I didn’t know what to say. Those gorgeous eyes were staring so deeply at me, so filled with concern, that it almost made me sick to think that I was hurting him. I opened my mouth, hoping to force the words out, but the truth wouldn't come, it refused to be told.
“I can’t…” is all I ended up saying. “I can’t stop.”
“But why? It’s killing you. You’re killing yourself.” He pleaded. But I didn’t want to hear it.
“It’s my job! I was given this gift to help people!”
“You’re helping the rich get richer, and screwing their competitors. What your doing isn’t heroic. Don’t delude yourself into thinking so. You’re doing a job, like everyone else in this world, but if you keep pushing your powers you’re going to get yourself killed. Why can’t you understand that?!” He was beginning to shout his reasonable words, but he was just making me more aggravated.
“You don’t understand anything! Who the hell are you to tell me how to do my job? I have worked so hard to get here, and I’m not going to let you of all people distract me from finishing what I came here to do. Any day more spent here than I have to is a waste of time! So leave. Me. Alone!” As I shouted those last words, I could feel the sickness coming. I didn’t expect it, but I should have. It’s more likely to happen when I get angry. It’s not a good combination with my fiery personality.
The sickness starts first as a splitting headache. It’s horrible. It tears at your brain with the hooks of its hate and swims through every nerve in the body. Not a pleasant experience. That is the warning. It’s a heavy hammer of a knock to tell you to get the hell out of there. You want to be alone for phase two, or things might get tricky. He was about to start talking again but I couldn’t let him see me. I turned and stormed out of the living room, like it was all part of my bitchy tantrum. He didn’t know that I was hiding. I slammed the door behind me and locked it just in case he decided to drop his usual manners. I couldn’t take any chances now.
My run away was just in time because I could feel the change happening. I ran across the room to the hanging mirror and watched my body and face change drastically. He was knocking at the door now, testing out the handle to see if I’d locked it.
“Please let me in. I want to talk to you. You have to stop running away from me.” And the pleading continued, but I wasn’t listening. My only concern for him was that his worry would lead him to knocking down the door. I had no doubts he could.
I couldn’t take my eyes away from my image on the wall. I’d gotten used to the idea of my image changing, since I first discovered I was a shifter, only five years ago now. But I have only seen the change like this once before, but at the school, when a shifter lost control. They took him away and I haven’t seen him since. I was out of control too. That was part of the sickness. The face that stared back at me was constantly changing; another feature shifting each second, until my face was just a blur of different people. I didn’t know what to do, but I started panicking.
I started scratching at my face, but I couldn’t even feel it. All I could feel was the burn of my transition. It was horrible and terrifying, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was almost tempted to open the door. But I didn’t let that idea take over. I sat of my bed and did everything I could think of to calm myself. It was hard to stay still in the pain, but sitting down helped a little bit with the headache. I thought calming thoughts, about my family and my future, I even prayed, but nothing would stop it. At one point, the pain got so intense that I finally lost it. I passed out on the floor, the refreshing relief of unconsciousness taking over.
I don’t know what happened between then and when I woke up again, but I had moved. I was in my bed and it was morning. Had any of that happened? Was it all just a nightmare?
I sat up in bed, a headache rolling over, crushing my body like a heavy stone, and looked around the room. Nope, definitely not a dream. The door was leaning against the wall, splinters sticking out at the hinges.