"Alright class, just remember not to go into the areas with bright red skulls!" my teacher said as we walked around the enormous science lab. Today was the day we visited DISTRAT, the world renowned research facility in New York City. Every year they took the third grade class here, to show them what happened outside of school. They thought everyone attending my school would be a scientist, that everyone wanted the same thing. This may have been how other people worked in the small town I lived in, but I didn't want to live like them. I hoped to stretch past my comfort zone and do great things.
That is, I used to think that way; until the accident.
The trip started out normally; through the planetarium, upstairs to see the light show, then downstairs for lunch right next to the dinosaurs. The extinct animals were my favorite back in my earlier years. I felt like their nonexistence was a way to show their legacy. Look how many people study dinosaurs today. It's just common sense. The forgotten ones are the fuel to curiosity in the world.
I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that day, and I wanted to eat it quickly. I didn't want to run out of time to eat and have to save the soggy sandwich for the long bus ride. I hated eating on the bus, because it would always be messy.
In third grade I was a quiet kid. Having social anxiety didn't make it easier for me either.
Everyone was trying to get up and touch things they weren't supposed to. I refrained from doing so and continued to chew down my sandwich.
"Hey Harry?" a boy that was named Darrel whispered. I had looked at him, completely shocked. He was the most popular kid in my grade. Everyone loved him and being friends with him was like winning free candy.
I looked at him like a deer in the headlights. I almost choked on my sandwich when he began to tug my arm.
"C'mon, there's something cool they're hiding in that lab. Kendall and I are going to look. Come with us."
"But that's not allowed," I had whispered, "We could get in big trouble."
"Come on Harry," Darrel pleaded, "I'll even let you sit at the back table with me."
The back table. It meant so much at the time. I wrapped up the remainder of my sandwich and climbed off my chair. Darrel and Kendall led the way to the biggest door with a red skull. He opened the door and all three of us dashed in.
The door shut behind us and the room was brightened by purple and green lights. The dimly lit room looked beautiful as the three of us walked through. Darrel and Kendall kept giggling like teenage boys in a strip club and I had stayed behind, admiring the room. I always had an eye for natural beauty, always appreciated it. Kendall and Darrel were opening a door with a radioactive symbol on it while I was trying to remember the name of the plant that glowed neon pink at night.
"Harry!" Darrel shouted. I had rushed to his aid immidiately.
"Go inside," he whispered, "Tell us what's in there."
I began to doubt what I was getting myself into at that moment. The fear began to sink in and I backed away.
"Because you'll be the coolest kid in school Harry. Everyone will love you."
I had stepped inside the radioactive chamber cautiously, making sure there weren't any aliens or other things I thought would be on the ground.
"Is there anything in there?" I heard Darrel call.
I shook my head and continued to advance further away from safety. The two boys were peeking into the chamber and I had come across something that looked like a control pad.
"Press it!" Darrel gasped, "It may do something cool!"
This was too far, I had thought, This was where it ended.
"No, I'm coming out," I said.
"Harry come on! It would be so cool to me."
So cool to me.
Acceptance had always been my weakness. Always.
The jolt of electric current wasn't like getting struck by lightning or shocked by your friend after they'd rub their sock clad feet on carpet. No this was much worse. More painful, much so that I would've preferred being struck by lightning.
I could feel everything happening in my body. Every nerve, every bone moving, single muscles working as my body twitched and shook back and forth. I remember my heart pounding in my chest, the pain worse than anything I had felt before or after. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't remember how. My molecules were being rearranged one by one.
All I could remember clearly from that night was my screaming. I had never screamed louder, from when I was evacuated out of the science lab to the day they finally stopped operating.
"He should be fully recovered by the end of today." the doctor said with a smile. My family was relieved, the happiness felt from miles away.
But I knew something was still wrong. My step-brother Liam knew too. Things still hurt, my brain still couldn't function correctly. The tingling was still there. I felt...adapted.
When Liam came in to visit me, he asked me,
"Do you really feel okay?"
I had denied, making sure he knew. Liam turned around to look in his bag, and that's when it happened.
"Harry? Where did you go?
"I'm right here?"
His face went pale, his eyes the size of saucers.
"Harry where are you?! Stop hiding!"
I got up and reached out to grab his wrist.
"Oh my god!" Liam had screamed, "You're... you're oh my god..."
It was then when I realized I wasn't myself anymore. That Harry Styles didn't exist anymore.