Invisible: Kim's Story (a companion piece to Upside Down: Jared's Story)
Jared’s transformation seen through Kim’s eyes.
Kim “was just a girl Jared sat next to in school every day for a year and never looked at twice. And then, after he changed, he saw her again and never looked away” (Eclipse, 125).
1. Invisible: Kim's Story (a companion piece to Upside Down: Jared's Story)
Rating 4/5 Word Count 555 Review this Chapter
His eyes slid past me like they always do, never seeing me. All last year we sat beside each other, alphabetically close, but worlds apart. His world includes the popular, the beautiful and athletic. Not the unnoticed.
I hear his soft laugh as he flirts with her. He can see her. She is not invisible to him. His eyes wander over her face as she laughs at his story. The wave in her silky hair catches the light and I wonder if he wants to touch it.
I look away and stare at my hands. Their whispered giggles set my teeth on edge. His happiness is torturing me. I want to scream at them to stop. But I don’t. No one would hear me. No one would see me. I am invisible.
The days pass and his seat is still empty. Almost two weeks without his blind eyes next to me, yet it feels much longer. Even his ignorance is better than his absence. His unthinking flirtations with another girl are more tolerable than his vacant chair. I miss him.
But life plods on, uncaring. I hear the chatter, the gossip. “Mono?” someone asks. “The kissing disease?” They laugh rudely and she laughs along, blushing. My stomach does a flip-flop, and I try to think of something else. At least being invisible, no one expects me to join in the teasing.
He’s back. And different. His smile is nervous. His ponytail is gone. People crowd around him, but he moves away. He doesn’t want to talk. Maybe he wishes he could be invisible too.
He sits noiselessly and sighs. I hear her taunting laugh from across the room and several heads turn to look at him. He closes his eyes and clenches his fists. Is he angry?
I keep my eyes lowered to my book and re-read last night’s assignment. I hear him rummage through his bag and then utter a low curse.
“Psst. Hey, Kim,” he whispers urgently. The walls of my invisible world tremble. He sees me. He knows my name.
I close my eyes. I can’t look. If he sees my eyes, he will know. It is better to be unknown and invisible than for him to know the truth and turn away.
I feel a tap on my arm. “Kim, do you have an extra pen that I could…”
It’s too much. I can’t resist both his touch and his voice. Steeling my heart for the pain that is sure to come, I open my eyes and look into his. I wait for rejection or even revulsion to cross his face. But, instead, his brown eyes widen in surprise. The corners of his mouth turn up slightly.
He knows. Of course he does. I feel my cheeks warming under his gaze. Why is he staring? Has he never seen open adoration on a girl’s face before?
I turn away, fighting the blur in my eyes. Trembling, I grab my pen and thrust it blindly at him. For a long moment, he doesn’t take it.
Then I feel his incredibly warm hand wrap around mine. Unbelieving, I turn to see wonder and awe in his eyes.
“Thank you…Kim,” he whispered, smiling, squeezing my hand gently.
“You’re welcome, Jared.”
He sees me. And he didn’t turn away.