“So..we’re siblings huh?” Hawke said, laughing to mask his disbelief. “And twins no less.” He was shaking his head and absentmindedly drawing in the dirt with a twig. I stood at the edge of the clearing watching my brother in silence. I’d meant to enter the grove quietly but his back stiffened the minute I got close.
What exactly was the non-socially-awkward protocol for finding out you had a long lost twin brother? And that when your father fled from his home, he took him and left you behind? ‘Surprise!’
“So I figure that you’re like me then. You’re telekinetic.” I knew that it was a genetic ability – but I didn’t know how else to fill the fragile silence between my brother and I.
“I learnt at a young age.” Hawke confirmed, tossing the stick he’d been drawing with and finally looked up at me. “It’s kind of a funny story actually.”
He waited before continuing, and I took it as an invitation to join him on the fallen log he’d been sitting on.
“I was four or five, I don’t remember exactly. It was just a random night and dad and I were sitting down for dinner. I wanted seconds on dessert and he said no. So I started stomping and crying and throwing a fit like kids do.”
Hawke was a serious person. I seldom saw a smile on his face since I’d arrived here. But the sloppy, dimpled grin that was on his face now painted a clear picture of the young boy he was reminiscing about.
“Anyway, dad was threatening that I wasn’t getting dinner for the next month if I continued on like this. But I was a stubborn kid and the next thing I knew, it felt like the kitchen was vibrating, like it was alive. The plates were shattering in their shelves, the forks and knives were clattering in their drawers. I was freaked the hell out honestly – I had no what I was capable of then and had no clue how to control it. But from that day on, he began teaching me little by little…and I was never tempted to throw a tantrum again.”
“I never learnt.” I said. “Mom – our mom, I mean – she never even told me what I was.” Worry and regret was etched into Hawke’s face and I immediately felt guilty for saying it.
“It’s freezing out here. Why don’t we go back inside?” I suggested more cheerfully, wrapping my arms around myself. “We don’t have to go back to the meeting – we can go anywhere you want.”
Hawke gave a wry smile and grabbed a handful of dirt, placing it in my palm. “I can’t say I want to apologize for how I acted in there. But I am sorry for how I’ve treated you Ava. I had no idea about you…and finding out was really…” I stared up at him curiously. We might be identical twins but he was a full head taller than me, I noticed.
“Shocking? World-shaking? Just plain weird?” I suggested.
“All of the above work fine.” Hawke chuckled. “I just wanted you to know my anger isn’t geared towards you – but I am sorry you got hurt anyway.”
I wasn’t sure what to do with the apology but I was grateful for it. We sat side by side, listening to the sounds of the woods. Our breath came out in white puffs. My hands were getting numb with cold but I was afraid to disturb the comfortable silence that we had fallen into.
“The mornings out here are always cold like this. I like to think that us Hale’s are a resilient breed.” He explained with a wink. I heaved a sigh and squared my shoulders which made Hawke chuckle. “The air always has a bit of a bite to it in the mornings but after a few hours it warms up – you’ll get use to it, I promise.”
I’d get used to it?
Did Hawke know that my goal was to get back to the city and rescue my mom? My plan had never been to stay here, not once.
I was broken out of my thoughts by the sound of Hawke clearing his throat. His oak eyes stared back at me questioningly – I’d been staring at him this whole time. Maybe what they say about twins was true, because it was as if he could read my mind in that moment. His carefree smile was gone and his brows were knitted together in a frown.
Awkwardness filled the air as the quiet grew longer. Looking away, I dropped my eyes and found the earth in my palm. Hawke’s calloused hands had been encompassing mine.
“What’s with the dirt?” I asked quickly. The sooner the subject was dropped the better. Hawke couldn’t be sad about my not staying. He knew nothing about me and as far as I could see, he was doing just peachy before I accidentally came stumbling into his life.
“Right.” he quipped. I ignored the squeeze in my chest – that wasn’t actual bitterness I’d just heard in his voice was it? Hawke sighed and said, “Move the dirt without moving your hand.”
I gaped at him. “You know I’ve never done anything like this on purpose, right? I can’t even lift a feather if I try.”
Hawke wasn’t convinced and looked just short of giving me one of his infamous eye rolls. “I heard Peter talking. You’ve done worse damage than upset a bit of dirt. C’mon, give it a try.”
I chewed on my lip anxiously and stared down at the dirt again. How had I done it that night? What triggered this thing inside me? Throbbing began in my temples the harder I tried to concentrate.
“You’re trying too hard, I can feel it.” It felt like my mind was pushing against a brick wall, useless and exhausting. Hawke sighed and got up. “Don’t try to do it. The key is knowing you can do it.”
Suddenly, a foreign feeling came over me, causing pin pricks all over my body. My mind was pushing the brick wall inch by inch. The earth in my palm stirred.
My body didn’t budge but something within me was ripping free and swirling around us. The dirt in my palm was carried away by a gust of wind and all of the trees above us seemed to creak and sway. The wind whipped around us violently. I was breathless and elated. Slowly, my eyes found Hawke’s. His grin was warm as he beamed down at me. I’d finally found control.