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Grade
9

“Alex, they’re almost here!” my mom called from the kitchen. My mom was throwing a going away party for our own family. She thinks that everything should be celebrated, even my depression of us moving. Family and friends came to the party and it sucked, just as I had expected it to. As people were leaving, my grandma started sobbing as she hugged me and then everybody was crying.  I just got more and more mad. It seemed as if the “goodbyes” would last forever, but after a long long while they ended. The six hour plane ride to Jacksonville, Florida from Phoenix, Arizona wasn’t fun either.

I guess now that we’re at the boring but necessary part of the story, I can tell you a few things about me other than that I am very angry with my current situation.  So, my name is Alex McKinley, I am sixteen years old and I’m a boy (if you haven’t figured that out by now). I’m tall and scrawny and the weirdest thing about me is that I have telekinetic powers. I can also do other unexplainable things but I’ll talk about that later. You’re the first person I’ve told , so please keep it a secret. My mom is a very intelligent person and I’m almost positive that she knows something is different about me but I think she’s scared of the truth. I suppose that that’s why she was in denial for a long time after her divorce with my dad.

Instead of giving you a very detailed list of my itinerary and feelings about everything on my first day of my junior year, I’ll just sum everything up. My first day of school at St. Johns High School was very boring and very crowded. I was run into many times and nobody even noticed me much. A girl named Summer, who is very pretty in an unusual way, sat beside me at lunch. This is how our conversation went : “Hey, I’m Summer.” she said.

“I’m Alex.”

“Yeah, you’re in my homeroom.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

I guess you could say that I’m not a social butterfly. So as you would imagine, that was the only talking I did that day if you don’t include talking to my teachers, that is. It wasn’t anything that I didn’t expect. I was completely ignored other than by Summer.

I realize that you are probably very curious about my powers considering that I haven’t said much. I discovered them when I was six. It kind of happened like in the movie, Matilda. One summer day I was mad at my mom, so I ran off into the woods behind our house. I was sitting under a magnolia tree when I heard a bird obnoxiously chirping. My anger was increasing and I wanted that bird wouldn’t shut up. In fact, it seems as if it was getting louder. I don’t really know exactly what I did, but the bird started floating. You probably think I was just going crazy and that it was flying, but trust me, it was most definitely floating. It wasn’t moving its wings at all. Then all of a sudden it started pouring rain and just a few minutes earlier the sky had been clear. I was so confused and angry and then the bird just exploded. Nothing was left of it. It completely vanished (this is what I was talking about when I said I could do more than just telekinesis). I started to run back into the house to tell my mom, but I stopped and decided not to tell anyone. A few years later, things like that continued to happen and I’ve been learning how to control it ever since. Sort of. And I’ve also kind of hated birds since then.

“Are we friends?” Summer blurted out after a month had passed. We had been sitting beside each other at lunch every day and she was the only person I kind of talked to at school.

“Yeah, why?” I asked.

“I don’t know. You seem like the kind of person who tries to be alone all the time. I just wanted to make sure that I’m not bothering you by talking to you and stuff.” She sighed.

“You’re my only friend, Summer. It’s just I’m afraid to have anybody know me. I’m afraid to feel vulnerable. I have a lot of secrets and I’m not the type of person that is open with everything.”

“I know that. I’m the same way. “ She looked at me. “You should come over to my house and hang out. I think you’re really cool.”

“Thanks, but-”

“Don’t say ‘but’. Just come over. This Saturday.”  She was playing with her shiny, flowing, long blonde hair as she spoke.

“Okay. “ I said, staring into her bright blue eyes.

The day I went over to her house I got scared and nervous and almost called her and told her I couldn’t come, but my mom encouraged me to go because she knew that  Summer was my only friend.

As my mom and I pulled into Summer’s driveway my mouth dropped open. Trees perfectly lined both sides of us as we slowly crept towards the four story house. Most of the house was open windows. Its interior and exterior painted with neutral colors. Plants and flowers of all shapes and colors were decorated all around the house.

“Hello Alex.” She greeted me. She was wearing tight capris, a loose, flowy blue blouse and brown sandals. She had a very innocent beauty to her.

“Hey Summer.” I grinned.

We stayed outside as our moms talked inside.

“Why did you choose to sit beside me on the first day of school?” I asked, bursting with curiosity.

“Well I don’t have friends either.” She simply stated.

“Why? You’re really beautiful and cool.” Ha. Who knew I had the balls to say that?!

“Last year and the year before I was the captain of the cheerleading squad. I wanted to fit in. Everybody does, whether they want to believe it or not. I was hanging out with all the wrong people. I couldn’t relate to any of them, the popular people, and I was crying myself to sleep every night just because I knew I was apart of something, but I didn’t feel special or cared about. I just want to be happy. So I quit talking to ‘those kinds of people’. I spent all of my time with my nose in a book, feeling welcomed and needed by the characters in them. Without me, I felt that their journeys wouldn’t be fulfilled and they wouldn’t have that spark of magic needed. Trust me, I know, it’s stupid. When I come to school I get depressed because my reality isn’t the same as the books. I don’t know what to do anymore. I just want my reality to be happy too. “ She took a deep breath after letting that all out.

“Do you want me to be honest?” I asked. She nodded. “ I think that your expectations of other people are too high. You expect people to act like the fictional characters that are meant to be appealing in all ways. Books are meant for the people that like to take a vacation without moving your physical location. Stories are meant to make us happy and take us into another world that is unrealistic but fun. They are meant to expand your knowledge and creativity. They aren’t meant to be a drug to numb the pain of loneliness.”

She just stared at me with confusion on her brow and tears in her eyes. We stared at each other for about two seconds and then I kissed her. It was a long exciting kiss and when she finally pulled away I whispered in her ear “You don’t have to be lonely anymore.” And she just hugged me. I know you are probably thinking “aww how sweet.” or, “how romantic.”, but I was saying all of those things without even thinking. I had totally forgotten about my “issues” and that I can’t get too close to people because they might find out and think that I have a disease or something stupid like that, but I tried to ignore those thoughts.

After that emotional day Summer and I were best friends and sort of boyfriend and girlfriend. We spent almost all of our time together, and it was great because it wasn’t awkward like I expected any relationship I had to be. It was the summer before our senior year, on a very humid day. We went on a walk together on the trail behind Summer’s woods. I was kind of mad because this one kid wouldn’t stop being a jerk to me in class about how I’m a loser and usually that stuff doesn’t bother me however he also was making fun of Summer, so I yelled at him and went on with my day. It started thundering and lightly drizzling  all of a sudden. The light drizzle continued to get harder the longer we walked.

“We should go before the rain gets worse.” Summer said. I just nodded in agreement.

It was really pouring by the time we got back to Summer’s woods behind her house. The problem was we had to walk on a bridge  over a stream to get to Summers house. The stream was completely filled to the top, almost coming over the bridge, and the water was flowing rapidly. I looked at Summer, frightened. I let Summer go over the bridge first as I stared into the water. Anger hit me like I had been tackled by the biggest man alive. The worries and stress of life seemed to pile up inside me. It was raining so hard I could barely see anything and it was all of a sudden so dark and I heard Summer scream but I couldn’t see her. And then I slipped into the stream.

I woke up in the hospital with many contraptions connected to me. I’m not sure who found me in the stream, or even how anybody could have with the conditions of the weather. My parents were sitting beside my bed, my mom holding my hand.

“Alex, are you awake?” She asked softly.

“Mmhmm. What happened?” I mumbled.

“They said that you fell into the stream and you hit your head really hard.”

“No, what happened to Summer?” I asked urgently.

“The doctors aren’t really sure.” My parents glanced at each other. “Summer is in a coma. They aren’t sure if she is going to wake up and the doctors are extremely confused. They’re unsure on what caused this much damage. And they also said that the bridge was torn into pieces. Did you see anything happen to her?”

“They aren’t sure if she’s going to wake up?” I started crying really hard. My mom did too.

“The doctors are going to do everything they can for Summer. But do you know what happened to her?” My dad insisted.

“I couldn’t see anything. It was too dark. I got really mad for some reason. I’m not sure why, and-” That’s when I realized that I’m the one that may have killed Summer. I got so mad, and I was staring at the water. I must’ve caused a big wave, or the bridge to move or something. All I know is that it’s all my fault.

“And what?” My dad asked.

“And she screamed, and I fell.”

Days had gone by and those days became weeks, Two and a half weeks to be exact, and Summer still showed no signs of waking up. The hospital released me two days after I woke up but I’ve visited Summer everyday after school. I should’ve told her about my powers, but I couldn’t. On the seventeenth day after the accident I told my parents what I believed as to what happened. I told them about the bird story when I was six. I also told them my secret. They thought it was some sick joke at first, but then they began to understand. They sent me to anger management therapy  because they think that was causing the real trouble.

The day after I told my parents I went to Summer’s house and got all of her favorite books, brought them to the hospital and read to her when I was there. I knew she couldn’t hear me, but I still read. I wanted her to feel loved, cared for, and special.

Summer died  only twenty-three days after the accident. I still regret not telling her about me, but somehow I think she knew. I loved her and she wasn’t l onely in her last days and that makes me a little happier. A year has passed and I’m packing for college. I’m attending Jacksonville University so that I can stay close to my family. I visit Summer’s grave once a month and read to her, hoping that it will numb my pain.

State
NC
Zip Code
28110