January 12, 2017 by Patrick Starks
Glass broke, trees fell, and people yelled, yet, in the moment of it all, I could see everything. It was as if time had stopped. They all floated like astronaut’s, except, we weren’t in space, and clearly the bus itself was nothing comparable to a shuttle. No longer was I student. I found myself on the path of Neo once again, as the wheels on the bus had gone round and round. Without thought, I made action. I grabbed the girl in front of me, who almost went out the window. Then pushed the boy to my right, back into his seat, who was nearly decapitated by the glass that flew. Before I knew it, the bus had stopped its mimic of tumbleweed. There were only minor bumps and bruises on a few of the kids on the bus, but everyone was safe, alive, and somehow, I made that happen, somehow, I unleashed something within I never knew I had.
From then on, I was gawked at the entire time, until the medics arrived. The survivors would try to explain to the cops what had happened, what I did, but the medics would tell the coppers that it was most likely a concussion they were having, or trauma by the whole experience. The medics had come to each and everyone of us, but felt they had no reason to spend time on me.
—This one’s good. Not a scratch on him. Your lucky kid, real lucky. Keep that angel by your side at all times. Here’s a sucker. You feel better.
A sour apple lollipop. How did the medic know? Although, I had to admit. No matter how good the sour-sweetness of the pop tasted, I still wondered what was going on with me. Just after a few hours of interrogation, and my tongue gradually turning green, I would finally make it back to a quite space—home. Mom became hysterical about the whole thing, as a mother should; I guess it didn’t help either that I was her only child. She popped in and out of my room more times than I could count. She was really bothered by the whole thing, as was I. Dad was the opposite as most dads are. He figured I was going through puberty something. But if anything, I think he was proud just to hear that the school respected me for once, and the bullies now feared me. How dad got these facts, I have no idea, and I never cared to ask.
The next day wasn’t any different. More of myself was unraveled as the week went on. I hadn’t worked out for months, even years, and some how I had the body of a superhero. I looked into the mirror. Am I Spider-man, I questioned. But I wasn’t bitten, and I highly doubted that a bite from a daddy long legs would be enough to do the trick. I looked through many of my family photos, to see if there was some sort of inheritance I had, something mom and dad never told me, something like teen wolf, the one starring Michael J. Fox of course. But still nothing that would have given me the sense of such. Although, there was an elderly woman in the photos I had ever seen. Her hair was long and dark. To compliment it, she held the most beautiful feathers of a bird that could be plucked. She had a calming aura about her. I felt I met her before, but none of my baby pictures was she in. So, I took the picture out of the album, as a possible clue in my self-discovery.
Not until I had P.E, did I become more concerned, more acquainted with what I had. It was a Friday afternoon—Betouchi day. And Coach Betouchi would have the class do the pacer, his typical end to a rough week. And yes, Betouchi was his name, and he looked like a Betouchi to be honest, if ever met in person. He wore a Mariners baseball cap, chewed big-red gum, wielded a whistle around what I felt to be a hairy neck, complemented by a windbreaker that wrapped around his torso, and around his hairy thighs—short shorts. Oh, and of course, tennis shoes as a completion of the set.
We began running. Little did we know we were already on level twelve. Time had gone by faster than expected. Usually I would have been exhausted by level three, but there I ran, without a break of sweat, on level twelve. For every level after that, I witness each kid in the class fall off the rankings. The whole class gazed at me in shock as I continued. Coach Betouchi had stopped chewing his big-red gum. It was now just down to two of us, that being me, and the notorious Flash—Jake. It was unheard of, or even seen that Jake had been beaten at the pacer. Everyone knew that this was Jakes Race. However, for the first time ever, it would appear Jake would have competition, me. The rhythm of the pacer had sped up, me and Jake sped up. We were doing the impossible, all until Jake began to slow down, grunting his way back and forward to the finish. It was apparent that he refused to give up. And then came level forty, which would be the end of Jake’s historical story.
The whole class oohed and ahhed. I continued to run, and Jake had finally stopped. Realizing what had happened, I slowed down. The room was now as silent as a broken man, yet, the pacer continued to count its way up to levels scarcely I knew I could bare, but I stopped as a respect for Jake.
—Alright everyone! What’s all this staring around. Hit the showers.
I followed the crowd to the locker room. Just before one foot passed through the door, Betouch would have words with me. Mr. Betouchi wanted to chat, and I could already assume what for. It’s not every day you see a chubby kid like me wake up with the body of a god the next week, especially one who beats the Flash, in his own race.
—Townsen! You stay right here. I need to speak with you.
Coach Betouchi stared through me like glass.
—Son, you taken steroids. You on that stuff.
Betouchi wasn’t buying what I said, but sadly, I was telling the truth. I honestly didn’t know
—I don’t know what’s going on with you either Townsend. But… welcome to puberty son, you’re a man now.
Our discussion ended quickly, and I finally hit the showers. When I entered, all the guys in the locker room stared at me like a bare-naked god, as most gods were usually depicted, I think. They all still looked winded from the run, but I never felt more alive. Before I could still comprehend what happened during the pacer, or even the accident from before, I was on another bus. I felt paranoid, so did the others on it. It only been a few days since the accident occurred. All was lost until I got on that bus again, all was lost until I met Sunny.