Kinetic: The First Alliance Ch. 03 Pt. 02bykineticalliance©
Alex's hands began to glow in anger over the comment thrown at his face. He would have love nothing more than to fry this guy to ashes, but he couldn't forget the greater good.
"I didn't leave my grandfather. Ever since my birth he knew I was different. He more or less accepted that I had to go."
"Not for nothin' man, but I really don't care. I've had a hard enough life—a deadbeat dad, a sister killed in a drive-by, and now a family to look after. I've got enough on my plate without having to worry about killing aliens. Your sob story doesn't interest me."
With an unwavering voice, Dimitri told Alex that he had made a promise to protect his family at all costs, even if it meant his own life. Under no circumstance would he break that promise, especially not to some "superhero" wannabe who wanted to fulfill his fantasy of running around in tights. It took everything Alex had not to hook Dimitri in the face; he was determined to complete the mission Shyra had given him.
Dimitri verbally came at him again. "You wanna stand there and tell me about this alien race that might attack us? Get out of my face before you get hurt."
"You think I asked for this? You think I asked for this power? It's a gift—one that I can see has clearly been wasted on you," Alex shouted back. Alex wasn't sure if the static in the air was coming from him or this tense situation he found himself in.
With an almost thunderous roar, Dimitri said, "It is what it is okay? I'm not leaving my family, so kick rocks!"
To which Alex shouted, "Then your family is going to die with everyone else. Is that what you want?" Alex wasn't thinking rationally anymore and let his emotions get the best of him.
Dimitri's hands began to glow with a greenish hue, and stones and rocks started to float in midair. A superpower fight was the last thing Alex was looking for.
"Dimitri, right? I didn't come all this way to fight you, you've just met me, and I'm asking you to travel around the world to prepare for an alien invasion. You have no reason to believe me, but I swear to you that I'm speaking the truth right now, and I know deep down you know it too."
The icy stare that Alex got back from Dimitri was intense, and it seemed like the only way to make him believe his story was to show him.
"I was really hoping it didn't have to come to this, but if this is the only way, fine." With that, Alex closed his eyes and began to concentrate. Shyra was teaching him how to control his powers and not have them be just a reaction to his emotions. He visualized the spark within him growing bigger and brighter. Just with that, Dimitri saw a crackle of electrical power surge through Alex's hands. They began to glow with a brilliant light that illuminated the entire alleyway.
"Looks like you're legit. Dammit, I was really hoping you were fugazy," Dimitri said.
Alex spoke up. "I've learned a lot more, and so will you, but you have to come with me, Dimitri. Not for my sake, but for your family. Gain the power to protect them and the world."
Dimitri thought about all that was at stake and reluctantly agreed. "Fine, but don't get it twisted. I'm not doing this for you; I'm doing it for them," he said and promised he would become stronger to protect his family.
(Dimitri pov switch)
They agreed to meet back four hours later after Dimitri had a chance to say good-bye to his family. He had to go home and somehow explain to his mother and sister why he would be leaving them. During the entire train ride back to Brooklyn, it felt like he had the world on his shoulders.
They agreed to meet back four hours later after Dimitri had a chance to say good-bye to his family. He had to go home and somehow explain to his mother and sister why he would be leaving them. During the entire train ride back to Brooklyn, a whirlwind of emotions swept him away. Anger, denial, frustration, and regret plagued his thoughts without any sign of relinquishing their grip. Even the usual subway car performers stayed clear of him, scared of the intense look painted on his face. The flashing tunnel lights threw him in trance, hypnotized into a zombie-like state of consciousness. It was only the conductor's announcement that Flatbush would be the next stop that finally snapped him out of it. Things were finally starting to look up for him; finally finished with high school, a decent paying job, a loving girlfriend, and now this... No matter how hard he fought, life could never just go his way.
Dimitri dragged his feet up the subway steps, back to surface level, once again forced to come to terms with his new reality. I can't believe mom was right about aliens existing... How am I going to explain to them that I need to leave? Maybe I can just go, and they'll think I died in the earthquake earlier, he thought, although he knew they would never fall for that. Besides, he didn't want to put them through that kind of pain, but a lie surely had to be better than the truth. After getting off the subway, Dimitri made his way to his apartment and prepared for what would undoubtedly be the hardest talk of his life. He and his family had been through so much between their father leaving and his older sister dying. It felt like they couldn't catch a break, but he knew he had to do this. He knew that Alex kid was telling the truth. It couldn't be random that he had these powers.
Dimitri turned the key and slowly opened the door to his small apartment, but was immediately stopped in his tracks. Once again someone had locked the door chain, despite knowing he'd be coming home late. He squeezed his lips through the door and shouted.
"Ash! Open the door!"
"Whooo is it?" She mockingly asked then laughed.
"I swear to God, Ashley..." Dimitri said, growling through his teeth. His sister Ashley casually pranced toward the door, and undid the lock, smiling at her big brother with her usual cornball demeanor. In that moment, life was normal again and made sense. He tried to savor the peace and familiarity for as long as possible. Ashley darted back out of sight as soon as she granted him entrance, eager to get back to whatever she was doing. He walked past the kitchen where his mom was cooking and the living room where their couches still had their original plastic covers. Dimitri found his sister Ashley sitting on one of them watching their mom's favorite paranormal activity show on their thirty-two-inch TV, which was located directly underneath the Jesus painting.
She was always a "true believer" that aliens existed ever since she claimed she saw a UFO twenty years ago, but Dimitri just disregarded her ramblings as superstitious contradictions. How could she believe in aliens and Jesus at the same time? He wanted to know, but his mom's answer to every argument was that God created all life—including aliens. It infuriated him to no end, but learned to ignore it throughout the years. He decided to join Ashley and asked her how her day was. Then he helped set the dinner table and took out the trash for his overworked mother, at least he could do one last thing for her before in his mind he abandoned them.
Twenty minutes later he heard the doorbell ring, and wondered who it could be before remembering. Aw damn, I forgot Rose was coming over. His girlfriend of the past year, with everything that happened he forgot she promised she would bring over dessert. They met when he was filling the position of medical data entry at a temp job. She was breath taking, way out of the average guy's league, but her innocent yet alluring smile dug its hooks into him deep. He mustered up the courage to talk to her, and with a few suave remarks they immediately hit it off. Dimitri felt like his day couldn't possibly get worse; there's no way in hell she would go for him leaving. Still, he opened the door, and gave his girlfriend a sincere kiss as she passed him a strawberry cheesecake.
The four of them sat down together for what would be their last meal as a whole family for a long time to come. With Dimitri gone, at least there would be one less mouth to feed. But there would also be no protection from the neighborhood gangs and drug dealers who roamed the streets. Dimitri knew in his heart he would be back to clean the streets, but he had to get stronger first, and to do that, he had to leave.
His mother placed a plate of brown rice with green peas and chicken drumsticks in front of him before finally sitting down herself at the dinner table. The smell of that lemon-peppered chicken was enough to make his mouth salivate, but he couldn't wipe the sullen expression from his face.
"How was your day, baby?" Dimitri's mom asked to break the awkward silences.
"You wouldn't believe me even if I told you," Dimitri responded.
"Why is that?" she inquired. "You weren't anywhere near that earthquake today were you?"
"Yeah, but not too close. I barely felt it," he lied.
"Good, I was scared to death about you today," she said. "At least I had your sister Ashley here with me. I couldn't bear to lose anyone else." She was being her usual melodramatic self.
"Mom, I'm okay," he responded. Another awkward silence ensued. Dimitri rolled the peas on his plate around with his fork.
"Babe, you promised you'd be more careful," Rose said with heartfelt eyes. She was always worried about him, and often subdued his reckless ways. As tough as Dimitri lead on to be, he always melted in front of her. He was but a mere peasant in front a queen. She was petite, but held a very athletic build from all the times he dragged her to the gym with him. Luscious black hair woven like silk, she always kept it tied back away from her face, but it was the little things that Dimitri loved like they way she would always tuck it back behind her ear when it would fall out of place. He was in love with her flawless olive skin, the way she laughed, and the way her sweet smell lingered even after she left a room.
"Honey, is everything all right? Did something happen?" His mother asked.
Dimitri looked into the eyes of his concerned mother, then Rose. He just wanted to be honest with them but didn't know where to begin. "Mom, there's something I have to tell you, and as crazy as it's going to sound, I'm just gonna come out and say it."
"Okay. What is it, Dimitri?" she replied.
He gave another long stare, and exhaled deeply. "I'm leaving, Mom." A moment of silence filled the air.
"What?!" Rose shouted in horrified confusion. His mom furrowed her eyebrows in anger.
"The hell you are, boy. What are you talking about?"
"You don't understand. This is something I have to do. I have this... ability that I need to harness to protect you guys," Dimitri tried to explain.
His mom snapped back, "You on drugs? You're not making any sense."
Dimitri took a deep breath. It was never the way he wanted reveal his power, but he found a focus point on the table to stare at and concentrated. Rose and his mother watched as nothing happened, and gave each other an arched eyebrow. Two minutes passed, but the only visible difference was the bulging, pulsating vein on his forehead.
"You constipated D?" Ashley asked.
"Shut up, just give me a second," he fired back. It took a moment or so, but he cleared his head and thought of his murdered older sister as motivation. Sure enough, the empty table chairs started to rumble, and then the walls pivoted back and forth. The dinner table felt like it was vibrating, and soon a ketchup bottle fell over. After a full minute it felt like the whole apartment building was shaking. Ashley immediately ducked underneath the table, but Cecilia, Dimitri's mother, and Rose just gawked at him in disbelief. He didn't intend to scare them but simply illustrate his point, which, from the look on their faces, came through loud and clear. With his eyes open again, he stared at his mother, whose mouth gaped wide open. Dimitri looked at her and prayed for acceptance. "Mom?"
"For how long, Dimitri? How long have you been like this?" She responded.
"I don't know exactly, I remember it starting when Gina was killed. It doesn't hurt or anything. I'm just different."
"Baby, I don't understand," Rose said and reached her arm out on the table toward Dimitri, "How could you not tell me about this?"
"I didn't tell anyone," he said, almost ashamed for keeping it a secret.
"I can't believe they got to you too... How could you at least not tell me?" His mother asked while his sister reemerged from the tablecloth.
"I don't know. I didn't wanna freak you guys out—wait, what? Who's they?"
"Never mind that, Dimitri, I am your mother. I will love you no matter what you are, but why you? Why not someone else?" she pleaded.
"Mom, I don't know, but I need you to listen now. This ability is not a coincidence. There is an alien race on their way here to invade, and I have the chance to make a difference. I have to go."
"No!" Cecilia and Rose shouted in almost perfect unison.
"I have to," he protested.
"I said no, Dimitri Williams. I'm not burying anymore children. I don't give a damn what's happening. The world could be burning for all I care, you are not going anywhere," his mother explained.
"My God, are you even listening to yourself?" Dimitri said.
"Boy, don't use the Lord's name in vain in my house." She ordered as she pointed her finger at his face.
This is impossible, he thought to himself. There were no words in the English language he could articulate that would relinquish a mother's love for her child. Dimitri was foolish to believe the three women who loved him the most in life would let him run off to fight aliens.
Rose's facial expression suggested that she somehow felt betrayed by this new discovery. It's not like he lied to her however, he just omitted certain truths.
"I'm leaving mom, no matter what you say, I have to do this," Dimitri bravely said.
He could see the tears begin to well up in his mother's eyes; his sister just sat there in disbelief from it all. Rose pulled back her hand, and stood up, she hid her face as she cried and ran out the front door.
"Dammit," Dimitri said, and got up to go after her.
"Dimitri, you're not going anywhere, sit your narrow ass back down!" His mother barked. Dimitri hadn't even fully made it to his feet before he froze in place.
"Mom... please, you have to trust me this time. I swear on everything I love, I'll be back," he pleaded.
"We can go see a doctor, there has to be a cure for this," his mom said.
"It's not a disease Mom, this is who I am." Dimitri argued back.
"Ever since your sister died, all I wanted to do was keep you two safe, and now this," she said.
"Mom, you have kept us safe, but now it's my turn to keep you safe. Please believe in me," he begged.
"No Dimitri, I'm scared," she revealed to him.
"I'm scared too, but I'll be back. I promise I will be. I'll get stronger, and then there will be nothing to be scared of anymore."
"No, no, just no! This is too sudden," Cecilia affirmed.
"I'm sorry mom, I'm leaving one way or another."
"What about school? What about your job? What about us? Isn't anything I can say to change your mind?" she asked.
"Not this time, my mind is made up. Please understand, I'm not going anywhere just to die, I'll come back."
"Mom no! You can't let him leave." Ashley screamed right before she got up and ran to her room.
Dimitri's mom looked at her son—all grown up—wrapped her arms around him tight and demanded that he call her as soon as he got to wherever it was he was going and every chance he could, which was the only way she'd agree to any of it. Dimitri nodded in compliance before getting up from the table to get a few of his clothes ready. Once finished, he went to Ashley's room where he found her with her head buried in her pillow crying.
"Ash, listen. I need you to look after Mom while I'm gone. You gotta be a big girl for me and keep her out of trouble."
Holding back her tears, she asked him if he was ever coming back.
"There is nothing in this universe that could keep me away from you. No matter what, I will be back."
Ashley nodded her head, and Dimitri went toward the door where his mother was waiting for him with a bag. "I've packed a couple lunches for you," she said.
"Dimitri, I don't wanna hear it."
He knew it was futile to dispute this with her, so he graciously took the food. "I love you, Mom," he said.
"I love you too, baby. Come back to me safely."
He nodded and walked past her. With his heart broken and his mother devastated, it took every ounce of strength not to look back at the life he was leaving behind. At the bottom of the stoop to his building he found Rose crying her eyes out. Even when miserable she was breathtaking.
She pulled herself together long enough to ask,
"Why D? Is it something I did?"
"Babygirl, you didn't do anything wrong. I love you; I'm not leaving because I wanna be without you. I'm doing this because I want to protect you. I know it sounds like a line, but you have to trust me on this one. I'll be back, real talk," he told her. Dimitri would have given anything to see that pearly white smile and her dimples one last time, but he settled for a deep kiss instead. The way he felt when their lips touched could not be duplicated. It lifted his heart off the ground, and tempted him to stay.
"I don't believe you, don't expect me to be waiting when you come back," Rose attested. She couldn't be serious... Would she really throw away all they had? There's no way he thought. Dimitri was sure she was saying it out anger; they loved each other too much. He would miss the funny, little way she laughed, or how the vastness of her dark brown eyes could stare right through to his soul. He wiped the tears from her cheek, and wrapped his arms around her tightly. Dimitri kissed her on the forehead, and told her goodbye.
Dimitri walked back to the subway with a heavy heart and once again boarded the Q train, except this time he saw no light at the end of his tunnel. He met up with Alex at their designated location, finally accepting his fate whatever it may be, even if it meant his untimely death.