The rest of my day was spent avoiding those four at all costs. I would linger outside my classes until the last possible moment, and if any of them showed up for that class, I wouldn’t go to it. I felt like it was a shame that I wouldn’t be staying here too long, because this school was ridiculously trusting of random students just wandering the halls as long as I walked quickly and looked like I was trying to get somewhere. I managed to make it throughout the rest of the day without any prolonged contact with Gia, Fred, or the other girls whose names I had already forgotten.
As soon as the final bell rang, I was off school grounds. I secured my bag carefully on my shoulders, and then I ran. My house was only about a half mile from the school, so I ran all the way there. I came to a stop at the end of my street to stretch and re-tie my shoelace, before heading towards the house at a more normal pace. When I got closer, I noticed a guy sitting on the curb near my house. I tried to think nothing of it, assuming he was some neighborhood kid waiting for a friend or something. My plan was to blow right past him and lock myself in my room for the rest of the night, but as I approached, he stood and said, “Rosalynn?”
“Oh, Not you too! Listen, I just want to left alone, okay?”
The boy threw his hands up in surrender and just looked at me. I walked up my yard some, but he didn’t move. When I was about half way across the grass, he sat back down on the curb, staring out into the street. I waited for him to leave, but he didn’t seem to have any intention to. “Are you just going to sit there?” I asked, stepping towards him again.
“Yup.” He replied. I hesitated, but then rolled my eyes and sighed. I went all the way back and sat on the step next to him.
“Call me Rose.”
“I’m Matt.” He stuck out his hand, and I shook it. He looked back out to the street, and we just sat there for a few minutes in silence.
“So…” I prompted, but Matt just sat there. “You know Gia, Fred, and um.”
“Phoebe and Emma?”
“Yeah, I know them. They are an interesting bunch, aren’t they?”
“Freaks, I believe they called themselves.”
“Yeah. I’m one of them too. Everyone in The Club is one. I just wish we had a better name for ourselves.”
“They didn’t tell you about The Club? Well, they are slacking today, aren’t they?”
“So…Are you going to tell me about The Club then?”
“Yeah, okay.” Matt turned to look at me. “The Club is a group of people who all have some kind of special something or other. Most everyone in the group calls themselves freaks. There are thirteen of us that live in town, and a handful or so of others who have moved out-of-town and come back to visit us every once in a while. We all get together and hang out at this house a few streets over. A few of us live there, but most people live around the town and just come to visit. That’s The Club.” I started at him for a moment, and he just laughed. “Sounds a little anti-climatic, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah. This club of people with special something or others, and all you do is hang out?”
“Yeah, but really, that’s kind of what I like about it. We have a place where we can do whatever we want, be ourselves, not be judged, etc, but we aren’t expected to do anything super special like go out and save the world on any kind of regular basis. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that none of us have saved the world even once.” Matt stood up and dusted off his pants. “Anyway, you should ask Gia to bring you by tomorrow after school. Try it out, and if you don’t like it, you can tell us all to screw ourselves and move on. But hey, you might like us.”
“Why can’t you take me?” I asked, also standing up.
“Because, I’m the mysterious male. Honestly, Rose, don’t you watch T.V.” He offered me a soft smile. I just stared at him, and he started walking backwards down the street. “Besides, it would probably be better if Gia didn’t know that I was the one who came here to talk to you. Just, tell her you gave some thought to whatever it is she said today, and let her re-explain the whole thing, okay?”
“What do you mean it would be better if Gia didn’t know?”
“Look, I know I’m getting a little sketchy here, but please just trust me on this, okay?”
I wanted to demand that he explain himself, but his tone was a strange combination of commanding and pleading so I sank down onto the step again and simply said, “Kay.”
“Excellent. I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
Matt turned to walk away with his hands in his pockets. I watched him until he disappeared around the corner at the far end of the street, then I picked up my bag and headed into the house.
As expected, my Dad wasn’t around. He tried to spend as much time as possible out of wherever it we are living at the time. It’s like by not being around the house, people won’t connect us as being related. I grabbed an apple off the kitchen table, and made my way back to my room.
I wasn’t too concerned with make-up work or other homework because I had skipped a majority of my classes, and I didn’t really think that we’d be in this town long enough to worry about my grades anyway. Instead, I lay back on my bed and pulled my laptop onto my lap. I played my Sims game while I tried to forget what was going on in the world around me. I played for a couple of hours, before I heard movement in the rest of the house.
I had developed this, well, power for a lack of a better word when I was very young. My mother found it fascinating. She homeschooled me so that I didn’t have to worry about my power scaring the kids at school or anything. Dad would hang out with the two of us when Mom made him, but most of the time it was just mom and me. I was okay with that.
But then Mom got sick. And she didn’t get better. Dad sent me to school, and over and over again, the schools saw what I could do, and either kicked me out for being strange, or blamed my power on vandalism, and kicked me out for that. Usually, my reputation proceeded me—principals and teachers warned that I might be trouble, and students picked up on the way teachers watched me. Normally, no one wanted to associate with me—no one wanted to talk to the new kid under a watchful eye.
But here, people did. And they knew my name, my real name. And one of them had displayed a “power” of sorts. And then there was this “Club” of people.
I didn’t really know what to think of it, or how to process it. Even as I sat through dinner with my silent father, and headed back to my room, I wasn’t sure what was going on in my mind. It wasn’t until right before I fell asleep that I decided that I would check it out, but more likely than not, this club would be too good to be true.