Just once I want someone to say something. Just once I want someone to ask me why my skin is so white, or why my eyes are so pale. Just once I want someone to notice the umbrella. Not the pikachu plushie. But they never do.
My mother thrusts the sunscreen at me. I can barely make-out the bottle in the dim light, but I can see it's green and big. "Ezra, you should put some sunscreen on."
It's 9:30 in the morning and my mom wants me to put sunscreen on.
I shake my head and grab my black umbrella. It's a parasol really, but that sounds so feminine.
"I'm fine, really."
"Ezra," My mother's tone is vinegar, sour and unpleasant. "You're going to get skin cancer."
I shake my head again. "Really mom, I'm fine. Umbrella." I point at the closed umbrella and she scolds more.
"It's not going to be cloudy all day."
"I won't get skin cancer, promise. I'll be outside for five minutes. Tops. Then I'll hide in the mall like a good little boy and complain about how much I hate living here." It's 9:30 in the morning, the clouds are so thin they look like stretched apart cotton balls, like some kid tried to make an elementry school picture of the sky, and all I want to do is sit outside and complain about how much I hate living here.
"Alright," She sighs. "You're going to be the death of me Ezra Finch." My mother likes to say both my names whenever she gets the chance. My middle name's Finch because of To Kill a Mockingbird. Thank you Harper Lee. You'll be recieving a package containing a human ear very soon. "If only your father could hear you."
My father is in the other room and he chirp's in with a "Listen to your mother."
"I swear I'll be fine mom. Better than fine. Peachy. I'll be great. I'll be fabulous. Really."
She sighs again, like it's a great tragedy to have me for a son, and goes back to mixing lumpy batter. "Do you want a cookie before you leave?"
My mom makes vegan cookies. No eggs or milk. Don't ask me what they're made of.
I politely gag and tell her "No."
Axel is the exact opposite of me. He's tall and tan, his hair's dark and his eyes are dark and he has enough muscle to make him look tough, but not too much. He glares and tries to be invisible. He's the least German person I've ever met, and he tells everyone he is. See, he has the flag patch on his coat to prove it. I call him a Nazi. I think he hates me.
We're sitting in the tiniest mall in the world. As in four stores tiny. As in four stores centered on old people tiny. I wish someone would ask me why my hair's so white. Or why I'm wearing my sunglasses inside. Flourescent lights hurt my eyes.
People stare at us but it's not because I'm wearing sunglasses or my hair's white. It's because I have a pikachu plushie on my head and Axel is trying not to be noticed. People don't like that. They pay attention to the people who don't want to exist, just to rub it in their face. It's the great tragedy of life. No one will ask why I look funny and everyone will stare at Axel like he has a third eye.
"I wish my eyes were red." I think Pika's trying to gnaw his way into my brain. Pikachu, he says to me, and I try to mentally tell him to shut up.
"Huh?" Axel's not paying attention. He knows he can't disappear, so now he's busy trying to look menacing. Everyone wonders what he's up to. Everyone wonders what's on my head. No one asks about the sunglasses.
"My eyes." I push the rose tinted glasses down my nose. "I wish they were red. Blood red. Crimson. You know."
He doesn't know. He has dark blue eyes. He doesn't have to worry about anyone asking why they're that color. Everyone knows. It's genetics.
"Why do you want red eyes?" He doesn't really care, he's just asking so I'll shut up eventually. I think he hates me.
"Because," I sigh like my mother and fiddle with Pika. He's falling off. "Then people would ask me why I have red eyes. Nobody asks why my eyes are...blue..." My eyes aren't just blue. They're the palest blue you could ever imagine. Nearly white.
"Has it ever occured to you," He turns to me, trying very hard to look like he's up to something very devious and I should be scared, as an acquantice and all. "That they're trying not to be rude and ask about your medical condition."
"A few years ago I could have been in a freak show." I'm not really listening to him. Axel doesn't talk alot, but when he does, I rarely listen. "That would have been cool. Ezra the Accursed Albino. You know, like that issue of the Fantastic Four."
"There was an 'Ezra the Accursed Albino' in the Fantastic Four?" Axel's eyebrows are quirked and I laugh.
"No, there was an 'Accursed Albino' though in this one issue...The Thing, you know, when he was young, went to this one freakshow and was picking on this albino kid who's mother was a gypsy witch lady. And he goes to this town in nowhere Michigan where he finds the circus with the Albino kid in it, only he's, you know, bigger and stuff. He's like The Thing. And they get into this huge fight and-and...well...I only got to read 2 issues of it...I think he kicks the Accursed Albino's ass." I shrug. I never liked the Fantastic Four all that much anyway.
"You're an attention whore Ezra." Axel glares at an old man that walks by. Most of the people here are just on vacation for the summer. They have nice summer houses by the lake. They're old and rich and hate teenagers. They don't glare at me though. Because I have a condition. "Besides, you're too puny to last five seconds in a fight with The Thing. You couldn't even take Prof. Xavier."
"That's because he'd make my brain explode. Hand to hand combat, pft, I'd beat him. I'd pull out a knife." There isn't even a knife in my house, let alone on me, but I can dream.
"Sure." Axel says and that's the end of that.
We sit in silence for a little while longer, and I dream of being Ezra the Accursed Albino, who doesn't become a crazed behemouth, but dresses in a Victorian suit with a top hat and sips tea. Everyone's amazed. I look like a pale, younger, Gary Oldman as Dracula. In my head it's the late 1800's and everyone's staring at me in wonder. They're all dressed nice like me, smiling. All the teenagers like me, they think I'm pretty. They like my pale eyes and pale hair. And I know that later tonight, after the show is done and everyone else is sleeping and playing cards in one of the wagons, one of them'll come to meet me. They'll be shy, they'll want to touch my hair and see my eyes up close. They'll stay with me all night, and we'll love eachother then because we're so young and pretty, but in the morning they'll run home to their normal families and normal friends. Which is fine. Another town awaits us. Besides, I'm supposed to meet Richard the Pin-Head for tea.
"Look at him!" The kids would cry with bright eyes and I'd smile extra wide for them.
"It's not like that you know." Axel waves a hand in front of my vacant expression.
"What's not?" I blink dry eyes and adjust Pika again. He doesn't like to stay still.
He gestures at the big screen TV. Images of happy boats sailing along the calm lake with happy people and happy kids. It's a video of the town for the tourists. I wonder why we're not in it.
"This is Ezra, the local Albino." They would say, and zoom in close to my face. "And this is Axel, his companion, and our resident Nazi." Close up of Axel's German flag stitched tight into his army green coat.
They don't though. They just show the happy normal people and their happy normal lives. They don't show my hippie mother and her vegan cookies. They don't show the broken, wet house Axel lives in with his stupid, emo brother and his mother who's become the closest living thing to a ghost a person can get. Rarely seen, and when she is, you have a heart attack.
"Wanna go to my house?" Axel yawns and stretches in the plastic chair. One of the few signs he's not a robot.
And we go, me with my umbrella out and sunglasses on. No one cares why.
Axel gets out some whisky as soon as we get into the kitchen.
He asks if I want some. I say no, I don't. He shrugs and screws off the top and takes a long drink.
I plop on the couch and nearly fall in. It's old and crumbling. Axel turns on the TV. It's old too, the kind that doesn't have a remote, and something in black and white's playing. Oh. Teletubbies. The noises they make intrigue me, but Axel changes it anyway and sits next to me on the couch. Next to me, as in the other side of the couch. It's small, so he's still close.
Pika's sitting in my lap now and he's all "Chu's". His cheeks glow red, but no one notices except for me.
"How's Sarah doing?" Sarah's Axel's mom. I've never called her anything but Sarah and neither has Axel.
"Fine, I guess." He shrugs and I don't ask any more. "There's nothing on TV."
Which is true because it's before noon and it's summer.
"We could watch Nickelodeon." I put Pika on my head again. He's a comfort item. I feel naked without him.
"There's just little kids shows on. Bad little kids shows." He flips through the channels, and all I see is gray. I don't know how he knows what he's doing.
"I like Blues Clues." I say. He shrugs.
"Have you seen it lately? That Joe guy's stupid." Flip. Flip. Flip. I hate the gray blur which is his TV.
"Yeah, that's true...Does Dora the Explorer really need two shows?"
"One of them's about her little brother...I think." Axel blinks slowly and puts on Jerry Springer.
"The new episodes of this suck too." I mutter.
"The 90's was a good time for TV. Power Rangers was on. The white ranger should have been an albino." He looks at me all weird. I smile at him sweetly, it's the smile I give my mother when she's mad at me. Which she isn't much. How can anyone get mad at me, I have a condition. A few years ago I would break her plates just so she would yell at me. It was normal. Now I'm glad she doesn't get mad. My dad's never mad. Ever. At anyone. I never worry about him.
"Shut up, I'm trying to hear about this guy with a foot fetish." Axel says.
I say, "Eww." I say, "I want ice cream..." And get up.
I walk over to his fridge and find a fudge-sicle. It's cold and sticks to my hand, in that painful way that a pole will stick to your tongue in winter. I hop back on to the couch and peel away the wrapper, making sure to suck on it 'til it's all melty. Then I hold it out to Axel and ask, "You want some?"
He scrunches his nose like a rabbit injected with steroids and says politely, "Fuck, no."
"Fine." More for me. I gnaw on it and my teeth hate me. Axel hates me. I think Pikachu hates me.
A few minutes of silent TV. More people with fetishes. "I like to be put in a cage, hancuffed and gagged." Says a man. Who doesn't, I think. I laugh to myself and Axel doesn't get it.
A few more minutes and the door creaks open. A ghost? No, it's just Hayden, Axel's brother. He looks emo and he acts emo and he dresses emo and I hate him. I wonder how much it'll cost for him to have sex with me. I laugh again to myself and Axel gives me that weird look he gives when I'm being weird. He would get it too if he were me.
Hayden's seen me a million times, but he stares when he walks past. I stare back. He says, finally, "What the fuck is wrong with that kid?"
"I have a skin condition fucker!" I say, and he goes upstairs all huffy, 'cause he can't say something back to a guy with a condition.
"You know he just says that because you stare at him every time you see him, right?" Axel sighs a deep sigh. I grin at him.
"I wouldn't stare at him if he didn't say it."
"Then don't stare and he won't say it."
"If he didn't say it I would run up in his room and sit on his bed, staring at him, until he said it." I nod because I've won and Axel growls something guttural and incomprehensible at me.
"You're not German." I say, and he punches my arm hard.
I think he's the only person who'll hit someone with a condition. And I love him for it.
A/N: I've been meaning to write a story with Ezra in it for a while...I love him :) ok, so, I know it's really repeatative but it's supposed to be...it's more like Ezra's train of thought than anything...I'll probably throw a few more short stories on to this...this'll be the "something else" when I finally start writing my novella's every day and I get writer's block and need something else to write...
Umm...I guess that's it...oh, and I do not own Fantastic Four, Profesor Xavier, Teletubbies, Dora the Explorer, Nickelodeon, Blues Clues, Power Rangers, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pikachu, or any of the other blantantallusions...rich people do...
I guess that's it o.o...again...