We exist!

It was still the beginning of the academic year and my friends wanted us to study together. One of us offered to host us at his place, as he had a black board that we could use to do mathematics. I wasn't a good student, I hadn't been one for a very long time, but I tried to pass, so I welcomed the idea and decided to be apart of it. It didn't last for very long. I don't think I have ever known why we only had a few sessions. But we really worked, I mean, they really worked as most of the time I didn't do much. For some reason, my interest in school had grown weak over the year. I often felt like I was in a cage where I wasn't allowed to express myself and do my best. I was actually repeating the class, the four of us, Thiam, Yannick, Gabin, who was hosting us, and me where all in the same class the previous year. One day, we were working on some maths exercises. A student from a literary class of our high school came to us and asked to help him solve a few exercises. We hadn't covered the chapter yet, but we had instructions in the book, so we proceeded to help him. I was sitting and watching my friends doing the work most of the time. But then came a problem that we didn't know how to solve. That caught my attention. No one had a clue of what method or formula we could use to solve it. But looking at it, I thought I might be able to figure out the answer. I could remember that I attempted the previous year to do the same unsuccessfully. But I thought that maybe this time I could. I was hungry so I went out to the shop nearby, bought some biscuits and went back. I sat back and looking at the problem on the board, I thought deeply. As I got close to finding the answer, I stood up and went towards the board. I found it and wrote it on the board. What I did after was pretty unexpected. I told my friend, “This is the answer that was asked. Now how do we get here from the given data?”. Gabin protested, “Is that really the kind of answer that was asked?!” Thiam initially thought it was but they had to argue for a little while until they agreed. I let them talk among themselves, and when they were done, I asked again how we could get there. Thiam asked me, “But how did you come up with that answer?” and I just replied, “I thought about it.” I knew I could do things most people could not, but even though back then they called me Genius, they didn't really know what I had in my toolbox. We had to wait for a while before Thiam finally found in the book the method we needed to use to solve the problem. He applied it and to their great surprise, he found the same answer as what I had written on the board. I didn't get praised of it, they were shocked! Thiam asked, “How did you manage to get that answer?!” I told him again that I had thought about it and added that I could do this kind of things. He started suggesting that I should be a very “spiritual” person, that I had done something mystical when I went out to get the biscuits. I didn't like it. I never liked to hear my classmates attributing what they didn't understand to spiritual phenomenon. In the past I would object whenever some of them would say that the scientists who discovered the laws of science and established formulae were involved in spiritual activities. At times I would tell them that I could do the same and didn't need to leave my body. But they wouldn't believe me. How could they? I was an average student, and to many them, it meant that I was better than them. That day my classmates actually witnessed my ability, but they were still not willing to just let me tell them how I did that exploit. The day after, we were walking home, and someone brought up what had happened the previous day. Thiam, who is a critical thinker, expressed his intrigue saying, “I went home asking myself -How did this guy do it? -, and I was struggling to sleep.” I started telling them that what I had done was not, extraordinary but he objected that it was mind blowing. He asked Gabin to confirm, which he did. I told them that it was normal, that some people had abilities that allowed them to understand science at a deeper level, but they weren't many. I had believed for a long time that they were others like me, and I faced so many challenges because we were scarce and as a result, people were not used to dealing with the way we function and witnessing what we could do. That day I felt so different and alone! I knew my friends and what they could do as human beings. But there was a part of me that they didn't know at all, one that caused them to look at me as if I was an alien who just landed from a spaceship, when they witnessed it. I thought that if more people knew about our existence, such things wouldn't happen to us. That day, like many other days, I felt like letting everyone know. I felt like shouting to the world “We exist!”.

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Angell Kim

Always doing things you never would have done...

Dallas, USA