I have a secret that nobody knows. What is more, nobody knows me exactly. I left my village a few years ago because they chased me away. They never let me alone. I couldn’t hear silence at all; this is the reason why I moved away. What are they? They are other people’s thoughts. I can read others’ minds. No, this is not the proper expression for it. I can’t read them, but I hear them. I hear what others think and I can’t turn it off. Believe it or not, it’s very annoying.
I wasn’t always like this. Something happened when I was ten years old. I was at school, playing with my bestie, Sarah, when I heard McKanzie, the rich and cool girl, say something rude about Sarah. I got very angry and stood up for my friend. Well, in the end it turned out that she hadn’t said a word, and I became the one who hears things that are not true. More situations like this happened over time, and I realised that there was something wrong with me. I tried to talk about the phenomenon that I was experiencing to my parents and friends, but they didn’t believe it. I don’t blame them; I wouldn’t have believed it either.
Over the years I got used to my so-called ability, but I became fed up with it too. I always felt that I didn’t belong to the community. Now I live alone in a small house, which I rent from an old couple, in the mountains. Here everything is peaceful. I can hear nothing and it’s wonderful. I spend a lot time in nature, read books, and paint pictures.
I am watering some vegetables in the kitchen garden next to the house, when I hear some whistles. It means that somebody is very close to me. I become anxious; I don’t want to meet with anybody and hear his or her thoughts. I am not ready for that. The whistle becomes louder and louder, I hear the stranger coming. One more step, and I will spot him or her. A man my age appears. He is handsome, wearing dark clothes and a black trenchcoat.
‘He can’t be a tourist,’ I think. ‘Tourists don’t look like him.’
‘Are you her?’ he asks me as he glances my probably terrified face.
‘Who?’ I reply. ‘I am sorry, sir. I don’t understand your question.’
‘Are you Kate Lightwood?’
Oh my God, he knows my name. ‘Maybe,’ I answer and start thinking about escape.
‘You don’t need to think about escape,’ he says. Great, he can read my mind. ‘You are safe now’—wait a moment, he can hear my thoughts, just like me. It’s strange, I can’t hear his. Maybe it’s because I’m too scared.
‘OK,’ I answer although it is absolutely not OK.
‘Look, you need to trust me,’ he says and starts walking towards me. ‘I promise I will tell you everything you need to know. But now, how about if we drink a cup of coffee?’ At this moment he grabs my arm, and the world blurs around me.
Now, ten years have passed since this incident. On that memorable day Kyle, the stranger in the black trenchcoat, changed my life for good. He brought me to Molyland, a secret city where only Hearers live. He told me everything, as he promised, and taught me how to live a normal Hearer life. It was so easy to learn; I just needed to be myself.