Part III: Hated
As our tour guide showed us around the place, I did my best to completely ignore Mace and keep a good distance from him. Thankfully our guide didn’t decide to show us the whole damn school. The academy and its walled grounds was the size of a small village. We ended up at a brick house which apparently was ours to share.
It didn’t take long for people to discover that pizza had been left for us on the counter, which was a godsend for me. While jail gave me extra portions of food on doctor’s order, it was such slop that I’d always struggled to get it down. So even after several months I still had a skeletal frame. Once the initial rush was over with, I approached the boxes and felt around with my hand, trying to find a slice.
Food was kind of an odd thing for my power; I could feel it, being so close to living things and containing so much liquids that it was giving an unclear fuzzy picture in my mind’s eye. Once I got a piece, I shoved it into my mouth. It was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten in my fucking life, even though it had bell peppers and mushroom on it; two things I absolutely despised… After Jail, I was happy to eat anything that didn’t come from a can or a package.
The others started to mingle and look for their roommates but I stayed at the counter, just taking the quiet moment. Nobody knew me, they didn’t hate me yet. Better enjoy it while it lasted…
I was eating my third slice when something came up and sat next to me. I turned around and faced… it, whatever it was… I sure as hell had no idea. Its head was orange with black bits and neon blue bits. And it was small, probably no taller than four and a half feet. It was probably an alien or maybe one of those freakish mutants, but I had no clue really.
“Hello.” It said, its voice slightly squeaky and excited. “I’m Ahti Tkara. We’re roommates!”
“Jaime.” I answered.
There was a moment of awkward silence as we just looked at each other until Ahti said we should examine our room. I didn’t protest and followed it upstairs. With my powers I cased the room; beds, desks, bedside tables and closets; two of each. Ahti practically jumped onto a bed so I took the other one, emptying out my duffel and examining everything. Just like Columbia had said, my stuff was there. Even the knives.
I looked back at Ahti who now seemingly slept. Their body laid down on their bed and they let out a whistling snore.
I took out my knives; a half dozen of them. They were more like leaf-shaped blades really. They weren’t meant to be wielded in my hands, but rather with my power. I was surprised they’d let me have them back after everything I’d done… I quickly changed and put on the hidden knife sheets harness I’d gotten underneath my clothes. Having it back was a weight off my chest, I didn’t like being unarmed. I couldn’t stand being vulnerable anymore… I put my shirt back on and then I went downstairs to get something to drink and heard the others talking about Movies.
“That sounds fun.” One of them, a girl, said. “Wait, has anyone seen Ahti? They’re the Itharii.” At least that That cleared up the question of what Ahti was.
“It fell asleep the moment it touched the bed.” I answered trying to be helpful.
“They!” Something said with a growling snarl. It was big, all black and hunched over. It approached me and my hand went to my knife.
“Uh?” Was all I managed to answered.
“Don’t call Ahti an ‘it’.” The creature said, letting out another enraged snarl.
I was about to defend myself, infusing my knives with telekinetic power before the thing jumped me, but then I noticed the blurry silhouette of a half dozen other people. It was one against, what eight people? I didn’t have enough knives to handle all of them and that was if none of them were resilient… And there wasn’t anything to make a barrier with close by. If I tried anything, they’d dogpile me. I didn’t like my chances so I let go of my power. Dark and snarly wasn’t worth it.
“Fine.” I said, giving a them shrug. “Whatever.”
I threw my hands up in the air and just walked toward the exit door. I walked for a moment before I sat down at the foot of a tree. Barely an hour into this hellish place and I’d already made enemies. This thing wasn’t going to work, I wasn’t meant for this place. This place seemed nice enough and the others, the way they had talked, they seemed so happy and dedicated. All because they were so full of hope for their futures…
The thought only made me fume. I dug my nail into my palm. I wanted to scream at the unfairness. I wouldn’t live to see them live up to their glory, not with the way I wasn’t doing so well with treatment. Damn that bitch Columbia… Putting me on the right path? More like tease me with everything I’d be missing on… What a sick joke.
“Why am I so fucking jealous and angry?” I muttered to myself. “This is bullshit…”
I didn’t have time to brood anymore that someone came toward me. I felt his clothing with my powers and recognized them. He was one of those in my class. I didn’t know his name though.
“Hey, are you okay?” The guy asked, his voice carrying that stereotypical posh British accent.
“Leave me alone…”
“Are you actually trying to alienate everyone?” He asked, or maybe it was just a rhetorical question. Oddly enough he didn’t actually seem mad…
“Why does it matter?”
“Well, if you’re going to be part of a team, you might want to be nice to people you’re with.”
“Why bother? They already hate me.” I said with a shrug. “Everyone always just end up hating me.” I then muttered.
It was true, didn’t matter if I tried to be nice or not, I always did or said the wrong thing and they’d end up hating me and treating me like absolute shit. It’s how it had always gone with everyone I’d ever met… Except Mace, he was the only one who wouldn’t just give up already… He just couldn’t stand the thought of not being able to fix me.
“Well, for people whom you’ve supposedly offended they seem to have gotten over it quickly, they’re watching a movie.”
“I… they…” I mumbled. Did they really just move on?
“It’s bloody cold and windy out here, you should go back inside.”
He was right. I hadn’t exactly taken the time to put a coat on the way I’d stormed out, but I’d been too distracted by my fuming to notice. The guy offered me a hand, which I only noticed because I felt his wrist tech-thingy move. I hesitated, I didn’t want to touch him, but getting up was still painful even after all this time… In the end I caved in, took his hand and got up, struggling to repress my instinct and jerk away.
“I better go.” I muttered.
“Alright, go ahead.” He said casually. “Oh free tip; Ahti the orange alien, Rowan the big snarly thing and Allison the black person mostly likely go by singular they They. Just remember that and you might have a chance. If anyone confront you just say you’re sorry and you made a mistake.”
Damn it, why was he so helpful? Did he want something? The only people who were nice to me were always because they expected something in return…
“Thanks… I guess…” I took a few steps back toward the house only to hear him yell over my shoulder.
“I’m Sanjay by the way!”
I went back into the house, expecting a lynch mob but nothing happened. Everyone was bunched together on and around the couch watching a movie. They barely noticed as I went past them and to my new room.