Now is when you say, that’s not possible.
I have to remind you that nothing in my life is impossible because I am impossible. I can do things that I should not be able to do. I can be a kid or an adult, a teenager or an old man, and all in the course of the same day. So when I say that, or when I mention that my clothes somehow shrink when I do and grow when I do and are not some kind of sentient cloth, you know that nothing’s really impossible.
Humiliating? Oh, even more so than anything else in the world, I can guarantee that.
“You were a jerk about the booth, but I gave that to you, remember?” April demanded, her arms over her chest, her scarf hanging loose around her neck. The hat was missing, though. Where was the hat. “What are you doing on my bench?”
Clayton shrugged tiredly. He’d actually been sitting on the very hard bench to make the stupid growth on his back hit something hard and not him for a change, but she wasn’t going to believe that, not that he was going to tell her. Larabee insisted that the tentacle was getting smaller, and if it was, then it would be gone soon enough. Of course, Larabee might just be saying that because Clay was extremely unwilling to try any more pills. Maybe they’d make that thing go away. Or maybe he’d end up with more. He didn’t want more. He already had plenty of problems, and trying to look on the bright side was not working, either.
How did you look on the bright side when you had a tentacle, anyway? Clayton would really, really like to know. Especially since the thing seemed to have a mind of its own. That was creepy.
“I’ll go. I forgot which one was yours, I swear,” he said, trying to get up. He stumbled and almost fell as soon as he did. He also had no energy thanks to the stupid tentacle—though on the bright side, he’d at least made it in person to his finals to fail them.
Larabee’s bright side idea? Not really Clayton’s thing. He just wasn’t good at it.
April caught him and helped him sit back down. “What is wrong with you?”
“I’d explain, but you’ll never believe me, and I don’t want to tell anyone. I am just ready for the weird things to stop. Do you think they ever will?”
“It’s you, Clayton, so I’d say no,” she answered, and he nodded slowly. She was right. It was him. It wouldn’t stop. He leaned back against the bench and shook his head. He had actually wanted to lean on her, but he couldn’t do that. She hated him. He had a tentacle. It was a bad day, like all of his bad days. He would survive, eventually, though he’d spend most of the time wishing that he hadn’t. “What is it this time, anyway?”
“Larabee’s experiment went really, really wrong. Not once. Twice. Or maybe three times.”
She frowned. “You know, you said you were broke and couldn’t afford to move, but that doesn’t mean you should keep living with someone who uses you as a lab rat.”
“He was trying to help.”
“What, with your whole age shifting thing?” she asked, shaking her head. “Maybe if he had you committed, that might actually help.”
“Do you know what? I think waking up to find out I was crazy or dreaming would be a relief,” Clay muttered, turning to his side. He should go back home and go to bed again. He reached in his pocket for his phone. Larabee had decided to add a phone in as part of the package that was staying with him, so that was something. Clay fumbled with trying to hit the button for the speed dial. Nothing happened. Of course.
He passed April the phone. “Can you please find Larabee’s number in there and call him? Too tired to walk back now. Stupid thing on my back…”
“Have you seen a doctor for that?” she asked, poking the tentacle, and he flinched. “That looks like a nasty bump—or a tumor.”
“It’s a tentacle.”
“Can’t you ever tell the truth?” she demanded, and he rolled his eyes. She still didn’t believe him. At least now she was annoyed enough to make the phone call. That was something. He’d settle for that. “Larabee? Yeah, it is April. No, I am not—Just come to the park and get your liar of a friend. And stop experimenting on him.”
She closed the phone and gave it back to Clay. He shoved it back in his pocket. “Thank you.”
“I just want you off my bench.”
“Could just shove me.”
“Don’t tempt me, Clayton. I still owe you for stealing my necklace and starting a fight with my boyfriend,” she warned. Clay nodded. He’d done all that. He’d tried to apologize, but saying he was sorry wasn’t really enough.
“You two still together?”
She shook her head. “No. Don’t get any ideas, though. I’m not interested in you.”
“Never thought you were,” Clayton agreed. He was just a jerk and a crackpot to her. He had his crazy story and impossible ability and a tentacle. Of course she wouldn’t be interested. He was going home. Then it would be all over, right? Until the next day, at least. Something new would come up and ruin his life all over again. “April… I am sorry. About the necklace. I never should have taken it.”
She shook her head. “What I don’t get is how you did it.”
“Turned into a toddler, gave you a flower, then a hug, and you fell for it as I got the necklace,” he answered. She gave him a look. Again, no belief. She thought he was lying, though he was being honest this time.
“You know, it’s bad enough you lie about it,” she began, shaking her head, “but… even if you could do any of that, it would have been pretty low, you know.”
“Of course it was. I didn’t care at the time, though.”
“I’m not accepting your apology,” she said, getting to her feet. “And I get to use the booth since you took my bench.”
“You were the jerk.”