The voices are softer still. The more I work on controlling them, the softer they get. I still can’t get away from wearing the bracelet though I’m honestly not even trying that. I just want to learn to control this so called gift. I think it’s honestly a nightmare more than anything else but Eoghan calls it a gift and I’d like to believe him. Maybe, once I know how to control it a lot better than I do now, I’ll be able to do the opposite of what I’m struggling with right now. I might be able to reach out into the mind of others. I’m aware this is more than likely an invasion of privacy but really, it’s not like I’d do it for fun. It’s hard enough to keep the voices out anyway.

I like my life to be private. I’ve opened up to Eoghan a lot more about my life than I have to anyone else before, even most of my family. Then again, they’ve left me behind. They pretty much abandoned me years ago. I was kicked out of the family home when I was barely eighteen, I’d found myself a job, it was a small thing, but my parents assumed that since I had a job, I could find an apartment and I was promptly kicked out.

At least I didn’t have much to my name then so it made it easy to gather my things in a couple of suitcases, I left the rest behind. I didn’t go looking for an apartment right away, I’d just gotten done registering myself for university and I knew the dorms would do me just fine. My job wasn’t far off, it was just a few hours and I knew I had a scholarship waiting for me. That would pay for the learning part, my small job kept me busy in the hours I wasn’t in class or studying and it paid for the rest. I was mostly settled on that point.

Life hasn’t always been easy but I’ve managed to make my way along the world to this point.

I feel something push against my mind, I’d just been partly drowsing, the book forgotten on my lap, blankets up to my waist and my pyjama top undone. It’s almost warm enough to go without though not yet. I frown at the pressure I feel in my mind and I close my eyes. My fingers curl against the bracelet I’ve never taken off for more than a few minutes at a time and I focus. The presence is insistent. I know Eoghan has this gift too and I briefly wonder if it’s him, then I shake my head. He promised he wouldn’t do this kind of thing to me. I told him about how much I valued my privacy and he said he never would do this unless I gave him permission.

The pushing, almost digging continues and I squeeze my eyes more tightly shut. I focus to the best of my ability as I try to build a wall in my head. Eoghan’s first exercises had been about closing windows to shut voices out but I’ve been working on building up walls in my head. It’s exhausting but usually it keeps the voices out even more. I build this mental wall as high as I can around my brain and after a few minutes of struggling to keep it up, I feel the presence diminish then vanish. I’ll have to bring it up to Eoghan. He might know something about it.

When I’m sure my mind is free of it’s almost invaded privacy, I drop the wall I had built and I collapse back against my pillow. I hadn’t noticed how stiff-backed I’d gotten while trying to keep my mind to myself. I can’t help but wonder. Before Eoghan woke this gift up in me—accidentally or not—could I have known if others had tried to poke into my brain, try to find private information about me? It makes me worry but in a way I’m glad for this gift now, if it means I know when someone might try to poke in places they’re not supposed to. The voices are just one of those things I have to work on.

Having felt what I just did though, it makes me rethink this idea of maybe prodding at other people’s minds. I don’t want my thoughts to be invaded, I’m sure no one else would want theirs invaded either. I’ll just work on keeping people out. Eoghan can teach me anything else he wants but I won’t pry into minds, it’s not right.

Rolling over to my side, I slide down deeper between my blankets. The warmth of them brings a sigh to my lips and I close my eyes. The voices are still present when I try to drift to sleep, I don’t know if they’re there when I dream, I tend to not recall my dream. They’ve gotten so soft however and I’ve gotten better at relaxing and forgetting them that drifting to sleep comes easy enough. I just seek a dark corner in my mind and I settle there, feeling peace and quiet settle over my mind.

As the first rays of morning begin to seep into my sleeping mind, I roll over with a sigh and I settle back onto my other side. I don’t usually have days off, the library is open seven days a week so I just appreciate some rest when I can. It is closed today, however, there has been some water damage done from a leak somewhere near the doorways and front desk and my boss knows I can’t come in while the cleaning team fixes that.

I almost lost my job last time. I had the cleaning all done and the books back where they belonged, a week before he’d told me to be done with it and when he came, looking smug and expecting the place still to be torn apart, he was in for a surprise. He yelled at me for no clear reason, told me that however I had managed to clean this up, I could never manage a second time and that I was lucky to still have my job, that I shouldn’t have let the vandals come in the first time.

Let the vandals come in? I nearly laughed in his face at that one. I’d finished my work for the day, I had locked all the doors and checked all the windows, the vandals had come in at night through one of said windows, I don’t know how he expected it to be my fault and how I’d somehow let them in. It made no sense whatsoever.

Still I kept my job, just barely. I know he wants to see me gone but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually have anyone to take on the job once I’m gone. I don’t know what he hates more. The library or the work I do there. I think it’s honestly pathetic, really. Still, I love this job, boss aside. I’m surrounded by books, they’re my one true passion.

Books don’t judge you, don’t sneer at you and don’t talk back. They don’t invade your mind because they feel like it. You read them, get lost in their words and learn new things. That’s what books are about.


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