Everyone worries about being big enough. Or too big. Or the wrong shape. Everybody. Everybody worries about not being pretty enough or strong enough or smart enough. The thing is, they're the only person that cares. Nobody else notices... Well, mostly. Some people really are ugly or stupid -- but they usually don't worry about it as much.
Everybody's a least a little neurotic. And everybody's a freak.
But so what?
When you're a telepath, you know where you stand. And maybe you change what you can, but it's easier to accept, because there no uncertainty. You get used to your... Flaws. At least you don't have those problems, not really.
And paranoia is for those who don't really know who's out to get them.
My girlfriend was wondering why I was smiling. She always did. It made me smile more. I'd tell her I was just amused by the world around me, but she never really liked that answer. She never bothered asking anymore. Of course, usually it was because of something she was thinking, but I'd never tell her that. Or sometimes someone else, of course.
She thought I was a bit strange, but that was okay. Truth is, she kept me around because of... Well, I was very good. Of course, it was better for me, too, when I was good, because I could feel a part of what she was feeling, so everybody was happy.
She didn't know I was a telepath, of course. No one did. I can only imagine the fear if they knew. I didn't want to feel that.
You know, I don't think I was happy. I wasn't unhappy, but something was missing. I was content, though. I knew where I stood, I did pretty much what I wanted, I was comfortable.
Happiness was a funny thing, though. I couldn't figure out why some people were happy and some weren't. It didn't seem to have anything to do with what people had or went through. I saw people who'd been through hell -- who had nothing -- who were perfectly happy. I saw people who had everything and were miserable. And vice-versa. Some people were just happy, some weren't -- it seemed that was all there was to it.
Me... I was missing something, but I didn't really know what it was. And I didn't really worry about it much.
Then one day, I was walking down a crowded street and I felt Her. Another telepath, I sensed it instantly. The first one besides myself I'd ever encountered in my entire life. I knew instantly that she was the One.
I turned and walked the other direction. Like hell I was touching that.
[ Word (syzygy) suggested by Scott Zrubek. ]