I always thought the world was a loud place. As a kid, I can never get peace from the conversations and mundane thoughts of everyone around me.
I was seven when I realised that it’s not as loud to everyone else as it was to me.
People tend to say incredibly less than what they think.
I can hear everything.
At that time, I was ecstatic about it. I was a kid, after all. Imagine the wonder it is to realise that I can hear everyone’s thoughts.
(There was fear upon realisation, but that paled in comparison to the thought that no one can hide secrets from me.)
Turns out, everyone else’s secrets are too much for me.
I was thirteen when I accidentally caught my Science teacher thinking about different ways to kill her husband. It frightened me when her husband disappeared two weeks later. But not as much as it frightened me to see her innocent distress at the disappearance.
Right then I decided to block everything. It took quite some time but I’ve trained myself to ignore them. Now they’re just background buzz. Similar to when you’re out at a cafe reading: you can hear them, but the words don’t register.
Unless I decide to focus because I need a bit of entertainment.
I wasn’t planning to attend this party but my bestfriend badgered me to keep him company.
“Please, try to contain your excitement,” a voice dryly said.
I looked over at Eric and can’t help but smirk at the harried look on his face. “Have you escaped Jessica, then?”
“Just about. I expect she’ll find me and drag me to meet the nephew of the godson of whoever top CEO,” he said with a grimace.
“That’s what happens when you marry a socialite and the world’s biggest extrovert while you’re a beard away from being a hermit,” I said, taking a sip of Champagne. It’s the real thing, I noted.
“I’m the happiest man alive?”
“I think Anya means you resort to blackmailing your best friend to keep you company while you try to hide from your wife at a party in your own home,” said a new voice.
I smiled at Jessica. “You look stunning, Jess.”
She reached over and hugged me. “I am so glad you’re here, Anya. You’re looking too wonderful to be wasting the night away with Eric.”
“Sweetheart, how is Anya going to find a potential boyfriend for you to threaten if you don’t leave her alone when she’s looking this gorgeous?” Jessica winked at me as she looped her arm around Eric’s waist. “Come on, I want you to meet someone, then I promise to return you to Anya immediately after.”
I giggled as I heard Eric sigh.
“Have fun! Take your time.”
I giggled again at the glare Eric sent my way and the amused glance Jessica gave me.
I grabbed another drink and stood by myself at a cocktail table. Jesus, this is really boring.
Do I look as bored as that man standing by the door? God, I hope I don’t.
I studied him closely and smiled at my drink as I saw him awkwardly bump the wall as he smiled and took a step back from the woman talking to him.
I noted the slightly panicked look on his face and decided to listen in, smirking as I heard the woman’s thoughts. The lady obviously can’t take a hint and this man may find himself in a kinky menage a trois with this lady’s husband if he doesn’t run away fast enough.
But then again, maybe that’s his thing.
“Not on your life. Please save me.”
I looked up. Who the hell was that?
“Me. Guy trying not to be a rich couple’s boy toy.”
Shocked, I met the man’s eyes. The panicked look on his face had turned into one of amusement.
Wait, this dude can hear my thoughts?
“Yes, I can, obviously, or I wouldn’t be talking to you right now, would I?”
Ugh. Shut up, I’m trying to think.
This hasn’t happened before. I always hear other people’s thoughts but no one has answered me. Does this mean he can hear everyone’s thoughts as well? Are there more people like me out there?
“If I promise to answer some of those questions and vow to help find the answers to the rest, would you save me from this lady?”
I stared at him. Honestly, this freaks me out and I really, really want to just leave.
But…he may be someone like me. I’ve never met someone like me.