Hello again everyone! Just got time outside work to write up part 2! Hope you enjoy and hopefully this makes all your days a little bit lighter. :)
It was dead quiet and all I kept doing was staring at her after seeing her totally lose it.
But, that wasn't even all of it either.
Huh? What does she mean she hates her powers?
I couldn't fight it as I gave her the most confused look ever as I just asked, "But… why? Yeah some things can suck sometimes but..."
She looked up at me as she let her hands drop and were clenched so hard onto fists even I could see her knuckles turning white even though all we had was the fire at this point. Her eyes were narrowed at me hard and I backed off a little, not knowing what she was gonna do.
She pointed at me and said, almost talking through her teeth, "Sometimes? Are you kidding me right now?"
I put my hands up as I started totally backtracking from her getting heated about this, as I started, "Hey, I only mean that sometimes it can suck needing to keep your powers a secret and stuff like that. But having powers is cool! It makes us…"
"Makes us what? Unique? Special? HA! That's a bunch of crap. Okay, I know you're used to feeling like that since you're lucky enough to have powers you can flip on and off like a light switch and use to show off in hero work to have the news shower you with praise for it. But guess what, Dash?! Not all of us are blessed like you, okay?! So don't you give me any of that 'we're special' crap."
I kept backtracking as I said, "Hey, I just mean that I get that…" "NO! You don't get anything Dash! You have no idea what it's like being me!" She stopped and took a deep breath, looking like she was trying to calm down and I backed off.
I had no idea what to say as she crossed her arms and looked up at me again before almost saying through her teeth, "Do you know what it's like feeling everyone else's feelings 24/7? Do you know what it's like to have no real friends and having people look at you and think you're a total freak even though I'm only trying to keep people away from me to keep myself from scaring them? Do you know what it's like having your own parents that love you be scared of you and be afraid to even touch you? Everyday of my life is mental hell. You have no idea."
It was dead quiet except for the fire crackling as I took all that in.
I had no idea what to do with any of that as she crossed her arms again and looked out into the yard, trying not to look at me. I rubbed the back of my neck and tried to think of what to say.
I mean… geez. What do I do with this?! I feel sorry, but what do I say?!
But then I thought back to what she said as I started, putting my hands into the pockets on my jacket, "Well, then you don't really know me then either. Do you think I actually have real friends? Cuz, trust me, I don't."
She let out the most sarcastic short laugh ever before huffing and remarking, "Yeah, coming from the popular school running back, that's such…"
"No, seriously. You think those guys on my team are real friends? Real friends actually know who you really are. Those guys don't know me at all. Cuz guess what Melanie? Believe it or not, but this guy that you're seeing right now is a total sham. The letterman jacket wearing running back constantly surrounded by teammates?... that's not me. Believe me, I mostly just got into sports to fit in. But I still can't and can never actually fit in. I can't compete or push myself like everyone else can. For me, I can't do my best like everyone else just because I have powers. I always have to hold back and always have be the second or third best at everything and can never win anything on my own. I mean, c'mon! Only reason why I was a starter this season was because Keith 'weak ankles' Williams broke his ankle before our first game so I replaced him. I'm the fastest guy on the planet, but I had to suck enough to still make the team but just to be second string and get poked at for not making the cut by a bunch of dill-weeds who I could literally run circles around. No one knows who I really am except for my family… and well, you now I guess. So if you think I've got any real friends or don't know what it's like to be held back, then you're dead wrong."
It was silent and she still wasn't even saying anything or even looking at me.
I thought she was just done and I was about to walk out until I heard her let out this long sigh and say, "Sorry…"
I stopped and felt like my head snapped back so hard I almost gave myself whiplash as I looked back at her. My eyes were almost falling out of my head when I noticed she was actually looking at me and acknowledging that I existed.
Well, at least until she looked away once we looked at each other and looked at the fire instead. She scrunched up her eyes for a second and let out a huge sigh before saying, "You're right. I was being a total jerk about it. I'm sorry, it's just that… UGH! It's just so… frustrating. I just hate everything about having my powers and not having anyone who understands. But, I've already done enough. You can go if you want, I get it."
After that it's like I was just… stuck. Almost like Lucius came by and froze my feet to the ground.
I didn't know what to do?
I mean, as much as I wanted to just bolt it out of there… I also didn't. Honestly, I actually feel really bad for her. Yeah, sure a lot of her stuff going on sounds pretty heavy, but… I also kinda get it.
I know how hard it is trying to keep up normal life stuff and your real life with your powers. And at least I have my family and Lucius. But Melanie… she's pretty much got no one who gets it.
If I had normal parents who were scared to even go near me, I'd probably be more frustrated and pissed about stuff than I am now.
I kept looking at her as I awkwardly rubbed the back of my neck, trying to figure out what the heck to even say.
Ugh, I'm not good with a lot of this 'feelings stuff'.
I clicked my tongue on the roof of my mouth out some weird nervous reflex before saying, just going with my gut, "Well… would you like a friend who gets it?"
I almost couldn't believe I actually straight up said that out loud and I think Melanie was thinking the same as me since she looked like she was going to get hit by a bus.
"Huh?" She let out, sounding just as confused as she looked.
I let out a huge breath before going, "Look, I'm just gonna say that I've never seen anything like what you've got going on before. But, I know where you're coming from though. And… I don't know about you, but I'd like to have someone outside my family that gets what's it's like to have powers. I don't know if it helps and I know I'm not some really smart guy like your uncle but, I learned how to use my powers so… maybe I can help?"
I held out my hand until I remembered her whole touching people thing and put my hand back down, feeling stupid for a second as I said, "Sorry… but what do you say? Maybe we can hang out after school or something?"
She crossed her arms and bit her lip, looking at the ground then looking back up at me, before saying, "Look, Dash I… I appreciate it. You wanting to help me and everything but I don't know if…"
"C'mon. If anything I owe you since I'd be failing Math without your help," I pointed out, making both of us actually laugh until I realized, "Hey, wait, how did you always know when I needed help with my homework in study hall anyway?"
She bit her lip again before saying, "Well… I could see the frustration in your aura from a mile away, so I always knew when you were stuck."
"But, why did you help me when I'm frustrated? I can't be the only one frustrated doing Math… especially the drill sergeant's stuff." I asked.
Honestly… I always really wanted to know this. As weird as I think she is, even though I get why now, I always wanted to know why she always would help me on my homework when she seems like she hates even coming within spitting distance of everybody. I still remember that time she pretty much juked out of the way from touching someone in the hall at school.
Also, what the heck is that oh-rah whatever she keeps talking about? She turned away crossing her arms even tighter and even though it was dark… wait, is her face red?
I was pulled out of my zone when she said, "Promise you won't laugh at me for sounding pathetic?"
She sounded really nervous and embarrassed, but… I didn't get why? I shrugged before saying, confused but casual, "Yeah sure, why?"
I didn't care. I just really wanted to know why?
She let out this long sigh before saying, "Well, you… you were the only person that was ever nice to me outside my family. I never did anything to make you help me, but after that thing with Debbie picking on me back in junior high and then you saving me from being crushed by that semi when I only got in your way and totally slowed you down and frustrated you. You always helped me and I… I feel like I always owed you since I could never figure out why you were never mean to me or called me Freak-kowski like everyone else. Even after all this with me avoiding you, freaking you out, and pretty much fighting you to stay away from me for no reason other than being a pathetic coward you're still not mean to me like everyone else and… I don't know? Go on. Go ahead, you can laugh."
I gave her a confused look as I put my hands in my pockets.
Okay, I'm totally overwhelmed as I thought about… all that, but I just answered almost automatically, "I'm not laughing."
Melanie gave me a shocked look before she evened out and said, "Doesn't explain why you were nice to me?"
"Because it's the right thing to do." I answered almost so automatic that I sounded like dad and it kind of freaked me out a little for a second.
But, I kept my cool as I answered, recovering but also honest, "Melanie, you should know more than anyone how much I hate bullies. People like Debbie just go out of their way to pick people apart and attack them just for being different. Especially since I'm different, I have no time for that crap… no matter how good I am at hiding that I'm different. And if you still think all that is BS… then I don't know what to say?"
"No. No Dash, sorry I… I'm sorry. I guess… I've just been so used to being treated like a freak show my whole life that… I guess I don't understand what it's like to have someone actually be nice to me for no reason. Downside of having no friends." She let out an uncomfortable laugh, before looking like she was retracting into herself.
After a second, I gave her a look before saying, "Well… like, I said, if you want… we can be friends. Who knows, it might be cool having someone who kinda gets it, right?"
It was quiet until I was surprised when she actually looked at me and… wait, she's smiling. Well, kind of smiling. But for someone who's used to seeing Melanie everyday like she's constantly on the verge of a panic attack… even seeing her smile only a little is surprising to me.
But… I don't know?
I think I even got taken off guard more when she said, "If it's all the same though… can we only do this after school? School gives me enough anxiety when being around other people."
Wait… she's actually saying yes?
I was going to let it off easy until I decided to get one more thing out of this.
I smirked at her as I started out, "Sure, that's cool… but, I have one more question." She gave a hesitant look as she said, "O-okay, what?"
"What the heck is an o-rah or whatever that you keep talking about?" I asked, totally serious and confused.
She kept giving me that confused look until I saw her smile a little again before snorting out a laugh. I was even more confused until she went over to the table again as she picked up the paper she drew on with the stick figures with the colors around and started showing it to me again.
"These are aura's. It's what I call the colored lights I see around people after reading a couple books from a Psychic shop in the city. And yeah, all the stuff is pretty far out there and not proven and even I don't really believe it personally has any facts behind it, but… I don't know? Things like chakras, energy fields… it almost helps me make sense of everything I see. But, that probably sounds totally stupid and crazy to you." She admitted.
Even though now that she said that and made more sense, I shrugged and admitted, "Hey, trust me, weird kind of goes with having powers. Also, I'd be lying if I said all this was by far the weirdest thing I've ever seen."
We both let out a laugh before it went quiet again.
The fire kept popping and crackling in the fire pit until she said, "How about this? I can help you with homework, if you help me with my powers. I'll just tell my parents that Mrs. Danders is having us do group projects to explain why you're coming over. Sorry if I'm being really weird about this, but I just don't want my parents to know anything about this being about powers. The fact I even have any powers freaks them out enough and I don't want them to stroke out or worry about anything."
As much as I wanted to say what was so weird about this, but… I figured it couldn't hurt, right?
I don't want mom and dad to start getting up in my business more than they already do either, especially mom. So, I could even tell them that maybe Melanie is tutoring me in Trig or something?
I decided to just smile and shrug as I said, "That's cool. So… see you Monday, I guess?" I was actually surprised that she smiled again as she said, "Yeah, sounds cool."
I gave her a wave since it felt awkward to just walk away doing nothing with her whole not touching thing. As I was walking away I heard, "Thanks Dash. For being cool about this. And I'm sorry if I hurt you earlier."
I glanced back and saw her rubbing the back of her neck and looking really guilty, knowing she was talking about kneeing me where it hurts earlier. Even though when she brought it up I could feel the memory of how much that really hurt, I just shrugged it off.
I just wanted to show her there was no hard feelings as I said, "Don't worry about it. Honestly I probably shouldn't have grabbed you off the street and freaked you out so I probably had that coming. Just call it even."
She breathed out a laugh before she went quiet. A couple seconds later, she looked back at me, actually looking kind of relaxed for once as she said, "Thanks again, Dash. Seriously."
I didn't really know what to really say, but I could see she really did appreciate all this.
So, I just smiled and said, "Yeah, no problem." I gave her one last nod before walking away.
Okay, wasn't really expecting any of that to happen, but who knows?
It might be cool.
A bit of a short one, but I hope you enjoyed this interaction regardless about another side to the world of supers. I wanted to show how just because someone has powers doesn't mean it's always seen as an advantage. It seems like in the Incredible's Universe, most super heroes have these physical based powers and I have always been a fan of super powers based off mentality like telekinesis or telepathy. So I figured it would be an interesting addition to add a character like Melanie who has more mental based powers but hates them because all they do is terrify her and make her wish she never had them for obvious reasons. But, Melanie's powers specifically will be elaborated on later. Plus, perhaps this will lead to the addition of future interactions with some fan favorites. ;) Anyway, I appreciate you all taking the time to read and constructive feedback is always very much appreciated. Hope you all are staying safe out there.