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 Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]

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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:43 pm

Second Month of Year 1 || 15

Trigger warning: abuse, and basically a whole bunch of stuff.

Truth be told, Brooke wasn't enjoying her time in school. A part of her missed her daughter terribly, and besides, she hadn't been able to just be a teen for so long, she'd almost forgotten how. And, truthfully, it had only been by sheer determination that she had managed to get some resemblance of fitting in. It was one thing to learn to live with the baggage she carried -- and she by no means meant Carissa; she meant the weight of her past, and the scars on her wrists -- around family and friends who knew and cared. It was quite another thing altogether to try and make it in a world where the worst thing that happened to someone was their coffee order not being right, or their selfie not having the 'perfect lighting'. Sometimes she felt so alone, so by herself, that she simply did not know how to cope.

Sure, she could talk to her classmates about things like Disney, or the latest movies, or complain about the workload they'd been given. And sure, she even considered many of them friends. But she just could not fathom how... lucky ... they were. None of them had scares lining their back from abuse. None of them woke up with nightmares that were worse than any dream of zombies or monsters, because they weren't make-belief; they were memories.

But what could she say? Complain that nobody had experienced hardships like her? No, that wasn't right. She was happy that they were normal, that they had a good life. It was just exhausting to have nobody understand, nobody who could even begin to fathom why she had panic attacks, why she was always so anxious about going camping, why she hardly ever ventured into the woods...

She shook the dark thoughts from her mind like Cassie had taught. No use dwelling on the negative. She was alive. Her daughter was alive. She was at school. She was alright, and as long as she was, she could have anything she wanted. Closing her eyes, she took a few breaths, finding the anxiety and uncertainty in her own mind and pretending to lock them up. Her abilities had never worked on herself -- she'd tried -- but a bonus from being able to manipulate the emotions of others was that she was usually quite good at controlling her own, even if not with ... she never knew quite what to call it. Magic? Power? Whatever it was, that.

Taking the robe off and laying it on one of the chairs, Brooke tied her hair back into a bun before slipping into the pool. The water was warm and inviting, and she relaxed into it. She wasn't there for laps, to work out. No, she was there to let the water wash away the memories and just be.

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Harry Potter: Hufflepuff || Adopted || Sixteen
Superhero: Emotion Manipulation || Adopted || Fifteen
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Mariah Berkeley-Benton

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:46 am

Mariah tended to wander. She didn't think much about where she was going, only that she was moving, and she might end up somewhere, perhaps somewhere she hadn't been before. She rather enjoyed getting lost, it was like a mini adventure, where she was often pleasantly surprised by beautiful scenery, with little to no real risk. She often ended up all alone in large secluded areas, which were perfect for integrating into her daydreams.

At the moment, she was walking through the school. She was looking mainly at her feet as she placed one in front of the other, and thinking about an idea for a poem that she hoped she'd remember so she could write it down later when she had access to her journal. She really should carry it with her, but then she'd be afraid of misplacing it--and she grimaced at the thought of someone else finding it.

Her feet carried her up the stairs to the second floor, and she turned and opened the door to the swimming pool, despite not being prepared to swim. She just liked to walk around it sometimes when it was empty, enjoying the echoey vibe of the room, and maybe dipping her feet in the water.

Only this time, she wasn't alone. She paused, halfway through the door, then decided it was fine if it was just one other person, and continued into the room. She recognized the girl as being her own age--they shared some classes--and struggled to recall her name. It was something that reminded her of water...River? No, Brooke! That was it.

She approached the edge of the pool and sat down cross-legged to make herself seem smaller.

"Hello," she greeted softly, though the room made her voice carry, and she cringed slightly at the sound of it.

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Harry Potter || Hufflepuff || 14
Superhero || Light Manipulation || 15

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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:31 pm

Brooke's mind had wandered, as it usually did when she was relaxed. It wasn't very often she got to just chill and exist without worrying about mental barriers or focusing on keeping herself from reading others. It was an odd feeling to have her mind completely free and her heart unworried, but when she did have that chance, she grabbed it. Being a normal fifteen year old was rare, after all, and she did sometimes wonder what life would be like if ... well, things had been normal.

Eyes closed, Brooke dipped herself under, allowing the water to cover her head and the sound of the pool systems fill her ears. Peace and calm, something she hadn't felt in a long while, filled her, and she smiled to herself, blowing slow bubbles before coming up for air. There was silence all around and she soaked it in, her mind wonderfully blank -- and then, suddenly, like a buzzing fly, uncertainty filled her thoughts, almost immediately followed by acceptance, and Brooke stiffened. Someone else was there.

Quickly and effectively putting up the mental barrier, somewhat disorientated by the sudden invasion, Brooke glanced around. Her abilities may have told her someone else was there, but she didn't know who. At the very least, she hadn't felt any ill-intent, and as she turned, she caught a glimpse of a familiar-looking female.

She recognised the other girl as someone from around classes, meaning they were probably the same age. Brooke couldn't place her name, nor her abilities, meaning it wasn't someone who Brooke often interacted with or was active in discussions or demonstrations. Still, the girl seemed nice enough, and Brooke was always up to make a new friend.

"Hi!" she replied, smiling. "I don't think we've officially met before, have we? I'm Brooke."


[[OOC: If the description of how Mariah felt isn't accurate, let me know. I based it off the 'she paused...then decided' part. Smile

ALSO -- I'M SO SORRY THIS IS SO LATE! D:]]

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Harry Potter: Hufflepuff || Adopted || Sixteen
Superhero: Emotion Manipulation || Adopted || Fifteen
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Mariah Berkeley-Benton

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:28 am

"I'm...Mariah," Mariah almost whispered. God, that was awkward. It was just her name, why did she hesitate so long? She knew her name, why couldn't she say that with confidence? Why couldn't she even introduce herself properly? It was a mistake coming in here.

But Brooke seemed nice enough, and friendly enough to maybe at least pretend not to notice. And honestly, she needed to at least try to make friends, right? She wanted friends. She may not be very good at making them, but if she ran away from people and refused to talk to them, then she would undoubtedly be lonely for the rest of her life, so she should at least make an attempt. What's the worst that could happen?

Well, her mind began, people could start to actively hate you, if you rub them the wrong way. At least now, no one can dislike you, because they don't know who you are. Or, like last time, you could make friends and they could abandon you and leave you more hurt than before.
Or you could just get rejected altogether. That's the most likely scenario. You'll try and fail, and end up feeling more inadequate than you ever would have felt if you hadn't tried at all.


But she was there now, and at this point, it would look far more awkward if she left, since she was the one who initiated the conversation. She'd just have to continue. Unless, of course, Brooke didn't want her there...she suddenly felt her face grow hot as she realized she might have intruded. She was such an idiot! She was probably being such a nuisance to the other girl, who was clearly enjoying some alone time before she'd so rudely barged in. She should apologize. Brooke was probably just greeting her to be polite, when in reality she must be so annoyed.

"Gosh, I'm sorry, did I interrupt you? I-I didn't mean to, if you want, I can leave..." she made to stand, her cheeks flushed pink with embarrassment.

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Harry Potter || Hufflepuff || 14
Superhero || Light Manipulation || 15

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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:32 am

Mariah. Brooke ran it through her memory, trying to see if she'd met the girl before or heard about her. There was nothing much at all, and Brooke flashed the girl another smile. Someone who kept under the radar was either someone who was painfully shy or had something that others didn't like. From what Brooke saw, these were the exact people that needed friends, much like she had, and ever since coming to school she'd made it her mission to befriend not the popular ones who had everyone fawning over them, but the outcasts. Those were, after all, the ones that truly needed friends. And besides, those tended to be the true friends.

She was about to ask something when a sudden wave of self-doubt hit her, and she faltered. Mentally cussing at herself, Brooke readjusted her shields, making them stronger and thicker than before. She hated invading people like that, hated knowing what they thought and felt. It wasn't right, not unless she had their permission. It wasn't exactly mind reading, of course, but it was similar, and invasions of privacy -- intentional or not -- was never right.

It happened once in a while, whenever someone's emotions were stronger than her shields, and they managed to seep through. It was this time, however, partially her fault; she hadn't been concentrating, with her mind still relaxed from earlier, and she'd not taken care to keep her mental block strong. But then Mariah spoke, and almost at once Brooke's heart gave a lurch. For someone to say those things, to feel those things... It probably meant she'd been told those things before, something nobody should have ever had to hear. Insecurities, Brooke was used to. It was times like these that she often debated most with her conscience; was it truly wrong if she used her abilities to lessen the self-doubt, make a person more confidant, more at peace with themselves? Wasn't that kinder than allowing them to feel the crippling insecurity that Brooke knew far too well?

Whatever the case, she did nothing, instead smiling at the girl reassuringly. "Not at all!" she said, putting as much cheer into her tone as she could. "I could use company. Why would you leave? We've only just met. It'll be nice to make a new friend."


[[OOC: Let me know if this isn't okay, and I can edit.]]

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Harry Potter: Hufflepuff || Adopted || Sixteen
Superhero: Emotion Manipulation || Adopted || Fifteen
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Mariah Berkeley-Benton

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:59 am

At Brooke's words, Mariah clumsily sat back down, half relieved that Brooke didn't want her to go, and half disappointed at her failure to escape. Now she'd have to figure out how to carry on a conversation. One word kept echoing in her head, making her chest feel strangely warm--friend. Brooke wanted to be friends with her. She hadn't had a real friend since elementary school, unless she counted Mr. Weber.

She knew she was being silly. Like Brooke said, they'd only just met. They weren't about to be BFFs or anything, Brooke was just being nice. She probably didn't even mean it. Except Mariah couldn't help the slight smile that graced her lips at the word, and she couldn't stop the spark of hope that blossomed unconsciously in the back of her mind. She wondered what it would be like to have a real friend. Someone to hang out with, and talk with long into the night about stupid things like boys, or whatever normal girls talked about.

She pulled her mind back to the present. It really wasn't a good idea to let her mind wander so much, especially in this school. There were mind readers in this school. In fact, for all she knew, Brooke might be one of them. God, that would be so embarrassing. Mariah felt her anxiety start to take over again at the thought, and knew she had to do something to assuage her fears. Brooke probably wasn't a mind reader, right? She had no idea what Brooke did, there was no sense in getting worked up over slight possibilities.

Instead of dwelling on 'what if's, she could always just ask. In fact, that was a good topic of conversation. The only topic of conversation she had thought of so far. She clung to it.

"Right. So...um...what's your...superpower?" Was that the right word for it? Would "ability" have been better? She hoped Brooke hadn't noticed her floundering. Who was she kidding, it was incredibly obvious, of course she'd noticed. She sighed inwardly, but there was nothing she could do about it now.

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Brooke Walker

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:36 am

Brooke tilted her head slightly, curious about the girl before her. There was something intriguing about Mariah, but not in the negative sense. In a way, Brooke saw a lot of herself in the other girl — the insecurity, the uncertainty, the fear of intimacy (if that was what it was)... Brooke mentally shook herself out from the thoughts, watching Mariah intently, keeping a smile on her lips. There was so much she wanted to say, so much she wanted to do, but she kept herself from doing it; she never knew if it was right or not.

The question didn’t exactly catch her off guard. She’d been asked that often enough, but she was never really comfortable with sharing it. Usually she gave a smile and a shrug, brushing off the question with ‘nothing special’ and pushing it back to them. Most, she’d learnt, were happy to talk about themselves. More often than not, they only asked because they themselves wanted to talk about theirs, so it worked out perfectly fine in the end, with not many people realising she’d avoided the question.

But Mariah, Brooke had a feeling, was not asking for that sake. She was genuine in her question, and Brooke offered her another smile. The last thing she wanted was to push her away, and so she lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “It’s called emotional manipulation, but that’s fancy words for something simple. Mostly I can sense emotions in people and alter them slightly, if I choose to. It’s complicated, but I use a number system to explain; I can make something more or less a few numbers but I can’t make a one a nine, for example.” Smiling reassuringly, Brooke added, “But I usually keep up a mental shield so I don’t accidentally read people and intrude, and I never manipulate them without either permission or if it’s life threatening.” Pausing for a moment, Brooke shrugged again. “What about you?”

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Harry Potter: Hufflepuff || Adopted || Sixteen
Superhero: Emotion Manipulation || Adopted || Fifteen
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Mariah Berkeley-Benton

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PostSubject: Re: Another Day in a Worn-out Life [Open!]   Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:13 am

Mariah listened intently as Brooke explained her abilities. She was good at listening, it didn't require much. And Brooke's powers were interesting.

Not mind reading, that's good, she thought. But then she started to worry--were her emotions too strong? Could Brooke feel them? Were they bothering her? No, wait, worrying wouldn't help, that was another negative emotion! She nearly sighed in relief as Brooke assured her that she had a mental barrier.

She could understand Brooke's powers, to an extent. Although it wasn't her own ability--she couldn't manipulate others' emotions--she was extremely sensitive to those around her. She knew what it was like to have other people's feelings rub off on you. Unlike Brooke, she had never figured out how to shut it out, so instead she often felt overwhelmed. If what Brooke experienced was anything like that, she could certainly relate. And perhaps for Brooke's sake, she could try and tone down her agitation. Yes, if she couldn't do it for herself, she could at least try for Brooke. Mental shield or no, such strong waves of uncertainty could probably be felt, and may be making the other girl uncomfortable. Mariah took a deep breath and resolved to try and relax.

At the question of her own powers, Mariah hesitated. She hadn't really been expecting the question in return, though perhaps she should have been. She didn't want to talk about it. She didn't really like her powers. They were fun sometimes, but nothing useful like Brooke's. Her own powers always felt so...deceitful. Wrong, somehow. But she couldn't not answer. Brooke had shared with her, it was only polite to do the same--that was how friendships worked, wasn't it? It had to be mutual. She had to contribute something.

She didn't feel like explaining the full extent of what she could do, so she focused on the most practical parts.

"I can, um, manipulate light. So like, if I wanted to, I could glow kind of, like this..." She held her hand out and concentrated, almost glad for the excuse to focus on her hand and not on Brooke watching her. A gentle light emitted from her palm, and she coaxed it with her mind, willing it to shine brighter--though not so bright as to hurt the eyes. Her concentration faltered as she felt Brooke's eyes on her, and the light went out as her confidence stuttered. Her heart beat loudly in her ears. Why was she so nervous?

"Uh...and then, I can, I can do other stuff too, like, um, visual illusions and stuff. I can turn invisible."

Man, she really wanted to be invisible right now. Perhaps a demonstration wouldn't be out of place? Yeah, that was a great idea. She closed her eyes and slowed her breathing, focusing on bending the light around her. This was the first thing she'd ever been able to do. She was good at it.

She faded gradually, then disappeared. Exhaling, she opened her eyes. She felt much more comfortable when she knew no one could see her. It was much easier looking at Brooke when Brooke couldn't watch her back. She knew the other girl knew she was there, but just the fact that she couldn't be seen...it was comforting somehow.

How long was too long for a normal demonstration? It probably wasn't polite to just stay invisible, no matter how much she may want to. With a small sigh, she let go of the illusion and returned to view. She swallowed, scanning Brooke's face for a reaction.

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