Glimpse

Life is normal for 16 year old Lissa Bennett, until the day she starts seeing the future. When images of events that have not yet occurred begin to appear to Lissa for no apparent reason, she and her best friends try to piece together what’s happening and what it means.

When her visions seem to revolve around Daniel, the local ‘loner’ whose brother has gone missing, should Lissa risk everything to help, or leave well enough alone?

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1. Chapter 1

Charlotte wanted to watch a Rom Com. I was sick of Rom Coms. We watched one every single Friday because Charlotte always got her own way. But on this particular night, I wasn’t having any of it.

“Horror films are boring, Lissa. They’re all the same,” she wailed at me, clutching the bag of DVD’s she had brought over.

“Char, stop being a wimp,” I replied, whilst looking through my DVD collection. “It’s my house, my rules.”

“I knew we should have had film night at my house,” she added sullenly.

Film night is tradition for me and Charlotte on a Friday and even though all she does is go on about how we should be out with everyone else our age on a Friday night, she secretly loved to stay in and watch films. Girly films, anyway.

I heard shuffling coming from outside my door. “And where do you think you are going?” I asked my sister, who was trying to sneak past my room.

“I’m only going to Stacey’s house, not that it’s any of your business,” she snapped back at me.

“Dressed like that?” I asked suspiciously as I took a look at her outfit. The skirt she was wearing didn’t do much in the way of fully covering her thighs.

“Oh my God, like who are you, my mother?!” She stomped off down the stairs.

“If I were your mother then you wouldn’t be speaking to me like that you cheeky little—’ she cut me off by slamming the front door.

“God Lissa, no need to be so harsh on her,” Charlotte said as she collapsed down on to my bed.

“Harsh? I’m attempting to save her from becoming a clone of Stacey, because in case you haven’t noticed, she’s starting to act a lot like her these days.” I grimaced at the thought of my sister being friends with Stacey. That very same Stacey who had the supermodel looks and the platinum blonde hair that I’d like to shave off if I could ever bear to be that close to her. It still freaks me out to think back to when we were best friends. Thank God I came to my senses. I still remember the first day that I met her.

It was summer and furniture was being carried into the empty house next door. I saw a girl about my age sitting on the doorstep, looking glum. As a ten year old I was a friendly child, so I went up to her and asked if she was okay. When she looked up at me, I could tell that she had been crying. Next thing I knew, she was in tears. I sat down next to her and asked if she wanted to come and have some ice cream at my house. Within an hour she had told me that her parents had split up and she had moved here with her mother. She missed her father terribly and only got to see him every two weeks because he lived far away. I felt so sorry for her back then, she just looked really sad and her red, curly hair made her look small and vulnerable. We became inseparable that summer.

She enrolled at my school in the autumn and together we laughed our way through each day. A few years later, the two of us were thrilled to be attending the same high school together. We had big plans.

“We’re going to rule the school Lissa!” Stacey would say to me excitedly. “Just you wait!”

And wait I did because once we were at the school, we realised it wasn’t as simple as it seemed. It wasn’t as if we were total losers. We spoke to others in our classes, but no one really seemed interested in becoming friends with us. That was when we met Charlotte. Charlotte was confident and super friendly, but no one seemed to sit by her at lunch. The minute we asked if we could sit down, she was off, chatting to us like she had known us for years. Two became three and high school became fun. Well, at least until Charlotte got her first boyfriend. I was thrilled for her. His name was Ben; he was cute, smart and adored her. We’d spend hours in her room as she told us all the gossip from her dates. I grinned along with her as she talked about him. Stacey didn’t. Stacey glared. I knew that she was feeling a little jealous but I just assumed she’d get over it.

Charlotte was looking forward to her first summer as a girlfriend but promised not to leave us out.

“We need to make sure we go shopping together as least once a week,” she said to us.

“Well actually,” Stacey said. “I’m going to be away most of the summer. I’m going to spend the holidays with my dad.” This came as a complete shock to us as she hardly ever mentioned her dad or the job offer he took to go and work in Dubai.

It was two weeks into summer when we said a sad goodbye to Stacey. It was the first summer since meeting her that I’d spent without her. That summer seemed to go on forever. Even though Charlotte kept her promise to spend time with me and Ben equally, I missed having Stacey around. I couldn’t wait until September when she’d bounce back to school, probably with a tan to die for!

And bounce back she did. Only when she walked through that classroom door, the back-to-school chatter silenced. I didn’t even recognise her. The reds curls had been replaced by super straight, platinum blonde locks. She ran over to my desk and dragged me into a hug.

“Omigod Liss! You’re SO not going to believe how amazing my summer has been!” Off she went, going on and on about various summer romances and how hot she’d looked in her new bikini. There was something completely different about her. It was like one big act.

When lunch finally came around, we spotted Charlotte on our usual table. She nearly spat her food all over poor Ben when she saw Stacey. Then Stacey waltzed right up to Ben and started asking him about his summer. She was even batting her eyelids at him, right in front of Charlotte. It continued for the rest of the week and I saw Charlotte slowly losing her bubbly attitude and confidence, so I urged her to talk to Stacey.

“There’s no point Lissa,” she sighed. “Ben is right under her thumb and she knows it. He’s going to leave me for her. I know he is.”

Seeing the sadness on Charlotte’s face as she sat in my room, knowing that the time she had spent with Ben now meant nothing to him since Stacey had come home, made me angry. Stacey had changed. The Stacey I knew wouldn’t do this. Something had changed her that summer and whatever it was, I wasn’t going to stand there and watch it destroy Charlotte.

I stormed to the house next door immediately after Charlotte had left.

“Hey babes!” Stacey said as she invited me in. “Everything okay?”

“No Stacey,” I replied. “No it’s not.” She led me up to her room and settled down on her bed. I stood by the door. I wasn’t planning on staying long.

“What has gotten in to you?” she asked. I just got straight to the point. She blinked at me a couple of times before replying.

“What do you mean babes?” she said innocently.

“You know exactly what I mean.  This whole ‘Stuck-Up-Bitch’ act you’ve got going on around school. And Ben? Do you have any idea what it’s doing to Charlotte to see you hitting on her boyfriend right in front of her eyes?” I waited for her to apologise or realise how awful she’d been and promise to quit being a bitch. She didn’t.

“I can’t help it if Ben is attracted to me,” she said with a sly smile forming on her lips. “Maybe Charlotte should learn to keep her boyfriend on a tighter leash.” I was shocked. I didn’t recognise the girl in front of me anymore. “We could be everything we ever talked about being in high school Lissa.” She had this devious look in her eye. “Don’t tell me you don’t remember? It’s all we ever used to talk about! We were going to be pretty, popular and queens of the school. We can still have that, me and you! BFFs!”

“What about Charlotte?” I asked.

“What about her?” she replied. “I could easily just stop paying attention to Ben and he’d go crawling back to her. Once Charlotte has Boyfriend Ben back in her life, she’ll forget all about us. We don’t need her, we never have needed her. I mean, what has she got to offer you as a friend that I haven’t?”

I just looked at her. Her eyes were gleaming as she thought about the two of us sailing through the rest of high school together, going to all the parties and bagging all the boyfriends. I didn’t want any of that, I just wanted my loyal best friend back and it was clear that I wasn’t going to find her.

“Goodbye Stacey,” I said flatly as I turned to leave.

“I don’t need you either you know. You’ll be sorry when you’re still stuck on that same crappy lunch table with one loser of a friend.” I didn’t even turn back to look at her.

Charlotte turned up at my door in tears the next day. She had caught Stacey and Ben kissing at the park where she walked her dog every night. I had no doubt in my mind that Stacey had planned this the moment I walked out on her the night before. Charlotte was heartbroken, lacking in confidence and clearly burnt by Stacey’s devious actions. Within weeks, Stacey was queen of the school. I have no idea how she did it but the whole school idolised her, even the older students. She and Ben were the ‘It’ couple and she even had two new girlfriends, Nicole and Megan, who were just as pretty and perfect. 

After Stacey made it clear that Charlotte and I were to be ignored, we became outcasts.

Fast forward to just over a year and here we are now. Me and Charlotte: still outcasts and still sitting at our crappy lunch table, whilst Stacey continues her reign as the queen bee. She had everything any sixteen year old could possible wish for: looks, popularity, nice clothes and a ton of male admirers.

 I couldn’t stand the sight of her.

“Hey, at least your sister is actually gaining a life,” Charlotte’s voice pulled me away from my memories. “I mean, she’s like what, 14? And she already has a way better social life than the two of us put together.”

My blood had run cold the first time I’d seen my sister, Jade, talking to Stacey at the bottom of her driveway a few months ago. The minute she came through the door I pounced on her, asking what she thought she was playing at by talking to her.

“She was only asking if I wanted to come to her party tomorrow,” Jade had said. I was so tempted to tell her that this was just another one of Stacey’s tricks to make my life more difficult but I knew it was already a lost cause. Jade had always wanted to be part of the popular crowd at school and getting attention from Stacey was like winning the lottery to her, even though she knew how I felt about it.

“If having a social life means hanging around with Stacey and her friends,” I replied back to Charlotte. “Then I’d much rather be a loner thanks.”

“Well I wouldn’t,” Charlotte said, clearly envying the ‘amazing’ life of Stacey. Also completely forgetting about what she had done to her in the past. Charlotte was forgetting that the only reason we didn’t have a social life is because Stacey had branded us freaks. There was no particular evidence to back up her accusations but what Stacey says goes. So if she said we were freaks, then we were freaks.

“Right then my fellow friendless loser,” I said as I walked towards my TV. “You win, pick a film.”

*****************************************************************************

I regretted taking pity on Charlotte and letting her pick the film. We ended up watching a Japanese love story that was a) full of mush and b) hard work to watch due to me squinting at the screen in order to read the subtitles. At least I learnt one thing: I could most definitely benefit from some reading glasses.

“If you find that entertaining,” I said to Charlotte. “Then you, my friend, need therapy.”

“Ha-ha,” Charlotte laughed sarcastically. “I have the sequel in my bag if you wanna watch that? I just know you can’t wait to find out what happens next!”

“Funny,” I said whilst throwing a pillow at her. “You know, your taste in film is positively vomit-worthy.”

“You’re one to talk. You watch films about horrific murderers or dead girls coming through TV screens,” Charlotte replied whilst flicking her black hair back into place.

“Well at least I’d know how to survive if a mad-axe man walked into the room right now,” I informed her triumphantly. “You’d be the one cowering in the corner waiting for your white knight to come and rescue you.”

“Yeah right and you’d be cowering right beside me. You might come across as a cold hearted bitch but I bet you’d totally wimp out in a real life horror situation.”

“Well I guess we’ll just never know how we’d react in a real life horror situation,” I walked over to turn the TV off, “because we aren’t likely to end up in one.”

If only I knew how wrong I was.

 

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