"Look at them, Timmy." Says Grandma pointing to a group of pixies as they fly over our heads. "Look at the way they dance through the air like leaves caught in the breeze. I wonder if that's what other people see when they look at them. Fallen leaves drifting in the wind." She smiles, a kind of floaty expression appearing on her face. I continue to walk along side her as she drives her electric wheelchair in the direction of the park.
Granny had just been to the doctor and I could tell it wasn't good news. I could see that she didn't have much time left, not that I realised what it was back then. I was only six after all. All I knew was that Granny had the same dark shadow following her as the bald lady who came to see mommy last week. When I asked about it mum said she had terminal cancer. I didn't know what that was but I knew it wasn't good.
"Granny, how come you and I can see the Pixies but no one else can?" I ask looking up at her.
Granny stopped her chair and smiled down at me, patting my head and smoothing down my unruly hair.
"That's because they don't have The Sight."
The way she said it I knew that what she meant was different from just being able to see. I could hear the capitals.
"What is The Sight Granny? How come you and I have it but mommy and daddy don't?"
"The Sight is the ability to see what's really there around you. Whether it be the Pixies and the ghosts or what's inside of people. Their secrets, and their desires. Their light and their dark. Who they really are inside; their true selves."
As she said this I could feel the weight of all that entailed. It opened my eyes and explained a lot of what I saw. The colours that surrounded people, the creatures hiding in the shadows and how sometimes I would meet someone and they would seem to shimmer and change until they looked completely different than they first appeared. The invisible things that mommy called my "imaginary friends" and the things I see when I touch people, things they did or said that they don't want others to know about.
"None of your mothers family have The Sight so it makes sense that she doesn't either and as for your father, I don't know. He just wasn't born with it. I had thought I was the last in our line to have the gift but then you were born and everything changed. I wasn't alone anymore."
She squeezed my hand and looked at me with more love and adoration than either of my parents ever had. That's when I knew. Knew she was going to die. Knew that when she did she would stay. That night I woke up at 3.00 am with tears streaming down my face. I ran into mum and dads room sobbing that she was dead. Mum had no idea what I was on about but all it took was one look at dad and he was running out of the room to the phone and calling the ambulance. Granny was wrong. He did have The Sight. At least some of it. The next morning her ghost turned up in my bedroom. I sobbed and cried while she patted my head and told me she loved me.
"You didn't think I'd leave you all alone now, did you?" She soothed, hugging me tightly. I couldn't actually touch her though of course. She no longer had a physical body so she just floated right through me. It was the thought and the intention behind it though that mattered. So though she was only pretending, it still made me feel better.
Twelve years have passed since then and I'm now in my last year of high school.
The year after Granny's death mum and dad divorced. I saw it coming of course, even before Dad did. Mum had been cheating on him with one of my teachers, Miss Allen for almost a year. Mom confessed that she was actually a lesbian and had only married dad because she needed a way out of her home town which was small and close minded. She said that she really did love him but just not in a romantic way. Dad said he understood and they're now the best of friends. Mom moved in with Miss Allen; Rebecca - and they adopted a baby girl together; Sophie.
When I was ten Dad met Laura and they started dating. Two years later they got married and now they have two kids, Annabelle who's five and Ben who just turned two. Together with Sophie who's now ten, there are four of us kids. I help out with taking care of all the younger ones and I get along well with Rebecca and Laura but I always feel separate and apart from them all.
None of them have The Sight, though dad sometimes senses things the others don't, but not even he sees what I see. I understand now what Granny meant when she said she was alone before. She still hangs around from time to time and I don't know what I would do without her. For the first couple of years after her death she almost never left my side, but as I got older she started leaving to check up on friends and other family members. I can tell that she is getting listless. I can tell she wants to move on even if she'd never admit it, but even after all this time, I can't seem to let her go.
Apart from Granny, the only person who knows about my abilities is my best friend Kate. Kate may look like your average 13-year-old girl but she's actually a 500-year-old vampire with the ability to see the future. One day I was working late at my part time job and she came running into the store and started talking to me like we'd known each other for years, saying that we had to get out of there or something bad would happen. I could see what she was and that she was telling the truth so I did as she said and no sooner had we left than the building next door went up in smoke. The fire was so large that the store where I had been working caught as well. If she hadn't saved me I would have died in that fire. After that, we'd often meet up after sunset and hang out. She would tell me stories of all the things she'd seen and done over the years and sometimes tell me stories of what was to come while she would often get me to describe the things I saw. We understood each other and we helped each other out. She told me about the supernatural world and I was her link to the day, doing the things she couldn't do for herself.
"There's not much a 13-year-old can do in this modern world." She once told me during one of our conversations.
"What do you mean? 13-year-olds do tonnes of stuff."
"Not if they can't go out in the day. Think about it, Timothy. Most of the stuff teenagers do centres around school, friends and extracurricular activities. I can't go to school or join a club or any of that other stuff because of the sun, plus all the formal nitty gritty stuff. I don't have a birth certificate or any form of ID. As for friends I can't risk people finding out my secret. You're different. You knew without me telling you. And with all these new laws I can't do anything fun! No driving, No drinking, No sex and even if it wasn't for laws think about my options for that last one. Teenagers or Pervs. No thanks."
"Teenagers doesn't sound too bad," I replied trying to lighten her darkening mood.
"Hardly! No offence but most teens have no idea what they're doing and aren't willing to experiment. Plus they want a relationship first and as I said before I can't really risk that."
After that, we sat in silence for a while before I changed the subject to a new book I was reading. There was a law for Vampires that they weren't supposed to turn anyone who hadn't reached adulthood. Kate's master had broken that law and had been punished with imprisonment. She still resented him for it. If he had only waited till she was older everything would have been okay, but her master had been impatient and had forced her to drink his blood. He had known what her power would be and had wanted it for himself. When she told me the story of her turning I could hear the disdain in her voice.
"He's still alive you know if you can call it that. One day he will get out and he will come after me. We will fight and one of us will die, though for some reason it is unclear which one and when it will happen. All I know is it will happen in the middle of a great maze during the full moon."
I didn't know what to say to that. I just told her what she often said to me when I asked about the future.
"What will happen, happens. You can either spend all your time worrying about it or simply live in the moment. Enjoy the now."
She smiled and we spent the rest of that evening sitting there quietly enjoying each others company. Some people find silence awkward, and sometimes it is, but not with Kate. With her, everything is easy and okay. There is never any judgment or expectation because she already knows and is already prepared. Nothing like other people.
I don't really get along with people my age. I'm different and they know it. Most adults too. They sense there's something off about me so they tend to stay away. It's okay though. I don't like most people anyway. Knowing people's secrets is exhausting. With one look I can see every dirty horrible thing a person's ever done, said or even thought. Children are different though. Purer. They haven't been alive for as long as adults so they haven't had as much time to do things they regret. Most children's secrets are innocent ones. "I took candy without asking.", "I drew on the wall behind the dresser.", "I broke something and blamed it on my sibling." It makes it easier to be around them. I love kids. They're like Kate in a way. They don't judge you behind your back. If they don't like you or think you're weird they'll tell you to your face. They're blunt and straightforward and will tell you exactly what they're thinking, unlike adults who will say one thing while they think something completely different. Sometimes I wish I was as oblivious as everyone else. That I could believe the pretty lies. Unfortunately, that's not so, so as Kate says.
"Don't focus on the things you can't change, focus on the things you can."
It's a saying that I've come to live by in the three years since I met Kate and it's made my life so much better than it was before. Kate's made my life so much better. And I didn't know it yet but I was about to meet someone who would make it better still. . .
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