I guess it’s possible my parents knew about my brain bumps just as it’s possible anyone who knew me as an infant might know. I don’t know. You’d have to ask them to find out but none of them stuck around.
I didn’t talk about them with Margaret for several reasons. First I was too little and sheltered to realize there was anything different about me. Soon enough Tommy happened and I spent several years not telling anybody anything. Then, finally, I took a biology class and connected the dots. The back of my head is not normal anatomy.
It was on those lumps that Tommy’s fingers had the misfortune to land when he tried to kiss me that day. The electricity, or energy or whatever it was, shot out immediately and wow was it powerful. It held him to me like a super magnet. But that wasn’t all. My weird extra branch of brain made it impossible for Tommy to speak anything but the truth which wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he’d been a better person.
Tommy had so many awful secrets. I heard them all. I know it sound nuts but I could feel him trying to stop, trying to lie. It almost didn’t matter that he couldn’t do it because even if Tommy had been able to say one false thing, I would have known before the words came out.
But Marco hadn’t touched me. Not on my head or otherwise. His hands were free. It was my hands on him and still the sensation was the same. He hadn’t blurted out his secrets, thankfully, but my head was on fire and I knew, as sure as I know my own name, he was lying.
What was going on with me? What was I capable of?
It scared me to think about it. It always had, that’s why I live like I do. I’m in hiding. I didn’t ask for this and I don’t want it.
But, if that day in Tommy Spader’s garage had taught me anything, it was that what I wanted didn’t always matter.
And now there was Marco. What about Marco? Was I supposed to just walk away, pretend he didn’t exist?
This thing may be terrible and awesome but it is still me. It’s always been a part of me and, chances are, would be to the end. Running from it would only take me so far and that road would be a solitary one.
I couldn’t go on like this forever. The truth was, as much as exploring my abilities and learning about myself scared me, the thought of spending my life totally alone was worse.
I had to move forward. I had to find out just exactly who I was.