Part I: A Sign of Hope
My time in this dimension was proving to be amusing, to say the least. When I first heard about these strange rifts, of course I had to go and investigate. My other form greatly allowed this, but I was always reminded about my other one the second I overdid myself. Once I’d gone through the rift, I couldn’t find my way back. My search was desperate, but short. I couldn’t survive being crippled on my own. I should’ve come more prepared, but I had no idea I wouldn’t be able to return. Luckily, I’d brought my identification, so that was something.
I did miss my father and my friend I’d made back then. It ached in a way, like those memories were close yet so far. Much to my dismay, they were fading with each day that passed. Luckily, they believed my story and gave me a chance to go through a process that could give me a new life. I did it the best way I could and somehow got accepted into this academy. I didn’t think what I’d written was that impressive, but they obviously saw some sort of potential there, so I was determined to prove them right. I had to make a name for myself. There was no other choice.
My disability made the journey to the academy rather difficult. The wheelchair was stored in one of the compartments underneath the bus. The seat I was sitting in was growing uncomfortable, so I wondered if I could get elsewhere. It probably wouldn’t look very dignified, but I was getting just so numb. Luckily, the boy in the seat next to mine hadn’t seen my less than graceful transition. He was staring down at a strange case he had on it lap. A few minutes before, I saw him get rejected by this pale girl who sat in the front of the bus.
I managed to get his interest somehow and he seemed kind and genuine. He wouldn’t really tell me about what they’d talked about, but it was probably for the best. That girl looked as though she’d seen some shit, to be honest.
I didn’t mind sharing my play list with Mace even though I was a little embarrassed over my lame choice of music. He didn’t seem to mind, though. I did see kindness in his eyes, along with a bit of pity. I tried not to be bothered by this, but I didn’t like to think that I had to get used to this look from almost everyone.
“Nah, I’m sure they had a reason to pick you to come here.” His voice pulled me from my temporary misery.
“This form is close to useless.” I looked down.
“Miss, you are your own worst critic. You deserve to be happy.” Mace gave me his most convincing smile.
“W-Well…I’m glad you think so.” I was a little taken aback by his kindness.
I stared down at the ground again from my own nervousness. While I was doing so, I noticed something. I was able to move my toes slightly. I sat up, utterly surprised. This seemed to catch him off guard too, as he jumped when I moved.
“I can move my toes a bit.” I gestured to them and he seemed confused.
“Um, you weren’t able to before?”
“No, I’m paralyzed from the waist down. I hadn’t been able to move my legs or anything for months.”
“Oh, how did this happen to you?”
“I got into an accident where I was before.” I chose my words carefully. He might not like to hear about my other form.
“That’s awfully broad.” He laughed.
“It’s fine. I don’t expect you to trust me.”
“Not a lot of people would tolerate me if they knew what happened to me in that other dimension.”
“I’m sure it’s not that bad. You’re still here, aren’t you?”
“Yes, it seems so.”
“We all have our reasons to come here, don’t forget yours, yeah?”
“Alright. Thank you, Mace. I’m glad to have a friend here. It was starting to feel awfully lonely.”
He seemed unsure for a moment before hugging me gently. I got tense, but returned his gesture. I noticed that he held on a bit longer than what I was okay with, but I couldn’t really blame him. I pulled away and gave him a smile anyway.
“If you ever wanna talk, I’m here for you, alright? Hopefully, we can see each other around on campus sometime.”
It seems I made a friend somehow. In the past, I’d never bothered with it. I couldn’t afford to be as independent anymore, though. His companionship was helping to ease my stress. We shared small chat during the rest of the way there. I hoped that the others here were as kind as him. I’d been accepted to this place, made a friend, and saw signs of my injuries healing. I also hoped that today would continue to be positive.