Freaks Like Me
Our instructor guided us to a house not too far from the gate. It was in that brick colonial style, I didn’t think much of it, but the others seemed quite impressed. They all went in and I trailed at the back of the group. First thing however, I removed my shoes, shoes are evil.
The entrance was one long corridor with a staircase leading up, people split up and I decided to explore, see what was where. Aside from the kitchen’s equipment, the house felt a little lacking… The others didn’t see it that way however…
I saw people congregate around a corkboard in the kitchen and waited for them to leave before checking it out myself. Front and center was rooming assignment. There I was, room four with Drew Anders. I’d never had a roommate before, I couldn’t help a smile at the thought, but also felt that squiggly-wiggly feeling in my guts.
This was all so new, nothing was familiar here.
I grabbed the bags I’d left by the door and went upstairs, eight rooms were spread out each with a number on the door. There was also a bathroom and a second living room. Door number four however was already open. Inside I could feel someone, their enthusiasm and excitement was like a beacon in the dark.
I walked closer, “H- Hello? Is there someone here?” I asked. A few more steps and I saw there was a girl in the room, she was black, she looked pretty; she had brightly painted lips and long tight curls. She was unpacking her bags into the captain bed dresser and the nearby wardrobe.
She froze at my words, then turned around. “Hey! I’m Drew. You must be must be my roommate.”
I nodded. Wait, I had to answer that, didn’t I?
“Oh! Right, um, I’m Avery,” I said, that was good, I didn’t forget to introduce myself… I needed to say something else, something to keep the conversation going. “Are you excited to start learning? I am. It’s gonna be so cool!” My knee started bouncing, the excitement in the house was getting to me.
“I am too!” Drew answered. “I already have pretty good control over my abilities, but there’s so much more to learn. Do you have powers?”
“Y- Yeah.” I nodded again and put words together in my head, hopefully a coherent sentence would come out. “They’re not very cool, though. Nothing that can help in fighting, except maybe the telepathy. I can’t forget much, though. That’s fun most of the time.” That was bad, I was rambling. “What are your powers like?”
“That’s really cool! I’m pyrokinetic, which means I can manipulate fire and that kind of thing.” Drew turned to a candle that she must have set on the dresser before, flicked her fingers toward it and the wick caught on fire. The melting wax let out scented oils, which smelled of coco and amber, it was gentle but it tickled my nose and eyes.
“Woah!” I muttered “That’s really neat. But, um, would you mind if the candle wasn’t going? Smells give me headaches sometimes, and it gets worse when I’m nervous.” I tried to smile, make sure she knew I wasn’t mad, but had to rub my eyes, they already stung.
“Oh! I’m so sorry!” Drew quickly put the lid on the candle and snuffed it. “Do you need a window open?”
I shook my head. “No thanks. I’ll be fine.” I said, there was a pause as I thought of words to say. “Thanks for agreeing, though. Maybe tomorrow we can try again. The smell is nice, for the record.” My smile stopped being forced, it was rare to have people go along with my sensitivities. I put my bags on the bed, my shoes at its foot and sat down. There was a second of silence. “I like your hair, by the way.”
That made her crack a slight smile, her brain signals switched from excitement and curiosity to being flattered.
“Oh, thank you. Yours is rather pretty too.” She said.
“Oh, thank you.” I didn’t like my hair, I’d had it dyed blue but when mom had seen it, she’d had dragged me back to the salon to be turned blonde again. Blue wasn’t a ‘proper’ color she said. Drew was looking at me, I’d gone quiet, so I shared my thoughts. “I need to dye it again. I don’t like it being blonde. What colour do you think would be nice?”
I flopped down on the bed and massaged my temple, my head was starting to buzz, this was a lot of talking…
“I don’t know,” Drew said, going back to unpacking, “Purple would look pretty cool.”
“Purple is definitely a good one.” I said, I’d done it temporarily with kool-aid before, mom hadn’t been too mad about that. “I’ve done it a few times, though. Maybe I’ll do a dark purple this time.”
She nodded and finished packing.
“Do you want to explore a little before I start unpacking? I don’t feel like doing that right now.” I offered.
“Yeah, sure! Sounds fun.” Drew said, she bent down and put on some high heeled boots.
“Can you actually walk in heels?” I asked, “I would fall on my face. Not good, not good at all.” I jumped off my bed, forgoing my shoes
“Yeah, I’ve had a lot of practice though.” She said with a laugh.
“That makes sense, I think. I do not like heels so I don’t get practice.” I answered, opening the door, holding it for Drew.
“Where to?” She asked.
I spun around, looking at everything, there wasn’t much upstairs. “I’m not sure what there is, really. Maybe we should start downstairs?”
“Sure.” Drew answered with a smile.