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Chapter Eleven: Diana

I walked behind Natalia and her friend closer than usual in hopes that Natalia would spill the beans about yesterday. They were best friends so he had to know something about her deep dark secret, right? Well as my luck would have it, Natalia wasn’t particularly chatty this morning, so the guy carried the conversation instead. I got nothing useful.

Todd was waiting for Natalia at her locker like always. I slowly worked on opening my own locker not wanting to miss a minute of their interaction. Todd had to have insider information from the TWA. They wouldn’t leave him out of the loop if Natalia was a serious player.

“Natalia.” I placed my lunch money in my locker slowly as to not alert Todd or Natalia to my presence. “What was wrong with you yesterday?”

Natalia was bouncing between her feet. She was more nervous than any of our classmates I’d seen roaming through the halls. Maybe she had a right to be. “I hadn’t experienced a Telepath’s power like that. I was in shock.”

“If there is anything you want to say, you can tell me.” It was the classic good cop move.

Natalia slammed her locker closed. “I have nothing to say to a future TWA trainee.” She took off down the hall and out the door. I was convinced she was the Telepath the woman was looking for and I was sure Todd was too.

Todd slammed his fist into the metal locker before following after her. I quickly closed my locker and looked at Todd’s; there was a new dent in it. I followed after both of them, making sure to keep a safe distance away. Being spotted now wasn’t an option.

Todd walked out of the school toward the trailer, spinning mini tornadoes all over the place. They threw everything they picked up, causing the path to turn into a battle field. He remained in the middle of the pack of tornadoes, kicking every rock in his path that was unscathed by the spinning debris.

I stayed back a little more than I originally planned. I wasn’t going to get hit by anything he was tossing around. Plus, you never got close to a Telepath when they’re angry the same way you don’t approach an angry dog.

Natalia was hugging the half-telepath girl, who outed herself yesterday, when Todd and I walked into the classroom one after another. “Thanks, Natalia.”

Todd took his seat and I slowly took mine across the room. I looked over in Todd and Natalia’s direction, but kept my head down. I didn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to myself, but I was determined to watch it all unfold in front of me.

“Natalia, I know something’s wrong. Please talk to me.”

Looking at Todd now, he was an absolute wreck for someone that ended their short relationship yesterday. His blonde hair was all over the place as if he rolled out of bed and headed straight for school. His eyes told a different story, though. Dark bags hung below his eyes as if he hadn’t slept in days.

“I wish I could, but I can’t.”

Todd stood up, throwing his desk forward. The girl in front of him jumped out of her seat and started balling next to the mess. “I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me. I want to help you, Natalia.”

Natalia turned away from Todd. She pressed her lips together and whispered, “I don’t need your help.”

The bell rang throughout the classroom, making me jump. Our teacher appeared at the front of the classroom as if he’d been summoned. He quickly took roll before exchanging a look with Todd, who was still standing over Natalia. Our teacher scurried to his seat like a frightened rat.

Todd walked to the front of the classroom with an air of authority Telepaths exuded, it’s one of the things that always gave them away when they were dressed like humans. “The TWA officer wanted to give the Telepath one last chance to surrender peacefully. She will be back and I have no idea what will be in store for all of you. I fought for this peaceful resolution, but if you don’t give yourself up now, you will be at her mercy.” Everyone looked around the room except for me. I was focused on Todd and Natalia only, they were the key.

Todd’s eyes stayed on Natalia’s for a split second longer than anyone else’s before they kept moving around the room. I was sure that she was the Telepath the TWA was after. “Okay. Have it your way. I can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.”

Todd left the trailer. I felt it lurch upward crookedly and spin around in the air. My stomach was not happy with this new development; I fought to keep my small breakfast down. The trailer abruptly stopped, causing my desk to slide into the guy’s next to me. All of us were apologizing to each other as if we had any control over what was happening.

The lady appeared at the window before the buzzing started up. I instantly covered my ears and put my head down on my desk. The noise gave me an immediate migraine that I was prepared for this time. I closed my eyes and focused all of my attention on my breathing instead of the pressure rising in my skull, but the pressure was beginning to overwhelm everything else. I fought hard to keep my mind alert and focused on anything other than the pressure radiating throughout my skull. I needed to stay awake. There was nothing I was more sure about.

The buzzing and pain stopped instantaneously. The trailer hit the ground with a loud thud; my desk smacked into my head, bringing on a whole new kind of pain. The lady from outside entered our trailer as I rubbed the large, red spot on my forehead.

“Telepath, you left the TWA no choice. We’re retrieving leverage against you as I speak. I hope you didn’t have anyone you cared for too deeply.” The lady left the trailer.

Natalia raised her hand immediately after the lady’s departure. “Mr. Patterson, can I go to the nurse? I’m not feeling good.”

The feeling in my stomach instantly grew worse as if someone was manually churning it. I raised my hand along with some of the other students around me. Mr. Patterson asked Courtney to accompany all of us to the nurse to help explain why so many of us were coming to her.

A few of the other students vomited on the path back to the school. Mind over mater. I wasn't going to puke. I couldn't embarrass myself and give Natalia the satisfaction. It wasn't going to happen.

We made it to the nurse's office without another incident. The nurse was shocked with the sudden flood of sick students. Courtney told the nurse all about what happened in the trailer with the lady Telepath, which seemed to eliminate the shock from the nurse's face. She snapped into nurse mode and took each of our temperatures as a precaution; Natalia was the only one of us with a fever.

I narrowed my eyes at her. She was the culprit behind my nausea. She was the reason we were in this mess. The nurse dismissed her from school without a second thought and gave the rest of us puke buckets and crackers.

I took my pack of crackers to go. I wasn't going to stay at school if Natalia wasn't. Once outside the school, I saw Natalia running home as fast as her feet could carry her. I knew she wasn't sick. I opened my pack of crackers carefully and started walking home.

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