Kya thought about calling Amelia, but she knew that Amelia tended to overreact. It reminded her of the time she was convinced that the guy walking down the street behind her was stalking her. She ended up walking half an hour away from her house to throw him off because she didn’t want him to know where she lived. Then had Kya meet her at the Noble Brew where Kya spent an hour convincing her that she was likely safe. But on the other hand, Kya knew that she did just get five Supers.
Kya slowly dialed the numbers, and made the phone call.
“K?” Amelia answered immediately. It was obvious that she was trying to stifle her crying as her breathing lacked a normal rhythm.
“Yeah. You okay?”
“No! I can’t control any of them!”
“They’re manifesting all at once?”
“Yeah. I don’t know what to do!”
“You got five Supers, Lia. It’ll take time to manage them.” Kya was standing outside her apartment as people streamed past her in both directions. She tried to decide what direction to walk. Standing still felt awkward.
“I don’t know, K.” Amelia sobbed and her voice squeaked.
“Do you remember the time you had the hiccups and they wouldn’t stop? You thought you had been poisoned. We tried a bunch of home remedies until they just randomly stopped.”
“Well, you survived that.” Kya shuffled quickly through her memories. “How about that time you thought the guy was following you home?”
“Yeah.” Amelia sounded like she was somewhere between laughing and crying.
“Or the time we went and saw that horror movie and you were convinced it was predicting your future.”
“Well she did have black hair and worked in a coffee shop.”
They both made a little laugh. Kya walked away from her building, not wanting to go up to her apartment and risk having this conversation in front of Sam.
“But, Kya, I feel like I’m going insane!” Amelia said.
“Did the guy you got these powers from say anything about the side effects?”
“He gave me some sedatives to take and he said that the manifestation could be really intense.” Amelia sniffed as she spoke.
“Have you taken them?”
“No. You know I don’t like drugs.”
They both gave a small laugh again.
Although she had seen evidence of it, Kya hadn’t considered that there would ever be consequences to getting Supers and mentally chided her friend for getting them all at once. “Amelia, you are impossible!” Kya started. “I think you’ll be fine.”
A stranger, an older man that Kya didn’t recognize, walking along the sidewalk gave her a large amount of space as he passed. It was as though he was worried the drama, that he could likely hear, would spread to him like a disease if he got too close.
“You sure?” Amelia said. She still sounded rough.
“Well, yeah. You’re a big girl. You can take care of yourself.”
“Okay. Do some deep breathing. Try and relax. You have four options that I can see.” Kya began in a calm tone, hoping she could help her friend find peace of mind. “You can go to the hospital and admit to obtaining Black Market Supers, you can take the sedatives and see if they help, you can try to distract yourself with a book or movie or meditation or something, or I can come over and we can try to work out another solution.”
“What do you think I should do?” Amelia’s voice barely came through the speaker on the phone, sounding more like a scared child.
“Take the sedatives, and text me throughout the night. If I don’t hear from you for like twenty minutes, I’ll come by.” Kya had walked around the block and was nearing the entrance to her building.
She didn’t really want to rush over to her friends place, but she also knew if things were reversed, she might want Amelia to come and help her. She took a moment to reflect on the changes that were happening in her life. It felt like the only safe thing, the only unchanging thing, was the tall apartment complex that she called home.
“Okay, Kya. Thanks.” Amelia said after a long pause.
“Think you’ll be okay?”
“Yeah. I think so.”
“Hey, roomie!” Sam said, opening the door before Kya could put her key in the lock.
“What? How did you?” Kya replied with a questioning glance.
“You have a distinctive way of jingling your keys.” Sam smiled and extended his arm to grab her purse. “I prepared a dinner for us.”
Kya walked past slowly setting down her purse. “Hmm?”
“Spaghetti.” He said and gestured towards the table which had already been set. “And salad.”
“Very nice.” Kya said, returning a smile. “But why?”
“Well, I know things have been rough lately, and I just thought it would be nice.” He shrugged.
“Thanks.” Kya sighed as she sat in her usual spot, and she suddenly felt exhausted and starved.
“You look like you need it.” Sam said with a nod as he sat in his usual seat. “Long week?”
“You could say that.” Kya served herself a generous helping of spaghetti and then loaded it with parmesan. “How is school going?”
“I’m getting my performance appraisal at the end of next week. Pretty nervous about that. But I really love my class. They have come a long way since I started with them in November. The school is also amazing. I hope I get a permanent placement there in September.”
“That’s awesome.” Kya nodded.
Kya’s pocket buzzed and she took out her phone. The message was from Amelia.
>Feeling better. Thanks.
Kya sighed then smiled and returned her phone to her pocket.
“Everything okay?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, Amelia’s just going through some stuff.”
Kya and Sam had a good visit over the rest of their dinner. Neither one of them mentioned Supers in any capacity. They talked about their jobs, and life in general, told some jokes and just enjoyed each other’s company. Every so often, Amelia would check in, which Kya really appreciated.
After cleaning up from dinner, Kya and Sam sat in the living room together, music on, and both quietly locked their attention onto their electronic devices. Kya was surfing the Net and trying to decide if she really wanted to see what a search for pregnancy and Supers brought up. The idea of motherhood had never really been in Kya’s long term plan. She had hoped to maybe find a husband at some point in her life, but beyond that, her attention was focused on her friends and getting Supers.
Every so often, Amelia would text, and Kya would stop what she was doing and respond.
>You know, I haven’t taken those sedatives.
I’m not taking them unless it’s absolutely necessary.
>Probably a wise choice.
What did you end up doing to calm down?
>I had a bottle of wine, put on classical music super loud through my headphones, and covered every mirror in my apartment.
The music drowns out the voices.
That last text hit Kya hard, and a cold chill ran up her spine.
“Amelia, what did you do?” Kya whispered.
“Sorry?” Sam questioned and looked up from his tablet.
“Nothing.” Kya replied with what she hoped was a casual smile.