The Only Exception

I can hear all their thoughts. I can't take it anymore. I want the voices to stop. I hear them all. "Mickey," I heard someone scream my name. I know that voice. I turned around to see Jordan running from across the street. Her golden brown hair glistened in the California sun. She was wearing a blue jersey dress and brown cowboy boots. I loved that dress on her. Sometimes I wonder how she ended up with a guy like me. Jordan was beautiful, smart, ad kind. She was also studying to be a lawyer at Stanford University and was on the top of her class.

I was a high school drop-out working as a mechanic at Jorge's Auto body shop. My father had left my mother when I was 13, so I had to find a job and help pay the bills. Then, mom got sick, so I became the only bread winner and had to quit school. Jorge is my mother's best friend and he took me under his wing after father left. He showed me how to fix cars and gave me a job. I owe him everything. Right now I can't afford to go to college but I'm hopeful that one day I will. I want to be a writer. I had won awards in school for my poems and short stories. I even got one of my stories published in the local newspaper.

However, I did some stupid things that I will regret for the rest of my life. When father left, I was so angry. I couldn't believe he did that to us; leaving us broke and all alone. I got in trouble in school for getting into fights, disrespecting teachers, and stealing food. Initially, they had suspended me three times during my freshmen year in high school and gotten detention so many times that I've lost count. I met Jordan while putting in the hours for community service at the school garden. She was wearing that same blue jersey dress and her hair was blonde then. I'm not into blondes so I didn't pay much attention to her. Nevertheless, I just wanted to do what I had to do and go home. To my surprise, however, she came up to me while I was trying to avoid stepping on this huge slug while trying to dump the fertilizer into the rolling cart.

"What's a guy like you gardening?" she asked. I was so startled that I slip and fell back onto the slug. "Ah, gross!" I yelled. "I'm so sorry. Let me help you." She said. "I think you've done enough," I scolded at her. When I saw her face I regretted how I acted towards her. Of course, she didn't mean for me to get all covered in dirt. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be cross with you." I told her. "Its okay" she smiled. "Let's start over, okay. My name is Jordan." she said. "Nice to meet you, Jordan. I'm Mickey," I responded. We spent the day talking about ourselves, laughing, and enjoying each other's company. I hadn't laughed in a long time and that was the highlight of my day. I had to work after school and wouldn't be home till 12pm. That night everything changed.

There was a gas leak in the stock room. I had smelled the pungent smell while on my way to lunch. I went inside to check it out. Then the door got stuck and I couldn't get out. No one could hear me because Tommy had the radio blasting. I banged on the door while screaming my lungs out. The smell over-powered me and I passed out. The next thing I knew I was in the emergency room. I could hear voices. When I opened my eyes I saw my mom sitting on a chair next to my hospital bed. She was crying. "Oh my poor baby" I heard her say but her lips didn't move. "Mom" I said. "Oh, honey!" she yelled out. "Thank you, Jesus!" I heard her say but I noticed this was not said out-loud. I can hear her thoughts. No, that's not possible I thought to myself. Suddenly, a doctor walked in checking his blackberry. "Tonight, I'm cheating on my wife with a 21 year old" I heard him think. No way, I thought. I can hear their thoughts. I thought I was going crazy. Mother saw the crazed expression on my face and I knew what she was going to say before she said it. "Is he going to be okay? He doesn't look so good." She asked the doctor. The doctor came closer to me and smiled. I got a look at his name tag which read, Dr. Skye. Am I okay? I wondered. "We are going to run more tests on him but everything looks well, though" Dr. Skye told my mother. "Thank you so much" she cried. "They just cut off the lights-he forgot to pay the electric bill. My poor baby." I heard my mother think. Shoot! I did forget to go pay the electric bill. I had been hanging with Jordan that I totally forgot my responsibilities.

I looked at my mother to tell her that I was sorry but her eyes glazed over and she dropped to the floor. All the color had drained from her face. It was so scary how her eyes just rolled back like that. "Mom," I yelled. She didn't get up. Dr. Skye had yelled for a nurse and they took my mother away. As Dr. Skye walked out I heard him say in his mind; "looks like leukemia." I just heard his thoughts again. I must be crazy. My mother has leukemia?! Then I heard them all. All those voices and thoughts integrating in my mind and I couldn't handle it. "Make them stop!" I screamed. I think I had a breakdown of some sort because nurses came in and forced me down to inject a tranquilizer. Everything faded to black and the voices stopped.