Scary Spies

Chapter 7 - A Presence

Elise drives me to Mr. Brennan’s office. It’s awfully muggy out and there’s a very light drizzle of rain. After a full nights rest, I decided I needed to reveal that I’m alive and here. I wasn’t exactly sure how to do that, so Mr. Brennan is a good start. I am just nervous about what he’ll ask. Do I tell him the truth or make an easy lie? My body isn’t even scarred. Mr. Brennan has always been serious, would he even listen to what I have to say? Did he even miss me?
We pull into the parking lot and Elise reminds me not to let Mr. Brennan know about my powers. Elise’s social worker has been very chill from the start, but I guess once she got her powers they’ve been butting heads. He knows about her powers and is willing to keep her secret. Elise said he just doesn’t understand her anymore. I ask Elise to wait in the car while I speak with Mr. Brennan. I definitely don’t want any conflict while I’m in there and she can’t fall behind either. But before going in I shrink my hair to what it was before I got my powers and change the shade of my iris’ back to blue. I’m not really sure how I do this or even if I can warp my shape any more different. What I do know is that it’s super difficult! It’s kind of like you’re sucking in your gut. At first it’s really hard to keep up and you just want to exhale to let it go. I’m sure with time and practice these powers will get easier, at least I hope it will.
The inside of where Mr. Brennan works is always so busy, but the building itself is so beautiful. At the entrance the floors are made with a green stone that makes you feel like you’re walking on a sea of emeralds. The high walls and ceiling are a beige color, which you wouldn’t expect to somehow look nice with the green floors. The lady at the front desk is always on the phone with a client. I walk past her and go up the main lobby stairs. Sometimes it’s easier to go up these than on the elevator. Usually I take the stairs with Elise and once we reach the third floor, she goes onto the elevator to see her social worker on the fourth floor on the right wing. Mr. Brennan is located on the third floor, left wing. This is where we usually part ways…
I knock on Mr. Brennan’s door and he tells me to wait a moment. To be honest, it feels really nice to hear a familiar voice. Mr. Brennan has always been very strict with me and he’s a very serious person. He’s also been there for me since my parents passed away. He made sure that I was comfortable and happy wherever I was. I remember the night we met. After I was given the news about my family, I was taken from my friends’ house and brought to this really weird building. I was told a lot of other kids like me were there, but I just wanted to go to my home. I didn’t believe it was real and wanted that confirmation that it wasn’t just some nightmare.
I remember I was sitting on this wooden bench that wasn’t comfortable at all. A blanket was draped around my shoulders and I sat just waiting for this person to come. I guess they pulled Mr. Brennan from his home to meet me. He showed up and put a hot chocolate in my hands. I still remember how pretty it looked. There was whipped cream on the top with heart and star shaped sprinkles. I looked up and saw this old man who looked like he’s never smiled a day in his life. He sat next to me and said, “Hey, kid.” He told me that he was going to make sure everything was okay, and I believed him. Since then, he kept me in the same school so I would have something familiar and I wouldn’t be behind on my studies. I was also shortly taken out of foster care and put into the weird test house I’m in now. Mr. Brennan had told me that this situation is only for well behaved, independent teenagers with good grades. I was told I need to keep my record clean and my grades up if I wanted to stay in a house without adult supervision. That’s when I moved in with Elise, then everything kind of fell into place.
The door in front of me opens and my heart stops. I’m just so nervous. What if he’s mad? What if he doesn’t want to see me? Mr. Brennan looks down and see’s me standing in front of him. For once he actually showed emotion, this one was shock.
“Kid, where were you?” Mr. Brennan asks, pulling me into a hug, “I’ve been worried sick! I gave the police so much shit when they stopped looking for you.” My eyes well up with tears and I can’t hold my form. All of my anxiety melts away. Mr. Brennan lets go of my and apologizes for grabbing me so abruptly. He sees my long hair and purple eyes, then pulls me inside the office. He shuts the door and asks what happened to me. I know Elise told me to keep it a secret. She told me not to tell him anything that happened because it’ll end up like her social worker, but I tell him anyway. I tell him every small detail I can from when I entered the cave to walking into his office building and I can’t help but sob through it all. This fear, this weakness, that I’m feeling isn’t something I wanted my friends to see. I didn’t even necessarily want to let it out at all, but Mr. Brennan needed to see it for himself. I think it was important for him to know what was done and how badly it affected me. Meanwhile, I get texts from Elise asking what’s taking so long and to hurry up.
Mr. Brennan sat and listened to my entire story. There were parts where he couldn’t hide the horror in his face, but he never judged my actions or the way I look now.
“I’ll have to speak with Mr. Mahoney about Elise,” Mr. Brennan says very plainly, “He did very well in keeping it a secret and I think it would be best for both of us if we could work together on finding the best ways to help both of you, seeing as you’re both in our care. I also know that you mentioned you don’t want the police involved, but I do have to call them in here for a statement and we will have to press charges against someone. We don’t have to tell them you have superpowers or some freak in the woods ran experiments on you. However, we do have to let them know that you were kidnapped and held against your will.”
“Okay,” I meekly say.
“I need to ask you a favor, though,” Mr. Brennan says, “I’ve never had a more unique case than yours. I wasn’t trained on how to help a kid of your nature, so I’ll need you to be patient with me. I’ll keep your secret, but I won’t always know how to react or help you. Just communicate with me the best that you can and I promise you that I will help you the best that I can.”
“I will,” I say, “Thank you.”
“Now your friends,” Mr. Brennan asks, “Did they change form at all like you did?”
“I mean,” I begin, “Mike has wings and Marissa has long straight hair now, but Cierra changed the most. She has red eyes and her hair is literally made out of fire.”
“Have you talked to Marissa and Cierra since you escaped?”
“No, I ended up crashing into a building because of some stupid dart and I don’t even know if they made it home.”
“The police would end up knowing. If anything, you’ll see them in school when it starts back up again.”
“When do you think I can go back?”
“Right now it’s February Vacation, so you’ll have to wait until next week regardless. That would give you a few days to adjust to being back home and fall back into a routine. You can take longer if needed, however you have been gone for four months and it will take a lot to catch you up to speed with school.”
“Do you think someone can try to show me what I’ve missed before I go back? If I come back Monday, that is.”
“Yeah, I’ll look into getting a tutor for you. These are special circumstances so I’ll try to have the state work for you. Do you think you can get enough accomplished in that timeframe? It’s Wednesday, so you’ll have four full days to try and catch up.”
“Yeah, it’s one on one so it should go by faster than if I were in a classroom. Lets just cram a whole month in a day!” Mr. Brennan laughs and calls me ambitious.
The police come and I, back in my normal person disguise, give a very mild statement about what happened. I told them that I was in the woods by myself when I was knocked unconscious. I told them about how I was in a medically induced coma for three months, so I’m not sure what happened during then. I told them I was with Marissa and Cierra, but we didn’t really get to interact since we were locked in separate rooms. I told them that Marissa and Cierra plotted our escape, I just followed them and helped where I could. From there, I was taken to the hospital so they could check me out and make sure I was okay. I told Elise to meet me home. Mr. Brennan told his office that I had to be his priority today and they allowed him to follow me to the hospital.
A lot of tests were done. I had blood drawn, physical exams, mental exams, etc. My results showed that I was, for the most part, perfectly healthy. I guess the superhero DNA is hard to detect. As far as my mental health, they would like me to see a therapist once a week. That's at least for now, they may decide in a month that I don't need therapy. All that's left now is to go to school... and tell Trey that I'm alive.
Mr. Brennan brought me home. He told me to stay safe and call him if I need anything. I'm sure he'll be visiting more than once a week. Mr. Brennan drives off and I look across the street. Trey's house illuminates the front lawn. His house is always so noisy considering he has such a big family. He's exactly the middle child with two older and younger siblings.
I walk over to the front door and stare at the beautiful oak. I'd been missing for so long. How would everyone react to me just showing up on their front door like this? I've felt nothing but love from this family. Will it turn into pity? Disgust? Anger? In fact, that's all I've been thinking about today is my own anxieties with the people around me. I've wanted to come home and see my friends. I wanted everything to be back to normal. The thing is, nothing is ever the same as you left it, and four months is a long time to be gone. People have changed without me and I've changed without them.
I take a deep breath and gently knock.
There's some banging from behind the door, but quiets down once they hear someone is at the door. Trey's mom could be trying to get his four siblings together while his other mom makes dinner. Footsteps softly approach the door, the knob turns and my hear stops. A woman with short, dark hair opens the door. At first she looks frustrated with the small pair of twins getting into everything. She turns to face me and instantly looks like she'd seen a ghost. Instead of saying anything, she just reacts. Trey's mom pulls me into a hug and I soak in her warmth. I can't believe how much I've missed this family. For a while I'd wondered about my own life and if anyone would miss me while I'm gone. I constantly wondered what would life had been like if my family didn't leave me and if I would ever really find my place here. After these past few emotional days, I can confirm that I found my new family without even realizing it. Tears well up in my eyes and I wrap my arms around her, my whole body shaking.
“Sweetie, who's there?” Trey's other mom asks. She walks to the door and calls for Trey as soon as she sees us. This is the love I never thought I would feel again.