Crowded

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Chapter Six

The picture you see is James and his father.

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I walk out, through what I think is the backdoor and of the building, into the garden. It's quite big actually. Very...green. With rocks and flowers. Reminds me of my mother's garden in the old house. Outside, John, tall kid with medium black hair, and Elliot, medium high kid with short, curly hair and glasses, are throwing a football back and forth.
Two nurses are walking and talking and Dr. Maxwell stands, facing the other direction, staring out at something. I walk down the steps and over to him. When I reach him, I'm not quite sure what to do so I just awkwardly clear my throat. He spins around.

"Sam, there you are. Come, sit."

He leads me over to two chairs under an umbrella. I take the seat closest to me.

"So I thought I should now answer the questions you've had since you got here. I know you've been quite anxious to know."

"Yeah," I say. "I have."

"Good." He shifts in his seat so he's more comfortable. "As you know, like we've told you, you are a paranormal. You possess the powers telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation."

"Still sounds bizarre."

He chuckles. "I can imagine. Me, myself, never had such and introduction as you've had. My experience was not so pleasant." He pauses for a moment. "My father was always a secretive man during my childhood. He was a professor. At University of Manchester and he expected me to go there one day. I always had a lot of pressure on me from my father. growing up in England was, how can I say, interesting. But I always wondered what America was like and how their culture was from mine. Again my father was very secretive, almost too busy for us, Me and my sister, Margaret. Made it to about half of my football games and a quarter of Margaret's dance recitals." He chuckles at the thought of it.

"Anyway, I was curious, as any young boy would be of their father who works all the time, about what he was really doing. Because I knew it was lab work or him preparing papers for the university. One day I finally decided to see what he was up to. While he was at work for the night, I followed him. He was in this strange building on another side of town, which I hadn't seen before. It was quite hard sneaking my way in." He chuckles. "I felt like I was in a spy movie, like James Bond. I saw into a room he was in and boy was I surprised. There were computers everywhere. All these lights and technical stuff. I saw my father and a few other men with tools and supplies. And I man lying on a counter. He looked death. Just as I was about to see what they were doing I was caught. Things happened and I ended up in a lobby for 3 hours waiting for my father.

"I tried to ask him what it was I just saw, he shushed me, angrily, and scolded for me for following him out there. Especially on a school night. I didn't ask again. A few months later, my sister was angry about something. He had missed her big recital he promised to be at." He paused, looking down at his hands. "I remember how angry and disappointed she was. I was honestly quite annoyed and I wanted her to stop whining. Things got heated and she started pushing me against the wall over and over again. She started crying. I could understand that because my father wasn't very good to her. Margaret was so angry that I didn't understand why she was so angry back then.

"Maybe the stupidest thought in my life. She grabbed a small statue on my dresser that was from my uncle who died when I was a child. I yelled at her to put it down but she threatened to throw it out the window. I got so angry and next thing I saw that something had shoved her. Except, I don't know, I didn't have a reasonable explanation as to what hit her." He places his hand over his mouth, his eyes glassier than before. "And she fell out. Along with my statue. Maybe she tripped or something. She was hurt so we rushed her to the hospital but ...she didn't make it. My whole and family and everyone who loved her was shocked and didn't understand how it could happen.

"One day when my father was picking me up for school, he asked me what happened. I couldn't lie to him so I told him and only him what happened in that room. That's when it all started, I suppose. He knew exactly what had happened and that I had powers. Turns out I got it from my grandfather who had already died at the time."

"I'm sorry that happened to you," I say. He continues.

"He told my family that he was taking me to boarding school but I knew he wasn't. My mother fought him, couldn't bare the thought of losing another child but I still left, at the age of 17. He told me about my powers and I couldn't believe. To know that I was the cause of my sister's death. He took me to a private facility in Liverpool, some time away from Manchester. Long story short, they did tests on me and experiments to check out my genes and why I have these powers. That was the rest of my childhood. I heard my father talk about a whole program in America with people with powers. Eventually we came here to America, I started working for the company as I got older and here we are now.

"My father left 3 years ago under unfortunate circumstances and has been gone since."

"And I thought my life sucked. That's...haunting."

"Yes, yes it is. Although my father started with experiments, that's not what I wanted. So I worked to set up a new program. To help young paranormals as much as we can and hopefully there life wouldn't turn out the way they did with me, or others before this program started."

"Good. Because I wasn't going to become some lab rat," I say. He laughs.

"Wouldn't expect you to." I lean forward.

"I'd like to know about Jenn, Dr. Maxwell. I hear she's one of the first ones to come to the program. What happened with her?" Maxwell sighs. and leans back in his chair.

"Please, call me James. And Jennifer was one of the firsts. Where exactly did you hear that?"

"Just...heard," I say, trying not to dwell on how I know.

"Ok, well Jennifer was the first in Minnesota. Sadly that was before we switched up the program. She was taken in earlier so I'd say she's had about the same experience like mine. You know they did tests and experiments on her and everything. I didn't like what they were doing. She was so young and she was miserable and I thought it was wrong as any human being would. But sadly they were were more worried on research than her well-being. That's sort of what inspired me to set this up 5 years ago. It really took a toll on her."

"Yeah I've noticed," I say. He stares up at the building behind us.

"This place was the first of the facilities to be setup in the whole country. After we took her here, I thought she'd get better but what happened to her couldn't be replaced by this place."

"What about her family? What did they know?" His gaze comes back to me.

"I'd rather not discuss that with you without her consent," he replies, an absolute serious look one his face. I study his features. They couldn't have over thirty years of age. I estimate somewhere between twenty-four and twenty-eight. I sit back in my chair.

"I can see why you guys are close. You were the one who got her out of there," I say,

"Yes, I suppose," He says not really answering me completely. "I'll tell you something about you though, Sam. You were actually another reason why I started this place." I give him a confused look. What? "Before this, I actually happen to hear of what happened to you when you were a small child." I stiffen up because I know what he's getting at. How the hell does he know about my life?

"How do you know that?"

"I saw your file, Sam. Before he left, my father was curious about you and what happened and I suppose he blew it aside. I didn't. I wondered. How could an 9-year-old boy, after witnessing his parents getting shot by random men, possibly run up behind a large man, grab a small ornament that wasn't even sharp in the first place, and stab him in the back, killing him? I knew that couldn't of happened by sheer luck, so I knew you were special. And the fact that your powers came out at the age of nine was especially astonishing. I thought you were especially special." I stare blankly at him for a moment. This is crazy and I don't know if I can deal with it.

"I'd like my stuff back now," I say standing up. "You know, my cell phone and everything."

"Sorry, Sam. But we don't have private phones here. We all share house phones. And don't worry, your luggage arrived earlier today. Your stuff is on your room. We gave your phone back to your aunt and uncle and your mum."

"I'd like to talk to them, please."

"That reminds me I have a letter from them," He reaches in his pocket and hands me an envelope. "Unfortunately, the phone line's busy. There was a tornado a few miles from here this morning."

I look at the envelope. I mean to ask him something else but a nurse calls for him. He walks over to her, leaving me. I want to go inside but suddenly I hear a voice again.

"Sam."

I look around but see close enough to hear them that clearly.

"Sam. Come towards the woods for me, will ya'?" The voice says. It sounds like the girl I heard in my dreams.

I walk over towards the woods. When I enter I see a woman standing at and empty spot, clear of trees. She's dressed in a leather jacket with a purple shirt underneath, black skinny jeans and boots. She has long brown hair that's tucked behind her ears.

"Come here," she says. For some reason I feel the need to, so I do.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Cara, remember? I've been speaking to you but I only seem to catch you when you were sleeping." Cara. I've been hearing her in my head for a while but I just thought I was just having some weird dreams about girls, which is weird.

"I thought you were just a dream."

"I'm not. I've been able to contact you in your mind. Young, telepathically. Anyway, I'm here to warn you. This place, this program isn't all good. You shouldn't trust it."

"What do you mean?" Be fore she and answer there's a rustle in the trees behind. me

"I don't have much time but you shouldn't stay here. Things could get bad. Just meet me out here tomorrow and I'll explain." She suddenly disappears with quick flash and a short force of wind. James and a nurse burst out from the woods.

"Sam," James says. "What're you doing out here? Come on, it's time for lunch."

I look back at where Cara was but see nothing. Hesitantly, I turn around and follow James and the nurse.

Later that night I lay on my bed staring at the envelope James gave me from my aunt and uncle and mother. This is by far the 3rd weirdest day of my life. Who exactly is Cara and why did she say those things. I lay debating whether I should meet her tomorrow.

Should I?

I don't know.

I could of been hallucinating. I think about her disappearing. I guess that's what teleporting looks like and she didn't say what time I had to be there. Ugh. I glance around the room where I had barely unpacked all of my things, and they actually were my things. Some posters, clothes, and other belongings. Again I stare at the envelope and decide to read it tomorrow. I turn off my light and lay there in the dark, staring at the ceiling, thinking. I eventually fall asleep, exhausted.

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