Another Normal Man
"I'm sorry but all I remember is I was crossing the street and there was a bright flash, like someone took a photograph of me. Then I woke up and I was here in the hospital in a full body cast. You sitting in the corner waiting." Mika said for the third time to the female reporter. Her pen did not move as he talked; she had already written down his statement. She had visited him once a week for the past three weeks, always asking the same series of questions. Mika knew something was wrong with the reporters story, if it was about the accident then it should have been published by now. But the more the reporter showed up, the more Mika trusted her.
"There's nothing special about how you arrived there, or maybe some of other events that led up to that moment?" she said, making sure to make her voice sound as if it was referring to something she knew he hadn't said yet.
"You said you saw it! You took photographs and wrote the article in the paper, you should know more than I do."
"I know you were neither on that street corner nor were you anywhere close to it within five minutes of the accident. You can tell me all the details. I have been collecting stories from others like you."
"Your right, I wasn't there. I was in Central Park."
"So you're gifted?"
"Yes, though, the ability to teleport wasn't always my power."
"What was your power?"
"Well," Mika glanced toward the door to make sure it was closed. "My first power was pheromone manipulation. I lost that. About four months before the accident, I gained teleportation. I haven't had any since the accident."
"If I show you pictures of other gifted people that I believe you might know, will you tell me about them?" She took a manila folder out of her book bag and placed it on Mika's bedside table.
"What do they have to do with any of this?"
"Someone is going around and taking gifts, a few of your friends have witnessed the same flash before their own gift vanished. If you help me I may be able to prevent the loss of other gifts in the future." She flipped the folder open and the first picture in it was of a black haired boy with bright blue eyes and a gentle smile.
"His name is Marcus Drake. I liked him when my pheromone powers were on the fritz. He went to a Mormon college in Idaho, but lived in the town I went to college in. I liked him, a lot. But he didn't like me back, not in the same way."
Marcus and Mika had been around each other a few times over the span of four years but really met never talked or were seriously introduced until February of 2010. Mika had just ended courting a girl named Persephone. Marcus was the third person Mika had been interested that had a gift in the last four years. Though, like the others, he did not know of said gift until after human contact had been made, Marcus could negate the powers of others. Neither of them had known about this till it was too late. Mika had been holding back on using his gifts on Marcus due to the fact that he wanted to be sure Marcus liked him and wasn't just affected by pheromones. According to Mika a kiss on the cheek made this a lot easier. Mika's power was gone. Marcus needed to be walked out of Mika's building after a hang out night with the rest of their friends, so Mika volunteered. They both said goodbye to each other somewhat awkwardly. Mika found this to be flirting on both parts so when Marcus went to hug him goodbye, Mika kissed him on the cheek. This is something he would regret in the short term, for about a week, but be thankful for in the long-term. The next morning he woke up with the flu, due to an extremely weakened immune system. Mika's gift had raised his immune system as a side effect without his knowledge. For the next five days if he didn't need to be in classes, he was in bed hopped up on cough syrup, water, orange juice and decongestants. On the last day Mika was too sick to leave bed an instant message popped up on his computer screen. It was Marcus and he was sick too. With the negation Marcus had to experience some of the negative side effects of Mika's powers. So Marcus's more animal like urges to do things he hadn't done yet, of a sexual nature had been hyped up. Luckily the flu kept him from being able to act on these urges. Mika jokingly blamed Marcus for his sickness and Marcus accepted the blame. Then, after talking, Marcus fessed up to possibly being bisexual, which was most likely just Mika's powers bringing out any and all available sexuality. Mika suggested that he could help him out by giving him date like experiences and Marcus agreed. Two nights later, Mika was invited over with a group of other friend's to Marcus's house to play games in his basement. Their hands had tried to hold each other while playing hide and seek. Mika hoped that every time he hid that Marcus would join him, or find him first and they could have a moment, but that never happened. On the ride home, Marcus drove Mika and three of the girls back to campus. Mika was the last person out of the car, so he made sure to thank Marcus and kiss him on the cheek. Marcus's gift would not let Mika have his gift back, but it did allow Marcus to move on from holding Mika's power. The manipulation of pheromones was now gone from both of them. From that point on Mika's mind began to clear, his body and soul was set free. Mika told Marcus about the change after a few nights, hoping it might help him win Marcus's heart, but it didn't and they would both move on.
"Is that all you can tell me about Marcus?" She asked him after scribbling the story down.
"Yes, I never noticed him using his power again. We also pretty much stopped talking after he got himself a girlfriend."
"Did she have a gift?"
"No, not that I know of, if she did then I'm sure she didn't keep it long after dating him."
"What was her name?"
"Alexia, I don't think you've told me yours yet."
"You can call me Essa."
"You said others have lost their powers, did Marcus lose his?"
"No, I was hoping you could give me information on him so I could find him and warn him. The others might be in trouble as well, like this young woman." Essa pulled out a picture of a black haired girl with a soft rounded face and green eyes.
"That's Veronica, she could shape shift into animals. She still goes to college."
Mika and Veronica had met a year ago but bonded fast into a brother sister like relationship. Before that she attended a small community college and stayed close to home. Being around new people and away from home Veronica became more of her own person. The bond formed about two months into knowing each other when Veronica got somewhat intoxicated at a party and decided to show off her other side. She leaned over and whispered into his ear that she could become any living animal that she had recently seen then leaped drunkenly from the couch shifting in midair in front of all of their friends into a cat. She landed on the coffee table and sat purring. Veronica grew up in central New York and was a Rainbow girl. She had gone to two years of community college then transferred to Mika's college quickly joining the group. They took her in and helped her open up, to the point where she was alright with letting out even the most bizarre of secrets. In cat form she paced around the room rubbing one of the boys on his leg and sitting in his lap. Mika left after she had changed back into herself and he was sure that she was safely asleep in her room. Their friendship grew after Mika lost his pheromone manipulation. Then once he graduated he kept in contact as often as possible wanting to be on every detail about any, "special" happenings.
"Interesting, and his name is?" Essa pulled out a picture of a boy with a round face and a very dramatic artistic haircut. Mika had seen it in the school paper.
"Dylan, we used to be in love,…" he said a bit broken remembering every detail instantly.
Mika and Dylan met in Mika's sophomore year, Dylan was a freshman. They had met through a student group for LGBT students. They didn't really notice each other until a few days later when Mika was reintroduced to Dylan and Dylan couldn't help but smile. The two boys both felt the same way almost instantly but would not admit it for two weeks. On their first date Mika had uncontrollably started to use his powers. At that point thankfully they were still weak so Dylan could fight them; this showed Mika he would never have to use his gift on Dylan. At a boat burning, which signified the end of summer Mika confessed three things, his power, his past and his the love that was growing within him. That same night Dylan had a few confessions as well, he also was starting to fall in love, and he also had a power. He was like a human photo copier, he could copy any image onto a new canvas or space in an exact replica. He had been using his powers for his art major and then further manipulating the images to suit his artistic view. Dylan and Mika both waited till they had been dating three months to tell their parents that they were dating, this resulted in some awkward moments on both families' parts but in time everything became normal. That spring Mika was invited to Dylan's house for spring break. Their love grew stronger and stronger as a year together passed by. They had both become important to the LGBT student group and helped to run it. The next spring break came and Dylan was invited to Mika's house for the week. When they returned to college both of their schedules kicked into overdrive, which meant they were more stressed and had less time together than ever before. Mika's powers kicked into overdrive with all the stress he was feeling, so he attempted to let Dylan off the hook from what he thought might be his own collapse. This broke both of their hearts and they separated.
"Do you still feel anything for him?" She asked.
"Of course I do, I always will, he taught me how to love and I will never forget that."
"You say he lives up at college with most of your other friends."
"Yes, I think me and Persaphone were the only ones to leave." He said watching her face.
She raised her eyebrow to Persaphone's name, and then a male nurse poked his head in.
"Visting time is over Ma'am." The nurse said slipping back out. Essa started to pack up fast.
"Well I have got to get going,
Mika stared at the bag Essa had left behind; he pressed the button to help him sit up and leaned over the side of his bed to grip the bag's handle. He pulled the bag up on the bed and opened it Inside was the manila folder, the notepad Essa had been writing in, her camera and a black folder. In the manila folder there were pictures of seven more of his friends from the past four years. He opened the black folder to find single pictures of not only his friends but many other people he had never met. He turned on her camera to look at some of her recent photographs and found a picture of himself, right as a blue van was about to hit him and send him to this very hospital bed. Mika had given away information about his friends to a woman who was obviously hunting them down and taking their powers. He looked through the manila folder again, and saw the one person he knew could fix his mistake, Persephone. He pushed the button for the nurse after hiding the folders back in the bag along with the camera, shoving the bag under his blanket.
"Yes sir?" the nurse said popping his head in the door.
"I need to get in contact with someone; her number is in my cell phone." Mika pointed across the room to a bag of his own things. The nurse reached in his bag to pull out the cell phone and gave it to him quickly following up by placing the landline phone in his lap.
"Will that be all?"
"Yes, it's just I remembered something very important, thank you."
"Have a good night sir." The nurse said stepping back out into the hall way and closing the door behind himself. Mika turned on his cell phone and clicked through his contacts, dialing Persephone's number on the land phone.
"Hello?" a female voice said.
"Persephone, it's me Mika."
"Where the Hell have you been?" she asked.
"A hospital bed?. I was in hit by a van, that's not important though, I need you to get in contact with Veronica and tell her to hide, then I need you to get down to New York City ASAP, I'm at Presbyterian."
"What's going on?"
"There's a woman who's hunting down people with powers and taking them, she has your photo so don't show up as you. We need to stop her before she gets to anyone else."
"Did you tell her about me?"
"No, but I told her about Veronica and Marcus. If she hadn't forgotten her bag I would have told her about everyone else."
"I'll be there by tomorrow." The phone clicked off and Mika knew he would have to hide the bag so that when Essa came by looking for it the next day he could say she took it with her when she left. His legs had mostly healed while he had been at the hospital, so he took a deep breath and moved off the bed struggling to stand. He took the bag with him as he inched across the room to a dresser. He placed the bag under extra blankets and sheets closing the drawer and returned to bed.