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Disclaimer: The characters Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod, Broots etc. and the fictional Centre, are all property of MTM, TNT and NBC Productions and used without permission. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.

Author’s Note: This is a VERY short story, basically the musings of Angelo (from his POV) about what it is like to be an empath and how he sees the people around him. I hope that you like it. It is something that I was just thinking about and I decided to go with it. I hope that you like it, my mind was telling me what to write faster than I can type again J. Feedback welcome!

The Price of Being An Empath
by ~*Ashley*~

Sometimes I wonder how these people can function everyday with the emotions that rage inside of them. My ability, to read and feel their most intimate sentiments, is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because it enables me to understand and help people. It is a curse because others like to use my gift for bad doings.

Mr. Raines likes to use my gift for evil. He is the reason that I can empath people in the first place. I am his experiment gone wrong. He created, in me, a creature able to become any person he meets. He intended to make a super-pretender able to fully absorb the character of a person, to not only be able to pretend to be that person, but to be that person. Luckily something went wrong. Instead of a super-pretender he got a breathing sponge. I am glad for his mistake because it takes out of his evil hands what could potentially have been a very powerful weapon.

My ability to fully become anyone has a great disadvantage. It enables me to become myself. I am trapped within my own mind. Unable to even speak a coherent sentence, the few unique thoughts that pass through my brain go unexpressed. I do have unique thoughts. Mr. Raines does not know this; there is no way he could. Even if I wanted him to know I am unable to tell him. Imagine being left with no way to communicate with the outside world. The brief moments of clarity I have had are just fragmented sentences. They are the only way I am capable of expressing my thoughts. However, they are grossly inadequate.

I am able to feel loyalty. I express that emotion the only way I know how. My loyalty to Jarod and Miss Parker is expressed through the little things that I do to help them, the little bits of information that I feed them. The protection I afford them by merely showing the way through a labyrinth of air ducts. I remember when Miss Parker, Jarod, and I were friends. We would explore the maze of corridors and rooms. Each adventure was the only escape I had from my childhood. They never treated my like I was less of a human being than them. We were all equal. I guess that was because we all felt different from everyone else.

The only time that I felt not a part of the group was when we were older. I guess that after they admitted that they had feelings for each other I became like a third wheel. But that was all right. I was glad to see them finally admit something that I had been feeling from them ever since I first saw them together. I always felt their love, their connection.

I also felt the pain that their love caused each other. His hurt every time she had to go back to boarding school. Her regret at having to leave. His anxiety that she would forget him and vice versa. I never felt a waver in their devotion, or faith in their love. I still haven't. Even after The Centre's best attempts to break their bond, their love exists. It is buried deep in secrets and lies, but it lives on. I can feel it when she waits by her phone in her office for him to call, and in the desperation he has to help her find the truth and to protect her from the dangers of the lives they lead.

The confliction of hate, love, distrust, trust, longing, avoiding, remembering creates madness in my mind. How do they continue to survive feeling such strong emotions and being unable to act upon them? Any normal person would be driven insane, but then again, none of us are normal are we?

I feel love to. I love Miss Parker like a sister. No matter what any blood tests say, in my heart she is my sister. I love Jarod. He is my best friend. And I love Sydney. When Mr. Raines would abuse me, he would always be there to comfort me. He always protected me the same way he protected Jarod and Miss Parker. You could say he was like a father to all of us. Maybe to Jarod more than the rest, but he loved us all the same.

Sometimes they bring me in to help on the chase for the pretender. When Bartlett was after Jarod I was told to empath all of the people who hate Jarod to see which one was after him. I have only felt the kind of intense fear that I felt that day once before. My fear that I would be unable to save my dear friend was almost crippling. I am sure that it would have been, except that my inability to express that fear made any reactions impossible. I thank Mr. Raines on that count.

I barely remember what it was like to be Timmy, a "normal" child. I remember bits and pieces of Catherine Parker. I can hear her voice in my head telling me that everything would be all right, that she was going to get me out of that horrible place.

I wonder what it would have been like if she had rescued me before my mind was turned to mush. What kind of life would I have led? I think about the things that I have missed out on. I don't have a home, a family of my own, someone to love, any real identity. I can only have these things through other people. The problem, though, is that no one at The Centre really has those things either. Even if they do, something or the other taints it. I wish that they would realize what they have and take full advantage of it. I wish that Billy from accounting would apologies to his wife for cheating on her rather than live in fear that she might someday find out. I wish that the new sweeper, Darren, would stick up to Mr. Lyle rather than let him treat him like dirt. They have no idea how lucky they are to have that option.

There are so many things I regret not having done and said while I was able. Jarod's serum allowed me, for the first time, to normally communicate. I could process thoughts into coherent sentences and associate the tune in my head with the motions of my hands. I created beautiful music. Perhaps that was the greatest expression of all. The soothing notes and rhythms slowly became more complex and coherent as the serum took effect. In a way in symbolized who I was, who I became, and who I went back to being. The entire time it remained the same song, but as I reverted into Angelo it changed from the sweet, clear tune to a jumble of misplaced keys. I guess that sort of sums up who I am, just one big jumble of thoughts unable to be put together properly.

It is almost humorous that here I am having all of these thoughts, hopes, and dreams; and yet no one will ever know. They just will keep on believing that I am incapable of feeling any genuine emotion. They have no idea that I am a person who feels things of his own accord. I will have to live the rest of my life not able to tell those I love that I love them or being able to tell off those I dislike. I guess that is just the price of being an empath.


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