“So, I’m a witch?” Joe stumbled over the words. The psychiatrist was silent for a moment, her face strained. Joe felt the tension in his gut grow.
“Some people would call you that, but you don’t have to. Most spell-workers would call you a conductor, or gifted, though I know this doesn’t feel much like a gift right now.”
“Eh, not so much,” He let out a strained smile.
“And it shouldn’t. This is something that’s disrupting your life, but I believe if we get you in the right program you’ll be able to learn not only to live with this, but to control it as well.”
“So what, exactly is this?” Joe asked, waving his hand near his had.
“Sorry, I got ahead of myself for a moment. Your conductivity is manifesting as hyper-empathy,” Joe stared at her, bewildered, and she started again, “The magic going through you is interacting with something in your body, likely your brain, and that creates a sort of natural spell. That spell is causing you to experience the feelings of those around you as your own. Does that make sense?”
An hour later the psychiatrist left the office and walked directly to the lobby where his parents were waiting, Joe trailed behind her.
They went through pamphlets and questionnaires, finally settling on the only program in the same state, a small group-home connected with a public high school. The school, a pamphlet with poorly spaced texts boxes explained, was surrounded by a gate which caused magic to flow around it, meaning that Joe would be able to go to class without being distracted by everyone’s emotions.
“I’ve referred students in similar situations here before, they say their life very similar to when they lived at home. You can also go home at any time, of course,” She said, “One even ended up staying in St. Martin’s.”
“How far is it?”
“Is this necessary?”
“When can I move in?”