CHAPTER 2: Discover
"Not again," Eric muttered under his breath as he scooped me in his arms. He rushed me out of the diner's bathroom and placed me in the back seat of his car, laying me down very gently. I couldn't depict much outside the window based on the tremendous speed of the glorious silver BMW. I didn't say a word, my anger still flooding inside of me. My new platinum blonde hair was sprawled out all over the back seat, and my strange gray eyes were blinking at an alarming rate.
A sigh huffed from the front seat. My eyes stopped opening and closing and I focused on the area in front of me. Eric had two hands on the steering wheel, gripping it so tightly that his knuckles were turning white. His eyes flickered in the rear view mirror to look at me. The words following his glance were low, but protective.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes. I'm fine. Where are you taking me?" I kept my answers rather short due to the rage flowing inside my body. It was entirely uncontrollable.
"We are going back to your house."
"You...umm... it's hard to explain."
I screamed at him, which was probably a little too much, but I was not into being fooled any longer.
"Just tell me!"
Another sigh exited his mouth before he continued. "This happened twice before, well, when I've been around. I've tried taking you to the doctor, but the visits were unsuccessful. He said he couldn't even get a reading on your heart. There was so much..." he stalled for a moment. It seemed like he was trying to convince himself that this part of the story was true. "Electricity. So much electricity in your body that when he would hook up the machines, it would send a surge and damage them all completely."
My eyes widened as I thought about my last scene at the diner.
"It seems that when you can't control your emotions the electricity takes over your body and in turn damage gets done. I really don't understand it myself but underneath that gorgeous skin of yours lays something much more... dangerous."
The whole story was hard for me to believe since I've never witnessed the other two times an event like the previous happened. But as my blonde hair flowed next to my shoulder, I knew there was something strange inside my body. It changed my normal emotions into something so over the top, it was exactly what he said. It was dangerous.
"Can I hurt people?" I questioned, fearing a yes.
"Yes." His answer was very short and his eyes stayed focused on the road. I knew there was something more to it by the way his lips quivered for just a second. If you weren't looking you would have definitely missed it.
"Have I hurt someone?"
He looked at me once again in the rear view mirror for a moment and then his eyes shot back to the road. I could tell he intended to delay this story. I sat up in the backseat and noticed the car pulling over to the side of the road. His hand patted the front seat, motioning for me to sit next to him. I quickly got out of the car with much more speed than I remembered ever having. In gym class I was entirely ungraceful. I ran the mile in 15 minutes compared to Suzie Peters who ran it 4.2 minutes. Showoff.
I sat in the passenger side seat and closed the door. His hand automatically made it's way to my knee, rubbing it softly. He looked at me with intense eyes and I could see he was terrified. Terrified that I might hurt him? Terrified of my blonde hair and gray eyes combination? Terrified of the story he would break the silence with? He leaned in slowly, his lips gave another quick quiver. Once his lips touched mine his hand moved to my face to keep my face steady. The kiss was slow but passionate, arousing but innocent, comforting but frightening.
Eric's lips pulled away from mine, his hand still along side my cheek, his eyes still closed. He left out a whisper.
"I always knew it was too good to be true. When I kissed you, I always felt sparks, and I still do. My heart fell so much in love with you because of who you are and because of the sparks that fly when our lips touch." He shook his head. "When you touch my skin, you send your electric current through me, making my heart beat incredibly fast. I've never experienced anything like it. I figured it was true love, like you were the one I've waited my whole life for."
Eventually his voice made it to more of a speaking tone and he pulled his body entirely away from me. He leaned back against his seat and his hands went back on the steering wheel. His beautiful sapphire eyes were closed, not showing an ounce of them to me. Another sigh left his mouth, this one much more painful than the previous.
"When the first incident happened, my heart broke. I was so caught up in the feeling of how perfect you were for me. I've never anticipated to be disappointed so quickly. We were at an amusement park and you begged me to go on this two person roller coaster. It was a huge track that went upside down, twirled in many directions, and plummets to the ground. I was too afraid to attempt it, my fear of heights took over me, but you... you wanted to go so bad. I encouraged you to go have fun and said I'd wait for you down on the ground. I watched you run happily to the roller coaster, getting in a cart next to a young girl. The carts were the size of a tug boat, only allowing two people to be next to each other. All the carts were individual, not attached to the next."
He shook his head, obviously disappointed in himself. I could see the pain in his face. I reached my hand over and touched his hand, slowly tracing my fingers down his arm. His eyes closed tighter in reaction to what I guessed was my electric touch.
"Next thing I knew you were flying at incredible speeds, too fast for me to make out your face. I heard you screaming, but I thought it was screams of excitement. Then I heard the loud bang and saw hundreds of people rushing away from the ride. I knew something happened, I knew it was you. Something in my gut just told me that it was terrible. I ran as quickly as I could, pushing people out of my way left and right. When I got to the scene, your hair was this bright blonde, so different from the dark brown you really possess. Your eyes were swimming with rage. The young girl who was next to you was being lifted out of the cart. She was carried away on a gurney and I grabbed your hand and pulled you out."
Eric opened his eyes and looked at me. "You were trembling, you seemed to be just as confused as I was. I asked you what happened and you just said you were terrified the one minute and the next minute the cart started shaking. I knew it was my fault, for not being a man and going with you. If I was there I could've saved you, I could've saved her."
"Heather Grace was her name. She was sixteen years old, that day was her birthday and she was celebrating with her family."
My hands shook, but this time not from anger. The hurt I felt inside for this poor girl, this innocent girl, was so unbearable. I placed my face in my hands and began sobbing. Tears streamed from every part of my eyes. How could I have hurt her? Over my stupid fear of a stupid roller coaster? What was wrong with me? Eric's hand was on my leg again, his fingers slid back and forth to reassure me.
"Heather spent four months at home in a coma. Her parents were against her staying in a hospital by herself. Last I heard she just woke up but her body isn't the same. She lost control of her bottom half, making her paralyzed."
The pain in my heart shot through me once again, making me cry even harder than before. I ruined her life, I ruined Eric's life. Imagine what my mother was going through. Having to deal with a freak show of a kid must not be a walk in the park. My weeping died down eventually and I looked at Eric, still with pain in my eyes. His hand brushed through my hair.
"There you are," he said with a smile. "You're back."
I ducked down and looked in the side mirror of the car. My hair was back to it's natural dark brown, and for once in my life I was grateful to have boring hair. He grabbed my hand and kissed it once casually.
"Just so you know, Eric." I whispered softly, my voice still trembled from my tears. "I don't hold you accountable for that day." Even though it was the first time I heard about it there was definitely no reason for him to be at fault.
"I know you don't Lilly, but I can't help but think if I was in place of her on that ride that everything would've been okay." He locked his fingers with mine.
"And I'm sorry, for your heart."
He left out a small laugh and looked at me. "Sweetie, you still make my heart race and the sparks fly when we kiss, but you wouldn't need your electrics to do that."
I smiled at him, feeling the love shoot out of his body every second. He was amazing. I certainly did not deserve such a gift. His right hand moved to shift the car into drive and we were on the road again. I peered out the window, watching everything pass by in streams of color. For the first time I noticed that today's sky was dark and gloomy, full of gray clouds mixed with the few white ones that remained. The rain would arrive when the sun fell into oblivion and the moon had the chance to be in the spotlight. I rested my head against the window and closed my eyes. I knew what I had to do tonight. Something I couldn't tell Eric or my mother, something I had to do alone. I had to discover Heather Grace.
After Eric told my mom about this mornings incident and told me to rest, I was left at home. This was perfect since I had some research to do. I went in my room and grabbed my laptop from underneath the bed. When the Google page popped up, my fingers just rested on the keyboard. What do I type in? People with electricity? I couldn't think of any other way to word it so I typed that in the search bar. Of course the results showed mostly ads for electricians, some about blackouts in their towns. I filtered through all the results and I felt like giving up.
I changed my search into "people that change after accidents" and again all I found were newspaper articles about accidents all over the world. When I reached page eleven something caught my eye. I clicked the link and was taken to a black page with white writing flashing at the top. There were only three lines on the entire page.
Strange abilities after an accident? We can help you.
Please call Dr. Quinton Ivery
The number was in a bold red color, large and center. I doubted that this was related to me in any way, but I grabbed my cell phone anyways. My fingers flew on the dial pad and I heard the ringing in my ear. After five rings it went to a voicemail. The voice accompanying the message was very masculine but very warm and welcoming.
"Hello and thank you for calling Dr. Quinton Ivery. I'm sorry I missed your call but please leave your name, number, and a brief message and I will certainly get back to you. Remember- there is an answer." The short beep signifying the moment to say your message ended his speech.
I cleared my throat, my voice very uneasy. I didn't know exactly what to say to a machine. Maybe I should've rehearsed prior to dialing. "Umm hi Dr. Ivery," I finally spoke. "My name is Lilly Heaton and I'm not sure about my condition or anything but umm... yeah just call me back." I ended my cheesy message with my phone number and hung up. This guy is going to think I'm insane. I brushed off my insecurities and went back to the computer. Next thing on my agenda was the search for Heather Grace. I dug through the online yellow pages and looked through the names. I called each person with the last name Grace since I wasn't sure of her parents names. None of them turned up with a daughter named Heather.
There had to be some other way to find her. Eventually I decided to scurry around town and just ask around. I grabbed my jacket since I was expecting rain and ran downstairs. My mom was sitting in the living room watching Oprah. I headed for the front door after getting my jacket on my shoulders.
"Lilly?" she asked, eyes still on the television.
"Yeah it's me mom. I'm going downtown. I'll be back later."
"No, Lilly, you need to take it easy and stay home tonight." Her voice was an order, not a suggestion.
I wandered into the living room with a pout on my lips. "But mom, I really just want to get out of the house."
"Hun, you were out of the house this morning. It's time to stay home, I don't want you going out tonight." She finally looked at me. Her face was serious.
"I'm nineteen years old, I'm sure I can make my own decisions."
"Lilly, this is not a debate, you are staying home and that's final. Oprah says that parents need to stand their ground on certain issues, and that is exactly what I'm doing."
I shook my head back and forth in disgust. She was always living her life by what Oprah and Dr. Phil say. It was getting ridiculous. It's television, they will do and say anything to make you watch. I sat down on the oversized brown couch, quickly sinking in to it's comfort. My face was still upset as I peered at the TV.
"This is stupid, she isn't even talking to you. Oprah is talking to the stupid parents who won't stop their kids from doing drugs. I'm not doing drugs! I'm not doing anything bad!"
A glare shot in my direction. "No, you're not doing drugs. You are doing things worse than drugs. I don't think you realize how dangerous you really are. The diner stunt was barely even a problem. Can you imagine the real damage you can do? It's not safe for you to leave here after something like that. You need to take the rest of the evening to calm down and be under my supervision."
"Ugh!" I slammed my hands on the couch, making a muffled sound. "I can control it mom! Get over yourself!"
"Lilly Marie Heaton, don't raise your voice at me." She sat up in her chair and stared directly at me. "Remember why our living room had to be redone?"
I looked around the living, never even noticing the difference in the paint color, furniture, lights, everything. I shrugged, not really wanting to hear what a horrible daughter I have become. I went from being an average student with a 3.4 grade point average, member of many clubs, and President of the Art Club to a destructible adult.
"Your sisters were here visiting from college and we were all playing a fun game of Monopoly. But when you landed on Park Place with hotels on it and looked at your low amount of money, you screamed your head off and threw a fit. The couch was split in two, the television exploded, and all the laps shattered all over the place. Lilly, you are dangerous. Even over a silly game of Monopoly. I cannot just allow you to leave the house after the tantrum you pulled today."
I rolled my eyes and sighed. I could understand what she was saying, but I didn't want to hear it. There was no point in me hiding out in the house and having a worse life than what I already do. I flipped a switch in my mind and smiled at my mom.
"You know mom, you are so right. I'm sorry for questioning your authority. I think I'm going to watch a movie up in my room. I'll call down when I'm going to bed. Enjoy Oprah." I got off from the comfortable couch with much effort and went up the stairs slowly until I was out of her sight. The rest of the way I ran, which again, was quicker than usual. I closed my door and locked it and shoved a DVD into the player, turned up the volume really loud as to say I was really into the movie if she checked in on me. I grabbed my bag and opened the largest window on the right side. I've done this escape from prison before and if they had awards for such a thing, I'd take the gold medal.
After shimmying my way down the drain pipe I did a quick check in both directions for any witnesses. I hoped into my red Nissan Xterra and rushed out of the vicinity. About four miles away was downtown Sarasota, flourished with shops, grocery stores, and restaurants. I parked my car on the street and headed down the main street of town. A few drizzles of rain fell on my face, confirming my assumption from earlier. I made my way into the bookstore, owned by a family of eight. The parents had six kids, three from natural birth and three from adoption. All the kids varied in race and personalities, and two of kids helped around at the store.
"Good evening Lilly!" I was greated by their oldest boy who was manning the counter. My memory flashed and I figured his name out by registering his face in my mind.
"Thanks Grant. How are you doing?" I kindly asked, hoping to get some information out of him later.
"I've been okay. I haven't seen you around here recently. Been busy?" he smiled. He had a very genuine quality about him. A few freckles fluttered his face, two of which were next to his emerald green eyes. He had long brown hair, which gave him an artistic flair. The rocker edge showed from his tattered clothing equipped with a vintage band shirt and slimming black denim. Grant was very cute, it could've been the way his face flashed with happiness when a person walked through the store doors. Apparently business wasn't booming as of late.
"Yeah. Working at The Apparel still, just trying to enjoy my summer before college."
"Oh yeah. Well lucky you get to leave here soon. I can't stand it anymore. It's so boring." He mentioned as he began sorting through some returned books.
"I'll miss it though. Life here is a lot easier I'm sure." I looked around at the two other people in the store, one of which was Grant's mother, Mrs. Ryans.
There was some awkward silence between Grant and I. Eventually I let the silence drain out and eased in with a question.
"So do you know where Heather Grace might be at?"
"Heather? Why?" he questioned my question with a confused face.
"Nothing important, I just wanted to go see her, make sure she's okay. I heard she woke up from her a coma." I hoped my answer was convincing enough. I smiled sweetly, hoping it would help.
"Oh yeah that's right. Well I get done working in twenty minutes. I'll go with you." He grinned at me, pleasant with inviting himself along on my adventure. I knew he wouldn't tell me where she lived otherwise, so I had to agree to have him tag along.
After Grant tidied up the store a bit he met me outside where the rain was coming down in large sheets. He grabbed my arm and pulled me to his car, an old Chevy with rust and missing paint scattered all over. We drove through the rain, the window wipers not swiping fast enough to give a clear vision. Before I realized it the car was parked outside a dimly lit white house. The roof peaked up at a very high point and the front porch had a flickering porch light. We both ran to the porch, grateful to have shelter from the now pelting rain. Grant's finger touched the doorbell and we stood side by side, brushing wetness off our jackets.
Grant hovered over me, exceeding six feet. My head barely reached his shoulders. The door began to open and simultaneously smiles took over our faces. Mr. Grace opened the door and looked at Grant and greeted him gracefully, just like his last name intended.
"Why hello there Mr. Ryans," he spoke before looking at me. His voice was now hesitant and resentful. "Miss Heaton... what can I do for you two?"
I let Grant explain after hearing the fathers reaction towards me. Mr. Grace's face was still, lacking of all emotions. I was worried he wouldn't let me in and leave me out in the pounding rain. I thought of other plans to get to Heather. I couldn't break in when they were sleeping... could I?
"We heard about Heather being awake and we just wanted to stop by and see her." Grant's smile was very legit.
"That's sweet of you but I don't think she is up for any visitors tonight." He shot a glare in my direction.
"I understand that Mr. Grace, but it would really mean a lot to me if I could see her." There was something underneath the line Grant just spoke. Some hidden emotion that I didn't know about.
"I'm sure she would be happy to see you Grant..." he hesitated again. "And you too Lilly, but like I said, she isn't in a great mood right now."
"Grant?" a voice called from inside. It was soft and concerning, filled with young pain. All three of us peered inside and saw Heather laying on the sofa bed in the living room, her permanent spot without help of others moving her. Mr. Grace eventually let us both in, taking our jackets as a kind gesture, which he clearly didn't want to do for me. He'd rather I stood outside and get ammonia.
"Heather." Grant cheered and ran over to her side, gently touching her cheek. I could see the interest in both their eyes. There must've been some chemistry prior to the accident. Heather's eyes glanced at me with worry, with fright even. Like I was going to harm her once again. My face sent shivers through her spine and she looked back at Grant to be calm again.
"How are you feeling?" I asked sincerely.
"I'm fine, thanks." Her voice was still frightened, her eyes still focused on Grant.
"Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Yeah, you could leave. Didn't my father say I was not up for visitors today? That meant I didn't want to see you. I'm surprised you didn't get the hint."
"Listen... Heather--" I began.
"Save it. You've done enough damage."
Grant's face was in a strange state of confusion and disappointment by Heather's reaction. He stood up and excused himself from the room, giving Heather and I a moment to ourselves. I made my way to her side and sat beside her. Her eyes widened entirely, uncomfortable by my presence.
"I wish you would let me explain." My heart was wrenching, I wanted her to understand that it was not intentional.
"Lilly, I get it, okay. You've said your sorry plenty of times before. But look at me. I can't move my legs! I will never be able to walk again. I don't know what you did to me, but I do know you ruined my life!"
I didn't know what to say to her. I placed my hand on top of her leg and with a sudden jerk of her hand she ripped it off of her. Panting with excruciating pain. I looked at her, frightened myself, and her eyes screamed death at me. Just then, I felt a motion beneath the many blankets that covered her. The leg I just touched, the leg that was lifeless before, had now begun twitching. We both looked down and both stared at each other. With all that pain that I projected inside of her came an astonishing discovery. Could I really heal her after being the one to break her? I placed my hand on her leg again, shock waves flowing through her entire body. She screamed bloody murder, but we both knew a miracle could happen.