Copyright©March. 2013 Suzy Stewart Dubot
Published at Shakespir
An Anglo/American, Suzy has spent more time in France than anywhere else. An avid reader of three or four books a week, she was baffled as to how writers invented dialogue. A poorly written Regency romance made her feel she could do better, which is how she discovered that people in novels talk without help from the author. She now takes dictation from her own novels’ characters…
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Book cover design : Suzy Stewart Dubot
There wasn’t a club he could join.
Oh, sure, anyone can join a fan club or a sports club or the scouts, but what club do you join when you are the only one in the world like you; when others shy away from you?
He had sensed his differences very early on in life; maybe at the age of two or three. It had literally involved his senses because, now that he was fully grown, he knew that they were far more acute than those of anyone else he had ever met.
He could see and hear people coming from a long distance, and if he really concentrated, he could hear what they were saying. In fact, everything around him was audibly magnified, so that he usually tuned out what amounted to cacophony. As a result, at school he had been accused of not listening to the teacher, or worse — of cheating.
He’d heard things that were not meant for students’ ears.
His well-developed senses were almost a handicap. Perhaps they were normal for someone such as he, but as he had no siblings with whom to compare things, he would never know. His parents were certainly unremarkable, except for the fact that they had been in their forties when they’d had him.
As an only child, they could so easily have spoiled him, but he had not been affected by their attempts of over-indulgence. He had accepted with good grace what they had offered him but had never taken their favors for granted. They celebrated the various holidays together and gave gifts on special days, and because he was their only son, they were particularly attentive. Their generosity, however, left him feeling that it was compensation for something else he was not getting. As much as he would have liked to belong to that club which is ‘family’, he was aware that, there too, he stood apart.
When you are unique, it is hard to belong anywhere.
Wishing to impress a fellow-pupil and perhaps make a friend of him, he’d mentioned that he could see and hear people in the next room. He’d thought that the boy would be amused, but his reaction was immediate. He’d shoved him away and looked at him as though he were mad. From that time on, he had avoided him. The boy hadn’t even tried to verify the outrageous claim; the boast alone had been enough to alienate him. The boy had called him a ‘weirdo’ and soon others in his school whispered the same word.
There was the occasional girl who found him intriguing and who braved the condescending general opinion to befriend him. But friendships had never lasted due to peer pressure and perhaps the unseen vibrations or pheromones he emitted. If he were able to sense the ionic field that surrounded everyone — their energy field, it stood to reason that they would be able to detect his, if only subconsciously. It was as if two magnets were gently repelling each other.
The day came when he’d overheard teachers talking about him and his lack of participation with fellow-students. It had rammed home the impression that he served no real purpose in the world and discussing his self-doubts with his parents would only make them unhappy.
Teenagers are susceptible to depression and he’d come to understand how it could happen, because now he wanted to end the on-going days, weeks, months of loneliness.
The high bridge spanning the county river appeared to suit his plan. He was sure the impact on the water, so far below, would kill him, but failing that, drowning would finish the job.
He left a letter for his parents thanking them for everything they had done for him, saying his decision had not been taken light-heartedly but after days of reflection. A misfit did not belong in this world.
Once on the bridge, he stood looking out on the sinewy, silver river which looked so peaceful. It was with hesitant steps that he climbed onto the steel girder and steadied himself. This was it, the decisive moment. Could death be worse than the isolation he lived? A single tear escaped an eye and fell into the river below as he plunged.
He didn’t die but arrived intact on the bank of the river.
As he lay there saturated, looking up at the bridge, he wondered what other choices were left to him now that the suicide club was excluded.
There really is no club you can belong to when you’re Clark Kent…