Chapter Five: Diana
On Wednesday, I worked in the mall at Shop Topic. It was a job I picked up when my parents made the decision to become drones. It kept me in a public area with other humans, providing me a safer environment than being home alone waiting for a Telepath to bust through my front door to take me away.
I worked behind the cash register when a guy with jet black hair and glowing emerald eyes strolled into our store uninterested in the merchandise. His hair was ruffled with twigs sticking up in a few places as if he'd just come from running through a forest. I couldn't peel my eyes away from him. His emerald green eyes were mesmerizing all on their own. He was hot and no one would every deny tat.
"Don't waste your time fantasizing. Only Telepaths have eyes that green."
My cheeks started to burn. "I don't know what you're talking about," I said to Karen, who was the only other worker on duty today.
Karen was about twenty-one years old with strawberry blonde hair she always kept pinned back in a messy ponytail. She had alabaster skin, unmarked by a single freckle on her nose or cheeks. Her eyes were a bright blue with hunter green mixed in around the pupil. She always seemed to wear black clothes even when we weren't working. Lighter colors would complement her looks better or at least I thought they would.
Karen smirked. "He's got a girl anyway."
I turned back to the guy to find Natalia locking lips with the mysterious guy. She looked surprised and happy to see him all at the same time until her eyes hardened. She was a woman scorned.
Why does every guy on this green Earth want to be with her? What makes her so special?
I decided to ask for Karen's input in the matter. "Don't you find it odd she has two Telepaths fighting over her?"
Karen took out her cell phone while she blew a pink bubble with her gum. "Telepaths don't fight over humans. They only fight over their own."
Natalia and the guy were having an argument too soft for me to hear before Natalia stormed out of the store. "Could you cover for me for a minute? I need some air."
Karen shrugged. "Whatever." I took off out of the store.
I watched as the guy appeared out of thin air right in front of Natalia. It was obvious he was a Telepath and wasn't shy about exposing his powers. The question was whether or not Natalia was one with him.
Natalia seemed pissed as she popped out her hip and stared at the mystery guy. I could feel a strange power radiating from her. I'd never felt that from her before, let alone from anyone else. I started toward them slowly, trying to pick up on anything they were saying. I knew it was risky but something was drawing me in.
"Diana!" I spun around so quickly I almost slipped. "I didn't mean to scare you."
Stella was standing behind me with a shopping bag. I glanced backward to see Natalia walking away from the guy. He wasn't even trying to stop her. What did she say to him?
"What are you doing here?" I asked Stella.
Stella grabbed my arm and started walking the opposite way of the guy and Natalia's exit. "Shopping, duh. I thought you were working today?"
I strained my neck as I looked back. Natalia disappeared down the stairs and the guy vanished into thing air without leaving any indication of where he went. "I am. I'm on break."
Stella smiled. "How about we do some window shopping during your break?"
I sighed. I squandered my opportunity to discover Natalia's secret life. "I should really be getting back. It was just a short break."
Stella grabbed my hand, keeping me at her side. "What's been wrong with you lately?"
I froze. "What?"
Stella crossed her arms. "You've been ignoring me and when we hang out, your mind is never really with us. What's going on with you?"
I shook my head. "Nothing. I just..."
Stella tapped her foot. She wanted me to spill my guts. "You just what?"
I pressed my lips together. I could lie to her now and get a larger backlash later or tell her the truth and get it over with. No matter what, she was going to lecture me. "There's something off about Natalia. I have to know what she is."
Stella's mood did a full 180 just as I predicted it would. "You're just like the guys at school! You give Natalia every ounce of your attention when she doesn't give you the light of day. There isn't anything special about that girl! Why can't you accept that?!"
Stella waited for me to say something but there was nothing left for me to say. I knew she was right but deep down I couldn't stop the obsession. Stella let out a muffled scream before stalking off. I was going to have to do some major damage control at school tomorrow.
The next day in English, I found Stella in the front of the classroom with an empty seat next to her, my seat. "Stella, I'm sorry." I sat down.
Stella's eyes were glistening with tears. "I don't understand your fascination with Natalia. She's not one of your friends and she hasn't given you the time of day, ever. She probably doesn't even know you're in her classes."
I nodded. It hurt to hear her say those words, but I knew they were true. "I know. I got wrapped up in the excitement with the Telepath. I promise I'll stop obsessing over her right now."
Stella smiled; I won her back. "Are you still working this Friday?"
"Yeah. Money's a little tight. I can't afford to miss the big bucks Anthony is passing out for listening to music and getting to eat the leftovers the chefs hide for us." Stella giggled.
School ended and I walked home just like I did every day, among the shadows. A car pulled up to me when I was almost at the entrance of my neighborhood. My heart stopped for a moment while my legs kept moving.
"Hey human, how does it feel to be inferior?"
I kept my eyes trained down at the ground as I kept walking. I'd dealt with these kind of Telepaths before. Typically they taunted, threw something in my general direction, and drove off laughing as long as I kept my mouth shut. That was exactly what I intended to do.
"Hey. I'm talking to you." I kept going. "I didn't realize humans were mute too."
The car stopped moving and the door swung open. This was truly my worst nightmare come to life. "How about you come to my place and I'll teach you how to speak?"
I slipped my hand into my pant's pocket. I felt the coolness of my pocket knife against my fingertips. "Get away from me."
A teenager with salt and pepper hair, stepped out of the car with a smirk plastered on his face. "Oh look. She can speak. It's a miracle."
"What do you want, Telepath?" I wished I could muster up some of Natalia's courage right here and now.
The teenager smiled. "Just you. Get in my car and I promise I'll show you a great time."
I brought out my pocket knife, showing him the largest blade it housed. "I'm just trying to get home to my Telepath. She doesn't like it when I'm late."
The teenager backed up with his hands up. "Didn't realize you were already taken. Do you know what happens to humans when they're alone around here?"
I thrust the knife forward. "You're about to find out what happens to a Telepath who messes with me." There was some of Natalia's courage. He backed up more. "Get out of here," I yelled. The teenager drove off quickly down the road, probably looking for another victim.
I ran the rest of the way home without stopping. I wasn't going to be safe until I was surrounded by my four walls.