'A new start' that's what they said to me, of course they ignore the fact that it's not, not really. New bag, new shoes, new town. This doesn't stop the people at my new school from making their minds up about me the second they see me. So no, not a new start, just new people thinking the same things as before. This is why I didn't care as I pushed my car door open and began across the car park.
Okay, so I say I didn't care, but that didn't stop me from shaking, didn't stop the dancing in my stomach. It also didn't affect the 2 hours I'd spent changing outfits and redoing my makeup before finally leaving the house. Maybe for a normal human being these things are easy, but something about being an Abnormal really makes stuff challenging.
I decided not to turn my energy off, instead to march through the doors like I had all the confidence in the world; tripping on the edge of the carpet did not help this. Not the end of the world though, I suppose, still I flushed brighter red than ever before.
The reception was a small rectangular shape; it had a rack of leaflets about drug abuse and a notice board covered in coloured paper. Fake plants sat, rather forlornly, in the corners of the room and there was a small row of grey plastic chairs behind me. The room was lit by rows of long thin lights on the ceiling that gave me a headache. Double doors to my right, a painting of the school on my left and a counter in front of me; behind which was a woman.
The air was clammy, all thick and damp, the kind you get in a steamy car that makes you feel trapped and worried for your oxygen supply. I wasn't looking forward to this.
'Excuse me miss, can I help you?' said a receptionist as I tried to regain some composure. She had one of her perfect little eyebrows raised, her face plump and lathered in thick foundation. Her eyes were a bright but dirty green colour, amazingly dark even for my standards. She was judging me, although to her credit she hid this on her face surprisingly well. I wondered for a brief moment how she looked to other people, what her real eye colour was. That's part of my 'gift' you see. I don't see normal eye colours; I see a colour that represents the person; reds, purples, electric blues. Greeneyes were never fun, I could just tell I would fit in here. I can sense what people are feeling too, but only whilst they're thinking about me.
'Erm, I hope so. I'm new here and I don't really know where I'm supposed to be.'
'Right. Name please?' She was impatient now, and thought of herself higher than me. I tried not to laugh at her reaction as I gave my name.
And there it was, the raised eyebrows, the pursed lips; the look that completely summed up both amusement and disbelief. Thanks parents. I mean, is it not enough that I'm a complete weirdo? Does my name really have to emphasise this?
'Right Aubergine, was it? You've got chemistry in C12 now. Down the corridor, take a right at the end and then all the rooms are numbered.' She laughed to herself as she gave me my timetable and locker key. I turned to walk away but looked back as I got to the door and watched as the cold coffee on her desk magically launched itself at her pretty white top. I hoped, just for good measure, that it was dry-clean only.
When I got to C12, I looked through the window before entering, not at all surprised that the class was in complete silence, that's my luck right? I again resisted the urge to turn my energy off, deciding that it was better to be noticed now rather than later. I was shaking as I reached for the door, giving myself a pep talk in my head. I walked in, as the entire class stared, making my way towards the teacher at the front. He looked at me with a wide smile. From him I could feel excitement at me being a newcomer, a massive contrast from the judgement and intrigue of the rest of the class. His eyes were an amazing soft purple colour, and I new I would get along with him. He was old and rather chubby, but the lines around his eyes made it clear he smiled a lot, just as he was now.
'Why Hello! You must be Miss Shadeky, I'm Mr Nigh.' he held his hand out to me.
'It's Alverdine, but most people call me Dina.' I said, as I shook his hand and tried to smile, never had I felt so many eyes on me at once.
'Well Dina, why don't you take a seat and just try to catch up? From what I know about your last school I think you've already covered this topic anyway.'
He held his hand towards the class, as I turned to face them, scanning quickly to find an empty seat.
'Class, I hope you'll all make Alverdine – Dina, welcome.' He said while I walked to a seat at the back.
I looked at whom I would be sitting next to for the next two years, only to be struck by a pair of bright silver eyes just like mine.
'Hello.' He said quietly while I sat down. I didn't quite know what to think, he was overwhelmingly confused; just like me.
'Um, hi.' I replied. I should have seen something like this coming. I'd practised for weeks for my first day here, covering what I assumed would be every possible Complete Disaster. I rehearsed absolutely everything. From what I'd say if someone tried to hack me to death with a ruler ('can you stop that please') to what I'd do if I ended up trapped in a fire ('walk through it like terminator and hope for the best'). Kidnapping, bad hair day, broken bag, broken bones, falling over, wetting myself. I could go on, the list was endless. But another Abnormal? Nope. Didn't even cross my mind. More fool me.
I got my notepad out and tried my hardest to look as though I was thoroughly concentrating on what Mr Nigh was saying. Although he'd been right, I had covered this topic before. It didn't matter how hard I tried to distract myself though, it was impossible to ignore the fact that my Silvereye neighbour was still staring hard at me. I turned to look at him and was about to make some kind of sarcastic comment when the bell rang for lunch, making me jump. I packed up my things and walked fast to the door.
'Hi!' said a small girl stood in my way at the doorway. Her eyes were a soft pink colour and she had a perfect chestnut bob. I looked at her for a second, before reminding myself of my personal promise not to make friends here. I swerved round her at some speed, and walked on in the direction of the canteen.
'I'm Ellie.' She hadn't been deterred. She was still smiling when I gave her a blank expression and carried on. When I entered the canteen I gave in, turned my energy off completely. And just like that I was invisible. Not literally, but practically. People couldn't see me because they didn't try hard enough to look. I was overlooked, so people assumed I wasn't there. Like when you're looking for something that you cant find, because it's right in front of you, or an obvious feature of a person, that you don't even realise is there. It worked perfectly though. People looked right at me but couldn't see me. Like the ghost of the canteen. I found a seat that I thought no one would sit in at an empty table and pulled a bottle of lemonade from my bag. I breathed deeply and tried to relax. It was pathetic to hate this school already; I hadn't even given it a chance.
My lunch break was long so I amused myself with people watching and moving my lemonade around the table with my eyes. I watched Ellie while she made her way between groups, seemingly not by choice. Everyone appeared to like her and want to talk to her; guys watched her intently and girls were clearly jealous. There was a group in the middle; I'm guessing this was the 'popular' crowd. They seemed to revolve around one girl in the middle, thin and blonde, eyes like fire, with big breasts and a perfectly flat stomach. Her hair was bouncy and curly, perfect playboy bunny style. She seemed to scowl at Ellie more than any other girl in the room. I watched as she whispered to everyone else on her table, they laughed as she passed her thick chocolate milkshake to a guy next to her. By now I had seen this coming, after all, I had been an Ellie once. So I couldn't help but control the milkshake that he threw at her with perfect aim. I pushed it of course and in to a wall, but on it's edge so that it bounced back hard. I then guided it right in to the face of Top Bitch from the centre table. Call me karma.
'You shouldn't do that you know.'
I jumped, banging my knee on the table and nearly falling from my seat as I looked next to me. The Silvereye was back, staring at me once more. How had I not noticed him?
'You can see me?' I asked.
'You can see me, right?' he replied. He smiled a little to himself. I was so confused that I hadn't noticed how happy he was, it was coming at me in strong pulses. He was over the moon.
'I thought we were the only ones.' He said. I just looked at him.
'My family and me, I mean. You're an Abnormal too, right? That's why your eyes are silver like mine, that's why no one has noticed you sitting here even though you're the talk of the school. And I'm hoping that's why your lemonade was levitating.' He said, still smiling. I couldn't help but smile back at this.
'You don't talk much.' He continued.
'I don't know what to say; I've never met another before. It's strange.' His happiness faded a little then, waves rather than strong pulses now.
'Yeah, it is strange. But now at least we have someone to talk to.' He said the last sentence quietly, like he was in doubt.
I remembered my promise to myself again and realised he was right to doubt it. I didn't need anyone to talk to.
'I have to go.' I said quickly as I stood up and grabbed my bag.
I kept my energy off as I walked across the canteen. Only at the door did I dare to look back, but he was gone. I went to sit in my car for the rest of lunch, alone.
My next class was English, at the other end of the campus. I wasn't going to hide anymore, I had to face the impending doom that was being 'the new girl' whether I liked it or not. Ellie caught up with me once more, popped up with her pink eyes out of nowhere.
'I completely lost you at lunch! Hope you were okay. Anyway, I'm Ellie, just so you know.' She said cheerfully. She was happy and concerned among other things. This surprised me; she was sincere.
'Yeah, I remember you saying. I'm Dina.' I smiled but kept my head down as we carried on walking. She chattered on about how it must be hard in a new school and how my name was really cool and unique. It was immediately easy to be around Ellie, I could see why people liked her.
'Oh wow we're in the same English class. Can I see your timetable?' she grinned as I passed it to her. Turned out we were in almost every class together. I had a feeling it would be hard to go unnoticed with someone like Ellie next to me all the time. People might notice if I kept all together disappearing too.
'By the way, Ms Gibbs is like a complete dragon. I warn you now. But you're new so- ' she got halfway through her 'warning' before she was swept away by another group of people. So I walked in to class alone.
She'd been right. Ms Gibbs had eyes redder than Top Bitch from lunch as she scowled and pointed me to a table at the back; mumbling something about catching up and not dragging my feet.
I was alone on my table at the back; still half the class seemed to like turning to look at me for most of the lesson. I was making notes in my copy of 'The Crucible' when the chair next to me suddenly banged, although no one else had come in the room or moved. I could see in the corner of my eye that the seat was now occupied though.
'Anyone would think you're following me.' Said a voice I recognised too well. Shock was plastered across my face as I gawped at him.
'How did you-?' I began before Ms Gibbs yelled across the room.
'This isn't a social you two. Shut up.' The whole class then turned to see she was referring to Silvereye and me, mouths dropping. Once they turned around a sea of whispers begun. Apparently our companionship was cause for some kind of drama. No one seemed to notice though, that he hadn't been in the class to begin with.
I put my head down and carried on making notes until the bell rang for the end of my day, at which point I decided my curiosity was to huge to be ignored. I waited for him outside the room. He smiled when he saw I had done so, and started walking me to my car.
'So how did you do that?' I asked, after a few moments in silence.
'It's one of my powers. You move objects, I move myself.' He replied like it was simple.
'So we don't have the same powers?' I quoted. I'd never heard this word in context of myself.
'Well, no. Not that I know of anyway. I only know of other Abnormals in my family and we all have different powers.' He replied. I was again struck by how easy it was to be around him, just like with Ellie.
'Wow. You're the only one I've ever met.' I was slightly embarrassed by this, like I too should know of others.
'What about your parents?' he asked, like I was missing something. I went red at this. Here I was trying to avoid the family subject altogether and he just outright asks.
'I don't know; my parents are dead. I'm fostered.' Perfect Dina, just lie your way through a situation. Of course though, I'd forgotten whom I was talking to.
'Why are you lying? Where are your parents really?' he was concerned rather than angry at my dishonesty.
'I don't know. They gave me up when I was born.' And there it was. The truth. My parents didn't want me. Poor little Alverdine.
'Oh.' I waited for the pity, but was surprised.
'I'm Theo by the way.' And that was it.
'Nice to meet you.' I smiled.
'Likewise, Dina.' We had stopped walking and were now just stood looking at each other. We stayed like that for a few minutes in silence before I couldn't stand it anymore.
'I'd better go home.' I said, and started to turn towards my car.
'Yeah, um, right. I see you around, I guess.' He replied, and I felt him watch me as I climbed in and drove away.