Prompt: A kid in your class reads minds, but you weren’t aware until after you screamed internally.
How people loved chemistry, I would never know. I love science, but all this math stuff always annoyed me. Mrs. Richter’s class was exceptionally boring today. I wondered if I could make an excuse to sneak off campus…?
As I tried to focus on my notes, I found myself looking over to my left, where Peter was, scribbling down his notes. Peter Hall was the cutest boy in senior year, and I had almost every class with him…he was a big distraction.
His perfect, golden hair…his cute freckles…his stature, not unlike a Greek God…or at least, a high school football star…he was perfect.
I used to be friends with him back when we were younger, but as we grew up, our friends became different. Soon, he was one of the popular kids, and I just…wasn’t. I’ve always flown under the radar, just trying to make it through school in one piece. Peter loved the social aspect, and that just wasn’t me.
But I’d be wrong if I said I didn’t miss his company. He had always been nice to me, but his glow-up between sophomore and junior year is what really did it for me. He was cute AND nice?! It was a win-win!
So, I usually ended up using my quality class time to steal glances of him throughout the day. My grades weren’t slipping, but I had no idea why. I barely was able to get anything done while Peter was around.
“Hey,” my friend Monica whispered, bringing me back to reality. “Cece!”
“Hmm?” I glanced over at her. She looked as if she had discovered something amazing. Usually she was high off her ass, so honestly she probably believed she had thought up something great.
“You know how Jean Grey, from ‘X-Men’, you know how she can read minds?”
“What if that were real??”
Stifling a giggle, I said, “You come up with some amazing stuff, Monica…”
“No, really,” she insisted, trying to keep her voice down, as the teacher had noticed us talking. “Think about it! People that can levitate stuff, cool teleportation tricks, a real-life Wolverine…how cool would that be?!”
“Girls!!” Mrs. Richter snapped, glaring at us over her glasses. “Keep it down back there.”
“Yes, ma’am,” we said in unison, looking down at our notes. My loose leaf wasn’t as interesting as Monica’s random thought. It would be pretty cool if people could read minds…but that was comic book stuff.
Still, if people in real life could hear what I was thinking any time they wanted, it would be a little creepy. I started doodling aimlessly on my notes, looking around the room. My eyes settled on Peter again. If people could read minds, I wondered if they could control the volume at which it came into their mind?
I cleared my head, or tried to anyways. It was pretty quiet in the classroom, so I tried to get my mind to that level of silence. Suddenly, I let out the loudest internal scream I could think of. It turned into a laugh as I realized the stupidity of what I was doing. I even smiled to myself a little bit.
I blinked a few times and refocused on Peter, who was holding his ears and looking stressed. He then looked at me, eyes wide. We blinked at each other for what felt like forever.
“Could you hear that?” I asked, not saying a word out loud.
Peter nodded gently, a quick nod that only I could see.
I froze. “Really?”
He just blinked hard at me, still holding his ears.
“Sorry,” I thought to him. He looked terrified. That’s when I realized. “Wait, you can hear all this???”
Removing his hands from his ears, Peter mouthed the word “Later!” to me.
I nodded quickly at him, looking back at my paper. A million thoughts were running through my head. Could he really hear my thoughts? How would he know to cover his ears from my loud internal screaming if he couldn’t hear me? Does that mean that he knows that I think he’s cute?
That thought gave me so much dread. How embarrassing!
After class, I walked Monica to her locker silently. She didn’t notice that I was quiet, only saying “Later, dude,” as I left her for my locker. I didn’t know if I could face Peter, knowing that Monica’s random thought could actually be a real life thing.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Peter’s shoes as he approached my locker. “Cecilia,” Peter said, a serious cloud covering his eyes. “What…did you do?”
I gulped. Time to talk, I guess. “What do you mean?” I turned around to look up at him. Even though I knew he could read my mind, I didn’t want to be obvious about the fact.
“Why did you scream like that?”
“You know what I mean. You didn’t scream out loud, but I heard you. How did you do that?”
Confused, I asked him, “I didn’t know you were gonna hear me, so how can you explain that?”
Peter sighed. “I can’t.”
“I can’t help you, then.” I turned away from him to finish getting my things. “I won’t tell anyone, you don’t have to worry about that.” I didn’t want to look up at him, but I had to ask about the whole crush thing before he left…did I have the courage to ask?
Before I could open my mouth, Peter mumbled, “Yes, I know you think I’m cute. I…thanks, for thinking that. And thanks for keeping my secret.”
I spun around again, wanting to ask him something, anything, but he was already walking away, hands in his pockets. I watched him leave, needing to know exactly how this was all possible. How could anyone have any kind of power like that? And how come it had to be Peter?! The one guy I didn’t really want to know how I felt about him…
Closing my locker, I began to walk to my next class, wondering if Monica would believe me if I told her, even after not outright agreeing with her theory. There was no way she would if she were not high. Sober Monica was a lot less open to crazy ideas.
The rest of school went by very fast, until finally we were all walking out of the building, home the only thing on everyone’s minds. I walked to my car and sat in it for a moment. Peter usually parked down the aisle from me, but he hadn’t walked out of school yet. I usually didn’t wait for him, but today was different. I wanted to ask him more about his power. How was it even possible that he could read minds? What else could he do? How had no one else thought to scream internally to catch him? I guess that last one wasn’t too important…
A knock on my driver’s side window jolted me out of my thoughts, and I looked up to see Peter bending down, tapping on the window. Rolling the window down, I smiled nervously. “Hey, Pete.”
“Hey, Cecilia,” he greeted, his voice low. “I have a question. Can I sit in there with you and talk to you for a moment?”
“Uh, sure,” I said, unlocking the door. My heart was suddenly pounding.
He closed the passenger side door and turned as much in the seat as he could to look me in my eyes. “Cece, we’ve known each other since, what, Kindergarten?”
“Yeah, pretty much,” I agreed, thinking back to when a tiny platinum blonde Peter Hall shared his PB&J with me at lunch. “What does that have to do with anything?”
He sighed. “I’ve been able to read your mind since I met you. Remember that peanut butter and jelly I shared with you at lunch? I shared it with you because you didn’t like the tuna sandwich your parents had given to you, but you were too scared to ask anyone to trade.”
I thought back to the day. Tuna sandwiches were the worst, even to little Cece. I remembered how kind I thought Peter was because he had seemingly came out of the blue to share his sandwich with me. I smiled a little bit and asked, “Did you even like tuna sandwiches, or were you just being nice?”
“I like them, it was mutual.” He smiled back at me for a moment before growing serious again. “Cece, I don’t know why I can read your mind. It’s only you, no one else.” I guess I looked confused, because he continued on. “I’ve tried to read other people’s minds, but I can’t.”
“Have…have you told anyone else about this?”
“I told my sister and my parents,” he said, looking down at his hands. “Becca laughed at me and my parents told me that I had been watching too much television. When I told Becca again, once I was older, she still didn’t believe me. I think she told our parents, because they tried to get me to see a therapist.”
I didn’t know how to respond to this. How could he only read my mind? It didn’t make any sense. “Well, I obviously believe you. I’m mortified and confused, but I believe you.” He fiddled with his hands, looking nowhere in particular with a strangely blank expression. “I promise to keep your secret, Peter. If you want me to help you find out why you can read my mind, I can try. Maybe we can figure out how to turn it off?”
“Turn it…off?” He looked up at me now, puzzled.
“Y-yeah, turn it off,” I shrugged. “I figured you’d want to turn it off, maybe have your own thoughts for a while. I don’t know how often you hear my thoughts but I’m sure I’m annoying.”
He smiled at this, and I could’ve sworn he was turning pink. “You’re not annoying. A little much, sometimes, but not annoying. I can only hear you when you’re close, so usually only in class.” He paused. “One time, when you were breaking up with Robbie St. Regis, I could hear you at my house. I don’t know where you were, but I know you weren’t close.”
Robbie St. Regis, ugh. “I was at my house. So, across town. That’s pretty far.” I smiled gently, a little flustered. “I guess I was really angry.”
“He cheated on you, I remember,” Peter said matter-of-factly. “I would be very angry, too. I was angry. It’s like…It’s like I felt the anger you were feeling. That was the only time I could feel your feeling, though. Usually it’s just whatever you’re thinking.”
“Do I think a lot?” I blurted out. “I feel like I’m annoying.”
Peter started to laugh. “No, Cece, you’re okay. I’m able to filter stuff that’s not too important. But, I came in here with a request, I didn’t come here to tell you how this all works.” He pulled himself together real quick. “Cecilia, will you please do me a favor?”
“I…I will take you up on your help,” Peter said softly, looking up at me earnestly. “I want to find out if there’s other people like me. People that can hear people’s thoughts. Maybe they can help me control it, like you said. ‘Turn it off’. I like hearing your thoughts, I always have,” he added, eyes darting around the car, “but I think I’d like to figure out if I can hear other people, or share my thoughts with you, or something, anything. I want to see if I can turn this into something…super.”
“Super? Like a superhero?” Maybe Monica was right, maybe real life superpowers existed…Obviously, Peter’s mind reading was a thing.
“No, well…maybe?” Peter shrugged. “I don’t know where to start, is all. I know you like to research stuff, I just figured you know better than me how to start a research project.”
I had always been pretty great at research projects…my last project on Harvey Milk’s life got the only perfect score in Government class. Of course, Peter knew this…not only could he read my mind, but he had been present for almost all of my school projects in our entire grade school career. Of course he wanted me to research for him, he was shit at research projects.
Of course. I nodded, looking him in the eyes. “I can help you.”
Peter’s face lit up. “Really?” He was so cute…I could feel myself blushing. “Thank you so much, Cece. I really appreciate it. You know how hard it is to look up weird stuff like this…I just want to understand myself more, and who better to ask than someone I trust?”
“You trust me?”
“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Peter said.
“We haven’t held a conversation this long since freshman year.”
He frowned. “That’s true. I…I’m sorry for that. That’s my fault. I, uh…”
“You don’t have to tell me why we stopped being friends, Pete, it’s okay. I’m just happy to help now. So…I’m gonna go home now, but I can help you out tomorrow after school.”
“Right, you have stuff to do tonight, I’m sure,” he said, obviously thinking out loud. “I have lots of homework to catch up on, so tomorrow might work.”
I started my car, unlocking the car doors for him to leave. “I’ll, uh, see you tomorrow. If I can find anything between now and then, you want me to let you know?”
He nodded, opening the car door. “Please. And, uh, thank you. For helping me, and for keeping this a secret. I know it doesn’t matter, but I don’t want the school finding out. I kind of like my position at the top of the social totem pole.”
Chuckling, I agreed. “I won’t tell anyone, you have my word.”
“See you tomorrow?” Peter asked, getting out of my car.
“See you tomorrow.” I made sure he drove away before beginning the journey home, trying to keep my thoughts to myself. What was I about to get into? Why did it have to be Peter? Why did it have to be us?! I wonder…what would we find?
Hey everyone! Thanks for reading my post! I’m trying a new thing out for this blog: creative writing! I used to write all the time, particularly a story I had started back in 2010. Since 2015, however, I’ve had extreme writer’s block. I started this blog mainly to share my thoughts and experiences with everyone who would listen, but also to try and relearn how to write creatively and get that spark back.
This prompt came from a question I like to pose to myself from time to time, “What if there were real life superheroes?” It’s a question that fuels most of my story ideas, and it’s something that I love to think about often. If I come up with a story prompt, nine times out of ten, it will be about superpowers! That’s just what I like to write about.
I also love to get inspiration from Pinterest and Tumblr, so whenever I find a cool prompt that I can write about, I’ll credit the website that I found it on. This one is all from my brain, though!
Let me know if you want to see more of this particular story, or if you have a cool prompt that you’ve come up with or seen recently. I’m open to anything! I love to write about real life from time to time, but I have fun writing creatively much more consistently. So, let me know what you guys think!