Fiction Inspirational Sad

My parents have always said I’m gifted. 

That I should ignore what other people say. That they don’t understand. 

That me being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 7 years, 3 months, and 8 days old isn’t a bad thing. 

It’s my superpower. 

I can see things that no one notices. 

I notice the patterns that no one else can see. 

And still, no one listens. 

No, no one wants to believe. 

Would you if a young girl aged 13 years, 7 months, and 11 days solved the biggest problem facing the world? 

A singular word that destroys dreams and lives. 



That’s unusual, normally my Dad’s alarm rings 3 times before he turns it off. Today cannot be a good day. My routine is ruined. I need a routine. Every day it has to be the same. It just has to be.  

My Dad’s alarm beeps 3 times at exactly 5am. 

It always takes him 23 minutes to get dressed. 

He then walks down the 13 steps to my bedroom and wakes me up at 5:27am. 

I then get dressed for school in exactly the same way every day. 

Take off my pyjama shorts. Right leg. Left leg. 

Put on underwear. Left leg. Right leg. 

Slip-on a dark grey pleated skirt. Left leg. Right leg.  

Did you know that there are 11 pleats on my school skirt? I like the number 11, it’s a prime number. I like prime numbers because they don’t quite fit in with the other numbers as they are only divisible by one and themselves. And that makes them special. I’m like a prime number. What makes me different also makes me special. 

Put on black knee-high socks. Left foot. Right foot. 

I take off my pyjama t-shirt. Right arm. Left arm. 

It used to belong to my Mum. The pyjama t-shirt. But she’s been gone for 2 years and 10 days. I don’t fully understand emotions, but I do know that I miss her. That I feel empty without her. She used to count things with me so that I wouldn’t feel so different. Now I don’t have anyone to count things with. 

I put on my bra. Left arm. Right arm. First set of hooks. 

I put on my white school shirt. Left arm. Right arm. Button up the 13 buttons.  

I put on the royal blue blazer. Left arm. Right arm. 

I fastened the black clip-on tie. There are 11 red diagonal stripes and 22 blue diagonal stripes.  

I put on my left shoe and fasten it and then do the same with my right. 

But today is already different. 

My Dad takes longer to get dressed and he then doesn’t wake me up. He doesn’t make me breakfast; a piece of buttered toast, cut into triangles. Because triangles are the strongest shape. He also doesn’t wait for me before leaving for work. Leaving me to walk to school. 

Today cannot be a good day.

My routine is ruined. 

I need a routine.   

It just has to be the same.  

My Dad’s a doctor, specifically an Oncologist. That’s a doctor that specialises in cancer. But he’s not the same since my Mum died. He’s more tired. He works longer hours. He gets angrier quicker. He isn’t as happy. He can’t give his patients hope. How can you when you have lost your own? 

School, thankfully, cannot be a bad day. I like the routine of knowing what lessons I have when and with who. 

Today I have double Maths, Biology, English and Chemistry. 

Today is a good day. 

I am good at Maths and Sciences. I recognise the patterns. I remember the formulas. It means it is easier to learn. Easier to get the answers right. Especially when there is only one answer. 

But English is different. English is far from easy. English is hard. English is difficult. You need to be able to understand what is written between the lines. What the writer is trying to express. The emotions. The details. Painting a picture. Which doesn’t really make sense. How can you read between the lines when there are no words written in between the lines? But I manage nonetheless. 

It’s a thing called camouflaging where you copy the behaviours of people around you so they can’t tell you are different. It’s why it took me so long to be diagnosed. The educational psychologist says it’s more common for females to do it than males. It makes autism invisible. Like having an invisibility cloak from Harry Potter. But my Mum said it’s more like having a chameleon circuit, from the TARDIS, but for my autism. It’s still there but people just don’t notice it. 

People aren’t very good at noticing things, they miss the patterns. 

That’s my superpower.  

Seeing things that others do not. 

Noticing the patterns that others cannot. 

After school, I walk the short distance to the hospital where my Dad works. I sit on the third blue seat on the left of the receptionist desk. I like sitting there. I always sit there. It’s right next to the radiator which I like because I always get cold. But it’s close enough to the open window that I can still breathe in the fresh air, instead of the clinical smell that lingers in hospitals. I used to find it comforting, the smell. It reminded me that I was somewhere clean and that there were no germs. But after my Mum, it just reminds me of death and illness. 

I like coming here after school until my Dad finishes because people tend to leave me alone. Except for the brief conversation with the receptionist. The receptionist always gives me a cup of tea with 3 sugars and milk, and a chocolate biscuit. She always asks me how my day was. But the normal receptionist isn’t working today. Instead of giving me a cup of tea and asking me how my day was, she gives me a weird stare as I sit in my normal seat, taking out my laptop and school books. Attempting to complete the homework that was set. But I can’t focus on my homework.  

I like routine.  

I want things to be the same.  

So I will try. Try to focus. To keep the routine the same.  

But I can’t. My mind keeps wandering. 

So I count. 

There are 5 strips of white LED lights. 

But 1 is flickering. Every 3 seconds it flickers twice in 1 second. 

There are 3 wooden tables. 

The one in the middle is slightly more to the right table than the one on the left. 

There are 21 magazines in total across all 3 tables. 

There’s a television showing medical information. Stop smoking. Help for weight loss. Coffee morning support group. Reminder for flu vaccines. Please give feedback on your care. They stay on the screen for 23 seconds. Not long enough to read.  

There are 7 people in the waiting room. 

5 of them have cancer.  

I spend every day waiting in the reception for my Dad to finish work. I spend most of the time counting things. Observing. You can see who has cancer and who does not. Yes, there are obvious signs when someone is on treatment. 

The hair loss. 


Weight loss. 

Not being able to eat.  

But if you eliminate them you can still know they have cancer. 

Like the two couples in the waiting room. You can tell which one is about to be diagnosed with cancer. 

They fit the pattern. My mum did too. 

That’s my superpower. 

Noticing patterns that others cannot. 

The small details that people seemingly overlook. 

I have got to do something. Say something. It might not stop people from getting cancer. But it could be the cure.  

At tea, I decided to tell my Dad about the pattern.  

But he just looks at me blankly. 

There’s a pattern. 

Why can’t no one else see it? 

There’s a pattern. 

He reiterates what he tells his patients to make them feel like it’s not their fault. Like they didn’t do anything wrong. 

Cancer doesn’t discriminate. 

There’s nothing that you couldn’t have done. 

But there’s a pattern. 

My Dad doesn’t listen to me. He doesn’t want to listen. 

Why won’t he listen? 

There’s a pattern. 

I can’t tell other people. I don’t like talking to people. It gives me anxiety.

What should I do? 

I repeat myself. 

Repeat the pattern. 

He has to listen. But he doesn’t. 

I angrily grabbed my chocolate milkshake and stormed up the 13 stairs to my bedroom, slamming the door behind me. 

I have to focus. 

If my Dad won’t listen to me, no one else will. And I can’t talk to people. 

I’ll have to show them the pattern. 

I have to become a scientist. A researcher. One that specialises in cancer. 

I focus. 

I graduated from high school with straight A’s in my GCSEs. 

Well, except English. I got a B in that.  

I have to show people the pattern. 

I have to focus. 

I focus. 

I graduated from the sixth form with A’s in Biology, Chemistry, and Maths. 

I have to show people the pattern. 

I have to focus. 

I focus. 

I go to University and study biochemistry. 

Three years later, I graduated with first-degree honours. 

I have to show people the pattern. 

I have to focus. 

I focus. 

I stay at University and pursue a postgraduate degree in molecular biology. 

1 year later, I graduated with first-degree honours. 

I have to show people the pattern. 

I have to focus. 

I focus. 

I got a fellowship in cancer research. 

I work hard. 

I have to show people the pattern. 

I have to focus. 

I found the pattern. 

I showed people the pattern. 

I found the cure.  

That’s my superpower. 

Seeing things that no one else notices. 

Noticing the patterns that no one else can see. 

September 13, 2021 12:18

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Kevin Marlow
22:17 Sep 22, 2021

I like your story, it is like the one I just wrote, except with a positive ending.


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Keya J.
15:31 Sep 13, 2021

Aw...it's really cute, the story. I loved how you kept in mind the thought process of a thirteen-year-old and wrote according to her P.O.V. Nice Job! (Btw, I have written a story on the same prompt if you'd like to check that out! Thank you). Have a nice day!


Sophie Smith
19:36 Sep 13, 2021

Thanks 😊 luckily I have Autism so I know some of the thought processes that go on inside someone’s head with the learning difficulty.


Keya J.
11:23 Sep 14, 2021

Oh really! I am glad to see someone inculcate their <superpower>! Great Job!


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