The Mind-Mover

Standard

Mind-Mover

Jovialis  (jovanidine beta-fumarate, 10mg, 20mg, and 50 mg tablets)

“Stop teeking and start living!”

Manufacturer: Biopharmix International

Indications: For the prevention of telekinesis (TK) and symptoms of TK.  Use only as directed by a physician or other medical professional.  Do not miss doses or medication may not have expected effect.  If symptoms persist or return, please contact your doctor immediately.

Contraindications: Do not use in combination with neuronal enhancement drugs or select apoptosis inhibitors.  Do not use if pregnant or breast-feeding.  Not intended for individuals under the age of 12.

Side effects may include depression, dementia, nausea, muscle weakness, memory loss, or temporary loss of sight in one or both eyes.

*****

My dad is a mind-mover.  He can move things with his mind. 

The first time I really dared myself to say it—at least in my head—I was ten.  I had finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  The little things I’d noticed all my life, stuff that someone could say was in my imagination.  A plate of bacon sliding across the table by itself.  A jam jar floating in mid-air for a few seconds.  A feeling like pressure or pulling whenever something like that happened.

Since I could remember, Mom and Dad made me do all these daily meditations to learn how to stay calm and keep cool under pressure and exercises to turn bad emotions to something good, like a painting.  After Lily was born, they started teaching her the same things, even when she was a baby.  I knew a few kids whose parents did the same kind of stuff.  I found out that it was because one of the parents had TK and they were afraid they had passed it on to their kids.

It was weird that Mom and Dad never talked about it, at least in front of me and Lily.  I thought maybe they were waiting till we were old enough.  Sometimes I thought maybe I really was imagining it.  So I went looking for the medicine that Dad should have been taking if he had TK.

The medicine was to stop people who were mind-movers (most people called them “teekers,” but I didn’t like that) from moving stuff with their minds.  It wasn’t always good people who had TK, sometimes it was bad guys.  And sometimes people moved stuff when they were sleeping.  I know that’s serious, but I still couldn’t understand why people acted like mind-movers were sick and that TK was a disease.  Every time I’ve been sick, like with the flu, I’ve felt terrible and helpless.  People with TK weren’t helpless.  I decided that if I got TK and started moving stuff, I wouldn’t tell.  I would hide it.  And I would only use it when I really needed to, like to save someone.

Mom and Dad were strict about keeping their medicines locked up.  But I saw the bottle a few times.  And I looked it up and it looked the same as the TK medicine.  Jovialis.

***

When I was eleven, Dad said he wanted to talk to me one day.  And I got excited and nervous, because I thought he was going to talk about TK.  He was real nervous too, which was weird, because Dad was usually so calm.  But then he started talking about nature and how animals need to reproduce and humans do too, and he explained where babies came from.  I wasn’t grossed out.  I like science.  Anyway, I had looked up all that stuff years ago, when mom was pregnant with Lily.  I was disappointed.  Dad seemed so relieved when he was done talking.  He asked me if I had any questions.

That was my chance.  I was going to ask right out, “Dad, do you have TK?”  But I chickened out.  I shook my head.  Dad seemed even more relieved.  He said we’d talk again about girls when I got a little older.  Girls?  I could figure them out by myself.  I wanted to know about TK.  But I missed my chance.  And then Dad said we deserved some pizza and ice cream, just the two of us.

I had another chance when we were in our booth at the Pizza Palace.  This time I took it.

“Dad, it would be so cool to move things with your mind, wouldn’t it?  Like those people with TK.”

Dad looked at me like he was worried that I was sick.  “Telekinesis is a disease, Jace.  Why would you want a disease?”

“No, it’s not.  It’s cool.  You could do things that no one could do—well, except other people like you.”

“People have gone to the endoplanets, created amazing masterpieces, built structures so huge you can’t see all of it at once, and structures so small that you have to look through a nanoscope to visualize them.  Now those are special abilities.  Telekinesis is not.”  Dad ripped a pepperoni from my slice and popped it in his mouth.

“You could fly, Dad!  You could lift yourself up.”

Suddenly, he smiled.  “Were you paying attention when we had our talk earlier?  Or were you thinking about flying?”

I looked down at my plate.

Dad laughed.  “I could tell you were nervous.  I thought…well I thought wrong, I guess.”  Then he sighed.  “Jason, TK is serious business.  You know people could go to jail or worse, if they stop taking their Jove.”

“Not everyone has to take it.  Cops and soldiers get to keep their TK.”

Dad’s eyes got real wide then.  “That’s because they have monitoring chips implanted in their skulls.  Would you want a government chip in your head?”

I shrugged.

“Why are you thinking about TK?”  He looked at me like he was looking into me.  “Has something happened?”

It felt like I would be calling Dad a liar if I told him that I knew he had TK, but here was another chance.  I had to take it.

“Do you…?”  I looked up at him.  “Do you have it, Dad?”

Dad had been holding his breath.  He breathed in.  He didn’t answer my question.

“Are you worried that you might have it?” he asked.

I sighed and slumped my shoulders.  “No, I’m not that lucky.”

***

A few days later, something happened that made me wonder if I was that lucky.  I was in my room.  I was trying again.  I’d tried for the past five years.  I knew that if I had TK, it would probably not start until I was in my teens or even older.  That’s how it was for most people.  I never did find out how old Dad was when he got it.  I forgot to ask.  I sat on the floor and stared at the school book lying in front of me.  I thought about trying to move it.  The exercises and meditation that my parents taught me kicked in and I felt calm.  I thought about my dad and imagined him in my mind telling me to focus, to push all my scattered thoughts away.  I reached out with my mind, and I remembered that feeling that I always got when I felt Dad move things.  That pressure or pulling.  I felt it in my mind and I jumped.  It felt…slippery.  Holding onto it was like trying to hold on to memories from a dream.  I had to concentrate and push aside all other thoughts.  I reached out to the book and pictured it rising in the air.

And the book rose in the air.

I was so surprised that I reached out to the book with my hand and my focus and the pressure slipped away.  The book dropped down.  I stared at the book.  It had really happened.  I knew it had.  I would prove it.  This time, I put another book on top of the first one.  I focused on the books.  The pressure, the pulling, it was going everywhere, but I directed it, reached with it, toward the books.  I focused the feeling of pressure, and I moved the books.

Telekinesis.  I had it.  Dad had given it to me.

I kept adding more and more books until it was a pile that was too heavy for me to carry with my arms.  I got it a few inches off the ground before the pressure slipped away and the pile of books came crashing down.  I laughed, but then I heard someone coming up the stairs.

Dad poked his head into my room.

“Jason?  I came to see if you were okay in here.  Thought I heard something.”  He looked at the pile of books on the floor.

***

I didn’t tell my parents.  I would eventually, but just like how they had waited to tell me about stuff, I was waiting.  I wanted to show them what I could do.  I wanted to show them that I could control it, that I didn’t need any medicine.

Dad was right, TK was serious.  It wasn’t a disease.  But it was a responsibility.  It was my responsibility.

I worried about moving stuff in my sleep, so I kept up the meditations that Dad taught me.  I was lucky I didn’t share a room with Lily.  Mom and Dad made us share almost everything, but we’d never had to share a room.  I started locking my door at night, just in case.  Not everyone with TK moved things in their sleep.  I guess scientists and doctors found out that the TK part of the brain was supposed to go to sleep when the person goes to sleep, or even if a person just closes their eyes.  People with TK had to be able to see what they were moving and where they were moving it to.  But some blind people who had TK could move things.  And just like how some people walk in their sleep, some people moved stuff in their sleep.  And people have gotten hurt in accidents where sleeping people mind-moved.

So I was careful and I worked hard.  I practiced where no one could see me.  I made sure I stayed calm no matter what happened and if I got angry or sad or felt like I might lose control, I went as far away from people as I could.  I kept my grades up at school so Mom and Dad wouldn’t wonder if something was going on.

But Dad still seemed suspicious.  He didn’t ask, but he kept checking on me.  I feel like maybe he was trying to catch me doing it.  But at the same time, he didn’t want to catch me doing it.

A year and a half passed, and I turned thirteen.  I kept getting stronger.  Then one day, I used that strength.

***

I was sitting near the hospital’s admitting desk, watching Lily closely.  I jumped every time she moved.  She was sleeping for now.  The nurses didn’t give us a room because we were two kids by ourselves and they had to watch us, but they brought out a whole bunch of blankets and a bed so that Lily would have a soft and warm place to sleep.  And when I wasn’t watching Lily, I was watching the nurse behind the desk.  One of them had called my aunt, I think.  My aunt was on her way.  But she lived far.  I think she had to come on a train.  And it was raining.

I moved the car.  It was my fault.  I moved the car. 

Lily moaned and her left hand came out of the blanket enough for me to see the cartoony bandage on it.  It was the biggest bandage on her.  Her face had some scratches, but the nurses only cleaned them and said she’d be okay.  They told her she was brave.  And they told me I was brave.  I guess I had some scratches too.

I asked them when we could see our mom and dad.  They told me that they would let me know.  The nurse who talked to me smiled and looked at me and waited until she thought I was paying attention before she started talking to me.  She told me that Mom and Dad were badly hurt.  They had some burns and broken bones.  But they had to examine them closely and do a lot of tests to make sure that they weren’t hurt even more badly inside, internally.  My mom was awake and she was saying she wanted to see us.  But Dad hadn’t woken up yet.

***

I tried not to but I fell asleep.  When I woke up, I didn’t know where I was or what day it was.  The clock on the wall said it was an hour later.  I looked for Lily and she wasn’t in her chair, but before I could even start to think about panicking, I heard her voice.  I followed it.  I saw her sitting on a chair beside Mom.  Mom was in a wheelchair.  Her entire right leg was in a cast, and it was propped up with a support on the wheelchair.  She was wearing a hospital gown and a cap on her head that covered all her hair.  She had bandages on her left arm and some on her neck and face.  I think she was burned underneath.  And she had cuts and bruises.   She was telling Lily to be careful, but she didn’t have to.  Lily was treating Mom like a flower petal.

I thought I had been calm.  But I was really just numb.  So I could look after Lily.  But now, Mom looked over at me.  She tried to smile, then winced, then shook her head and looked at me and shrugged.  She tried to roll toward me, but she couldn’t really move her left arm.  I stood and I went to her.

It was me, I thought at her.  I started shaking.  I couldn’t stop myself when I looked at Mom.  “It was me!”  In my mind, I had screamed it, but with my voice, it came out like a whisper.

Mom shushed me.  She reached out and I didn’t want to hurt her any more, but I leaned down and let her hug me.

“I’m okay mostly,” she said, “now that they’ve patched me up.  They’re just waiting on some scans, so they let me come down and see you.  Your father is still in surgery.  They don’t know how much longer.”  She looked worried and small.

“You should be resting,” I said.  I was so much taller than her when she was sitting in that chair.

She frowned at me.  “Speak for yourself.  It’s been several hours, honey.  Have you been staying awake to watch your sister?”

“Mom…”  I felt tears forming in my eyes.  I blinked them away.  People cried in hospitals.  But I didn’t have time to cry.  “I have to tell you.”

Mom’s face went blank.  She waved her hand down to tell me to sit down.

“Whatever it is, you can tell me later, honey.  I came down here to bring you up to my room.  There’s a big couch in there.  You need sleep.”

I nodded and moved behind her so I could push her wheelchair.  The nurse who brought her down let me.

I leaned down and said in Mom’s ear.  “I have to tell you what I did.”

***

It was raining, so it was hard to see.  Dad wasn’t going fast at all.  He was being careful.  I remember that.  I was in the back passenger seat behind Mom.  Lily was sitting behind Dad in her car seat.  The road we were on had some potholes and there was a ridge to the side.  Even though there was a little railing to stop cars from falling over, Dad was still going slowly.   There was a car coming toward us from the other side of the road.  The car started moving into our lane.  Dad said something about the driver being “asleep at the wheel.”  He was kind of joking.  He probably thought the driver would move back again.  But the car kept coming toward us.  I saw Dad tense up.

I couldn’t see the other car, only its headlights.  I knew what I could do.  I tried to see it.  I couldn’t.  I didn’t have time.  If I couldn’t see if, I couldn’t move it.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had to do something.  So I moved us.  I moved our car.   I could just see the inside, but it was enough.  I had lifted stuff with my TK that I could never lift with my arms, and probably would never be able to even if I grew as tall as Dad and worked out every day.  I reached out with my mind, I felt the pressure and I moved the car to the right, but the headlights were still coming, and I moved the car more and more, and I panicked, and I couldn’t get calm.  I couldn’t control it, the car was going too far.  There was no more road left.  And I tried to stop the car, but I’d lost my grip.  And we hit the railing, but it didn’t stop us.  The right side windows cracked.  The car started tipping to the right.

The car rolled over the railing and down the slope and over and over.  It crashed at the bottom.  I wasn’t in it.  I saw it.  Lily and I were lying on the ground under the road.  The ground was slanted.  So even though I was lying on it, I could see the car.  It wasn’t like in the movies.  There was no fire.  Mom and Dad didn’t kick open the doors and crawl out.  Men and women came down the ridge.  A few found us and more went to our car.  I just held onto Lily the whole time.  I wouldn’t let anyone separate us, except when the paramedic said he needed to check her.

***

They told Mom that Dad was in the recovery room and that he was really sleepy but we could see him for a few minutes.  They had warned us about his arm.  But I still almost threw up when I saw it.  His left arm was gone from the elbow down.

Mom and Lily went to him.  I stayed by the door.  He glanced over at me, and I just left.  I left the room and I found a chair and sat down.  It felt like there was a huge bubble in my chest that was getting bigger.  I could hardly breathe.  I closed my eyes and I didn’t want to, but I thought of Dad.  And I tried to breathe more slowly.  And I took a breath and pictured Dad putting his hand on my shoulder and telling me to calm down.

We stayed in Mom’s room that night.  The doctor said they would put Dad in something called a post-operation chamber.  It was supposed to speed up healing.  Lily asked Mom why she wasn’t going into a chamber.  Mom said it was only for more serious cases and she wasn’t as hurt as Dad had been.

I didn’t talk to Dad the next day.  He nodded to me.  His face was too swollen to make any expressions.  Mom, Lily, and I all stayed in the hospital for a week.  My aunt took care of all the regular stuff for us, like food and clothes.  She drove when it was time to take Dad home.  Both Mom and Dad were in wheelchairs and I felt so sick to my stomach.  Lily wanted to push Dad’s wheelchair, and the nurse let her help.  I was worried about the sun being on some of his and Mom’s burns.

Dad stood up when the car came.  He took a deep breath.  I had to look up at him again.  I hadn’t done that in forever it seemed.  But it had been less than two weeks.  I felt just a little better.  Not enough though.

“Nice day to go home, huh Jace?” he said.  I was afraid he would say something like, “at least it’s not raining.”  But he just looked at me and smiled through his bruises.

When we got home, I asked Mom if I could help Dad up the stairs to their room.  My aunt wanted to help too, but Mom said she needed help in the kitchen.  She made such a big deal about it that my aunt, who’s great and we love her but she butts in too much sometimes, finally gave in.  And Mom asked Lily to help her too.  And with her hands on her wheels, Mom gave me a little nod.

***

I pulled the sheets aside.  “Here Dad.”

Dad frowned at the bed.  “I’ve been lying around for a week.  I’m a little too medicated and tired to take a stroll, but I think I can handle the recliner, don’t you?”

I smiled and pulled his recliner close to the bed, so that it would face the plasma screen.  I looked around for the remote control while Dad carefully settled into the recliner.  He was going to get a prosthetic for his arm sometime.  But for now, he had it wrapped up and he had to be careful with it.  I watched him try to figure out where to put his arm with the look on his face like he was just trying to figure out how to balance a bunch of snacks in his chair while he got ready for some baseball game or something.  It cracked something inside me.

“Dad, I’m sorry.”  I was shocked.  Tears just appeared and gushed down my face.  Dad looked at me with his eyes all wide.  “It was my fault you got hurt.”  I hadn’t cried like this since I was a little kid.  I always thought that kind of crying would stop once I turned thirteen.  I was wrong, like I was wrong about so many important things.  I wiped my nose with my sleeve.  I was breathing hard.

Dad reached out to me.  Even his good arm was still cut and bruised.  He still had bandages and stitches on his face.  He was smiling at me.  I went to him.   He waved his hand in a sign for me to kneel down.  I did and we were face to face now.

“I moved the car, Dad.  I have TK, just like you.  I knew you couldn’t move the car.  You haven’t moved anything in a few years.  You’ve been real good about taking your Jove.  I lost control.  I tried to save us all.  But I couldn’t.”

Dad stopped smiling.  His fingers gripped my shoulder tighter.

“I let go of you,” I said.  “You and Mom.”

“So you could hold on to your sister instead.”  He raised his hand and put it on my shoulder.  “It was well done, Jason.”

***

When I’d lost my grip on the car, I switched and tried to hold the only thing I could see, my family.  I held Mom and Dad and Lily and myself as still as I could as the car started tipping.  But it was too much.  Too heavy, too many.  I couldn’t hold us all.  I was too panicked.  My mind was too scattered.  I couldn’t move anything unless I focused.  The car was all the way on its side when I decided what I would do.  The door beside Lily was facing the sky.  So I reached to it and pushed and the door came off and it flew away, I don’t know where.  I focused on the seatbelts all over Lily and me and ripped them off.  Lily was getting scratched from the breaking glass everywhere.  I couldn’t stop all of it from hitting her.  I reached for her.  I reached with my arms and with my mind.  And I lifted us out through the door.  Toward the sky, I reached.  I looked down so I could see the ground and move toward it.  I saw our car tip over and start tumbling.

And Mom and Dad were still inside.

***

Dad put his arm around me and squeezed me.  “Oh son, you did the right thing.  Mom will heal.  And I only lost an arm.  If I lost any of you…”

“But I almost lost you, both of you.”  What if I had?  What would I have told Lily?

I shook my head.  I stopped crying now.  I was done.  But I still couldn’t catch my breath.  “You were braking, Dad.  It wasn’t going to be a bad accident, was it?  Maybe just the cars getting banged up.  Maybe we would all be okay.  Mom’s leg.  Your arm.”

“Jason, calm down.”  Dad pointed the first two fingers of his hand to his eyes.  He wanted me to focus on him.

I looked at him, eye to eye.  “Dad, you should give me some Jove right now.  Let’s put me on Jove.”

“Breathe.  Breathe slowly, deeply.”  He put his hand on my shoulder again.  I imagined waves of peace coming from his hand.  But it wasn’t working.

“I can’t wait any longer,” Dad said.  “I can’t let you carry all the blame and guilt for an honest decision that might have saved all our lives.”  Dad hadn’t looked like he was in pain the whole time I saw him in the hospital, but now he looked tortured.

“You’re already upset,” he said.  “And this will make you more upset.  It will make you angry.  But I’m trusting you to be better than me, even though you’re thirteen and I worry about your emotions going crazy now more than ever.  Your mother and I have been lying to you, hiding something from you all your life.  We’ve done a dangerous thing.  We’ve broken the law.  Worse, we put our family in danger.  We did.”

I sniffed.  My face felt tight from the dried tears.

“I don’t have TK, Jace,” Dad said.  “I never have.  It’s just you.  You’re the mind-mover.”

I rubbed my eye.

Dad smiled.  “You have been since before you were born.”

I was a mind-mover?  Before I was born?

“We were waiting to tell you, until you were old enough for Jove.  And now you are, and we’ve just been putting it off.  And we can’t put it off anymore, can we?”  He swallowed and took a deep breath.  “Your mom was the first to notice.  Things were moving around her.  At first, she thought she might be doing it.  Sometimes things happen when a woman gets pregnant.  There are so many changes to her body.  We’d never heard of it before, but she got scared, and she told me.  And I got scared.  Pregnant women can’t take Jovialis.  So if we reported it to her doctor, she would have to be monitored until she gave birth.  But then we realized that it might be you who was moving things.  Babies can’t take Jovialis either.  It’s not safe for them.  So when a doctor thinks that a baby might have TK, they take the baby away.  The baby has to be in a special place where someone is always watching to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or hurt someone else.  And without Jove, they would.”  He stopped and looked at me.  I know he wanted to know if I understood what he was saying.  I did.  And I didn’t.

“Families are allowed to visit as much as they want.  But without Jove, the baby, the child, has to be raised in a controlled environment, until it’s safe for him to take the medication and go back home.”

And I did understand.

I looked at the room I was in.  I wouldn’t have known it.  If I had been taken away as a baby, I wouldn’t know the squeaky stairs that Lily and I had learned to navigate around so we could sneak down to the kitchen for late night snacks.  If I had been taken away, I wouldn’t have known the rug that I always tripped over in the upstairs bathroom.  If I had been taken away, I wouldn’t have known Mom’s cookies or chestnut stuffing straight out of the oven.  Or Dad’s barbecued burgers.  I would have never had my room in my house.

I would never have known Lily.

Or Mom.  Or Dad.

They would never have known me.  Even if they visited every day.

“We didn’t do anything for a couple of days,” Dad said.  “We just talked to each other and tried to figure out what to do.  We decided not to report your TK until you were old enough for Jove, so you could have a life with your family.  We would hide it.  Then when it was time, we would tell you first then report it as if you just started manifesting it.”

They hid my TK.  Even from me.

“Stress sometimes causes TK to manifest in people who are predisposed,” Dad said.  “Your mother was pregnant.  I had just started a new job at the time.  It would make sense for me to report that I had TK.  We knew we would have incidents.  People would think it was me, forgetting my Jove or needing a higher dosage.”

“But…don’t they check to see if you really have it?”

“Telekinesis?  No, son.  It’s a funny thing.  They made a drug that can block it.  But they don’t have any way to detect it.  Jove doesn’t hurt people who don’t have TK, other than hurting their wallets that is.  So they prescribed me the Jove and I started taking it.  But faking TK wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was figuring out how to hide your not-so-fake TK, especially before you learned to speak and understand speech.  You’re strong, Jason.  Even when you were just two, you were lifting things with your mind that a two-year-old would not be able to lift with just his arms and legs.  We had to figure out a way to get you to control it and not do it.  We had to train you.  Your mom found out what the institutions did to train these babies and kids who were born with TK.  But all of that would only work after you were born.  When you were still inside you mom, there was only one thing that we could think of to do.”

Dad smiled a little.  “I don’t have TK,” he said, “but I do have something.”  He took a deep breath in, then out.   “I’ve always been able to calm people down, help them feel soothed.  I didn’t know it was anything special at first.  Not everyone is good at calming people down.  But I realized something else was going on.  I didn’t just know what people were feeling.  I felt what they were feeling.  I felt it with them, at the same time, but I was also outside of it, and I could help calm it.  Sadness, fear, anxiety.  I could be like a crutch, helping people bear their pain until they were strong and calm enough to bear it themselves.  I call it empathy.”

Empathy?  People thought there might be other conditions, other than TK.  The one that everyone was worried about was telepathy.  Reading minds seemed more likely and realistic than stuff like astral projection and shape-shifting.  I’d never heard of anyone reading emotions.

“We figured that if your mind was developed enough to move things, then it might be developed enough for me to reach you, feel what you were feeling when you moved things, and help calm you so you wouldn’t do it.”  He smiled.  His eyes were shining.  “It worked.  It really worked.  Before, you were such a kicker.  But after I started calming you, you didn’t kick as much either.  That was a nice surprise for your mom.”

Dad took a deep breath then.  “I can’t change people’s feelings.  But it was different with you.  Maybe it’s because you were so little.  Your emotions, I could calm them by myself without your help.  And I could feel what you were feeling even if you were far away.  With everyone else, I have to be in the same room.  I think I made a link between us.  An empathic link.”

Some kids thought their dads were dorks.  Some kids said they hated their dads.  I was one of the kids who looked up to my dad.  Every time I felt bad, I’d think about all my family, but the first person I thought of was Dad.  I thought about how I wanted to be strong like him, strong and tough and calm, so calm that no one and nothing could bug me.

“And I could feel if you were using your TK,” he said.  “I could reach out to you, help you get a hold of it and focus it.”

He had known all along, then, that I was practicing.

“You never needed Jove,” Dad said, “because I’m your Jove.”

I felt my eyes go wide.  And then I shook my head.  “That stuff blocks your mind from being able to move things.  You didn’t block me, Dad.  You just helped me keep it under control, even when I was sleeping.  Even if I was mad or upset.”  Even when I threw tantrums.

“So you’ve continued to get stronger and stronger,” Dad said.  “We should have known you would figure out that you had TK.  We just wanted you to be older.  I knew you’d hide it from us, just like you said you would.  We didn’t want to lose you and we didn’t want you to lose us.  I told your mother and we decided to just keep an eye on you.”

I thought I was hiding it from them.  All the time, they were hiding it from me.  And from everyone else.  I had lied to them.  They had lied to me.  I had hurt them.  I had protected them.  I was dizzy from everything Dad had just told me.  I should have written it down or something.  He was afraid of my feelings.  But I didn’t know what to feel, so I felt nothing.

“We chose to break the law,” Dad said.  “And we chose to lie to our own son.  We did that.  That is on us.”

“But I chose to hide my TK too.  To lie to you and Mom.  And I’m the one who moved the car.  And then it crashed and everyone but me got hurt, you got hurt so bad.  I did that.  That’s on me.”  I didn’t cry.  And my voice didn’t shake.  I heard myself.  I sounded calm.

“Fair enough, take the blame for what’s happened to your mother and me,” Dad said.  “But if you’re going to do that, take the credit for what you did for your sister.”

I swallowed a lump that I didn’t know had formed in my through.  I could save people.  And I could hurt them.

“I’m not a mind-reader,” Dad said, “but I know what you would have done if you could have.  I know you only left that car with your sister because you had to see where you were moving her.  I know you would have stayed in the car with your mom and me and tried to hold us as far away from that spinning hunk of metal as you could.  I felt your fear, through my own.  I should have been calming you.  So that you could focus.  I failed.  I was filled with my own fear.”

I was confused now.  I had done both at the same time, then.  I had saved people.  And I had hurt them.

“You have a decision to make now, Jason,” Dad said.  “Think about it carefully.  Everything will change either way, so make the decision that you think is best.  Once you declare yourself, you can’t undo it.  You can’t go back into hiding.  But if you do declare yourself, you won’t ever have to hide, and you won’t have to bear the burdens of this…ability.”

“I flew, Dad,” I said.  “Well, I leapt really far up.  I moved a car.  Two years ago, I would have thought that was so cool.  Even now, I should be proud.  I was going to show you and Mom, prove to you that telekinesis wasn’t bad, especially if a good person used it, a good person who had control.  I…I don’t know what to do now.”  I had asked Dad for Jove.  I didn’t want to take it.  But I would if it was for the best.

Telekinesis was a part of me.  How could I keep it without breaking the law?  Mom and Dad told me that kids were supposed to be better than their parents, better people.  I was supposed to be a better person.

“You have to figure it out,” Dad said.  He could probably feel me struggling.  “It’s time for your mom and dad to step aside.  We made our decisions about your life.  It’s time for you to make yours.”

Should I choose to hide and always be afraid?  Or choose to obey the law and lose a part of myself?  I was glad my parents had broken the law, glad they kept me, but it was wrong what they did, because it was dangerous.  Even with Dad’s empathy, they took a huge risk.  And they had to always be on guard, against me and against the law.  But once I declared I had TK, I would be started on Jove.  I would never be a mind-mover again.

Was there a way to balance the two, and chose both?

“Whatever you decide,” Dad said, “we will all support you.”

My dad said he was empathic and that meant he could sense everyone else’s feelings.  But I was the one who could tell what he was feeling then.  And I could tell what choice he hoped I would make.

And I was sorry I had to disappoint him.

***

Six Months Later

I was scared.  Not because Mom, Dad, and Lily weren’t there.  As much as I loved them, it was a little exciting to be away from them.  To be on my own and find out what I was made of.  I was scared because everyone looked bigger than me.  Except maybe one or two guys.

A man in a light blue lab coat was walking toward me.  He had a data pad in his hand.  Other men and women in blue lab coats were walking toward the other recruits.

“Welcome to the Farthest Star,” the man said.  “That’s what we call this place because we’re so damn far from everything.”  He smiled and stuck out his free hand.  “I’m Doctor Hiddles.  I’ll be your doctor and your handler—during training at least.”

I put out my hand and floated my name token forward, just like my recruiter told me to do.

“My name is Jason,” I said.

I’m a mind-mover.  I can move things with my mind. 

Copyright © 2013 by Nila L. Patel.

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