Susan was ... different. Of course everyone thinks they are different, but Susan really was ‘different’. Susan had feelings. Yes, yes, yes, I know everyone has feelings, but Susan had... ‘feelings’. And they really were different.
Susan’s mother had a normal pregnancy as far as she could remember, nothing particularly memorable happened anyway, and after the usual period of time had elapsed Susan popped into the world. Red, wrinkly and squalling, all as normal. After a bit of a clean up the nurse handed the newborn baby, not actually Susan at this stage because the name had not been selected, it was on the short list, but not yet selected, and she grasped hold of the proffered teat and began feeding. And really that was all there was to it. Yes, of course there was a fair bit of huffing and puffing and it was a bit painful, but in essence it was the same process that has gone on since ... well, for an awful long time.
Susan became Susan later that day when her father arrived, inevitably late, agreed to the selected name. Her mother, it seemed, felt she looked like a Susan, whatever that meant, and he became Susan’s second doting parent.
There is something about names, you do tend to associate some names with personality traits, and Susan is probably everyone’s idea of ‘good’ girl, the sort of girl your mother would like you to marry, attractive, sensible and capable. And she was, and that was probably due to Susan’s ‘feelings’. You see, although it was not something she was aware of, Susan had some way of knowing when anyone was less than happy with her behaviour, and since she didn’t like people being unhappy with her, she unconsciously did whatever would make them happy. She seemed to know. It was the first manifestation of her ‘feelings’. And so things went on. Most mothers envied Susan’s mother because she was such a pretty, well behaved child, and she did well in nursery school because, well, she always seemed to have the right answer to any question she was asked. She was a bright little girl, but certainly not a child prodigy.
Her good progress continued into first school and it was during the first year that she became aware of her differences. Not that she had any real idea that they were any different to those experienced by other children, but she noticed that when she went into a room the people there always knew it was her, even if they had their backs to her. She didn’t concern herself with this, indeed why would she? But what she did notice was that she knew where people were. Not everyone, in fact only her mother to start with. You might well say that if a child is in its bedroom it would be a fair guess that its mother would be in, say, the kitchen. But it wasn’t like that. She knew exactly where her mother was. To the inch. And after a while she discovered that if she concentrated she knew what her mother was doing. Something told her that this was something she had best keep to herself.
Time went by and Susan discovered that she could track her father too, and her little brother Timmy, who was anything but a good little boy. She was able on many occasions to stop some of Timmy’s worst excesses simply by arriving before he could act upon whatever impulse had entered his mind, which did not always endear her to him, but it did keep him out of trouble. Her mother was taken aback on several occasions when she had said, ‘I wonder where your father is,’ only to be told immediately and exactly where that was. Susan realised, after her mother had taken a long hard questioning look at her on one of these occasions when she told her that he was just turning in at the end of the lane where they lived, that it was best if she phrased her answer as a suggestion as to where he might be, rather than an out and out statement of fact.
It wasn’t until Susan had taken, and she was confident passed, her GCSE exams, that she really had time to think about her ‘feelings’. She had never gone beyond being able to sense where people were, and what they were doing. Of course her recent education had taught her the value of research and how to carry it out. She searched on line and visited the library, she sought out second hand bookshops and quickly amassed a vast quantity of information. She went through it all carefully. Clearly it wasn’t magical and it didn’t fit with any of the oddball theories like phrenism or phrenology, she felt around her head but decided that there were no bumps that she could feel. Extra Sensory Perception then? She thought not, but it was a possibility. Teleporting? Ridiculous! Could it possibly be a form of autism? Unlikely she thought, surely someone would have diagnosed her at some time although she really didn’t know that much about it. But she’d seen ‘Rainman’ and that was it wasn’t it? Could it perhaps be a form of telekinesis? She liked that idea, so she tried moving the pen on her desk, but it stubbornly refused to move. Neither could she control the mouse pointer on her computer. She sat in contemplation.
It was at this point that she ‘felt’ her brother Timmy. She had of course ‘felt’ him many times before as has been previously mentioned, but on this occasion she could tell he was ... playing with himself. Now Susan was sixteen years old and well aware of the facts of life, and her mother had explained in nauseating detail what she called ‘what men wanted’. Susan was fairly sure that her mother was very happy to do it with her father because, well, she could ‘feel’ them couldn’t she? She tried not to, but just occasionally. But she didn’t think that Timmy should be playing with himself, it was disgusting. To be honest this was pure hypocrisy; Susan had never had a date, however attractive who wants to take ‘Miss Perfect’ out? But she had discovered her clitoris several years before and gave it a reasonable amount of exercise. Nevertheless she reached out and removed Timmy’s hand from ... what it was doing. When she realised what she had done she was shocked and immediately let go. Timmy was equally shocked and couldn’t work out what had happened, one minute he was happily ‘beating his meat’ and the next he wasn’t. It felt has though his hand had been caught hold of by another hand and removed. The thing was that the other hand wasn’t his, so whose, or what, was it? Or had he hallucinated? Perhaps when you get to the final strokes something could happen in your brain. Timmy decided he’d give it a rest for a while. Well, a day of two anyway.