It's so hot I could SPoNtAnEoUsLy cOmBuSt
"Oh, lord," I frown in discomfort. I'm on fire again. I'm going to get kicked out of this foster home, too. I'm nearly eighteen years old, it's about time they stop moving me around and just buy me my own place or something. No one wants a girl who gets set on fire for completely no reason all the time. No one.
In fact; I wouldn't want me either.
I watch as I spark electric blue and sigh, sitting upf. I wonder if I let it go I'll just die and leave the rest of the world in peace. I bet it would make it a lot easier on everyone else.
Spontaneous combustion. Some people think it's supernatural; others believe the more scientific theories, those being static flash fires or the wick effect. Mine? Well, I'm betting on the static flash fires, and not just because it sounds the coolest.
I've been zapped something frightful by stuff since I was a kid; car doors, refrigerators, you name it. I've even wrecked some electrical items at some points; try my best friend's stereo.
Charlie. I really don't deserve him; he's so good looking, so nice – so normal. Well, compared to me anyway. I admit to be somewhat a freak. Charlie is the reason I can't mess this one up though; because if I mess up this time, and they send me away...
...I won't be sent anywhere near where Charlie lives. I've practically gone through everyone who wants to actually adopt around here. I've probably put them off adopting ever again, afraid they'd get some freak instead of a nice, normal kid. They'd be better off adopting some kid from Indonesia or something.
I get out of my bed and walk down the semi-sunlit hallway; it's only just the break of day. I head to the bathroom and start running a cold shower, throwing off my clothes and hissing as I stepped into the cold water. I hear a door creak somewhere down the hall and footsteps, "Honey, we don't get up until atleast seven at this house."
My poor foster mum sounds weary and tired, and not to mention very confused.
"Uh," I pad over to the edge of the bathroom and poke my head out the door a bit, "I'm just...just on fire, no big."
"OH MY GOD!" she screams and I wince. "ARE YOU OKAY?"
I have been through this many of times. Foster mums always get freaked when this happens, and it always happens. I can't stop it. I don't know why it happens. No one does – I just apparently have drier skin than most, and attract more static electricity. Enough to make me go on fire.
"Yeah, I'm good," I nod my head.
"What should we do?" she says, panicking. I sigh and try to give her a reassuring smile. "Why are you on fi-irre?" Her voice kind of cracks and she pales as she sees a bit of static blue by my shoulder. Oh. Crap. "I'm going to call the hospital," she starts making a run for the phone.
"No, no please," I call after her, I'm about to step out but then remember my modesty. Running naked down the halls on only my second day doesn't seem like a very good idea, besides; the hospital already knows I can deal.
"Come on, it's all good," I call after her but she's already dialling. Oh God, this is going to make breakfast all awkward now.
I get back into the shower and make sure every part of me is wet. I don't know what would happen to me if I let myself stay on fire; I'd never had the guts to try it, and my doctor didn't really recommend it to me. My science teacher had back in year seven, treating me like some sort of science experiment.
I was totally going to go for it too, I'd never had teachers pay me much attention before; and so I wanted to please this one, even if he was only interested in me because I was – am – a freak of nature. Charlie totally didn't go for it though. He punched the teacher in the face. He also didn't happen to appreciate my witticisms; such as if I set the rest of the science room on fire we'd totally get the day off.
"Honey," a cranky voice calls from down the hall, "honey what's going on?"
"Mary's on fire," she calls out, she's still panicking. I sigh. I really hate making people feel bad like this, like it's their fault I light up like the human torch from the fantastic four at random times of the day or night. Like they are supposed to watch me all the time just to make sure it doesn't happen. But the thing is; things happen. This happens. It's not their fault. It's not mine either. But I feel like it is sometimes.
"I'm good," I call out for the third time but of course, I am ignored. I step out of the shower feeling thoroughly 'put out' and stick my head back out the door again. My foster dad, Ian, is rushing down the hall to his wife, Kimberley.
He stops when he sees me though. He looks so sorry it hurts. "I'm so sorry about this," he tells me, like he can do anything to stop it from happening in the first place. I don't know why they bother. Feeling so bad, I mean. It's not their job to figure this out, stop it from happening. That's my doctor's problem. That's my problem.
"Is there anything I can do?" He asks, looking helpless.
"You can uh, get me some clothes I guess?" I say with a shrug, smiling at him and wishing I can reach out and pat him on the shoulder, make him feel not so bad about it all. But I can't. Not until I get some of those clothes on.
It's no use changing back into my pyjama's; I won't be able to get back to sleep, worrying over them sending me back where I came from.
"That I can do," he smiles trying to appear chipper, when I know he's freaking out on the inside.
I sigh. God please, please, don't let me mess this one up.
"On the first night?" Charlie says, wincing after me telling him about my episode this morning. Charlie shakes his head, whistling low and long. "Man you're a bad luck magnet," he tells me, and I try not to notice the way his arm's resting around the back of the bench behind me.
He sends me tingles, and not the bad, static kind of tingles.
"I know," I say, playing it for all it's worth. Maybe I can get him to hug me, or something. It always feels so warm and safe in his arms. Not like I will ever tell him that though. We are strictly friends, unfortunately. He has always had a thing for Sally Peterson, who is cute and normal like him. "Her hands were shaking as she filled my orange juice cup."
"They'll get used to it," He assures me. He always assures me this, though. But not once, not once has it ever worked out – sure, people have liked me. All my foster parents had liked me, they just didn't happen to like me getting set on fire, or on 'sparks', all the time. They couldn't handle it.
"No they won't," I say, shaking my head defiantly. "I'm a bad luck magnet. A really, really bad luck magnet." I tell him, letting a huge, hopefully not-so-fake, sigh escape me as I hug my arms around my knees.
To my disappointment he just rolls his eyes at me. But it's not funny this time. In fact, it wasn't really funny all the times before. The only time I'd found it funny was back when I was about four years old, when it first happened.
"Mummy, come see! Come see!" I'd said, watching the pavement flash blue as I ran around, sparking. I giggled my little head off. "Look, mummy!"
"What dear?" she'd come out all tired, my mum was always very tired...always very sick, not that I'd known at the time. It only hit me when I was five and she up and died. I'd cried for days. "Oh my word!" she said, clasping her cheeks. "Stay there, hon!" she told me and then she ran inside and rung up the ambulance.
It was all over the news, that night.
But now it's all over for me if it doesn't work out with these guys. Charlie doesn't even seem to realise it.
"Charlie," I say, delicately. I can feel my heart beating faster and faster, and I gulp. It hurts; it hurts right in my chest when I think about being taken away. I'm sick of moving, so sick of it. But I could deal if it meant I could stay near Charlie – but next time, it wouldn't be so.
Charlie looks to me, "Yeah."
"If it doesn't work out this time I'll probably be moving far away," I shrug, like it doesn't matter all that much to me and like I'm not trying to blink back tears. "Just so you know." I add, faking light heartedness.
He just stares and I start to get a little unnerved and shift in the seat. I start to spark for the second time that day, "Oh man," I say irritably and start emptying out the contents of my lunchbox as a makeshift bucket.
"Mary," Charlie says, his voice sounding a little weird, but I'm too caught up in my spark problems to notice. I pick up my lunchbox and start heading over to the tap to fill it with water. People are starting to look up at me now, starting to stare.
Most of them know what's going on. I wish I can be like them. So unaffected by it all – just a passing interest, something to brighten up their lunchtimes. I wish it can be like that for me, but it's just too bad; it's not.
I kneel down and fill up the lunchbox, and then tip it over, my blonde hair getting drenched and falling from its curly waves. If I were any less of a freak I could be like those girls, sitting out on the popular bench, eating salad. I have the look for it, just not the personality and obviously...the normality.
"Mary," I didn't realise Charlie had followed me, and I look up, tipping another bucket of water over my head. I'm not surprised, though. He always follows me when stuff like this happens. I look down and frown at my foster dad's choice of clothes; a white top and jeans. The jeans are fine, the top is see through.
"Oh my God," I say, but nonetheless I keep pouring the buckets over my head. I hate it even worse sometimes when it happens at school, everyone watches me. "Charlie can I borrow your jacket? This is somewhat inconvenient." I tell him, stepping up after drenching my self...and I repeat, for the second time that day.
I've stopped sparking atleast.
I look at Charlie and grin sheepishly, crossing my arms. He looks expressionless, and hands me over his jacket, unzipping it and shoving it to me. "Thanks buddy," I say with a grin and pull it on. I sigh and look around. "Aw-kward!" I laugh at peoples prying eyes and they look away quickly.
"Mary," Charlie says impatiently.
"What's up?" I say, grinning up at him in awe, noticing how tall he's gotten. I sigh. We used to be the same size, but now he's all big and tall and tough – beats me at everything we used to play. If I don't get to see him again, atleast I can be thankful that I have all the memories pasted into a scrapbook. I can always look at him, see his ever grinning face.
"Not me that's for sure," I say with a laugh, summing up my thoughts. "You're growing up, kid."
"Funny," he says and frowns at me.
"Oh, I'm on fire," I say, my eyes twinkling. I wink at him.
"Real funny." He says with that same frown, and even with that, he still looks so attractive. "So where they going to dump you?"
"What?" I blink. Dump me? I don't even know what he's talking about. I pull his sleeves over my hands and shiver a little, even though it's sunny – it's a little cold, being all wet like I am.
"Where are you going to go, Mary?" He says edgily, scowling up a storm and shoving his hands right down into his jean pockets. He looks up at me, and says a little more softly, "Where are you going to go?"
I blink and realise he's talking about where they're going to take me this time, which is probably to another state – maybe even another country.
"Who knows," I shrug with a laugh, "I bet there are just loads of people who want a girl who just 'lights up' when they see her."
"That's not funny, stop messing around." He nearly shouts at me and I back off, a little stunned.
"Gees, Charlie, cool it." I say, holding up my hands defensively. Most of the time it's me who needs to cool it, literally – but this time it's him, which is kinda strange because he doesn't get angry all that often.
"Don't tell me to cool it." He growls, his brows furrowing.
"I'll tell you what I like, and like I said," I shake my head in wonder at him. "You need to cool it, buddy."
"I do not need to cool it when my best friend is moving and she's not moving back." He shouts at me, balling his hands into fists and glaring fiercely. He shakes his head, and he looks at me...his eyes hurt? "And she doesn't even care."
What. How can he even say that? Of course I care. I care probably more than I even should care, I care so much it hurts; I care so much I want to show him how much I care...but I can't do that.
"I care." I tell him. "I care so much, Charlie, you wouldn't even realise how much."
"Why don't you show me?" he says with not a little frustration. Really, it's his use of show me that kind of gets me. I mean. Like I said, I can't show him. If I show him he'll absolutely hate me. If I show him he'll know how much I care; and he won't ever want to talk to me again! He'll run off and start eating lunch and sharing his comics with Sally Peterson instead.
"What do you mean?" I say with a laugh, looking away awkwardly.
"You know what I mean." He says, expressionless. But I don't – I don't know what he means, should I hug him? Show him some sort of friend-like response to what he said, instead of the truth? It has to do.
I open up my arms and smile, "Hug?"
"Don't even talk to me anymore," he spits out and starts walking away.
"Charlie," I laugh, shaking my head and following after him, "Oh come on Charlie," I catch up and punch him chummily in the shoulder, "Hugging me can't be that bad, can it? Am I that repulsive?"
I hope he doesn't say I am. That'd be a bit harsh. Especially when he asked me to show him.
"Go away," he says irritably and I laugh at him some more, shivering in his jacket. I reach for his arm and he bats my hand away with his, he gives me a right awful glare, "I said go away, Mary."
I stand there, a little miffed. I mean, how am I supposed to respond to him after that? Is he being serious? I go to say something and then stop, and then repeat. "Hey," I say, getting grasp on my words, "what's up? I am repulsive aren't I?"
I look at him in horror. He thinks I'm repulsive. He didn't answer because he didn't want to say anything; hurt my feelings. Oh my God. My best friend thinks I am REPULSIVE. That's got to be really bad, right? Oh my God. Of course I am repulsive. The sparks, my inability to be serious most of the time, my lack of tact.
I mean, 'it's all good, I'm just on fire' what is up with THAT? Why did I even say that this morning?? Of course they were going to freak out and call the hospital – they're normal! I'm completely not. Which is exactly why I'm repulsive.
What was I thinking before? I could never be on the popular table. I'm not that pretty. I'm definitely not cool – maybe he hates me because I have such a super big ego? OH MY GOD!
"I am repulsive." I say again, this time not like it's a question, and this time; more to myself than him. I'm coming to terms with it. It being the fact that I'm repulsive. Which I completely am. "You hate me because I'm repulsive and careless and stupid and not pretty and not normal and a freak and, and...you hate me because I'm me."
I can't stop being me. It's the worst part. That's when it really hits me; if he hates me, for me, than he'll never like me. No matter what. I mean, I knew it before but...
"I don't hate you idiot, that's not what I said; I told you to go away!" he says, blinking at me and looking at me like I'm mental or something. "You always overreact. You always take things the wrong way and not take things the right way and not get it when I hint at anything. You..."
"I what?" I say, feeling really bad with myself. I must be the worst person on the world not to realise all these faults, damn. I used to think the worst part about me is that I go up like a torch, but now I'm starting to see clearly...
"You just...you...I...I don't want...you to go..." He stammers, reddens, and then turns to me. He shakes his head, "Just go away and don't come back!"
I blink at the two conflicting sentences. But he reaffirms his last, "Just go away."
So I do.
"Yeah, so she got me these facials and stuff to put on my face and like, I haven't lit up yet. Didn't light up all night." I explain to Sally Peterson the next morning, who is really, really nice and cute and funny. No wonder Charlie likes her.
My chest pangs at the thought of him. Too bad I can't stick to his promise and just leave. But my foster parents were shocked at the idea, and told me that they adopted me knowing I was a human torch (in more graceful words) and they weren't getting rid of me now. Not ever.
Which is nice. I guess. But Charlie's going to be mad that I'm not gone already.
"So, what, it helps with the dry skin? Stops the static?" she says, tilting her head with interest.
"Yeah," I sigh, "Something like that – but I'm not holding my breath for it or anything."
Sally nods with a smile, "Well, I'll just be going now..." she looks out somewhere in the school ground and smirks. "I think someone has something to say to you..."
"What? What I didn't catch that??" I call after her but she keeps on walking, leaving me leaning against a tree next to the bench I normally sit down on with Charlie. "Hey, Sally, come back!"
I sigh and shake my head, "That girl – mmph!"
I find my self pressed up against the paperbark tree, and pressed up by what – I'll tell you what! Charlie Barkley is pressing me up against a tree, kissing me! I feel my knees totally collapse underneath me and then it's over, and I'm sitting on the ground in front of the tree.
"Charlie!" I exclaim in giddy shock.
"I'm sorry, I was mad, you were leaving and I didn't want to let you go so I got mad – like I said before – and pushed you away because I thought it'd be easier but it wasn't because I wasn't mad at you – I was mad at me!" He starts talking really fast and I open my mouth but he holds up a hand. It's probably a good thing; because I don't think I'm able to say anything coherent anyway. "You're not repulsive, you're so delicate," I find myself snorting despite my giddiness, "you are so delicate because of that thing and you're pretty,"
"and you're a freak of nature in the best way and you're smart, and funny, and absolutely brilliant and I...I..." he sucks in his breath for obvious reasons; he hasn't taken any in a while. "I love you for you, how could you see it any different?"
"Charlie...you...you..I...waah.." I say giddily.
"And are you staying, because I heard you say you're staying and that would be...so awesome." He says, smiling softly at me.
"Charlie," I say, standing up and feeling my heart start to beat faster and faster. "Charlie I'm staying, and...and Charlie..."
"Yes?" he says impatiently.
"You just kissed me before." I point out.
"I did. What of it?" he wants to know.
"Do it again."
And he does, and this time, I don't fall down to the ground. He holds me up, right up against that tree, and kisses me. There's no way to describe the way he's kissing me, a hand is at my back, the other in my hair. It's passionate, it's lovely, it's...
It's so hot I could spontaneously combust.
Just a topic that kind of interested me. I wanted to find out more about it, and ended up writing a story. Hope you like! Or love, just like I love twilight. Which I shall be getting back too...byebye, sweet things!
You know you love me,