There was a day that was almost the worst day of my life. And then it became a magical one. I’d like to skip over the gritty details. Sufficient to say, my sister and I had a rough childhood. We didn’t get along that well. I was never the proper older brother. No one ever looked up to me. I blamed the circumstances for a long time. If only my dad hadn’t.. If only my school would… If only I had a little more time. If only.
So it was no surprise to anyone when I got framed for my sister’s death. But only I knew I hadn’t done it. Standing there with a knife covered in her blood standing over her tear-stained expression. Who would believe that it was an accident? That I was trying to be a better person and that was why I had called her for the first time in twelve angry years. No one would believe it. I didn’t even try to convince them otherwise. I probably deserved it anyway. The world would be better with me in jail.
But Christina. She didn’t deserve it. So while Christina’s friend yelled hysterically and called the cops, I pressed my hands against her side. Begging for the bleeding to stop. Screaming for an ambulance first. Praying to a god, any god, to help her. It was then, while I stared into her lifeless eyes that I felt awake for the first time in my life. And I wish I hadn’t, because all I felt was pain. My pain. Her pain. The pain of loss, of being too late. The pain in my side. Like someone had stuck me with a cheese knife…
I can’t really explain what happened next. I’ve never really been able to explain. And trust me, everyone asks that question. But in between feeling her pain, feeling awake, and wanting more than anything for her to live, she did. Her eyes blinked. She breathed. The skin I was holding closed knit together.
It took a long time to sort out what had happened. I did get slammed into the ground by a beefy cop. Christina was still rushed to the hospital. But after all the paperwork, confused looks, a brief visit to jail, and a heartfelt Christina vouching for my innocence; then it finally hit me. Somehow, I had healed her. I had healed my baby sister not just from a wound, but from death itself.
I kept quiet for a long time. Christina kept the secret well. We just tried to keep living. But I could never forget that moment of clarity. Of what I had done. And so, the next time I came across a body, one that had overdosed and been left on the streets, I couldn’t help it. I healed him too. And the next one. And the next.
Every single one was painful. But I had never felt more alive. And like any good secret, the more that knew, the less secure it became. Eventually, the world found out. I had to dodge scientists, priests, and beggars every day. It always amused me that those three despised each other more than anyone yet were so alike. They just wanted answers and I couldn’t give them. Tests told them nothing. I had no faith of my own. And I couldn’t change their circumstances. All I could do was help them to breathe a little easier.
And don’t get me wrong. I saved a lot of lives. I went on tours through the cancer wards. I got paid to visit third world countries. I never refused a single individual. I knew I couldn’t save everyone. People died everyday nowhere near me. I couldn’t stop the future from happening. But I was making a difference. The thing that everyone said they wanted, I had. That knowledge made the pain inconsequential. No one had been able to help as many as I had.
Donations filled my pockets. Most only gave me a pittance but it added up. I had never been so well off. I got an assistant. I scheduled healing days and play days. I traveled all over the world and met kings and queens. I could buy whatever I wanted and never stressed about stability. And best of all, I became close with my sister. The two of us were a real family. It became three and then four as she got married and had kids. It was beautiful.
Life wasn’t perfect. I often had to deal with fake friends or reckless ones. Skydiving was a favorite pastime, but with me on the ground, waiting for them to kill themselves so I could revive them. Hospitals were now trying to refuse my entry because they were losing too much money. A lot of people tried to kidnap me for the resource that I was and I had to invest in a good bodyguard team. I can’t heal myself and had to be careful there. I didn’t mind the excitement. It made life worth living.
But as is oft the case, nothing lasts. Or rather, the wrong things last. Because I got a call one day. A call I had put off for a long time. I was tired of talking to the geneticists and biochemists and all the others wanting tests from me. But I shouldn’t have waited. That call was followed by lawyers with lawsuits. Which was followed by reporters and camera crews. Then world councils got together and discussed what to do. People made sides to petition against or for me. And I was simply stunned.
Because that was a call from Dr. Snnider and she had proof that my healing had changed the world. Every person that I had healed no longer aged or got sick. They could still die from wounds, but it was harder since they were fast healing. And their children had these abilities as well. I had healed a good portion of the world by then. What were they to do with a quarter of their populations that were essentially immortal?
I knew I was changing the world. But I had never imagined that I was capable of this kind of change. So I did what I should have done a long time ago. I went into hiding. I let the world figure out how to deal with those I had both cured and cursed. It was fitting in a way.
And so, I leave this last explanation with you. I didn’t know this would happen. I was as caught up in events as you were. And for what it is worth, I am both sorry and glad. And good luck.
Photo by Daan Stevens