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I took a step forward, and Ian stepped back. I lowered my arm, and reassured him : " Hey, we don't have to do this, we could have a t-"
Ian took a step back, and threw another fireball, which crashed against my armored arm, without hurting me. “Leave me alone !” He screamed as he threw fireballs in rapid succession.
I blocked a few of them, and moved to the side, dodging the rest. “I apologized, can you not try to kill me?”
“Exposing me is not something I can forgive !”
“I said I’m sorry ! I thought it would help !” I screamed back.
“No, it didn’t help ! Now people are calling me Gay-an at school ! What made you think this was right ?” He asked me, backing down. His flames took a red tone, and shredded his hoodie, burning through it as if it were paper.
"Ian, please ! Friends don't throw fireballs at each other !" I said, lowering my arms.
"I don't care ! You're the worst friend I ever had !" He said, throwing multiple fireballs at the same time. He the unleashed a powerful stream of flames that directly went towards my face.
I put my arm in front of my face, releasing electricity, that shaped itself in the air, forming a solid bubble of blue, translucent energy, protecting me from the flames. I pushed forward, through the flames, which stopped for a second, just enough time for me to catch a partially molten trash can lid. I threw it to Ian, who caught it like a frisbee, and dissolved it like it was nothing.
Dehydration and heat were getting the best of me, so I protected myself again with the energy wall, repeating the movements that made it appear. Ian threw a slew of fireballs against my shield, and they bounced off, crashing on the concrete walls, leaving black marks.
“You don’t wanna leave me alone ? Fine ! I’ll come !” He said as he sprinted towards me.
I lowered my defenses, both physically and mentally as he said this, but realized too late that he wasn’t coming in peace. As he reached for my head with his flaming hands, I stretched out my palm, and a streak of lightning boomed out of it, throwing me on my back, and shocking Ian with enough power to make him fall to the ground, convulsing.
I stood up and dusted my clothes before walking up to him. “What the fuck is wrong with you ? What was that ?”
He looked at me, his face barely lit by the flames and my gauntlet's faint blue light. I sat next to him, and opened my bag, to take my water bottle. I gulped down some fresh water.
Still convulsing lightly, he crawled and rested his back against the wall. “I- My dad was a firebreather. My mom didn’t tell me what kind, but I figured it out.”
"Are you sure?"
"I’ve got no reason to lie to you, come on ! Why do you even wanna know?” He said, eyeing me with half closed eyes.
I extended my unarmed hand to lift him up. "My best friend is throwing fireballs at me in a dark alley in the middle of July. What did you expect?"
He took my hand to stand up, and turned away. "Listen, I don't know. I'm just conflicted right now.”
I closed my fist. "Listen man, I'm sorry, for that tweet, but that's not a reason to throw fireballs at me, and you know that !"
Ian started walking out of the alley. "I know. I'm not expecting you to understand how I feel.” He disappeared at the end of the alley, his dark silouhette bathing in the intense sunlight, fading slowly into nothingness.
With Ian gone,I checked my watch, which was destroyed by the gauntlet that grew over my hand. It transformed into a myriad of metallic bits that infiltrated my skin silently, and weightlessly.
It's said that black people are never on time, and this was the only thing that I agreed with about us. I entered the house, three hours late, covered in sweat and smelling like garbage.
Dad was still in the garage with his car. Mom had made dinner, and was already sleeping, in her business costume, her black dreadlocks hanging off the couch, while the TV was on, casting a news report about improving the police force.
I found a plate on the round dining table, covered by a tablecloth with a flower pattern. I reached out for the garage door, and popped my head in. "Dad ! Mom made chicken !”
A fairly good looking man in his forties came in the kitchen, faster than a bullet.
He had all of his hair on his head, that still was pitch black, his face was expelling youth, with his green eyes powerfully pulsating energy, it almost felt surreal how energetic he was, and has been, since I was born. "Aaron, where's the chicken?"
I chuckled, and ate a piece of meatloaf while pointing at the plate Mom left for him. "I lied, today's meatloaf. " He sighed, and grabbed with his big hands his plate and started eating. He had such hands because he was always working on cars, he was holding a car repair shop, the Jackson Shop, and worked a lot with his employees, when he isn't fixing the car I broke or modding it.
" Enjoy your meal, you're gonna help me repair the car after that, and I'll tell you more about turbo compressors. " He said, looking at the meatloaf, and rolled his eyes. He would not leave the table for a moment. “Also, you need to take a shower, I didn't know French classes were active classes.”
I raised an eyebrow, and swallowed the last piece of the meatloaf. "I'm done, I'll be in my room, tell me when you're done. I then put my plate in the dishwasher, climbed the stairs and entered my room, to sit on my bed. This week had been crazy for me. Two days ago, Ian told me he was gay. Like a good friend, I thought that telling people would help him getting a boyfriend, but instead, bullies and homophobes jumped on him. And then my best friend started throwing fireballs at me while I had this weird gauntlet coming out from nowhere that made lightning. I laid down on my bed, closing my eyes.
In the silence of my bedroom, I could hear the air, and its slight, low humming, sounding almost like an electronic buzz. I let the sounds of peace sink in my ears, as it grew louder, progressively, to the point it became uncomfortable. I stood up with a heavy groan and walked towards the door, scratching my head to stave off the increasing pain in my skull. I rested against the doorframe, holding my stomach, and lurched slowly towards the bathroom, holding in the sickening, intense feeling of vomit running up my body, which I unloaded in the sink, a chunky mass of metal-infused vomit, that began melting off the sink before I washed it off with a ton of soap and water, rubbing aggressively the ooze off with my shower glove, which was burned up on the palm in the process.
“Let's forget the shower.” I said to myself, as the buzz in
my ears started again, sparking in its intensity, and bringing me the urge to run out of the bathroom, which I did, and walked slowly down the stairs as the sensation became more and more disturbing. I went through the garage door as the buzzing went from a strong humming to an electronic scream in my ears.
I stopped for a moment, taken aback by the force of the phenomenon inside of my head, forcing me to sit down on a bench, next to the car, holding my head with both hands, gritting my teeth. The sound became unbearable, and the pain rendered my nerves numb, and I couldn't feel my body moving, on its own, towards my Dad's car.
I stretched my hand towards the red Mustang, and a blue light rose from my left hand as dark spots appeared on it, moving chaotically on my hand, and turning into a streak of metal, a strand that pierced the hood, reaching for the inner parts of the engine, the control chips, including one that was limiting the car's speed, and one that controlled the pressure inside the engine. The limiter was broken, and the excess speed had made an air tube blow up.
The metallic bits that covered my hands surrounded the chips, and I could see inside the engine as it happened, seeing it get repaired, by whatever I was doing.
Suddenly, I was disconnected, and fell on my butt, covered by another layer of sweat, almost fuming because of the heat.
I stood up with a grunt, and picked up the keys in the toolbox, before pushing them in they keyhole, and starting up the car. It made a satisfying purring sound as the engine started quickly, faster than it ever did.
I stepped off the car and came in the kitchen, resting myself against the table, earning wide-eyed looks from my parents.