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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3. Chapter 3

“So,” Charlotte said the minute we entered my bedroom. “Tell me everything.”

“It happened again,” I flopped down on my bed. “I saw Daniel hit that guy in the corridor before it even happened. I’m going mad aren’t I?”

Charlotte sat down at the bottom of my bed looking excited.

“Are you kidding? It’s awesome!” she said enthusiastically. I grabbed my laptop from the floor and switched it on. “Do you think you can conjure up an image of my future husband?” I pulled a face at her.

“I just want to know what the hell is going on,” I said gloomily.

“Well,” she moved to sit by my side. “We must first consult the higher forces of Google.” She grabbed the laptop and started tapping away on the keyboard. I watched her click her way through various websites.

“They all seem to be about having premonitions in dreams,” she turned to face me. “You’re having premonitions whilst you’re awake.”

“So you mean to say that I’m a bigger freak than the freaks dreaming the future?” Charlotte rolled her eyes at me and continued browsing. I looked over her shoulder at one of the pages she was looking at.

“Some of these stories are really creepy,” Charlotte looked at me, her face serious. “There are people who claim to have had premonitions about death and disaster. You haven’t seen anyone dying have you?”

“I think I’d have told you if I randomly started seeing death scenes play out in my mind. In fact, I think I would have taken myself off to an asylum!” I laughed, trying to joke, but Charlotte continued to look at me seriously.

“You will tell me won’t you?” she asked me. “Tell me if you start seeing things that aren’t normal.”

“None of this is normal, Char,” I jumped up off the bed. “I still don’t even think that I believe it.”

“Look,” Charlotte said in a business-type way. “It’s happened twice, so you know it wasn’t a one off thing. It’s probably going to happen again. We need to try and work out how and why this is happening to you in the first place.”

“Maybe I’m stressed?” I suggested. “Stress can cause all sorts of weird things.”

“Seeing the future is not down to anything that’s happening to you physically,” Charlotte closed the laptop. “It’s spiritual. Maybe the visions you’re seeing are some sort of sign. Maybe they have a bigger meaning.”

“Yeah,” I replied sarcastically. “Seeing you hiding behind my door and Daniel hit a guy is really going to affect my life in a huge way.”

“Okay, that is a bit random.” She pondered for a moment. “I feel bad for judging him so much,” she sighed and looked down. “He must have some pretty tough things going on at home.”

“I actually tried to talk to him when we both went to the see nurse.” I almost laughed at how awkward the memory was. “I epically failed.”

“Well, would you feel very talkative if your brother was missing and people were giving you crap about it?” She had a point.

Before Charlotte left, she made me promise to tell her if I had anymore ‘visions’. She also told me to ring her immediately if I pictured her wedding. I wondered if it would be cruel of me to pretend that I saw her marrying Mr Weldman.

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

The next morning, I was a mess. After worrying about the state of my mental health for hours, I had forgotten to set the alarm. Meaning I didn’t wake up until my mother burst into the room, yelling that I was going to be late. After attempting to run half way to school and wheezing the rest of the way, I finally found myself outside the main door. Where I fell up the steps. Seriously, how does one fall up the steps? The notebook I was holding fell onto the floor and several worksheets went flying all over the place. I quickly scrambled around on the floor trying to collect them.

“Here.” Someone waved a sheet in front of me. I looked up and saw Daniel standing there.

“Oh, thanks.” I have to admit, I took a good look at him. Really looked at him. He looked like he belonged in a rock band, standing there in a leather jacket over his school shirt. 

“You have History first period, right?” I tore my eyes away from his shirt when I realised he was speaking to me.

“History? Oh yes, I do.” When did I turn into a blabbering idiot? I thought to myself. He walked up to the main door and held it open for me, motioning for me to walk in first with his other arm. He walked through the door behind me.

“So, what do you think about the project topic for this term?” Daniel threw me a sideways glance. I was shocked, to be honest, that he was trying to start up a conversation with me. Didn’t I try to do this the day before, to which he did not react well?

“I’m quite happy with it,” I replied. “I’ve already done most of the recommended reading.”

“Really? Me too.”

“Wait, what?” I didn’t have Daniel down as the History-buff type. We were studying the feminist movement, a topic that was clearly perfect for me. I wouldn’t have guessed that Daniel would be into too, though.

“I find the research quite interesting.” He saw the look on my face. “Why does that shock you?”

“I just didn’t have you down for the type of guy who’d be interested enough about a history topic to do research out of class,” I replied.

“What, may I ask gave you that impression?” he asked me as a smirk formed on his lips.

“I just… Well…” It dawned on me that I had just completely judged him by the way he looked and the fact that he seemed to have no friends in school. I had marked him down in my mind as a person who wasn’t interested in school or grades.

He started to laugh. “I bet you thought I was some sort of biker guy who spent all his free time listening to depressing songs and wallowing in self-pity?”  He looked at me expectedly.

“Well, yeah,” I replied.

“You’re not the first one to think that,” he said, matter-of-factly.

“I’m that guy the shop assistants look at wearily when I’m browsing the shop,” he grinned at me. “I think it’s the hair.”

“I’d say it’s the jacket,” I laughed along with him. “How’s the hand?” I asked.

“It’s nothing,” he pushed back his hair with his bandaged hand. “You were right though, I shouldn’t have reacted. I shouldn’t have given him the satisfaction.”

“He shouldn’t have said that about your brother though.”

Daniel looked at me. “So, I guess the whole school knows that it was my brother who went missing then?”

I felt a wave of sympathy for him. Considering that he’d been left to his own devices throughout high school, it must be strange to suddenly be the talk of the school.

Before I could reply to him, we were at the door to History class. Once again, Daniel held the door open for me. I started to think that I’d completely miss-judged him in the past. Usually I was a fabulous judge of character. I gave him a smile of thanks as I walked into the class. Charlotte’s eyes widened the minute she saw who I’d walked in with.

“You’re late,” Mr Butler, our grey haired History teacher, looked at us over his glasses.

“Sorry Sir,” I said to him with my most innocent face. “It was kind of my fault. I dropped my books and Daniel was helping me.” It was sort of true anyway. Except for the part where I woke up late, got to the school late and happened to cross the path of an also late Daniel.

“Don’t let it happen again.” It was lucky Mr Butler was fond of me because he was particularly strict when it came to punctuality. I went and took my usual seat next to Charlotte.

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

Charlotte grabbed my arm and looked at me expectantly the minute the bell rang.

“Well?” she said with excitement.

“Well, what?” I asked her.

“How did you end up coming into school with Daniel?” She linked her arm through mine as we headed for the door. I saw Daniel walk out ahead of us.

“I didn’t arrive at school with Daniel, Char,” I could still see Daniel’s head bobbing through the crowd in the hallway. He towered above mostly everyone. “I just saw him on my way to class. I have no idea why he was late.”

“Did you speak to him?”

“No, we walked in a completely awkward silence all the way to the classroom door.”

Charlotte rolled her eyes at me. “Did you ask him about his brother?”

“Like I’d just turn round and ask him why his brother was kidnapped or, according to popular rumour, has run off to be with his drug addict father!” I exclaimed.

“I was just thinking that he might need someone to talk to about it, that’s all.” We made our way across the courtyard to get to the science block.

“Char,” I looked at her. “Seriously, I can’t even advise you on how to wear your hair. You don’t seriously think I could be someone’s confident for something as serious as a missing sibling. Besides, I’d never even spoken to him until yesterday.”

“I think you’re the first person in four years of high school to have actually walked to class with him.” Charlotte began to giggle and I couldn’t help joining in. It wasn’t a very pleasant thought though. Daniel had gone ignored for so long. Maybe he really did need a friend, especially now.

Adam was waiting by the door for our Physics class.

“So,” he looked directly at me. “I hear you’re pretty close with Daniel Evans now.” My jaw dropped to the floor.

“What!” I grabbed his arm. “Tell me who said what.”

He just smirked at me. “Now that would be telling.”

“Adam!” I gave him a little whack with my bag.

“Okay, Okay,” he laughed. “I surrender. I heard Rachel Burton telling Sarah Green that you’d been skipping class with King of the Goths.”

“Skipping class? I was ten minutes late for crying out loud!” I said defensively. “And he’s not a Goth.”

Adam and Charlotte exchanged a look of amusement before Charlotte said her goodbyes and went into the class next to ours. I walked past Adam, who still looked amused at himself, rolling my eyes and entered the classroom. I loathed Physics class on a good day and since I was feeling irritated, I knew I was going to loathe it even more. I sat down in my usual seat and Adam took his seat next to mine.

I saw Rachel Burton enter the class. Who was she to speculate on my life anyway? She was the pathetic gossip girl who trailed around after Stacey, telling her everything. I was pretty sure that by lunch, Daniel and I would be planning to elope or something. Rachel sat down at the corner and immediately started taping away on her phone.

I felt my own phone vibrate in my pocket. I took it out and saw a text from Hayley.

“I can’t believe you would skip class with Daniel Evans and NOT TELL ME!!”

I turned my phone off and put it back in my pocket. I wasn’t even going to reply to that. I grabbed my textbook from my bag and slammed it down on to the desk.

“Liss, you and Daniel will be forgotten by tomorrow,” Adam told me reassuringly. “You know how quickly news gets old in this school.” I highly doubted that it would be forgotten about in a hurry. Stacey would keep this fire burning for as long as she could. I could just see her eyes lighting up at hearing I’d been spotted talking to the guy who is the schools hottest gossip subject at the moment. She’d be delighted.

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

By the time lunch rolled around, Daniel and I had secretly dated, hooked up over the summer, plotted a way to burn down the science block and had been smoking together behind the main building. Considering I hadn’t even heard Daniel’s voice before a few hours ago, I’d say the rumours were a bit far-fetched. 

“How come I don’t get the rumour mill every time I walk into class with Adam?” Charlotte wondered out loud.

“Let’s see,” Hayley paused eating her lunch. “Half of the school think that Adam’s gay and the other half think he wouldn’t know how to even hit on a girl, let alone hook up with one. So I think you’re pretty safe from rumours, Char.”

I looked over at Adam, eating his lunch, with his dark curls falling into his eyes.

“What’s he like, Liss?” I switched my eyes to Charlotte, who was staring at me expectantly.

“Daniel? He’s just a guy, I guess.”

“But isn’t he creepy?” she persisted.

“No, he’s just…” I trailed off, not knowing what else to say.

“Mysteriously sexy?” Hayley suggested, casually. Charlotte and I gaped at her. Even Adam tore his eyes away from his lunch.

“You were the one saying he looks like he hangs around looking dodgy on street corners!” I said accusingly.

“Yeah but I’d happily take a guy like him rather than one of them.” She pointed her fork in the direction of the ‘pretty boys’ surrounding Stacey’s table. Each one of them looked like they used more hair products than half of the student female population.

“She’s got a point,” Charlotte said to me from across the table. Adam looked at her, surprised.

“Daniel walks Lissa into class once and now you’re all falling at his feet?” Adam glanced at me and Hayley before turned back to Charlotte.

“We are merely pointing out that he has more depth than a guy who spends longer in the mirror than I do,” Hayley said to him.

“How do you know?” Adam questioned Hayley. “He could be just as obsessive over his hair as you. I mean, it’s long enough to need quite a bit of attention.”

“You were defending him yesterday,” Charlotte said to Adam. He put his hands up in a surrender motion.

“I’m just saying,” he added before getting back to his lunch. I caught Charlotte staring at him a moment longer. She’d started curling her hair lately and that stare made me wonder if Adam was the reason. She looked away and I saw her eyes widen. 

“Here’s your new friend,” she whispered with a smile forming on her lips. I looked over my shoulder and saw Daniel making his way to the lunch bar. I caught half of the cafeteria looking at me, including Stacey who was whispering and giggling with the rest of her table. Oh, how I hated her. I turned back to my lunch and saw that Charlotte was still staring in Daniel’s direction.

“Stop gawping at him, Char. It’s like he’s become an overnight celebrity.” I grabbed the cupcake I had on my tray and tore into it.

“Well he has. He’s the first person to ever throw a punch at Steven and his brother is currently missing. He’s just become the most exciting person at school,” Hayley said. I ignored her and carried on with my cupcake. I saw Adam and Charlotte quickly look down at their finished lunch trays.

“People will think you’re avoiding the situation if you hide in the library at lunch.” I didn’t even have to look up to see who Hayley was talking to. I was going to kill her. I glanced over my left shoulder and, sure enough, there was Daniel. He must have been walking past with his lunch and looked like he was completely caught off guard by Hayley. I turned my head back to her and glared. She flashed me a cunning smile.

“There is room on our table, you know,” she said confidently. “You can sit down.” I honestly expected him to just smirk and walk off. I was wrong because a second later he was sitting on the stool on my left. Charlotte looked like a deer in the headlines and Adam was eyeing Daniel up and down. I didn’t even want to know how the rest of the cafeteria was reacting behind us. I looked again at Hayley, who started wiggling her eyebrows at me. I really was going to kill her.

“So,” I almost chocked on my cupcake when I realised he was talking to me. “I hear were dating now,” he said, mockingly.

“Well I heard the two of you were caught in the supplies closet by Mr Burton,” Hayley joined in with the mocking. Charlotte just laughed nervously, not sure how to adjust to the situation and Adam was suddenly staring intently at his lunch.

“It’s Charlotte, isn’t it?” Daniel asked, looking towards her. “You’re in my English class.”

Charlotte gaped for a moment before replying, “Oh, yes, I am.”

 He smiled at her. I saw Adam tense slightly. He scrunched up an empty packet from his lunch tray and threw it, aiming at the bin but it ended up on floor. I watched Daniel bend down to pick it up and toss it casually into the bin. I looked at poor Adam’s disgruntled face. Daniel started talking to Charlotte about the course reading for their English class. Charlotte seemed wary of him for a bit but within two minute she was happily chatting away. I felt like I was on another planet. And who knew Daniel was such a talker? I couldn’t get him to say more than a few words to me yesterday and now I couldn’t have gotten a word in edge ways, even if I had wanted to. He was clearly pulling out the charm on Charlotte. He had a lot of it. Charm, I mean.

I looked over at Adam again. He seemed completely unhappy with Daniel being at our table. He had been the last person to sit with us on our table for long time, so this was a new experience for him. It was one he didn’t like very much.

“Just when I thought this table couldn’t get any more pathetic,” Stacey’s sing-song voice was filled with glee as she approached our table. She put her empty water bottle in the bin and smirked at us. I shot her a challenging stare. With a final glare at our table, she walked back to her own and continued to whisper with Megan and Nicole.

“Hey,” Charlotte exclaimed. “She clearly skipped her drama class today because she’s in the cafeteria earlier.”

“She came to gloat,” I said bitterly.

“Man,” Daniel spoke up. “She really hates you.”

“Tell me something I don’t know,” I said to him.

His eyes searched my face. “You used to be friends with her though, right?”

“Can we please not discuss that unfortunate time in our lives?” Charlotte joined it.

“I didn’t think you were aware of the social dynamics of our school,” I quizzed him.

“Well, you observe a lot when you’re just lurking in the corridors and the corners of the classrooms,” he replied with a mischievous smile. “I’ve heard quite a few reputation-ruining conversations.” Hayley’s head snapped up from her phone.

“Care to share?” It was the first time Adam had spoken since Daniel had sat down.

“Not really,” Daniel replied blankly. Adam stared at him for a moment longer before pulling a book out of his bag, clearly removing himself from the conversation. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. 

“You totally could have used that information for your own benefit,” Hayley said, her mind obviously playing out images of herself revealing the popular crowds most embarrassing secrets.

“Why would I want to?” Daniel asked. “It would just cause trouble for me. I don’t like bringing unnecessary attention upon myself.” He really didn’t. I’d barely known he was at our school over the past four years. The guy sure liked to keep to himself.

“Unless it includes hitting one of the most popular guys in school,” Adam stated from behind his book. He didn’t see the look of dislike that Daniel sent in his direction.

“I’d love to see one of those guys squirm.” Hayley gestured her head to Stacey’s table.

“I wouldn’t give them the time of day,” Daniel added. Hayley smiled at him. I looked across the table and saw Charlotte staring in awe at him. This really was turning out to be a strangely unexpected day.

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

The classes for the rest of the afternoon were certainly not pleasant. Whispers, giggles and stares followed me through the hallways of the school. A second year student even came right out and asked me if I was dating the guy whose brother was missing. I really wasn’t used to so much drama. The last time people acknowledged me this much was the day that Stacey decided she would turn the school against me.  I could see why Daniel didn’t like attention. I felt partly to blame for the fact that he had to put up with even more crap than what he was already going through. All he did was help me pick up my books and walk me to class. Now, according to the rumours, he’s attached to me. Poor guy.

I practically jumped out of my seat once the final bell rang; I was that desperate to be out of the place. I walked down the hallway to the lobby by the main door. There were two posters pinned onto the notice board about Daniels brother. I went to have a closer look. From afar, the picture of the boy had no resemblance to Daniel, his hair way shorter and fairer. But as I got closer to the picture, I could tell some of his features were just like his brothers’. They had the same light blue eyes. They didn’t stand out as much on this boy, whereas Daniel’s light eyes were a contrast to his dark hair. They had the same nose as well. The name ‘Charlie Evans’ was printed underneath the picture. I realised that I’d hadn’t even known his name until now.

People started piling through the doors, into the lobby. I tore my eyes away from the poster and continued to walk outside. I saw Hayley making her way towards me from the sports building.

“Cross country is a total nightmare!” she said dramatically. “Do you know how many laps Ms Salter made us do of the sports field?” I murmured in acknowledgement. I saw Daniel walk out of the main building. He nodded at Hayley and me before heading towards the school gates.

“Lunch was quite interesting, don’t you think?” Hayley asked/ I looked at her smug expression.

“I could kill you, Hayley. You’ve gone and made it ten times worse. Now people definitely think that there’s something going on,” I said, irritated.

“Come on, Liss, I only did what a decent person should do and offered him company during lunch.” she replied innocently.

“Hayley, the guy has sat alone at lunch for the past four years. You’ve never asked him to sit with us before. You, like everyone else, remained uninterested in him until his brother became local news.” She looked quite shocked at the defensiveness in my voice. Adam and Charlotte walked out of the main door and made a beeline for us.

“So,” Adam said to us. “We were thinking that we should all catch a film tonight.”

“That sounds good to me,” Hayley replied enthusiastically. They all looked at me expectedly.

“I think I’ll give it a miss,” I told them. “I could really do with an early night.”

“You and you’re sleeping habits,” Hayley said, rolling her eyes. “Suit yourself then. Go and be with your bed.” We started to walk through the school gates and down the street. Charlotte kept glancing at me. She knew I was lying. Truth was I just wasn’t in the mood for socialising.

We said goodbye to each other at the bottom of the road and headed on our separate routes home. Hayley had one last try at convincing me to come to the cinema with them. She gave up and stalked off with a pout. Adam and Charlotte walked off arguing about what film to go and see.

Jade came bounding down the stairs the minute I walked through the front door. She must have only been home for five minutes yet she’d changed out of her uniform and curled her hair.

“I’m off out,”sShe said to me as she passed by. “Dad is still at work and mum just left to go see Aunt Joan. She told me to tell you that she might be a while because they’re dress shopping for dad’s charity event next week.” She took a look at herself in the mirror by the front door, fluffing up her curls. “She’s left you some food in the fridge.”

“What about you?” I asked her.

“I’m getting some food with the girls,” she said before grabbing her bag and walking through the door without another word. I wished she’d see that Stacey was just using her to get one over on me.

I went upstairs and threw on my favourite ‘lazy’ clothes, which consisted of my old comfy jeans and a holey sweater. I threw myself down onto the sofa, in front of the TV, where I fully intended to stay for the rest of the night. I must have fallen asleep because I awoke with a start as I saw a silhouette in the door way.

“It’s only me.” My dad walked into the room. “How long have you been there?” he asked as he walked across the room to switch on a lamp. It was dark outside so I must have been asleep for a few hours.

“Not long,” I lied. “How’s the organising going?”

Dad’s publishing company were having a charity auction in two weeks and he’s been planning it for months. He loves his job. Only three years ago he was stuck in a dead end retail job but he finally decided to try and set up his independent publishing company, like he’d always wanted to. It wasn’t easy and money got tight but we made it through and now dad’s happier than I’ve seen him in a long time. He’s passionate about books.

“Everything’s going okay at the moment. Providing the caterers or the band don’t drop out last minute, everything should go according to plan,” Dad said cheerily. “Is Jade not home?”

“No, she’s gone out with some friends.”

Dad detected the sarcasm in voice. “She’s still hanging around with that Stacey girl then?”

“Yep,” I said as I got off the couch and stretched. “Do you want a coffee?” I asked him.

“Nope, you know I’m giving up caffeine.” He’d vowed to give up caffeine several times this year, only for us to find empty Starbucks cups in his car a couple of weeks later. I highly doubted that he’d give it up for good this time. He was a coffee man, through and through. I made my way into the kitchen and went over to the coffee pot, only to find it empty.

“Dad,” I shouted from the kitchen. “We’ve got no coffee!”

“Well you’re the only one in the house who drinks it now!”

Jesus, do you want me to start buying my own meals as well? I thought as I walked into the hall and retrieved my purse from my bag. I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. I looked a mess but I wasn’t going to get through my homework without coffee.

I told my dad I wouldn’t be long and headed out the door. It was quite warm for a September night. I stood on the doorstep for a second, not knowing whether to go and buy a jar of coffee to make my own or go the coffee shop and have one made for me.

Yeah, my laziness won that battle.

I headed off towards the coffee shop. It was a quiet, old fashioned place which normally only contained OAPs. I loved it there. I walked in and breathed in that fresh-coffee smell. I ordered my usual espresso from the cheery, red-haired woman who’s always behind the counter.

“You’re a strong-coffee type of girl then?” I spun around, recognising the voice instantly.

“Daniel,” I spotted him sitting on a window table, right by the counter. “What are you doing here?”

He lifted up his cup. “Drinking coffee, I guess.”

“Well, I figured that much. I mean what are you doing here, I haven’t seen you in here before.” I grabbed my coffee from the counter and joined Daniel at his table.

“I’ve just got a job at the snack bar down the road. This place is on my way home so I thought I’d sample the coffee.”

“Congrats on the job,” I said before taking a sip of my still-too-hot coffee.

“It’s just waiting tables,” he replied with a shrug. “But it’s something. It keeps me busy anyway.”

“I’m sorry about people talking in school today, about us I mean.” I looked at him over the rim of my cup. He let out a laugh.

“Things like that don’t bother me. I’m quite used to whispers behind my back and besides, there are worse rumours that could be said about me.” His smile had a slight arrogance behind it.

Did he mean that as a compliment? I wondered.

“Well it wasn’t my first choice of rumour but I think I’ll cope,” I said, putting my cup down.

“There are worse people you could be hooking up with in a supplies closet, right?” He definitely had arrogance that time.

“Well,” I leaned forward on the table, “there are a few people I’d place before you, if given the choice,” I said, patronizingly, before taking another sip of my coffee.

“Oh, wait. Don’t tell me you’re secretly in love with that guy you always hang around with.” Daniel raised one eyebrow at me, questioningly. I almost spat my espresso all over him.

“You mean Adam?” I couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh, I love him alright. Like a brother.”

“I get the feeling he doesn’t like me very much.” Daniel didn’t look too offended by the fact that he’d picked up on Adam’s resentment.

“He feels threatened. He’s been the man of the group for years and then today you kind of moved in on his territory,” I told him.

“Man? That’s questionable.”

“Hey,” I warned. “That’s one of my best friends you’re talking about.”

“Sorry,” he said with a smile. He had a very nice smile, I’d never noticed before. There’d never been much chance to see him smile before now. It was the kind of smile that made me wish that I’d put a bit of lip gloss on before leaving the house, or tamed my hair at least.

We finished our coffee and headed outside. He walked me to the bottom of my street and said he’d see me at school tomorrow, before heading off on his route home. I watched him walk down the street until he turned the corner before carrying on down towards my house, realising that Hayley, Charlotte, Adam and I might just have a new resident at our table.

 

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