Chapter 2

"He took in quite a bit of the stuff. It's a miracle he's alive." I hear a person speaking, but it's as if the sound is traveling through water. I can't see anything—it's incredibly dark. All I can see is a dim, green glow.

"A miracle?" A different voice now. It's higher pitched, a woman's voice. And she's speaking through sobs.

"When we were flushing him, we found that it could have caused mass amounts of cancer." The first voice says.

"And it didn't?"
"No, it didn't. Not a single cell was damaged."

"That's a relief. And you have no idea why?"
"I have theories, but we can't be certain—" His sentence gets cut off by a loud beeping coming from my left.
"What? What's happening?" The woman stifles her sobs to ask.

"I think he's waking up."

Waking up? From what? Was I asleep? Why was I not supposed to live? What happened? The only thing I can remember is the nuclear power plant and... oh no.

I think my eyes are opening, because the darkness is cut open and blinding white lights flood in. My head beings to pound because of it. I try making a sound. "Ugh." The sound barely escapes, but I don't think anyone heard it. I don't think I heard it. Everything's still underwater.

"Colin, oh my god. Talk to me." I suddenly know who's voice that is. The woman. It's my mom. I would talk to her, but I am a bit unable to do that at the moment. My head feels like it's going to implode and my eye balls feel like they're going to be set on fire from the light.

"You should give him a couple minutes to regain his senses. He probably can't speak right now." This first voice might belong to a doctor.

I think the doctor was walking away or something, because my mom calls him back.

"Wait. Why are his eyes green?"

My eyes? Green? My eyes have always been brown. Brown hair, brown eyes, just like my mom. That's how it's always been.

"That might be an effect from the radioactive substance. Like I said, he got a lot in his system. I don't know all the things that stuff can do, but that's what I'm assuming."

That's what I'm assuming too. And it looks like how I survived will be kept a mystery too. You'd think that it would like, poison my body or whatever, but I feel fine. The green stuff reminded me of acid, and if it was anything similar, it should have damaged my skin. And it changed the color of my eyes... I have no idea why or how I'm alive right now.

A lot of people come to visit me once I'm able to sit up and speak, a bunch of relatives, mostly. Relatives that I haven't seen in years. Some family friends of ours come, even our neighbors join the club. The one thing all the visits had in common was that they all commented on my eyes. Each one of them asking questions. Why are his eyes green? or He doesn't have contacts on, does he?

They all came and went, but the only visit that I really cared about was Brad's—of course he came. My mom even gave us privacy.

"Fuck, dude. I don't know how to start." he says, head in his hands.

"Uh, thanks for coming."
"Are you kidding? I was in that waiting room since you got here, man."
"How long ago was that?"
"Like a day and a half."

"Holy shit."

"Yeah. It's fucking messed." I feel like if we were prissy girls or whatever, we would cry and hug. But we're dudes. Dudes don't do that kind of stuff. Well, I don't.

"It's my fault that you're here."

"No it's not. You know it's not," I reassure him, but he just shakes his head.

"You can say all you want. I was still the one that dragged you into it."

"It's not your fault. End of discussion." He just rolls his eyes and sighs. "So apparently my eyes are green." I try changing the subject.

"Yeah, they are. Weren't they brown or something before?"

"Wow. You don't even know the color of my eyes."

"I'm not a woman, what do you want from me?"

We both laugh. I'm glad I still have my best friend with me. I mean, like I said before, I'd be stranded without him, and not just in science class. A lot of people have commented on our friendship, saying how I'm like his sidekick or something, and maybe that's true. He's got a girlfriend, he's smarter, he's stronger, and he's funny. In a story or movie, he would be the main character and I'd be the best friend that shows up like once or twice. Maybe I am his sidekick, but I think I'm okay with that.

"So... when are you getting out of this place?"

"Uh, I have no idea. I mean, I did just wake up from... uh... being unconscious."

"It's called a coma, fart head."

"Wow, a full out coma? Damn." Me. In a coma. That sounds tragic yet pretty cool. Well, it only sounds cool 'cause I got out of it.

The doctor and my mom come back to my hospital bed and he tells us that I have to stay in for another couple of weeks.

"Why? He's fine. Isn't he?"

"Not exactly. At this point he is very vulnerable to go back into a coma, a relapse, if you will. We don't know exactly what that substance has done to him, so we must be very cautious."
"You're not going to do any tests on him, are you? You're not gonna cut him up and stuff like a lab experiment?"

"Mom!" I scold. Of course they're not going to do that. Just because it's a new case, doesn't mean they're going to use me as a test subject.

"No, of course not," he says with a small smile. "But we will be doing some health inspections as the days go on to make sure he's recovering well."

"Thank you, doctor."

...

Once I get back to school, everyone eyes me like I'm a three legged puppy or something. I am not a three legged puppy. I am not something that needs pity. I don't need anyone's sympathy. I'm alive and that's all they should care about, if anything.

Along with the stares, I've become the hot new piece of gossip. Apparently, I'm all people talk about. I used to be a nobody. I used to be the guy who was best friends with Brad Abernathy who no one cared to pay any attention to. Now, I'm the radioactive guy with green eyes. Once I got out of the hospital, I actually looked into the mirror in my bathroom and all I saw was a reminder.

The green in my eyes aren't natural. They aren't a natural shade of green for eyes to be. The green in my eyes is vibrant and rich and saturated, like emerald. What really freaked me out though wasn't the vibrant color. It was the fact that it had a little glow of it's own. No, really. I'm not kidding. Whenever I close my eyes, I don't see black anymore, I see a dim, but green light.

As I walk back home, the only one on the snowy street, I grit my teeth from the cold. Out of all the things that stuff could have done to me, it had to make me have green glowing eyes. No, it couldn't possibly make me resistant of the cold or something actually useful.

I lift my head and squint my eyes against the wind. And it takes a second to realize, but I start getting a feeling inside my head. I can't describe it. It's a feeling I've never gotten before. I am suddenly aware of everything that's happening. I can hear the snowflakes as they hit the ground, I can see the wind as it hits the wall of a nearby house. I can feel exactly how the small pieces of ice break under my boot. I suddenly know about everything that's happening around me, when just a second ago, I thought nothing was happening. My eyes land on the side walk fifty feet in front of me and I blink my eyes...

What the fuck just happened?

...

I'm fifty feet ahead of where I just was. I blinked. I blinked and now I'm here, where my eyes landed. I let out a scream, but instantly cover it up with my gloved hands. No one could have seen that. No one can know that happened.

But it happens again. My eyes land on the roof of a house. I blink, and I'm instantly sliding down the slope, about to fall about thirty feet to my death. I quickly set my eyes on anything, which just so happens to be the roof of the neighboring house, and I blink. It doesn't help. I'm now sliding down that one. I feel like screaming until my lungs explode. My heart is racing and adrenaline is rushing through my veins. "Fuck!" I yell, instantly regretting it.

I focus this time, trying to blink to a more stable surface instead of a roof, and I appear crouched in the position I was just in, but now safely on the sidewalk. But the fact that I'm safe doesn't make any sort of difference to my heart rate or my panic level.

Suddenly, out of the blue, I fall into a vat of radioactive goop on my sixteenth birthday. Weeks later, I have this strange new ability. That is my story. That is what I am now.

My hands start to shake, not from the cold but from my new found power. I always told myself to never cry outside during the winter—the cold tends to freeze tears before they can leave your face, but I let it go this time. I don't care.

I just kneel down and cover my head with my hands, keeping my eyes shut. I sob into the collar of my coat. A million questions are racing through my head faster than a bullet could. What just happened? Why is this happening to me? What's happening to me? What's going to happen to me? What if someone saw? How did this happen? Will I get out of this alive.

I know what I have to do. I have to get off this street, that's what I have to do. If I don't, people will notice and start raising eyebrows. I need to leave. And I do.

I get up and wipe the tears from my face. It doesn't take me long to realize that I'm going to have to control this power. My mind focuses on the space in front of me without my permission, and I blink, appearing a couple feet ahead of where I just was. "Fuck." I mutter into my collar. If I can't control this power, every time I blink my eyes, I would teleport. I force my mind to slow down, like a generator halting to a stop. I try blinking, and nothing happens.

And I know I should stop here and called it a day, and to continue walking home, and never blink again, but I stand up, focus my mind again on the place in front of me, and I blink, only this time, I'm controlling it. I have the reins now, and I know I shouldn't, but I do it again. And again, and again. Soon, I'm cutting through space, staying in one place for less that a second. For every time I focus and blink, I get better. I focus faster and faster on what I have to do, where I have to go. Eventually, my hands stop shaking and fear turns to adrenaline powered excitement.

When I get to the abandoned soccer fields of my school, I stop and I take in what I just did. I just traveled what would have taken me half an hour in less than ten seconds. I allow myself to smile a bit. I can blink.

There are a line of houses to my left, and the plain, school building to my right. It takes me about half a second to know what I have to do to get onto the roof of the school. In the time that it takes me to inhale, I blink onto the roof of a nearby house, turn so that I face the school, and push off of the roof with both feet, diving into the air in front of me. Then I'm no longer above the roof of the house, and I'm landing in a somersault on the gravel covered roof of my school. The gravel tears my hands and the pain burns like fire, but the adrenaline numbs the pain and I can't feel any of it.

For once in my life, I am not nothing. I'm not a nobody. I can't believe I used to worry myself with little things like graduating from high school and getting into college. I can't believe something so small could take up so much of my time. Everything is so small now. Nothing else matters. I can do whatever the fuck I want. Well, everything except asking out Logan Blaire.

Actually, no. I can do that too.

Running towards the edge of the roof, I jump at the last second and land on another roof. Jumping and blinking from rooftop to rooftop, I eventually make my way home.

END OF CHAPTER 2