Chapter 15: The Gift

Most people tend to think that the world we live in is dull, and lacks true power. We are conditioned to think that we are limited as humans in the things we can achieve. It was not always the case; time is a complicated structure, and in a way, what we see of it is only a fragment of its true potential. Our Earth was not always as it is now; there have been a time when Earth was much different, when people could do wonders and even go through the stream of time itself! But that world is no more. That world died with the return of the silence, and so much have been undone to give earth a chance to keep existing. Our world is the product of that undoing; a desperate attempt to conceal the upcoming doom, and the sealing of the symphony of time avoiding any mingling with the flow of things.

It is wrong to think that our world never knew anything out of the ordinary. Incredible things happen everywhere, in the less expected places and to the less expected people. One of those incredible events happened through the person of Simon Dice, a small and skinny little man born in a poor neighborhood of the suburbs of Los Angeles the 20th July 1950. Simon was not really the type of person that could shine anywhere. His physic has always been scarce, and he always gave the impression that he was about to fall from starvation. He was from Spanish lineage, but the only thing he got from that was a tanned skin and black eyes. As soon as he reached the age of 13, he started loosing his hair and decided to shave what was remaining of his brownish tangled hair. Simon had a respiratory condition that made any big effort a source of great pain and shortness of breath. He was also subject to epilepsy and had very strong convulsions if he forgot to take his pills on time. In a way, Simon was roughly treated by life. Most people avoided him, and the ones that acknowledged him never failed to remember him of how pitiful his condition was, and not in a sympathetic way. He was picked on all the time, and was the default scapegoat and punchbag of everybody. In a weird way, he tolerated harassment way more than disgust or complete ignorance as he felt that in some sort of way he belonged somewhere.

Simon’s life changed forever the 6th may 1968. It started as every Monday, a basic class day in the community college that he recently got enrolled in. For once, he didn’t really got that much made fun of. Something pleasant even happened. Sarah Grey, another freshman that was with him in the American Literature class came to talk to him. She was really pretty, way too pretty for him. For first, she was taller than him. She was blonde with very long hair, and deep blue eyes, the very image of the perfect women in the collective unconsciousness built up by years and years of stereotyping. She was the woman for whom any guy would have fall, and Simon was no exception.

” You are Simon, right? I am Sarah, Sarah Grey. We are both in American Literature with Mr. Hardy! I noticed that you are always on your own, but there is no reason for that! You should hang out with us sometime, we can discuss literature then and many other thing, what do you think?”

Simon was chocked, nobody before have ever talked like that to him. More than that, she wanted to see him more, was it possible that they could be friend, or dare he think, even more? He tried to reply:

“I… I would… love to…. But, why me?… And why now…?” He struggled to say.

“Well, life is short, and I tend to think that people can be way more interesting than they let think. So, I’ll see you tomorrow evening, 3.30 pm, let’s meet at the campus store, then we’ll see where to go from there!” She said with a beautiful smile.

Before Simon could say anything, she was already away. For the first time in his life, he had a date! He was ecstatic, it took him a little moment to process this new information. For once, Simon was truly happy.

As he was thinking that everything was great, Simon was pushed back to reality. Simon was on his way back when he passed a bunch of skinheads gathered around a poor Mexican boy and  hitting him while swearing racist slogans. Simon walked the other way, and tried to avoid eye contact with them. He thought he passed them without them noticing, but as soon as he walked few steps away, one of them screamed to the others:

“Hey! Another shit head from mexico! Get him!”

Simon started running, but he knew that he couldn’t hold much longer so he decided to go for the forest, thinking that they will lost his trail pretty quick. Simon was so carried away buy running, that he failed to see a whole in the ground cover with leafs and branches. As he walked on it, he felt in a deep cavern. He thought that the fall will never end. Like falling in a dream, everything was so slow, and for a very brief moment, light like he had never saw, then nothing, a total fade to black.

Simon woke up flooded with sweat, and his heart beating like crazy, he quickly reached for his inhaler to regain his breath. He felt a huge headache as he was getting back his calm. the last thing he could remember was him falling in that cavern, and he was suddenly there. He looked at the time, 6.30 pm, those things happened an hour ago. He couldn’t recall how he managed to get back to his dorm room and fall asleep. One thing was still bright in his memory, the vision of light. His roommate entered at that moment, as soon as he entered the room, Simon felt something strange, like an emotion that felt directly from the sky. A sort of deep sorrow accompanied by a huge shame. Simon also heard words. ‘ It was not a good idea to do that, I might love him, but I shouldn’t do those things. I will rot in hell for that. My god, why did I fall in love with Brad Garrison? What is wrong with me?’

“Hey dude, how was your day? Mine was amazing, I landed a major babe downtown. An amazing day I tell you.”

“What was that?”

“What was what? I just told you about my amazing day and that’s all you gotta say Simon! I shouldn’t have hoped for more from you you half witted imp!”

“What’s going on with Brad Garrison?” Simon asked to see if what he heard made any sense.

“Who is that Brad Garrison?”

Simon felt a new emotion, fear and panic. ‘Oh my god, he knows! what should I do? I should just keep on denying any knowledge about brad! Even if he knows anything, who is going to believe Simon, nobody cares about fucking Simon. He is just a worthless piece of shit and everybody knows that, even him.’

“Sorry, I need to take some air.” Simon said without waiting for an answer from his roommate.

Simon was in shock, he didn’t really understood what just happened. It was like his mind was invaded by the feelings and thoughts of his roommate. And how unexpected were those thoughts and feelings; he always saw his roommate as a basic bully, a senseless womanizer. How unexpected and how out of character were those thoughts. Simon didn’t really had anything against such things, he believed that everybody should be free to love whoever they want, but it never occurred to him that under that coat of roughness his roommate could be involved in such a relationship. Simon was still confused if those thoughts was even real, or just his mind going insane. Simon left the room, happy to see that the corridor was empty. He felt good to only hear his internal voice in his mind and his own emotions. Simon thought that he was over that weird happening, but as he was regaining his calm, he felt a similar emotional aggression way stronger this time; it was a mix of contradictory feelings, joy and sorrow, excitement and boredom, envy and hate. so much at once. Simon saw a group of people walking next to him, they were seven; three boys and four girls. as they approached, he started hearing voices.’…What should I do tomorrow…I wish he likes me, I don’t care if he’s engaged…I must throw the gun away as soon as possible…nobody should know about the money…’

Simon felt intense pain as they were approaching, everything was blurring in his mind, the emotions and voices didn’t make any sense anymore. It needed to stop, and it needed to stop quick. Simon pushed himself to ignore the pain, and started running, as he was fleeing from that group, he stumbled upon more people which lead to more blurry mind input. Finally he reached the outside where he managed to find a quite place where nobody would bother him. He took a moment to enjoy the silence in his mind before thinking about all that. He couldn’t deny the obvious anymore, not after all this pain, and all those words and feelings. He was able to feel others’ emotions and in a way read their mind, a sort of literal empathy. But what was the cause of that, he couldn’t really see what would have triggered such an ability. It took him a moment to link this new gift with his fall in the cavern, and the light he saw. Maybe that light changed something deep inside him, and made the minds and feelings of others accessible to him.

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