1

1. pARTY iNVITATIONS

I knew I was dreaming because for one reason I was falling from my third-story room to the ground below that was getting closer. "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear…" the voice in my head sang. Out of all the things to be happening when you were about to plummet to the ground from a three story house, a voice was talking to me in my head. But the weird thing was, as I was listening to this song, the name they placed in it was not my own. It was not Heather or a name I had ever been called before. It was someone else's. But it did have something right about it. It was really my Birthday. And my Death-day.

I woke with a start and not just because I was about a foot from the ground, but because Alexandra was being all loud about trying to wake me up.

"Heather Ashley Staten, wake up this instant!" Alexandra yelled at me.

"Fine!" I groaned. I could tell what she was thinking. Not just because she was easy to read, but because I've always had the ability to hear what people were thinking since I was a little girl. It bugged my mother so much. She's not actually my mother since I was a foster child. She and Duston had taken me in when I was five years old and now I was fourteen, starting my freshmen year at Harrisburg high school. We teenagers had another name for freshmen, fresh meat; this was not going to be my favorite year.

I lived in the town of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with my adoptive parents and little sister. The town was usually sunny with its normal fall of rainy days. It was a fairly large town.

"Then why don't you just take me back!" I yelled at her. I couldn't blame her for wanting to put me back in a foster home. I wasn't very pretty or popular for that matter. I didn't have very good grades, and I could hear people's thoughts. Wow that's sure to help my reputation. Not! I'm "5, 6" and I have reddish, blonde hair, not something you see everyday, and size ten in shoes. I also have pale skin considering how much I love the sun. Wow, I really was a fish out of water. The only thing that was pretty about me was my eyes; they were a shade of green you never saw, almost more stunning than emeralds them self.

"Heather you know I hate it when you do that." She said apologetically. She couldn't always control what she was thinking about. "Please sweetie, you know we love you, and I would never do that."

"Then why'd you think it?" I challenged.

"Get dressed and come downstairs." She said as she walked out of my room. She was cussing in her head, and I was pretty sure she wasn't trying to hide it.

I got up, went to my closet and chose my favorite baby blue tee and faded jeans. I straightened my hair and brushed my teeth.

I was doing my normal slow-poke thing when Lizzy (Elizabeth) my favorite little sister (and only) ran into me. She was starting fifth grade today and was so excited that her thoughts were so jumbled up that I started to get a headache.

"Are you ok?" Lizzy asked looking curious.

"Yeah I'm fine." I lied. The truth was I hadn't been feeling all that good lately.

"Girls come downstairs or you'll be late on your first day!" Alexandra yelled.

"Come on!" Lizzy complained pulling me down the stairs. I didn't want to tell her that you couldn't be late on your first day of school.

"Ok I'll come." I played. I loved my sister. We were all we had left of our parents. Well each other and our necklaces. They were a gold chain and at the end they had a star pendent.

When we were downstairs, we grabbed our bags and went to the bus stop.

"Bye Lizzy, have a great first day!" I said as my little sister got on the bus. I waited for awhile and finally my bus was coming.

When I got on the bus I sat by my best friend Victoria, with her dirty blond straight hair she was easy to notice. Not many people in Harrisburg surprisingly were dirty blond. They were either bleach blond or a brunette.

"So are you excited about the new school year?" she asked ecstatic. Victoria had her own ways of looking at things.

"Um…no." I mumbled.

"Ok….are you excited about your birthday next week?" She tried again.

I just nodded. It was actually quite hard to conceal my excitement. This year was the year I was finally going to tell everyone I was Heather Staten, the daughter of Duston Staten and who will inherit the business once she was old enough. I was actually quite good at hiding it. This whole time I just said it was a coincidence. This year I was having a huge party at my house, well actually mansion since Duston owned the Staten hotels all over the country. So I was going to invite the whole school this year.

"It's going to be awesome!" Victoria said with so much energy that the bus driver turned around and yelled at us.

School was terrible till lunch. When I got to the cafeteria, Victoria signaled me over to a table with the hired help and boxes upon boxes of my invitations. In those boxes were blue cell phones with the invitation programmed into them. I was trying so hard not to hear what people were thinking until I got to this one table. I stopped dead.

There at the end of the table was a god. He had wavy brown hair and eyes a shade of blue as deep as the sea. Victoria noticing my gaze said, "That's Bryan Lightenburg. He's captain of the tenth grade football team."

That stopped me. "Foot….ball…team?" I stammered.

"Yeah." She said. Great I thought, a guy who is as hot as a god and plays the one sport known to man, that I had no clue how to play. I didn't even know the first rule. I heard a cackling laugh and looked beside him to see a flash of red hair, and the hateful person who it was connected to. Rena.

She hated me because in second grade I slipped with a jar of blue paint in my hands and it fell on her. It took two days to get it out of her curly mass of red hair, now stick straight. She had made my life living hell ever since, she'd gone as far as sticking a love note in my locker, supposedly from my seventh grade crush, asking if I wanted to go out with him. It told me to go up to him to answer his question. Of course I figured it out before I did anything stupid. But she still tries. She was sitting right next to Bryan, occasionally putting her hand on his shoulder, making me want to experiment to see if it took as long to get gum out as blue paint. I know, childish thinking but I knew for a fact that she'd still be humiliated.

As I was thinking this he looked up at me.

"Hey Heather, can I have an invitation?" He yelled at me across the roar of the cafeteria.

"Huh...Oh yeah there's one for everyone." I said dumbly.

I gave one to everyone. When I got to him, Rena gave me a look that said 'back off', of course being me I only had to read her mind. As I took one out of the box, He touched my hand and I realized three things at once:

One: I learned I can hear people's thoughts better when I come in contact with them.

Two: He really did not want to be captain of the football team or for that matter play.

Three: He was dead.

"He's dead but alive." Is all I could think about as I lay staring at the stars and glitter on my dark blue ceiling. I thought back to when he touched me. As I was reading his mind it was like…like he was and had been reading my mind. He was frantically grabbing at words as I read his mind he thought "I hate football and was forced to be captain and don't be scared I'm dead but still alive. Also I can teach you many things, just tell me when you're ready." Then he grabbed the invitation and said thanks, his gaze never leaving mine since I had gotten to the table. Then I ran away and left Victoria and the help to give out the rest of the invites.

So here I was laying on my king size bed that I had always wanted, in my room I've always dreamt of, and yet I was missing something….something important.

I was lost in a train of thought when Lizzy came in.

"What's the matter? I could feel your energy all the way in my room, and who's Bryan." My little sister has powers too, more than I do. She could hear thoughts and listen to feelings was the way she described it. She was very intelligent….to me, everyone else not so much.

She wasn't even eleven she was actually thirteen. She came to the foster home after I did. I had already been adopted, so when she got there she was four, they thought by her size she was two. When I was younger Duston had always noticed how depressed I was after I had a bad dream. He would pick me up and set me on his knee and ask what happened. Even though it was eight years ago I still remembered the dream. I would start in a house that I had never seen but looked familiar. I would hear someone cooing a child. I walked down a brightly lit hallway to a room. Inside would be a child about three, a women and a man. There was a crib in the corner where the adults would be. I would go and look in the bed. In there was a tiny baby, probably one year old. Then the mother and father would turn around and I would look in their eyes and see terror, just pure terror. I looked around them to see a man in a dark jacket, with a scar across his face from his left eyebrow to the right side of his mouth. The two parents would start yelling at the oldest girl to grab her little sister and get out. But as soon as the little girl grabbed the younger one, the man stole the child from her grasp, she turned around to go back but her parents were still yelling at her to go. She turned around and sprinted out the door. As I stared at the door I noticed something else, the mother had gotten the baby back and was running to the door but the man had jumped in front of her. Then I heard a crash, I looked at the man. The husband had just taken a punch at him. That was just enough time for the mother and her baby to run out the door. As I looked out the window I heard another crash. I looked down, there on the floor was the father blood rushing from his head. Then the man took something out of his pocket and stabbed the husband in the heart.

The man would then look up at me and threaten, "You're next little girl!" That's when I would start screaming and was woken up by Duston, Alexandra, or a nanny. Alexandra said the depression was from all the TV I watched, but Duston wondered if it could be fixed with a playmate. Of course I happily replied "Yes!" with all my heart. When I was seven, we went to the adoption service and when I came in I saw her, a girl who resembled the younger baby in the bed sleeping. I told Duston, but he said "Are you sure you want her, she looks as if she's been mistreated?" I told him no she was my sister and he looked almost petrified. He asked the manager at the home if we could run a test to see if the little girl and I were related. The owner said she highly doubted we were, but when the test came in it said she and I were related. I was so happy that Alexandra and Duston had to sign the papers. They hadn't seen me that happy in along time.

I was lost in a memory when I felt something tugging on my shirt.

"So?" Lizzy asked again.

"Ok, I've just been fretting over this guy, that's all" I was trying not to think about what happened today it was really hard to keep a secret from each other.

"And?" She said looking like she just cracked a code on a master computer, not saying she hasn't.

"Dang" I thought to myself only or least I think I did. She was reading my mind again.

"And…he is dead," "But alive." I added. "He says he can help me," "But I don't know with what." I said remembering back to earlier that day.

"Did you read his mind" She asked intrigued by what I had just told her.

"Yes, that's where I got this information. But…." I stopped

"But?" She asked.

"But as I was reading his mind, he was reading mine." I looked at her. She looked away I had never seen this look before, confused.

Just then the intercom rang; startling us both, saying dinner was ready.

"We'll talk about it later. Right now let's go eat. My stomachs been talking to me since lunch." I suggested. She smiled at me and ran out the door.

As I turned out my bedroom lights I thought "What if he's like me?" and closed the door.