Story A Day, Day 8 – Resonant

Header image by Kelly under Creative Commons 2.0.

Leaving the house just after eight, I adjust my messenger bag to make sure it doesn’t fall off my right shoulder, and I press play on my iPod, put in my earphones and block out the world and whatever dumb thing anybody might have to say to me on the way.

The street my house is on is the only chance I get to listen to anything anyway, before it all becomes a noisy mess blurred together by the voices of the crowd on Main Street. Ugh, I hate Main Street so much. So many creeps, so many morons thinking everybody will just move aside for them like they’re some modern-day Moses, and worst of all, so much noise. Getting up early is bad enough, but then having to go through the noisest street anywhere in the area still tired is hell. Try putting your head into a speaker playing bad music at low volume. That’s what it sounds like.

So here I am walking through Main Street on the way to school with whatever my iPod’s playing at the time. Sure, sounds normal. It is normal. I’d get to school, walk into the classroom, and hang with Jean and Vi, then the lessons start, then school finishes and I’m out of there. There you go, there’s my normal day.

After…I dunno, somewhere in April, that’s when everything changed. Really changed. I’m walking to school, earphones in, yeah, yeah…then I press “next” on my iPod and I hear silence. Weird. Then some middle-aged business looking guy walks past real quick. I press next again and instead of a song I just get a single spoken sentence. It says “My boss is going to kill me. Why should I pay for that waste of space’s mistakes?”

What? Yeah, I didn’t know either. Just looked up, pulled my earphones out for a bit, then put them back in and stopped walking. Music resumed normally, couldn’t go without that. Then Main Street, that’s when it got bad. I’m walking past who knows how many people and my iPod goes silent and that’s when it all begins. All I get is what sounds like everyone’s thoughts instead of actual music. “How long is this damn street?” “Go DIE, you’re blocking everyone’s way!” “Nah, then you’d end up destroying the plug socket…” “Heeeeeeey, check out some of this.” “HEY!” “Too early for this, mate. I need a drink.” Yeah, it was thoughts. I was hearing all the thoughts of everyone walking past me and I had no idea which thought belonged to what person but it got annoying because this was why I didn’t want to hear them in the first place. Suddenly the walk down Main Street felt unsafe and it was like everybody was some sort of violent or twisted. Hell, I kept hearing the drinks guy nearly every time. Probably a regular to one of the pubs or something. I noticed when he disappeared. I’d hear a lot of people screaming at others in their minds to get out of the way. Can’t blame them.

I started suffering badly. I’d be late to school taking the long way there to avoid Main Street, and Jean noticed pretty much right away. Not hard when I’m finding myself shouting at her before I know it. I was scared to put my earphones in because I thought I’d hear the thoughts of everyone I knew and they’d be really horrible thoughts. Work is falling behind (as if it couldn’t any more), others are also suffering because of me and I’m just all around scared, especially to tell anybody what’s happening until I melt down in front of the entire class. I’m probably at the end the line after that and I just wanted it to end.

I moved schools after that and I was so happy that it was on a quieter route. Just before the transfer, Vi calls me, asks to hang out at my house. I’m feeling like a bad friend right now, so I say yeah. I say sorry and I cave in again and tell her everything. She tells me that even if it sounds weird, I should go see somebody about it at least.

I do that. I see my doctor first. I guess she’s about to start putting me on a bunch of useless meds and then send me out.

She doesn’t. What does happen is that she brings in somebody with a job I didn’t recognise at all. He sounded like someone with a super important job, though.

That’s when he tells me something I didn’t expect; he told me that this was no complex medical condition or that I was mad, that I really was hearing everyone’s thoughts. though I needed something to store the thoughts first or something like that. Everything wasn’t so bad after that. They told me how to deal with it all and what to do and I did much bigger things with it later on.

That’s where my story starts. I still haven’t forgotten the day I met that guy. Later learned he had a lot more cases than just me, so it wasn’t just me.

That’s when I learned I was a resonant.

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