The Re-Beginning

The Re-Beginning

A Chapter by Nite Spectre


Chapter 1

October 29, 2012

The orange fluorescent light of the streetlamps filtered in through the closed shutters of Ethan Halloway’s bedroom window. It spilled across rumpled sheets and violently discarded pillows. Ethan sat in bed, his arms shaking as they supported him. His chest heaved as he began to calm from the nightmare that had been his constant companion since his twin brother’s untimely death. Ethan wiped the dripping sweat from his face before throwing what little of his sheets that still that remained on the bed to the floor. He sat on the edge of the bed, giving his body time to wake up, before standing and catching sight of his reflection in his dresser mirror. His haggard face was a thin mask of worry, pain and fatigue. Taking deep breaths, he rearranged his features into their usual bland expression. He peered at the clock by his bedside: 4:30 am, it glared in its bright red numbers. He shook his head wearily and released a resigned sigh, but picked up his shirt and gloves from their place on the floor before heading to the backyard.

His backyard was nothing special, half was covered in vegetation, roses and flowers mostly with grass for a cover; and the other was concrete holding the various odds and ends of workout equipment that he had managed to acquire from various garage sales. He put on his shirt before tape wrapping his hands and putting the fingerless weighted gloves on. He closed his eyes and slowly began the breathing control exercises he had learned. Inhale deeply for seven seconds, hold the breath for a five count, and exhale for a seven count. His body began to move almost by itself as it moved into the familiar patterns and rhythms of the Silat martial arts dance. Punch, parry, kick, block, spin; the movements flowed together as one while Ethan moved from one level of the dance to the next, each level progressively harder and more demanding then the last. His conscious thoughts wandered; as they were wont to do when he exercised. They eventually focused on the reason for his distress; the nightmare. His body jerked and almost missed a vital step as he replayed the scenes over again in his head:

Ethan’s brother, Eric, calling Ethan’s name over and over again each time softer and softer as if it was an echo. Then, Ethan is sitting in his room as he pleaded with parents asking where his brother was and why he was hiding from him. Next, Ethan, so small yet standing so straight, as he stands in front of the altar to read his speech written in the halting words of a young child. Next, to Ethan standing in front of the grave in the first and only suit that he would ever wear as Ethan followed the casket to its final resting place beneath the earth. Now there is a glimpse of the flowers that he had left every year since that hateful day; the day that he had come to realize that faith, in a higher being or otherwise, would never turn back time, that Death would not give up something that it had taken. It was that day that he lost his ability and need for connect with other human beings; the need for companionship. From that day he became a loner; withdrawn into himself, out of touch with the rest of the world. He simply existed, neither needing nor wanting to become close to people; the fear of once again losing someone so close to great of an obstacle to overcome.

Ethan slowed his movements down until they halted at the final position before wiping the free flowing tears from his eyes and leaning back against the stucco wall of his home; with his muscles twitching and spasming as they slowly uncoiled from exertions of the forms. He shook the sweat from his bangs and watched as the steam from his workout slowly drifted up from his body into the gray blotchy sky. It had taken a long time and a lot of counseling for him to begin to shed his shell of indifference. He still held himself away from others; but he had relearned how to interact with society and now he kept almost everything hidden from the general view of his peers. Ethan shook his head and grimaced at the cold rain as it began to the mist the ground with the bass rumble of the thunder playing counterpart to the brilliant dance of the lightning. He jerked himself off the wall and walked back into the house, closing the door securely behind him as he went. He walked back towards his bedroom, avoiding the tables dotting the hallway almost by instinct. He paused at the door to his room and looked over at his sister Nicole’s room and saw her standing in the doorway.

"I’m fine; I just couldn’t sleep.” he said to her unvoiced question trying to put as much energy as he could into the words. He turned to his own doorway but stopped as she placed a firm hand in the crook his elbow. His head drooped as he turned reluctantly to face her. He looked into her eyes and tried to keep his features as blank as he could, though he knew it to be an exercise in futility. He dropped his eyes again into the face of her bland examination. Nicole, who was three years his senior and his adoptive sister in actuality was a good head shorter then he at his 5’ 11". She had known him since his adoption, as his parents had given him to the foster system shortly after the death of his twin brother. She looked so like her mother as she stood looking up at him in the flickering light of the frequent lightning strikes. "You know that just because you have a bachelor’s degree in psychology doesn’t mean that you can just play the quack whenever you want.” he said pessimistically as she continued to watch him.

She smirked crookedly and replied quite coolly, "What it does mean is that I can at least help you sleep better if you would tell me what was wrong." His grunt of irritation did nothing to deter her, if anything it solidified her belief that something was indeed wrong. "Is it that damned dream again?” she asked gently, knowing how touchy Ethan was about that subject. The dream had been a constant source of concern to Nicole and her parents and was secretly one of the greatest reasons that she had become a psychologist. She had watch, even as a little girl as Ethan lived in constant terror of the reoccurring nightmare. She had used to climb into his bed to comfort him when they were both still small because of how lost and lonely he seemed to be as he twisted and cried his way through the night.

The stiffening of the muscles in his arm gave his lie away as he denied it with a small shake of his head. She lifted his head and peered into his dark forest green eyes. His eyes were something of a fascination to Nicole; they seemed to changed colors depending on the mood that he was in. From the placid lake green of humor, to the brilliant green of anger green of humor, and then to a deep forest green of strong emotion; she knew all the colors and what they meant and never wanted to see the latter two ever turned on her. She continued to watch the boy that she had grown up with for a decade; waiting for him to start speaking on his own.

"It has been at its worst lately,” he finally admitted darkly as he leaned back against the polished wood surface of the hallway. "Every night I go to sleep and I see it happen; again and again.” he paused here, clearing his throat struggling to hold back the tears. “Each time I swear I can…feel …him die over and over again. Every time I feel the connection between us snap and it leaves me feeling…hollow,” he choked out brokenly, his face twisted by anguish, the tears falling freely. It took him a moment as he cleared his throat, and forced his emotions back together. "You would think that I would have gotten used to it by now.” he grunted out disdainfully with a sniff as he wiped the tears from his eyes.

SMACK!

The sharp report of the slap’s contact echoed briefly in the wooden hallway. Nicole, with hand still upraised, stood just before the slightly shocked eighteen year old and stared at him; shaking with in anger. "Don’t ever speak like that around me again, not ever. No one should get used to having a loved one die; especially when they were as close as I imagine you two most definitely were. No one is going to think any less of you for mourning your dead brother; nor does it make you any less of a man. In fact, it shows that you are a man; a man that cares enough to show it. A man that is willing to show that he doesn’t care about what people think; as long as he is doing what is right. Mourning your family is the right thing to do", she explained as gently yet as forcefully as she could. He nodded sullenly, knowing she was right but simultaneously wishing that she wasn’t. He watched as she returned to her room and shut the door closing off his view of her. He reached up and rubbed the spot where she had slapped him. Working his jaw slightly, he continued a bit farther down the hall to his bedroom.

He entered and looked around the room, now occasionally lit by the still flashing lightning. He gathered his towel and shaving kit along with his other toiletries, and walked to the bathroom. Entering, he closed the door before flipping on the lights; the brightness was enough to water his already tear reddened eyes. He stripped down to the skin, throwing his sweat laden garments into the hamper before looking into the full body mirror that hung from the back of the bathroom door. He supposed that he looked much like his father, the little that he remembered of him. He was tall with brown almost black hair, with the not-so-quite broad shoulders, and a slim, wiry muscled body. He grimaced to himself as his fingers traced along ragged scar that ran above his heart. Even after six years, the scar was still as raw looking as the day he got it. He slowly ran his finger over the ridge that had formed from the badly sewn incision. Trust a doctor to screw you up even worse, Ethan thought to himself rather wickedly as he pulled the curtains aside and turned the cold water on.

He got into the shower, letting the cold water send shivers down his body as he went through his showering routine. He turned off the shower and toweled himself dry as best he could with his shivering hands. He shaved and brushed his teeth before going back to his room and closing the thick wooden door and turning on the lights. He walked over to his radio and put on his favorite rock channel before putting his clothes on and toweling his hair dry. Grabbing his assorted gear of necessaries he checked the time before turning off the radio and heading into the kitchen. He started as his father stepped out just as he was walking in. "Morning, Ethan. Going to school already? Its still early", his father commented sipping at the coffee cup in his hands.

"Yeah", Ethan simply stated with a quick nod. His father looked at him awhile longer before shrugging and moving off down the hall apparently back to the master bedroom. Ethan shook his head, and got himself a cup of coffee in a disposable cup before leaving the house and locking it on the way out. He looked up at the gray sky, sipping at the coffee. He heard the distant buzz of an airplane’s turbojet engine before it was masked by the rumble of the thunder.

He stepped out into the rain and walked to his car. Its already midnight black chassis and red lining had suited him fine when they bought it from its previous owner. Of course in the years before Ethan had his license, he had spent hours and a good deal of his hard earned money fixing it up. He had installed a turbo charger, a completely new stereo system, dropped a rebuilt engine into it, added a security system, and replaced all its old parts. He ran his hand over its hood, the rain water streaming off the inclined shape. He smiled and put his hand on the door handle and waited for the car’s affirming beep before pulling the door open and climbing in. He put the coffee cup in a holder before putting in the key. He turned the key to on, but the engine didn’t start, only the battery. He reached over to the stereo system and punched in a series of numbers and the engine, with a dignified purr, came to life. He shifted into reverse and pulled out of the driveway before turning his lights on and illuminating the light fog that covered the road.

Shifting into gear, Ethan made his way on to Trenton Blvd before taking the closest freeway entrance towards his school. He easily slipped into the relatively light freeway traffic and got up to speed; weaving in and out of the slower traffic. His mind wandered to the day ahead as the sun slowly crawled its way up the mountain ridges; its morning warmth dispelling the surviving remnants of the fog that the rain had caused during its brief downpour. His half an hour long commute brought him up to his school early; leaving him far more then enough to time to say hello to all of his friends before the bell for the first period rang. He pulled into the still mostly deserted parking lot narrowly avoiding one of several animals that hung around the school.

He turned off the car and set the alarm before climbing out, grabbing his backpack from the backseat, and locking the car. He looked down as a soft body rubbed up against his pant leg; Black-Paw the cat, one of the few animals that were not necessarily allowed on campus but tolerated, was staring up at him with liquid innocent eyes purring quietly. He chuckled to himself as he picked up the cat, "You‘re friendly today, my furry friend." The cat merely purred louder at the obvious complimenting tone in his voice. Ethan scratched the feline idly as he made his way toward the cafeteria, the usual hang out for his particular group of friends. Setting Paw on the ground outside the doors, he walked inside and found a table near on of the edges of the room. He sat heavily in the cheap plastic chair and surveyed the other occupants of the room, before putting his headphones in and turning the volume up to near max. He leaned back his feet kicked up on the table, letting the music flood his head with its guitars, drums and throbbing bass.

With his attention turned to his music, he failed to notice a group of his friends enter the cafeteria unusually crowded together. They approached him slowly and carefully, not wanting to alert him. Even if Ethan had been paying attention, he wouldn’t have remarked on the medium-sized cake that sat in Christopher’s arms with its candles lit. Christopher Greene, a heavy set boy that was really more muscle then fat, set the cake down in the middle of the table, and looked at Sebastian Malone before shrugging nonchalantly slapping Ethan on his right shoulder. Ethan didn’t even twitch; not even when the process was repeated growing more forceful each time. Chris looked to the third person and shook his head helplessly. Jessica Meers merely shook her head smirking at the other boys’ antics. "I think you should look at which side you’re poking" she murmured quietly, biting down on the trickle of laughter that threatened to escape. Chris walked around behind Ethan’s still oblivious form and positioned himself behind the seat. His head fell resignedly as he realized that he had been slapping Ethan’s numb shoulder; Chris shook his head shamefaced and took a seat looking embarrassed. Jessica looked to Sebastian and got the "You go right on ahead" gesture from the long-haired rocker as he copied Chris’s decision to sit. Jessica did the easiest thing that only a woman could do to a straight man; she sat down heavily in his lap electing a grunt from the startled daydreamer.

Ethan cracked his eyes open and stared, trying to decipher dream from reality. Jessica continued to sit in his lap looking down at him an expression of pure innocence masking her delight. Shaking his head, he pulled his earphones out and looked around spying Chris and Sebastian in the process. He cleared his throat thickly and asked as smoothly as he could "What’s up?" It was Jessica’s turn to look disgruntled; she shook her head and simply leaned back and let the cake come into view. Ethan gazed at the white frosted cake a puzzled expression on his face. "I should probably know this, but who’s birthday is it?” he queried with a looked of bemusement on his face. Both Chris and Sebastian immediately fell over laughing and got a withering look from both Ethan and Jessica, for completely different reasons for their trouble. They both straightened and resumed their seats, but suppressed laughter still escaped their tightly pressed lips. "Who do you know that was born on October 31st?” Jessica asked a little irked that he would have the nerve to try to play off his own birthday. Ethan’s face took on a thoughtful expression as he tried to remember all the birthdays that he knew. All three of the others, Jessica, Chris, and Sebastian, saw the dawning look of comprehension that stole across Ethan’s features. "Oh", he said simply as the others burst into laughter. She shook her head and climbed off his lap and took one of the remaining seats. “I wonder about you sometimes Ethan. You're so…vacant... nowadays”, she expressed pointedly. Ethan merely shrugged and looked away as he straightened in his seat as the rest of the group came walking up from the bus drop off area. By the time everyone had gotten a piece of cake the story had been told to everyone eliciting fresh laughter with each retelling. Ethan took their friendly jibs in stride and laughed with the rest. The bell rang shortly after they had finished eating the majority of the cake and everyone walked to class talking and smiling with the help of all of the sugar in their bodies.

Ethan, Sebastian, and Chris normally walked with each other to either first class of the day but today they were joined by Jessica much to their curiosity. Chris and Sebastian were talking animatedly about the next HallowCert, a big rock concert that was going on that evening, with occasional comments from an attentive Jessica. Ethan, meanwhile as per his normal routine, stayed back and watched his friends; keeping his own comments to himself. He particularly watch Jessica, as it was hardly a little known fact that he liked her, at least among his male friends.

He tried a number of times to figure out what it was that attracted he to her but, for the life of him, the reason eluded him. She wasn’t the most beautiful girl in school yet she had a natural charm that appealed to him although she was indeed far from being considered ugly; there was also the fact that she was highly intelligent and far more mature then her years gave her. He guessed that it was her intellect that drew him to her, but he knew that it wasn’t the only thing. Her intelligence and maturity added to the fact that she could hold a meaningful conversation with the best of people probably had little to do with it either.

They reached the classroom just before the bell rang and all three boys were surprised by the class transfer slip that she pulled from her binder and handed to the teacher. Mr. Alanzo looked at the white form before shrugging airily and waving her toward the seats. Ethan and his friends, sitting in the back of the room in the last row, were shortly joined by her as she chose the desk immediately in front of Ethan. Sebastian, sitting behind Ethan, shrugged his shoulders at the older boy’s questioning look. Ethan leaned out and looked at Chris only to receive the same simple answer, a shrug of the shoulders. Mystified, Ethan turned back around, his curiosity pinged, but he held his question as Mr. Alanzo stood up in front of the class and waited for silence to fall.

Mr. Alanzo cleared his throat dramatically, “I have your quarter test grades back, and according to the deal we made…” he paused here and shrugged his shoulders with a ‘What can you do’ expression on his face as he let the silence grow and lengthen. The whole class watched in silent attention, as they were used to the teacher’s flare for the dramatic. “Everyone passed with at least a C”, he stated finally and the whole class erupted in cheers and yells causing him to shield his ears at the noise. Ethan smiled broadly; while the test had been relatively easy, it had been really long and very redundant. He turned in his seat when Chris’s hand landed on his left shoulder. He clapped the outstretched hands and shook hands with both boys before turning back around to catch Jessica looking at him. “What is going on?” she asked amazed at how loud it had gotten. “Mr. Alanzo made a deal with us that if everyone passed with at least a C on the quarter test then he wouldn’t give homework the next quarter”, he replied happily, as he thought about the amount of free time he would have with no Calculus homework. She looked at him askance; her gray eyes curious, “Why would he do that? He could get in quite a bit of trouble for just not giving you homework because you all passed. I mean I’m not complaining but still it’s a little weird.”

I don’t care why he did it; I just know that he did”, he returned sourly at her lack of enthusiasm. “Just wait until he starts giving us homework again. You’ll understand plenty well why everyone is so happy.” Jessica stuck her tongue out at him and turned around in her seat; reddening as he laughed at the childish gesture. Mr. Alanzo settled the class and taught the lesson until the bell rang interrupting him in mid-sentence. Ethan stood up slinging his bag across his shoulders before joining his waiting friends outside the classroom. The three boys had the same first two periods while Jessica wouldn’t see any of them until lunch; which was after fourth.

Jessica gave them all a quick hug before hurrying off to her next class with Ethan’s eyes following her until she disappeared up the stairwell. Chris cleared his voice and chuckled when Ethan jumped, his complexion darkening slightly as blood flooded his cheeks. “What? A guy can look”, he said sheepishly a small grin on his face. Sebastian punched his good arm as they walked the opposite direction, “Will you quit ‘looking’ and just ask her out already? I mean she hasn’t had a boyfriend for awhile; at least since that idiot dumped her right after homecoming.” Chris nodded in agreement, “He’s right, you know. You really should ask her out. You two would be good for each other, I mean as far as I can tell she feels the same way you do. Just man up and do it already; we’re sick of waiting for you to do it.” Ethan laughed as he walked, “Both of you guys know that I would, but I’m not going to; for obvious reasons”, he said with a twisted smirk on his face. Chris and Sebastian looked at each other around the other boy before punching him at the same time from opposite sides. Ethan yelped and rubbed his left arm where Sebastian had smashed his fist into it. “Your both lucky that I only half felt that”, he grumbled sourly as he rubbed his arm. “Stop talking like that or we’ll do it again, but both on the left arm this time.” Chris growled to Ethan as they entered the computer lab. Ethan grimaced but kept quiet as they took their seats at the computers. Mrs. Tamara just waved them to their seats as she held her head in her hands and groaned. Ethan nudged Sebastian and jerked his head in her direction. “Busy night last night Mrs. Tamara?” he asked grinning. “No, not last night, I was home all day yesterday either in bed or in the restroom.” Ethan chuckled, “That’s what they made chasers for remember?” “Just do your work and quit being a prick”, she groaned back, irritated and not caring that she just called a student a prick. Ethan shook his head with a weary air but did as he was told with a smile on his face.

He stared at the program that he had been working on for quite sometime; it was supposed to solve a Sudoku puzzle but the computer would always freeze up when it was told to do it without any user input. “You know that you will never be able to get that thing to work right?” Sebastian said from his seat behind Ethan. “Yeah, but seeing as I have finished all the work that we are supposed to do for this whole semester; I thought I might as well do something constructive with my time”, he replied jokingly. “How is wasting your time using it constructively? I always thought that when you did something constructive, it meant that you were actually getting something done; which implies that you’re doing something of use to or for someone or something”, Chris interjected back snidely from his seat farther down the row. Sebastian snorted and nodded sagely, “Just let him do what he wants; you never know: he may solve it and win the Nobel Prize or something." Ethan chuckled, “Yeah right; that is about as likely hell freezing over. There is no way that I am that smart.” Chris shrugged, “You never know. You might very well be the next Isaac Newton; all you need is a bump on the head.” “Put that paper down Sebastian”, Ethan called over his shoulder as the sound of crackling paper reached his ears. Sebastian quiet curse of disappointment made Ethan smile as he continued to stare at the lines of code as he scrolled them across his monitor. The rest of the class passed in near silence as each person concentrated on their own work. They all jumped as the bell rang sounding off the end of second period. Ethan gathered his backpack and logged off the computer before waving a good bye over his shoulder as he moved off to his third.

He reached the classroom just as the tardy bell rang; sliding through the closing door just in time. He took his seat as the teacher began the lecture and promptly put his head down and fell asleep. His government class was his second to last class of the day and it was also his most boring. Dr. Fredick, a Russian immigrant that yet to fully lose the heavy accent, drone on which lolled Ethan into a light slumber. He stayed that way until someone prodded him in the shoulder waking him from his stupor. Ethan heard the teacher grumbling under his breath about stupid kids always sleeping in his class and couldn’t help but reply in a barely less spiteful tone, “Well if you didn’t drone on like a broken lawn mower and put some feeling into your voice then maybe some of us would stay awake long enough to learn something.” Dr. Fredick coughed violently, “You understood me? You never said that you spoke Russian.” Ethan looked at him curiously, his face showing that he doubt the teachers sanity…a lot. “I don’t. You said that in English. I know about three words in Russian all of which are four letters.” Dr. Fredick looked at him askance before turning back to the class again grumbling under his breath; this time about lying teenagers. “I am not lying. I do not speak Russian. If I did then I would say so. I have no reason to lie to you, other then the fact that I’m really starting to doubt your sanity”, came back Ethan’s hot reply, his eyes darkening, as he tried to remain civil. One of his classmates, Steven, looked at him curiously; “If he was speaking English then why didn’t I understand him?” Ethan looked at the boy; his anger vanishing as more and more people nodded with their own agreement. “I don’t know maybe I just have really good hearing”, he replied sarcastically. Dr. Fredick looked at him and said “No one has that good of hearing; I mean I could barely hear myself.” “Well then you probably might need a hearing aid then don’t you?”, Ethan replied softly in a snide way, frustrated that everyone was agreeing with the teacher even though it was plainly obvious that he was the one in the right.

Dr. Fredick stared at him in a bemused way and said; “I want everyone who understood me before to get up.” Ethan jumped to his feet and watched as no one else followed his example. “You see; I spoke quite clearly yet only you and I understood what I said. Therefore I was indeed speaking in my native tongue, which also means that you at least understand Russian even if you don’t speak the language,” Dr. Fredick stated in a no nonsense tone. Ethan sat back down in his seat and tried to make sense of the situation but kept coming up with a blank. How could he know Russian? No one is his family was Russian; Irish maybe but certainly not Russian. Dr. Fredick looked at Ethan a while longer before returning to the lesson but with some added feeling this time. Ethan sat slumped in his seat dazed until the bell rang which sent him out the door even before it was finished ringing. He walked through the halls quickly merely nodding at the familiar faces he saw as he pushed through the throngs as he moved to his fourth period. He walked into the English class and silently took his seat and started at the class starter ignoring the other students as best he could.

The class period progressed slowly but without incident; until he got up to turn in his work. One of his classmates, Gloria, was stapling her papers together when another student tripped into her and sent her sprawling into Ethan. The stapler, which had popped open, landed on Ethan’s arm and sent a staple straight into the soft flesh of his underarm. Ethan didn’t even notice it until Gloria pointed it out. He ripped the offending sliver of metal out and sucked on the rather deep puncture wounds. The teacher, Ms. Gorman, examined his arm as his cheeks flushed from all the attention. “I’m alright, I didn’t even know it was there until she said something,” he said when she let him go. “Since when do you speak German,” Ms. Gorman asked curiously as she looked at him with a confused expression.

Ethan almost choked on his own spit at that comment. “I’m bilingual, my dad was born in Germany,” he lied hurriedly as he visible paled under the teacher’s scrutiny. Ms. Gorman looked at him, “Yeah, but how did you know I spoke it,” she returned smartly. “I heard to talking to yourself once”, he said hurriedly lying as best he could. She returned to her grading with one last look at his arm. Ethan sat back down and stared fixedly at the wall as he waited for the bell to ring the of start lunch.

The bell rang fifteen minutes later sending the students rushing for the door in order to beat the rest of the school to the lunch lines. Ethan followed them out as he walked slowly toward the lower grass-filled quad area of the school. He walked in a sort of stupor, his brain trying to make sense of today’s odd happenings. He reached his group’s grassy knoll and sat down with his back against the trunk of the maple tree that had grown up on the knoll’s crown like a king on a throne. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes tightly against the bright noon sun that was such a big contrast to that very morning’s rain storm. The smell of the still rain dampened grass gave Ethan little comfort as he fought his way through the mental storm of confusion that plagued his thoughts.

Ethan was so absorbed by his thoughts that he once again missed the approach of his friends as Jessica, Chris and Sebastian came up laughing. They sat down under the shade of the maple and began eating the various snacks that they had brought from home all the while casting curious looks toward Ethan as he continued to seem oblivious to their presence. Jessica, who was seated at Ethan’s left scooted closer and leaned against his shoulder. Ethan’s arm enveloped her shoulders almost automatically and she rested her head on his shoulder, while snacking on some chips. Ethan remained silent for a bit longer before he raised his head and looked at his friends, his green eyes dark in their severity. “Can I ask you guys something, and I’m being completely serious right now”, he asked his voice steady yet holding a sense of urgency within it. His friends immediately stopped what they were doing and focused on him; it was a rare thing indeed for Ethan to ask anything of them. “I want to pose a question to you. If you were to suddenly start understanding every language that you came across; what would you do?” All three of his friends looked at each other questioningly; the same question of ‘What is going on?’ written all over their faces. “It depends. Can I also speak it or do I just understand them,” Chris returned with just a touch of humor leaking into his voice. “Let’s just say that you can only understand them for now,” Ethan replied after a short pause. Sebastian laughed to himself softly from where he was sitting, “I would use it to find out what people are saying to me. I mean at this school, where over seventy percent of the population speaks a language other the English that particular ability would be of almost limitless use. Until they people realize that you know what there saying,” at this last the excitement seemed drastically decrease from his voice. Chris nodded his agreement, “Not to mention all the different type of jobs you could get. You could be a translator or something and get paid like six figures.”

Ethan smiled at his friend’s answers, yet he continued to say nothing as he settled his gaze steadily over Jessica, who was still leaning against him, while he waited for her response. She lifted her head off his shoulder and looked at him, “I would keep it to myself. I mean if the wrong people found out it could make life very…difficult,” she stated eloquently. Ethan nodded and leaned his head back against the tree. “That’s what I thought you would say,” he said quietly as he closed his eyes.

The end of lunch bell rang and Chris and Sebastian said good bye as they moved off to their next class. Ethan looked at Jessica and raised an eyebrow in a silent question. She handed him her class change slip before turning and lying down against his out-stretched legs. Ethan scanned the page before refolding it and slipping it into her backpack. His mind was still aflame with that day’s occurrences and needed a release of the building tension and stress. He gazed down at her serene face and couldn’t help but smile slightly at how comfortable she seemed to be. He ran a hand down her silky hair receiving a querying sort of groan from her. “You want to go somewhere for a bit before I have to come back and pick those two up,” he asked hesitantly unsure of how she would take the question; especially when it came from him. Her eyes slid open and gazed into his, sending an electric shock running down his spine.

What am I doing? Why do I like her so much? What chance do I have with her?’ These thoughts ran amuck through his mind in the few short moments that their eyes met. She nodded and sat up, grabbing her stuff from where they lay on the grass. She took Ethan’s offered hand as she stood up and brushed herself off. Ethan picked up his own bag and fell into step with her as they walked in silence to the parking lot. Ethan waited for his car’s beep before opening the passenger side door for Jessica as she climbed in. He made sure she was all in before closing the door with a soft thud. He got into the driver’s seat and entered the ignition code. The dignified purr of the engine received an approving sound from Jessica as it came to life. Ethan smiled at looked at her before shaking his head and pulling out on to the street with a rumble of the car's engine.



© 2010 Nite Spectre


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This was a particularly long chapter, but I suppose all introduction chapters seem to be. Overall, I found this to be very interesting. You're very descriptive, and you did a good job keeping it interesting.

Posted 6 Years Ago


That was indeed an interesting read. Enough drama, suspense and emotion to keep you glued to the entire chapter.
However the chapter seemed to me to be a bit long, don't you think so too? May be it would have been better if you could have shortened the chapter. The introductory chapters should always be a wee bit small- that is what I believe- to sustain the interest of the reader. Of course, that is my own opinion and feel free to neglect it.

I hope you will update it as soon as possible so that the others can read it and know what happens next.

Posted 10 Years Ago



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