A/N: This is a story – written between 1995 and 1997 - that used to be on an old geocities site that became defunct several years ago – I rediscovered it, did some minimal editing, and decided to re-post it onto .
Disclaimer: The characters of the Tomorrow People are not mine but belong to Damon Price and Nicolodeon. Please don't sue; teachers make no money. Thank you.
Reflections (One Word)
"Have you ever thought of what your life would have been like if you hadn't been a Tomorrow Person?"
The question was apparently just tossed out during a pause in conversations. The Tomorrow People sat on the beach, silently surrounding a small bonfire. Scant light fell upon them from the fingernail clipping of a moon. The ocean sounding like a sleeping beast, softly breathing upon the shore. Six pairs of eyes looked curiously at the only adult in their circle.
The man leaned forward, looking each young person in the eyes, waiting for a response. "One word. Think about it. In one word, tell me what your life would be like if you weren't a Tomorrow Person." His expression was serious. A genuine interest, and concern, in his eyes.
Almost at once, two voices, an American tenor and an English soprano, chimed in. "Boring!" The red head boy and young blonde girl exchanged grins while the others hid smiles behind their hands. After the laughter stopped, gazes moved to the next.
One dark skinned girl wrapped her arms about herself as if cold. "Safe." Her voice soft, the American accent evident.
Another dark skinned girl looked on sympathetically. Her own accent claiming she hailed from London. "Normal." She glanced at the others and shrugged in apology.
The youngest boy spoke next. "Not so complicated."
"Hey!" the red head exclaimed. "That's three words." He teasingly hit the other boy's shoulder and the boy grinned in good humor.
"Sorry." His was also an English accent. "Uncomplicated?" He shrugged, obviously unable to think of a better word. The others nodded, letting him off the hook, then turned expectantly at the last boy.
He stared into the fire, arms wrapped loosely around his legs, chin resting lightly on his knees. He stirred, about to say something, then changed his mind, stating simply, "Lonely."
The Australian accent had a lilting quality that seemed to impregnate that one word with a sad sort of longing that touched a chord in each person around the fire.
A shiver shook the group for a moment. Then they jumped as a log collapsed upon itself, sending up a flurry of sparks that danced about like fairies on the wind. The teens giggled nervously.
One by one, they began winking out, heading for home, until only the American red head, the adult, and the Australian remained.
The man motioned for the older boy to join him while his son began picking up his misplaced gear.
"You were going to say something else. What was it?"
The Australian shrugged. "I couldn't find a one word equivalent."
"Maybe I can help?" he suggested.
The boy shook his head. "It doesn't matter anymore. I'm a Tomorrow Person. That's what counts."
The man nodded, a bit unconvinced. "If you need to talk ..." he left the option open.
The teen nodded, solemn. The younger boy ran up to the two. "Dad, ready?"
After another glance with older boy, the father nodded. "Let's go." They disappeared in a flash of light.
The young man reclaimed his seat by the fire. Alone. And yet, within his mind came the soft touches of his friends. Their concern and caring wrapped themselves around him, until he felt warm and his depressing thoughts were washed away.