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Normal at it's Strangest
Walking down the street, I look like a normal teenage girl. Normal. What a weird expression. We always use it, but, what does it actually signify? If everyone’s different, then, what’s normal? Is there really something we all have? Something that bands us together, separates us from animals? I don’t think so. Anything can happen, pushing us closer to the fine line that supposedly separates us from our neighbours on this earth.
The thing is I’m not normal, though. I never have been. My life has been like a patchwork life. Like God took little pieces of hardly-lived lives, sewed them together and assigned it to me when I was born.
I’ll start from the very beginning. Try to follow.
I was born in Tokyo, into a rich family. My father had struck it big in the oil fields, and now, he was rich. He married my mother, and they had seven children, me being the second. I had a older sister, but, no one spoke of her. I don’t know why, exactly, and didn’t for a long time, until one day.
I must have blocked out what I did to make my parents so angry with me, but, I must have done something big. It tears me apart sometimes, not being able to remember it all, but, still being to remember why I can’t remember things.
I was dis-owned. My own parents no longer wanted a child like me, so, they payed a hypnotist to erase my own memories, and the memories of me from my siblings minds. I was only seven years old at the time.
I was taken to a foster home, where I lived until I was twelve. My foster mum was caring and loved me more than my own flesh and blood mother. That was what I thought at the time, anyway. Life was hard, never less. Food was scarce, until one fateful day.
The ad had been in the paper only for a day. It was hard to explain what they were asking for, and the journalist beat around the bush. She spoke of a new way to produce modern day heroes out of children. Pump their muscles with ster0ids, brainwash them to become geniuses, use medical drugs outlawed in most states to make them 3.4 times faster with each step. What they wanted from us, you’re wondering? Children. Second chances at tests. Flesh and blood to use and throw away. And they were willing to pay for it. I’m surprised they wouldn’t buy the children by pound of meat, like they do poultry in a store window. Three thousand per child. Three and a half, if the child appealed to them especially. This is where my memory ends, abruptly sawed off. The affects of the hypnotist.
I found myself strapped to a metal table next, and my foster family tore each other apart for the money I brought in. Syringes broke my skin and fluids were pumped into my veins, causing muscle spasms nightly. They played with my nerves and reflexes. They tapped into my subconscious and removed the memories to inspect them. I don’t even no why.
I was given pills daily, and was asked to lift and run and jump and take tests for spelling, grammar, math and philosophy. I was given injections nightly, into my thighs, pecks, biceps and back and shoulder muscles. Worst of all, when they tapped into my subconscious, they cut of the parts of my brain that support my ability to feel anything. Not only pain, but, emotions. Those monsters stole my feelings, leaving me only a shadow, a shade of feeling. I could remember happiness, but, only slightly feel it.
After three months, one week, and six days, a doctor entered my room as I lay on my bed, tossing a soccer ball up and down.
“ How are you feeling, Valerie?”
I shrugged, but, sat up and placed the ball down.
“No need to get up, I’m just here to talk.”
I raised my eyebrows, and shrugged, relaxing back into my former position.
“Now, do you feel any different?”
“Are you sure?”
“I said no.”
“Good. How do you feel?”
“I can no longer feel. You and the cheap labor at the front desk took my emotions. You drink them with your tea?”
“Are you sure we took them? You sound mad.”
I clutched the side of my bed. Then, there was a spark. Deep inside.
He smiled, “So, you still think we took those emotions?”
I grit my teeth as he taunted me with that smirk.
“See? You’re mad. Why would you be mad? I created you. You just don’t know what I’ve done. You haven’t embraced it.”
I was standing now, my fingers clutching the bed for support. The anger was draining. I hadn’t felt it for so long.
“You probably want to hit me, don’t you? Slam me against this wall?”
He took a step closer so he was only a arm’s reach away. He leaned so he was whispering in my ear. I felt his hot breath on my neck, and my grasp tightened.
“You know why you’re here? Nobody wants you,” He turns towards the halls and screamed it, “Nobody wants you!”
I grit my teeth harder and felt the tension grow in my wrists and shoulders, as I hunched over.
I swallowed as he leaned close again, “You were sold. For money. Like a object. We obviously paid too much though, it’s clear you’re worthless,” He hissed.
I was at the end of my new-found fuse. It was so easy to find it again, like riding a bike. No matter how long you don’t do it, you can just pick it up again. Now, I was about to lose it.
“Unwanted and worthless. Pathetic. A waste of flesh.”
and I lost it.
I saw it in slow motion. He began to walk away, his steps echoing in the emptiness of my anger. My fingers tightened, my muscles in my back and shoulder clenched, and my knees bent down. I shifted my weight and lifted, flipping the bed clean over. The blankets flew off the bed, and then, bang, the wood of the frame smashed against the wall. The doctor froze, one foot out the door, and a smile spread on his lips as he observed the splinters.
I was panting, my shoulders and back heaving. How the h*ll did I do that? I stared at my hands, and flexed them. The muscles bulged below the skin.
“You understand it now?” The doctor said, “Super strength. Massive strength.”
I was speechless, but, not because I didn’t believe it. I knew they were going to do something. If I didn’t die from whatever was pumping through my veins, I would have some sort of amazing power.
“I.. I understand,” I stammered, and the doctor exited my room, calling for a nurse to bring me a new bed and clean up the scraps.
I was given more freedom afterwards. I was allowed into the weight room, the basketball courts, and the gym. I was also allowed to get my food from the mess hall, instead of having it brought to me on a tray. I noticed my strength begin to increase as my real training began. I couldn’t lift a jet on my pinkie finger, or juggle minivans, but, I still had 2.7 times more strength than a average girl my age. I could over hand serve a ball from one end of the gym, and it would easily hit the wall and bounce off. Soon, the ball would bounce right back to me. I could bench press my own weight, tripled.
But, somehow, it didn’t feel right. I know, it should have. Still, the people there, they didn’t have their emotions. They couldn’t love me, laugh fully at my jokes. Not that I had ever been really loved, but, I knew that this wasn’t it.
It was surprisingly easy to escape from the hospital. I pretty much walked right up to the front door. My only obstacles were the guards and the hand scan at the doors. I gave the guard a smile, and began to make conversation, pretended I had already cracked. There were some kids like that here. Their brains had been turned to mush, fried and buzzing from all the drugs. I made idle chit-chat, occasionally throwing in a random comment about the color of his tie being the same as my Aunt Margie’s eyes before she had that crazy surgery where the dog hated the doctor cause he had funny red hair, oh, kinda like that kids..
As he reached for my arm to take me back to my room, I jumped into action. I grabbed him by his tie, pulling him down, and lifting my knee. I spun, and threw him clean across the room. The next guard tackled me, but, I had a advantage over him a hundred fold.
My fist passed through the iron wall and I ripped the wires clean out. The doors opened quietly, the sun shone down on me.
Suddenly, there was a voice from behind me.
“Stop, Valerie,” The doctor’s voice was cold as ice. I stopped.
“No,” I said, “ I am leaving.”
“You are nothing without this hospital. We have made you. The people out there will not accept you!”
I paused, half out the door. What he was saying may be true. People might shun me. But, what was worse, being shunned and held captive, or being shunned, but, being free?
The doctor was right.
This hospital bought me.
This hospital changed me.
This hospital hurt me.
This hospital made me.
This hospital will want me back,
but, this hospital can’t control me.