I kept a wary eye on Daniel for a few weeks before I was ready to try and win his trust again. He was not going to be easy to convince that I knew, I was just a street boy, why should he think I was safe to be around?
I had to make him listen to me, I could see that he would be a good ally and I needed him to think the same about me. I couldn’t explain why I was so desperate to win Daniel’s trust, only that I’d never met someone with the same oddity as me.
Loretta had been much more willing to trust me but I was reluctant to involve her because I could tell she was not like her brother and I. While I did not know exactly what we were I knew we were not normal and that was why I needed Daniel.
One Saturday evening I deemed it safe to approach the house in which he lived. A simple plan in theory but with Daniel’s ability to sense my presence I wasn’t sure how well this was going to turn out.
As it turned out that was a very foolish thing to do. The moment I stepped onto his front lawn I was swallowed by the earth. It was dark and I couldn’t breathe.
In a panic, I struggled for air knowing if I lit up my fire I might roast myself. I felt myself losing consciousness and then I felt myself moving upwards.
Suddenly there was light, and air. I heaved and gasped for breath and felt a hand touch my shoulder.
“What did you think was going to happen? If you were smart you wouldn’t have tried that” Daniel had pulled me out of his little trap. God that was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
“I never... Never said I was smart” I was getting my breath back still. That was scary. Daniel was more cunning than I thought.
“Well I didn’t really want to kill the only other person like me on the planet. Or the only other I’ve met. Even if the earth doesn’t like you” he was a short weirdo with a limp and I was the red eyed freak of the streets. Like some kind of twisted superhero duo.
“Earth and fire don’t usually mix well, maybe we could change that though?” I stood and was glad that nothing was broken. Hard to keep control of street kids if you look injured. It makes you seem vulnerable.
“Yeh alright, but keep away from Loretta ok? She’s not like us and I don’t want her to get hurt” I could have told him she wasn’t like us. I was more than happy to keep my distance from her. She was only human after all.
“I’m Eric Fairless. Even street kids have last names, at least made up ones anyway” We shook hands and I smiled when Daniel yanked his back as if he’d been burned.
“Sorry, sometimes I forget other people can feel heat. If we’re friends. You might have to get used to it” I’d never had a real friend before. I just liked Daniel because he was like me but... I was only young and I did want a real friend.
“Ok, we can be friends and maybe we can learn more about what we can do together. I’m Daniel but... If you’re my friend you can call me Danny” Daniel was excited. I knew because the ground was shaking just the tiniest bit.
This was the beginning of our friendship. Together we would grow and learn so much more than we would have alone. Maybe I owe him for helping me to become so strong. Or perhaps that would be a waste.
I hate him but as you’ve seen there was a time when I would have gladly done anything for him to not kill me. What a fool I was. I should have seen that it was never going to work. Earth and fire are opposites and that is how it will always be.