I was just five when it happened first time. one minute I was next to the swings in the back garden, the next minute I'm in the living room sitting on the couch. Yeah, It came as a shock to me as well. Well to be honest it still does, but after two weeks of breaking into the sweet store two blocks down just by looking in and thinking hard, I got used to it. I mean, it was only a bit of harmless fun, right?
My real troubles began when I was 13. Up until then I had managed to keep my abilities secret from everybody, but when I hit puberty, things took a major turn for the worst. It was as if my body was against me. My hormones were all over the place, and so were my jumps. It wasn't fun. This led to all sorts of problems, including one of the most embarrassing things in my life. I should probably explain. See when I was twelve I naturally started getting more interested in girls. Well more specifically one girl in particular. Claire Summers. Now we had been good friends for a few years now. She was in all my classes, lived in the same neighborhood, that sort of thing. She was the perfect 'girl next door' type. I'd been to her house a few times, talked to her parents, general pleasantries and such like. So imagine this, every time I sneeze, I jump. So when you have a cold, it's pretty much a constant move around. And just to add the cherry one the top, I'm in the shower, naked as the day I was born. Now that you've got the facts, you can guess where this is going. I'm in the shower when I sneeze, so I jump. When I jump, I end up back in Claire's room. Claire's there, obviously. I'm now stood, butt-naked, in her room with her standing in front of me. I can pretty much sum up the next 30 seconds or so in one word. Screaming. I'm pretty sure that people in space heard her. I sneeze again and I'm right back home, where I belong. All's good, right? Wrong. About five minutes later there comes a hammering at the door. It's Claire's dad, and he's not happy. He barges past my mum, and yells at the top of his voice "JACK RIDER!"(That's me by the way) "GET YOUR ARSE DOWN HERE NOW" I wrapped myself in a lime green towel from the rack and waddled out. a confused look came over Claire's dads face. "Where were you about five minutes ago boy?" he asked me, spittle flying freely into my face. I put on my most innocent voice, and replied "here sir". He stared at me for a few moments, taking in my wet hair and towel, before replying "ok, but if you're lying to me boy..."He let the threat hang in the air for a few moments, before turning on his heels and marching out of the front door. My mum gives me a questioning look, and I just shrug at her. I walk back up to my room, and breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately my troubles were far from over.
Lets fast-forward six months, shall we? Claire doesn't understand what she saw. So Claire hates me. not just hate, she loathes me. She despises every atom in my body. And because of this most of my classmates hate me, and the ones that don't are too scared to be near me. As a result, I fell into a pretty bad crowd. We used to destroy bus shelters, smash windows, we all thought it was a laugh. However there was one moment that felt redeeming. It was just an ordinary day at school. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping. All in all, a nice day. I had taken up spot under a shady apple tree. This was the only place I could go. Claire had decreed it. I was to be trapped here, watching everyone else have fun, but never joining in. It was torture. So anyway, I'm leaning against my tree, watching the world behind sunglasses. I like sunglasses. You can see people, but people can't see you. My eyes drifted over to the popular kids table. Six months ago I would sit there with friends all around me. Now there was no one but the leaves. I watched as Claire and two of her girlfriends walk over to the other side of the road. Because she's too distracted with her friends, she failed to see the school bus swerving around the corner. The bus is bearing down on her, like a bull and its matador. She finally notices it. Her eyes widen with fear. She knew this was the end. I don't know why I did it. It was just sort of instinct I guess. I jumped, landing right next to her and grabbed her around the waist before jumping again, three feet to the left. This really took it out of me. I stop for a moment to catch my breath, and Claire looks at me, for the first time in months. I stare back for a second, before jumping back to my regular spot. A mixture of shock and confusion sweeps across her face. She looked around for me, her neck rotating like a periscope. Her eyes land on me. It was then I realized something. That girl hated me. She had made my life a living hell and I had still saved her. I guess, at the end of the day, for all of her hatred toward me, I couldn't let her die. I made myself a promise then. I wouldn't let these powers be used for my amusement. I would stamp out the bad in the world, to protect the good. I got a text later that night, from Claire. I didn't know how she had my number, or why she would waste her time on me. But the two words said it all. "thank you".
I still see her sometimes, when I'm back in town. She's married with two kids and seems happy. Whereas there's me. Thirty years old with nothing to show for it. No girlfriend, no friends, no life. It was just the job, constantly. However It did come with a few perks. I've got a house in every major country and I had enough money to fund a third world country. But, that's what I have, not what I do. I kill people. I'm not going to glamourise it. Whenever I check my computer, there's an email. Normally it contains target name, target description and location. It's then my job to find him and murder him. The worst part about it was that I'm not being paid by some sleazy, slimy, cold-hearted guy with deep pockets. I'm being paid by the United States, so basically several sleazy guys with deep pockets. I don't work for them voluntarily, the exact opposite in fact. I work to stay alive. They found me one night, when I was beating up a thief. I had my back turned otherwise I would've just jumped out of there. Plus when the police stopped me they put a tazer into my spine. 50,000 volts going through your brain definitely scrambles your thoughts. I woke up cuffed to a chair with a bulb shoved in my face. Not fun.
They didn't question me. They didn't need to. From the way they talked, they knew all about me. They knew who I was. They knew what I was. It's quite a depressing moment when your life comes down to a folder with less than ten piece of paper in it. So they talked. They were american no doubt about it. You could tell from their accents. They asked me to ' serve my country' as they put it. Funny, when I started to hum the national anthem they didn't find it patriotic. However they did decide to make me the flag colors, so on some level I was serving uncle Sam. They gave me a time, date and a gun. That's how I got my first job.