Chapter 1: Goodbye
“Please don’t go!” Flick sobbed as she clung to Adam. She was well aware her tears were staining his shirt, but she refused to release her grip. Her face was buried in his chest, hidden from the world. “I can’t live without you.”
I can’t live without you. Adam said. Not out loud. No. That was what made each so special.
Adam was mute. He couldn’t physically speak a single word. Flick could read minds, somehow, an ability since birth. She could read his thoughts, so he didn’t have to speak.
Their bond was like no other.
“I-I can’t…” The wet patch grew on the polyester fabric Adam was wearing. He didn’t care the slightest bit. As long as he could stay with his best friend, girlfriend, and soulmate.
He could only be silent through life. He had no choice in that. With Flick, he was never alone though. She was always in his mind, and as perhaps irksome as that sounds, he couldn’t care less. She was his savior; the only person who could understand him.
I love you, little bear. He whispered it in his head, his heart cracking every time a whimper would escape his love’s lips. I don’t want to leave you. I’ll become nothing without you.
“You are the bravest, sweetest, best person I have ever met. I love you, big bear,” she stated, the words muffled into his chest, but he could hear clearly.
Lola, Tom, Will and Susie watched on with mixed emotions.
Lola was Flick’s mom. She had no idea what her daughter could do; no one knew but Adam. So, she never truly understood how Adam and Flick could have a relationship like they did. Still, watching her daughter with tears streaming down her face made her heart heavy in her chest.
Tom was Flick’s stepdad. He was a good man, a good father to his biological child, Will, and his new stepdaughter as of last year, Flick. But he never took to Adam. It was unnerving to him that the guy couldn’t speak and made no effort to communicate in a different way with anyone. Somehow, Flick could speak to him, which he could never understand. He could never comprehend the thoughts running through Adam’s brain, which made him dangerous in Tom’s mind, as it would in a protective father’s mind. Added to that was the fact Adam was built like a grizzly bear, hence the nickname Flick gave Adam.
Will rolled his eyes at the bullshit in front of him. Adam creeped him out. His stepsister appeared insane to him. She was batshit crazy if she truly thought Adam was into her. He was using her. That was blatantly clear. Weirdly, Flick fell for it. Will was glad that Adam wasn’t here to skulk around their house anymore.
Susie was Adam’s adoptive mom. Like Lola, she couldn’t understand Flick and Adam’s bond. But she was rather glad to be taking Adam away and splitting them up. She had an excuse when she was offered a job in the Seattle office of the company she worked for. Truthfully, she was jealous of Flick. She knew it was wrong, but Adam was infatuated with the girl and wanted no kind of relationship with Susie. She hoped by separating them, she could finally build something with Adam.
“Adam, we have to go,” Susie pressured.
“No, no, no, no, no,” Flick chanted, her voice breaking as more cries force their way into her words. “You can’t do this!”
Will scoffed, Tom sighed, Susie grew irritated, and Lola’s heart broke for her daughter even more.
Flick had a lot of friends. She was a bubbly person who always knew what everyone else wanted, what they were thinking. Of course, Lola didn’t know that was exactly what it was. The one friend Flick became smitten with was a boy who couldn’t speak. It isolated her friends slightly from the couple, but she still had friends that lived here in Portland.
“It’s not a long drive, Flick, okay?” Lola attempted to console Flick, placing a hand on her shoulder. How could she break the two apart, physically? Flick was clinging onto Adam for dear life and Adam was squeezing even tighter.
Lola didn’t understand why this was so problematic. Flick and Adam both knew they were endgame, that they were it for each other, however far apart they were. That wasn’t necessarily the issue, though they wanted to be as close as they could be to each other. The true dilemmas were the migraines that Flick got, and the isolation Adam felt.
Flick had been born with this gift. The reason she had it was still unknown. But everything was so loud, for as long as she could remember. To resolve it, she would speak a lot, a considerable amount, to block out the sounds of everyone else’s thoughts. It was exhausting for her when she couldn’t control it. She could barely have any thoughts of her own.
At age six, she met Adam, and everything changed. For the better. It was calmer around him. She could zone in on his thoughts and channel everything else out. He could build a line in his mind so that she could hear his speaking thoughts clearer. They formulated this system and it reformed both their lives. She no longer got harsh migraines when he was around. He was her savior and her most real friend.
When she said she couldn’t live without him, honestly, she was afraid that might be true. She never went to school without him. The migraines occurred when she was in crowds, around many people, particularly those she could see. She wouldn’t be able to step inside a school now, for fear of what could happen. And she was in her senior year.
“Please…” she breathed out, begging someone. She didn’t know what she thought could happen at this point. Eventually, she would have to let go. Susie would never just change her mind.
This could be it for a while. They would text, of course, but Flick couldn’t read his mind through technology. They couldn’t facetime or call. They would almost be cut off from each other.
What she treasured the most was when they held each other. Nothing had to be said. They cuddled and it was warm and loving and beautiful. It made her feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world. It was as though she would always be okay as long as he was there with her.
Now, he wouldn’t be there.
“Flick, please, let Adam go. Adam, you need to let go too,” Susie stated rather harshly. She sighed heavily when the couple made no move whatsoever. “Guys, can you…?”
Will and Tom jumped into action, Tom attempting to pry Flick away and Will hoping Adam’s massive elbow wouldn’t jab him in the gut purposefully.
“Flick,” Lola said with the plea evident in her voice. They couldn’t stay there connected forever.
I’m so sorry, little bear. You have to let go.
“Don’t say that,” she wept.
He understood the magnitude of the situation. He understood what it could mean for her. They couldn’t explain it to their parents; they would be committed to a mental institution.
I don’t know what to do, Flick.
She then let go. She supposed she had to at some point. Adam didn’t want to either but they both knew it was going to happen.
Flick was tugged away gently by Tom. Her gaze was fixed on Adam as he stepped away, toward the car that would take him far away from her. That was when she saw the tears that had flooded his face, liquid welled in his blue eyes.
Will couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw it. The guy was huge and appeared tough, but the pathetic weeping said otherwise. Will thought they were faked for Flick’s benefit.
As they all watched Susie and Adam drive away, Flick rushed past them and slammed her bedroom door shut once she was inside. Will heard a locking sound, as they all did. They each decided to give her some space for the rest of the day.
Flick was immediately on her phone, typing faster than she ever had to talk to Adam. Honestly, he had become everything to her. It wasn’t healthy; she knew that. They both knew that. But that was the reality, and now he was gone.
Her eyes had dried up. She couldn’t physically shed another tear, even though she wanted to fill another whole swimming pool with them. Adam had taken her heart away with him. He left her empty, longing for his warmth, his touch. He was her big bear, her protector, the only person she could truly talk to about everything and anything.
A knock came to her door, but Flick was too distraught to answer it. She believed she would never leave her bed again. She would remain in her room, in her bubble, imagining Adam in there with her. She would stay, basking in her denial, texting him and pretending his texts were the thoughts she could hear.
The door suddenly unlocked, and Will waltzed in, dumping himself onto the end of her bed with his elbow propping him up.
“Your mom made dinner,” he said, rolling onto his back to stare at her ceiling.
“I’m not hungry,” she grumbled. She wanted him gone. She wanted to be alone if she couldn’t have Adam here.
I have no clue what she sees in Adam. He’s so fucking weird. Then again, so is she.
She gasped, her green eyes catching his and her lips pouting. Sometimes it wasn’t so confidence-boosting hearing what everyone truly thought of her. Sometimes ignorance was bliss. Thoughts were supposed to be private for a reason and everyone was entitled to them. They hurt Flick a few times, particularly from Will.
She’s being such a brat. He was using her anyway.
“Can you leave, please?”
There were very few times when Flick grew this quiet. It was normally when Adam was being a pain, or she had done something to him. They were small tiffs, lasted less than an hour. Every couple had disagreements, but no one could solve them like Adam and Flick. As they knew at the end of the day, they were made for each other.
“Flick, you can’t stay in here forever,” Will stated with a certainty.
To Flick, it was safer in her room, alone, than anywhere else. She was terrified of what would happen even stepping out onto the street. Adam often accompanied her everywhere, which they both loved and cherished. Their pure desire to always be around each other and not get irritated was what made them work.
This is insufferable. At least before, she would always be talking. I wonder how long she can constantly cry for.
“Just go away if you don’t want to hear my crying!” she yelled as she ducked under the covers, concealing her puffy red eyes and the snot that had dripped down her face. It was disgusting but she supposed this would be the next few weeks. Tears and snot. Lovely.
“Your mom wants you down for dinner.”
“How did you get in my room?”
“You shouldn’t have a key to my room,” Flick declared stubbornly.
Will was a strange guy. He was the same age as Flick and Adam and had never tried to know Adam. Adam shut everyone else, other than Flick, out, that was true, but Will didn’t even attempt as Tom had. Will quickly decided Adam was a freak as so many did. It pained her, how prejudiced students in their high school were toward Adam, and even teachers. She could read their thoughts, so she knew how they really felt. She protected Adam as best as she could from all their hate. No wonder he wanted nothing to do with anyone else.
“Whatever. I can’t force you to come and eat. Your mom will be upset but I suppose you only care about one person.”
Let’s see if reverse psychology works. Her mom doesn’t really care but I need everything to go back to normal before Lola gets some stupid idea and decides to move to Seattle. I even heard her suggest it to dad.
That then became Flick’s plan. Her mom was already contemplating whether to move. Flick would convince her that was necessary. And it was. It truly was.