I should know. I’ve always felt different, somehow, but I never thought that was a bad thing. You’d think my parents would be happy with me getting straight A’s in school. You’d think they’d be impressed with my photographic memory. But no. Instead of being proud, they made me try out for the football team and sent me to a head-shrinker. The guy had the nerve to tell me there was “no such thing” as a photographic memory. Even after I demonstrated it on one of those childish psych tests he gave me, he still refused to accept it - the same way my parents refused to accept me.
I’m sure they thought a bookworm like me would bomb out on the football team. They probably just wanted to embarrass me. It’s not as though they ever showed me any affection. Mostly, they keep their distance, as though they’re afraid of me. I showed them, though. Not only did I make the football team, I made first team. I started scoring touchdowns, and suddenly, Mt. MacMurray High was winning again.
All of a sudden, I was a hero. Do you think I wanted that? Not really. I felt just as isolated as ever, and my parents still kept their distance.
Yeah, I never wanted to fit in. But you know that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”? Well, now, I don’t fit in at all. I’m running for my life, chased by a bunch of people who think I’m somehow special or important - people who either want to use me or kill me. And even with all my smarts, I can’t figure out why.
The only thing that makes it all bearable is Elyse, the girl I met just before this whole nightmare started. In some ways, she’s smarter than I am. At least she seems to know more about what’s going on. But she’s had her world turned upside-down, too, and I think she’s just as scared as I am.
A photographic memory is handy, but sometimes I wish I could tell the future instead. At least I’d know what was going to happen to me. As it is, my life is taking so many twists and turns I feel like I’m always waiting for the punchline of the bad joke that is my life. I’m still waiting. Hopefully, soon, I’ll figure it out. Algebra tests and football games were a helluva lot easier than this.