Gifted Chronicle Excerpt


“I think you’ve been waiting for me.” The stranger said plopping down beside me so forcefully that the bench almost transformed into a catapult.   

“What?” I replied, confused and fumbling to catch the book that I was now officially juggling.

“I’m Fate.” he said flashing a smile.

I wasn’t sure if that was a punchline or an introduction, but either way I offered no response as I was fairly certain he had mistaken me for someone else.

“It’s true beautiful.  I’m the one you’re looking for,” he said cutting his dark eyes to the now steadied, black leather book on my lap.    

“Required reading from my mother,” I awkwardly felt the need to explain as I slide my forearm over the embossed letters hoping he didn’t see the title.

He couldn’t have been more right.  I had been waiting for fate to step in for a long time. 

***

The door snapped shut behind me interrupting my romantic instant replay.  Everything I owned was now trailing behind me in a rolling suitcase.

I was officially shut off from my old life.  But I couldn’t help but wonder if leaving my mother’s house was the right thing to do.

My mother had given up her campaign for control of my life much easier than anticipated.  Perhaps her work with the Institution distracted her.  Or maybe it just meant more to her.  Either way, I wished things were different between us.  But to her people like me were “shattered”.  And to gifteds the Institutions mission ripped family’s apart and shattered lives.  Either way there were casualties.  And this time it was me.

I turned to soak in one last look at my old prison wishing the door would fling open and the person on the other side was willing to love me just for who I was.  But that didn’t happen.  And for some reason I still couldn’t move forward.  I was stuck between my past and my future.

I could hear slow steady footsteps coming up behind me. 
 “Ready?”   Fate asked gently taking my bags and pressing his forehead against mine.

Just being near him put me at ease; He was intoxicating.  My life had changed the day he declared I had been waiting for him.  And he was once again stepping in to rescue me from the confines of the world ruled by the “Guide to Righteousness”.  

His confident smile and warm eyes made me look forward to the future, our future.  And just like that I walked away from the past and put my life in his hands.

My steps echoed on the concrete path that led from the house all the way to the street where the black Malibu was waiting.

Mila was tucked into the back seat as if she were hiding from everything the house stood for, or maybe just my mother.  A fear of both was understandable since she had flown under the radar of the drones of the “Guide to Righteousness” so far.  And as Gram would say “you shouldn’t play with fire when you’re standing in a puddle of gasoline.”

Fate loaded my bags into the trunk as I slid into the front seat.  I was barely in the car before it dawned on me that I was just minutes away from my mother’s grasp and plans for my life.  But instead of relief, I felt like the weight of the world was pressing on me.  It was more than a little unnerving. 

“Family is what you make of it.” Mila said placing her hand on my shoulder.

I rested my hand on top of hers, wondering if her gift had revealed my anxiety or if I was just horrible at masking it. 

The car rocked slightly as Fate jerked the door open and plopped into the driver’s seat.

“Let’s go live.” He said cranking the care and peeling out of park.

“Geesh Fate!” Mila called as she tried to steady herself in the backseat.

“Sorry Sis.  It’s the adrenaline of the rescue,” He explained, locking eyes with her in the rear view mirror. “You’ll understand when you start doing pick-up’s.” he added.

“Me, rescuing,” she snorted, “Not likely!”

Their banter was an entertaining reminder that we were three peas in a pod.  Fate was the boisterous rebel; Mila was at the opposite end of the spectrum, just cautiously trying to figure out who she was; and me, well, I was somewhere in between. 

We had a long drive ahead of us, but that would give me time to wrap my head around my new normal.   After all, I was leaving one world for another.