Today I found out that I have psionic powers.

Yesterday, I did not know the word psionic existed. I actually have a very high vocabulary level, so I, at first, found this perplexing. It turns out, however, that I did not know the psionic existed because it does not exist. It is a term used by internet, RPG-geeks. It's basically a faux-synonym (because can a word that isn't a word be a synonym?) for paranormal psychic abilities studied in the field of parapsychology. But 'paranormal psychic abilities studied in the field of parapsychology' is a bit of a mouthful. Ergo, as much as it chagrins me to use a nonexistent word, I will from now on refer to these as 'psionic powers.'

Sorry. I got off on a tangent. That seems to be happening a lot since… yesterday. It's really very stressful when one makes that sort of discovery. Some may find it stressful to discover that their parents are not actually their biological parents. Others may find it stressful to discover that, for the first time in their life, they are failing a class. A few could possibly be irritated if their legal name was Rhapsody Blue due to the fact that their parents—the biological ones, not the adoptive ones—were undeniably music buffs. Others still might be a bit troubled to get in a terrible car accident and come out the only survivor.

So, I would like those people to imagine what would happen if all of those stressful things happened to them, and then they discovered that they had so-called psycho-metabolic abilities. All in one day. Then, and only then, can they even dare to think about whining to me.

I think I should probably explain exactly what I'm talking about. I have lived a normal life. I grew up in an upper-middleclass neighbourhood in the suburbs. I was an only child. Both of my parents were lawyers. In school, I made straight A's. I didn't really have close friends, but I had lots of school friends. I was not a lonely child, or an angry child, or unhappy at all. I was not—am not—ugly. Nor am I breathtaking. What I'm trying to say is that I've always been a slightly above-average girl.

Today everything changed. When I woke up, everything was normal. I ate breakfast like normal (a bowl of Kashi cereal, a banana, and a glass of purified water). I put on my uniform like normal (carefully buttoned white oxford shirt first, pleated grey skirt second, red neck ribbon tied in a neat bow third, navy blue knee socks fourth, and brown Dansko clogs last). I went into the bathroom and washed my face like normal (this one is self-explanatory). I brushed my teeth and hair—exactly 102 brush strokes—like normal. It was right after I carefully placed the red headband in my champagne-blonde hair that my day started to change. It was a small change. I meticulously took in my appearance. Big brown eyes. Slightly pale skin with no blemishes. A very light smattering of freckles on the bridge of my nose and cheek bones. Long, straight hair. Nicely arched eyebrows. Oval-shaped face. All of my individual features, I noted, were actually pretty beautiful. It was strange, then, that they looked just pretty all together. I had never given much thought to my beauty. I had only cared about looking clean and put-together. I stared at myself for a long time—about seven minutes, actually—before heading downstairs.

"Good morning!" my mother chirruped sleepily from the kitchen, cupping her mug of tea with both hands.

"You, too," I replied with a smile. Our normal morning exchange. I glanced at the clock. Shit. Seven minutes behind schedule. "I'm running late, Mom, but I'll see you tonight?" She nodded blearily.

"Okay. Bye, Mom, I'll—"

"Oh, wait, honey! I can't believe I almost forgot! Uhm, well, your dad and I have something important to tell you, so…" she trailed off and bit her lip. I shifted impatiently. "Well, we were wondering if you'd meet us for dinner tonight. At Terra Nostra's?"

"Yeah, of course. Six thirty sound good?" She nodded.

"You're looking pretty today, by the way. Got a crush, have we?" she teased. I laughed.

"I look just the same as every day, Mom." She cocked her head and looked at me.

"No, no… there's something different today. I don't know what…" She stared at me intently.

"Thanks, I guess. Look, I really gotta go. See you tonight!" I blew my mom a kiss and grabbed my keys. I heard her call out a goodbye as I bustled out the door and laughed. It was just like every other morning.

The second change was bigger. I was in F period, the second-to-last period of the day. AP Genetics. It was, admittedly, my worst class, and even with all my studying I was barely scraping an A out of it, but I was actually interested in it. Today, the teachers were handing out interim reports. Unsurprisingly, I had As in all my other classes.

But, as it turned out, not this one. In fact, I had somehow earned a meager 63 in this one. 63. I was too shocked to do anything about it at all. How had I, Rhapsody Blue Gerard, failed a class? I didn't hear a single word that the teacher today, I'll admit. I was far too surprised to pay attention. All I could think was, 63. 63. 63. I got a 63… over and over and over again.

Even when Ryan Jones, the boy who I had had something of a crush on since the beginning of Junior year, told me I looked really pretty today, it was all I could think. Actually, I was a little disturbed when he said that. Everyone had been telling me that today, and it was starting to get a little… creepy.

I once would have said that the next one was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. It was at Terra Nostra. My parents and I had just finished dinner and were waiting for dessert. We were laughing and having fun. And then, it was all ruined.

"Honey, there's something your father and I, er, need to tell you…" my mom started. She bit her lip for the second time today. I hadn't thought much of it earlier, but now I thought it was strange. Mom was a stable, logical woman. She did not nervously bite her lip and act like a flighty, ditzy girl.

"Yes?" I prompted. My mother didn't seem to know how to get it out, so my father took over.

"Darling. Rhapsody Blue… what… what we need to tell you… Well, you're eighteenth birthday is tomorrow." Yes. I knew that one. "And your mother and I thought that… that you should know… this is really hard for me to tell you, so I'm just going to say it." This seemed to be a lie, but I ignored it. He sighed. "We're not your parents."

A beat of silence. Then I laughed.

And then my mother burst into tears.

"We're not… we're not… joking!" she sobbed. I simply stared at them, slightly horrified.

"Hush, now, Maddie," my father… my not-father… soothed. "I know this might be sort of a shock, Rhapsody Blue, but… we… we adopted you when you were just a baby. Your real parents died in… in a car crash when you were three." I kept staring, open-mouthed. I couldn't comprehend what they were saying.

"Their names were Augusta and James Hart… and… oh, God, Rhapsody Blue! Please say something!" the man sitting across the table from me pleaded. I couldn't think of anything to say. I was completely numb. It was interesting, like an out-of-body experience. Like watching a bad made-for-TV movie.

"Jack! I knew… I knew we should have told her! We should have… have told you! But we didn't know how!" the woman sitting next to the man pleaded. I felt like I should say something. I didn't know what to say.

"Why now?" I finally asked. My voice was so calm. How strange.

"You're turning eighteen tomorrow, so… so we thought that you should know. Before you became an adult," Jack whispered. I nodded. My lips were tingling.

"I think I…" My voice sounded weak. I cleared my throat. "I need to, uhm, use the restroom. I'll… be right back."

I didn't go right back. In fact, I didn't even go to the bathroom. I stood up and quietly walked out of the restaurant. It didn't take Maddie and Jack very long to figure out I was gone. This was mostly due to the fact that the exit to Terra Nostra was only about seventeen feet away from our table, and they had a very clear view of me leaving.

I just got in my car and drove. My parents… Jack and Maddie, I mean, must have followed me, because the next thing I knew, I was in a hospital watching them die.

Everyone kept telling me that the accident wasn't my fault—that the car in front of me had hydroplaned and spun into my car, and Jack and Maddie hadn't had time to stop before smashing into the pile up.

I don't know why they all did that. I didn't feel like it was my fault. In fact, I didn't feel like it had happened at all. Not only did I not remember it, there was barely any physical evidence. The doctors didn't say anything, but I knew something was up. I saw all the strange looks they gave me. The person who had supposedly caused the crash had died instantly. I saw my parents… my Jack and Maddie parents… and how battered they were—it was a miracle that they were conscious. And yet, I felt absolutely no pain, and there were barely any signs that I had been in a car wreck because all that was left were a few quickly healing bruises and scrapes and cuts.

Jack and Maddie kept crying about how sorry they were and how much they loved me, and I finally said that it was okay and I told them that I loved them back, and I think that I meant it. I don't know.

Jack died forty-seven minutes later, and Maddie followed him twelve minutes later. I sat apathetically on the chair in their room as somebody took their bodies out. After what could have been two seconds or maybe six hours, a doctor put his hand on my shoulder.

"Are you Rhapsody Blue Gerard?" he asked. I looked up at him, wide-eyed. I didn't answer because I didn't know if that's who I was, but the doctor took my silence as an affirmative. I guess it was because I was sitting in Maddie and Jack Gerard's hospital room. It made sense, I supposed.

"Come with me, please," he interrupted my thoughts. He took my hand and dragged me along after him. Well, I can't say I resisted. I felt so… disassociated with myself. I was in shock. It was natural. I'd read about it.

But the doctor's hadn't done anything about that. Weren't they supposed to hold me or something? Maybe the doctor was taking me to the temporary Psych Ward. Maybe he was bringing me to see my parents. Or maybe we were going to talk to my Genetics teacher, I shouldn't have failed that class. After that thought, I began to wonder if I was mildly delusional.

Again, I zoned out for a while, and when I came to, I was sitting in a car next to the same doctor. Who, I then realized, was not, in fact, a doctor. At least, he wore no doctor's clothes and he didn't have any doctor's stuff. He looked to be about mid-thirties. He had dark hair and dark eyes and tanned skin.

"Where am I?" I asked. No answer. "Where are we going?" Again, he didn't answer.

And then he asked, "Do you know what psionic abilities are?" I stared blankly, which he took as a no. He seemed to be good at reading silences. "Paranormal psychic abilities? Parapsychology?" he prompted. I thought about answering with a no, but it just didn't seem to be worth it.

But he responded to that no anyway. "Didn't think so. Let me explain…"

And he did.

And now I'm sitting in dingy apartment trying to think about nothing and trying to avoid my reflection because, every time I see it, I realize that I'm not myself. I don't mean that mentally or emotionally, but physically. Because I'm much prettier than I am really. Like I might look if someone made me look perfect.

And that is how I ended up sitting in a dingy apartment learning that I was not in any way who I ever thought I was or who I ever thought I could be, and it was terrifying. It wasn't even exciting or liberating. I felt cold all over.

"Rhapsody Blue?" A young Asian woman peeked in through the open door. I hadn't heard the door open. I stare dumbly. "Please follow me." I didn't move. Neither did she. Her green eyes burned me in an almost physical manner. And suddenly, I was indeed following her down a dark hallway. She led me into an elevator. Instead of pressing a button, she swiped a clear plastic card along a crevice next to the emergency button. The elevator jerked, and we began rapidly moving downwards.

"Where are we going?" I asked, hoping that this girl will answer. She didn't even glance at me as she responded.

"To the School of Parapsychology."

"A… school?" Why am I going to a school? The young woman laughed.

"It's not really a school. I don't know why it's called that. Now, my name's Anna Kim. If you have any questions, please attempt to contact me." With that, the elevator slowed and then stopped altogether. The doors slid open. She stepped out, and I, having no other choice, mimicked her action.

"Someone will come for you in a moment, Ms. Gerard. Just stay there." As if I had anywhere to go. As if I could have moved if I wanted to.

I looked around. I was in a huge, empty room with a white floor and white walls and a high ceiling. Anna Kim swiped her card through some sort of lock and a pair of Plexiglas doors slid open. She stepped through casually and kept walking. She didn't ever once look back to make sure I hadn't tried to run. Maybe she simply knew that I wasn't going anywhere.

Standing in that empty, white room, my entire day came crashing down on me. I collapsed onto the ground, sobbing hysterically. I missed my parents. Not Augusta and James Hart, the parents I had grown up with. I had failed a class, something was wrong with me, and I was locked in a terrifying room that looked like an insane asylum for giants and my parents—all of them—were dead, and I should have been dead but somehow wasn't, and I was utterly alone. I couldn't stop crying. My chest hurt and I was coughing and my nose was running. I was on my knees, and my arms were smashed between my chest and my thighs. I didn't want to be there. I didn't even want to be alive at that moment. I know how overdramatic I sound, but if you had had that day… well, you probably would feel that way, too.

"Look, I'm sorry to interrupt… whatever this is, but you should seriously think about getting up off the floor." I was torn between shrieking in fear and shrieking in anger at whoever had said that. I just wanted to curl up and cry some more. Instead, I glared halfheartedly. The speaker was a boy who looked to be in his young twenties. Thin, tall, unruly dark hair, dark eyes. He seemed mildly annoyed with me. I kept sniffling, probably making my glare completely ineffective.

"Get up. Follow me."

"Why? Why should I? Everyone keeps saying that and maybe if I'd never listened I wouldn't be here right now? Why the fuck should I follow you?" I shrieked. He glanced at me over his shoulder and shrugged.

"It doesn't really matter to me. You'll probably be gone in a week anyway. But if you want a bed for tonight, follow me." He walked off. I sniffed again and finally decided that a bed would be better than just sobbing on the floor. It wasn't like the situation I was in could get much worse. I stood up and followed him, my body feeling heavy. I followed him sullenly, not paying attention to where we were going. I was too tired and miserable to really care.

We wound our way through a maze of hallways and finally stopped at a door at the end of a short hallway. He pulled out a clear plastic card nearly identical to the one Anna Kim had held earlier, except his had a small V in one of the corners. He swiped it through the side of a keypad and angrily pressed a series of numbers. There was a slight beeping noise, and he pushed the door open.

"This is your room. Go to sleep. Someone will come get you in the morning or something." The boy turned and stormed down the hallway, the door slowly falling shut behind him.

I curled up on the bed and weakly pulled the covers over my shaking body. I was cold, and I had started sobbing again. I was mildly surprised that I still had tears left to cry. I didn't bother to turn out the light.

I didn't sleep that night. I simply fell into a state of somnolence, awake but utterly out of everything. I never wanted morning to come.