When Lior was a child, it didn’t matter that she sometimes saw things other people didn’t. Certainly, it earned her the reputation of being a terribly clumsy child, and yes, her parents learned never to let her out of their sight, but as far as she was concerned, she was perfectly normal. And as far as her parents were concerned, she was only mildly abnormal. After all, there were far more unusual things in the world than a child bumping into walls.
At the age of seven, Lior had her first true vision. The wispy shapes and colors she had always seen resolved into a vibrant city bustling with life. Buildings rose high into the clouds, massive images were projected into the air, and high speed trains whizzed silently on airborne tracks. She most certainly would have been terrified to find herself suddenly in this strange place, if not for the fact that the passing pedestrians walked right through her, none of them even looking down to where she stood. Having never learned otherwise, Lior assumed this was perfectly normal and strolled along with the crowd, until she ran painfully into an invisible wall. The pain caused the marvelous city to melt away, and Lior found herself nose to floral pattern with a wall in her family’s home.
A week later, it happened again. This time, she was playing in the front yard when everything was replaced by that same metropolis. It was exactly as she remembered it, and she wandered down the sidewalk just like before. The people seemed so different, all colorful hair and strange clothes. Neon signs and so much noise competed for her attention. Lior was certain she had never seen anything more bright or alive. She wanted to explore everything, but she had hardly set off when she tripped over a small step that wasn’t there. She closed her eyes to brace for the fall and opened them to the breeze of a passing vehicle and her mother’s tense arms wrapped around her. Lior tried to tell her mother about the city and the people and about how the road wasn’t there before, but her mother just shook her head and ushered her inside. The next day, Lior wasn’t allowed to go outside.
At the age of eight, Lior dedicated herself to memorizing the layout of anywhere she might frequent, which was, admittedly, mainly home and school. She began to actively observe every space she was in. She would walk around rooms with her eyes closed and draw maps from memory. When the visions, as she thought of them, hit, she practiced exploring the other world without bumping into anything in her world or she would challenge herself to retrieve a certain item from another room.
At the age of nine, someone saw Lior, and she made her first friend. He was a boy about her age with shaggy blond hair and a distinct limp. Though she could never tell him when she would be back, he always had a broad smile and enough words for the both of them.
At the age of ten, Lior’s school recommended her for psychotherapy. It didn’t take her long to decide that she thoroughly disliked the experience and refused to talk. Shortly after, her mother relented and stopped taking her. Instead, Lior was pulled out of public school and began homeschooling. It suited her just fine.
Little by little Lior taught herself to navigate the world deaf and blind, until by the age of twelve, she could memorize a room at a glance and recognize the slight breeze of a passing person. She learned how to blend in with both her own world and the other world. And she learned about the boy and his world. It wasn’t perfect, but it was enough.