Things Not Seen

Free Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

Book: Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andrew Clements
those trick days near the end of February in Chicago when it feels like spring, except you know there’s going to be six or eight more weeks of cold and snow and sleet. But a day like this actually makes you want to go outside and throw a Frisbee or something.
    And it’s worse because Mom and Dad are doing a lot better and they feel like they have to call me all the time now—which is something new for them.
    And it’s worse because I’m starting to see what’s happening to my life.
    Because it’s not like I wanted this. It’s not like I’m some mad scientist who planned and studied and dreamed about becoming invisible all his life, and now it’s happened, so now I can use my powers to take over the world. It’s not like that, not when it’s really happening.
    And I can just hear some guys at my school talking about this. They’d go, “Whoa! You’re invisible? And you’re bummed about it? Like, what’s your problem? Go with the flow, dude. Check out the girls’ locker room. Check out the jewelry store. Go to the bank and learn some codes, man. Go work for the CIA, you know, like James Bond, only better. Invisible. That’s so cool !”
    Because if that’s what some kid is thinking, that’s because it’s not happening to him. He’s not facing it all day and all night, what it really means. This isn’t a movie where you watch it for two hours and then it ends, and then you climb into a car and you talk about how the movie was while you go to get pizza with some friends.
    This isn’t like that. This is my life .
    And what’s happening means that suddenly my life is completely off track. It’s like a train wreck, and I’m pinned down, trapped. And it’s starting to feel like this is permanent. What if I never change back to the way I was? What then? Do I have to keep it a secret forever, like a spy who can never tell his wife and kids who he really is? Hah! What wife and kids?
    Right now it feels like I’m never going to get to be on my own. Like, never even get my driver’s license, or go away to college. Never buy a car or get a job or have my own apartment. Never!
    And how would I live?
    And where? Am I going to have to stay in this house with my parents? Forever?
    I’m pacing back and forth between the kitchen and the TV room, back and forth, and my whole life is on hold. I’m waiting for something to happen. I’m waiting for Mom to come home and Dad to think and Mrs. Trent to bake more cookies and the school to call and the sun to go down and the sun to come up again tomorrow. It’s like my life is supposed to be playing, but the VCR is on pause and the screen is blank and maybe the whole rest of the tape is erased.
    So I go down the steps from the kitchen and out the side door. That’s the door away from Mrs. Trent’s house. I turn off the alarm. I peel off my clothes, all of them. I take the key out of my jeans pocket, and I go outside and tuck it inside the drainpipe beside the steps.
    And I go around the front corner of the house and walk west, right past Mrs. Trent’s window. The weatherman said it was going to be unseasonably warm, and for once it was the truth.
    It’s about 65 degrees, so it feels like when the air conditioner is up on high. I can bear it, so I’m going for a walk. Today. Right now. In the sunshine. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I’m not going to just sit around and wait for stuff to happen anymore. I’m still me, and I have a life. It’s a weird life, but it’s still mine.
    It’s still mine.

chapter 9
    L ast year our world history teacher told us how the ancient Greeks used to go into battle naked. Fighting with swords and shields and spears. Naked. And how they used to hold their athletic contests naked. Running and wrestling and throwing the discus. Naked.
    Tough guys.
    Tougher than I

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