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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4. Chapter 4

I woke up on time the next morning and managed to get on my usual bus, which arrived at school early, as always. I took the time to go and properly read the poster on the notice board about Daniel’s brother. It said that he was 14 years old and had last been seen outside his school, St Jenkins School for Boys. I thought back to Steven’s comment about Daniel’s father and I wondered if maybe Charlie really had run off to be with his dad because Daniel seemed extremely calm for someone whose brother had gone missing.

“Concerned about your boyfriend’s brother, Lissa?” I heard Stacey’s heels on the lobby floor and turned to see her by the entrance steps. “Trust you to get involved with a guy who’s troubled.”

“I wouldn’t be worrying about my love life, Stacey,” I turned to her. “If I were you, I’d be more concerned about Ben and Rachel Burton. I hear they’ve been getting extra close lately.” I saw a flicker of panic behind her eyes.

“You’re lying,” she said, before storming off. Of course I was lying, but it was fun to see her squirm. Besides, Rachel Burton could do with a taste of her own medicine. I walked off to class, wishing I could see the look on Rachel’s face when she found out today’s gossip was actually about her.

Classes went by quickly that morning and before I knew it, I was walking to lunch. I nearly did a double take when I saw that Daniel was already sitting down, chatting with Charlotte about the Charles Dickens book they were studying in English. Adam was focused firmly on his lunch, more so than usual anyway. I paid for my lunch before I joined them at the table. I headed for the stool to Hayley’s right, since she had moved up to my seat to bat her eyelashes at Daniel. She was attempting to join in with his and Charlotte’s conversation but since she never listens to a word in English, she didn’t really have much to say.

Charlotte saw me approach the table. “Hey, Liss,” she said with her usual friendly smile. “Did you catch up on your sleep?” It took me a moment to figure out what she talking about.

“Oh, yeah, I practically collapsed the minute I got home.” Daniel raised an eyebrow at me as I sat down. “How was the film?”

Adam finally looked up from his lunch. “It was awful,” he told me in disgust. I gathered that Charlotte had gotten her way then.  I laughed.

“You really should have come with us, Liss. The lead actor was gorgeous!” Hayley added. I shrugged and glanced at Daniel, who was looking back at me. I was glad to have missed the film last night. I’d had a much better time at the coffee shop.

Hayley’s voice brought me back to the present. “Did you hear about Ben and Rachel Burton?”

I smirked to myself as she proceeded to tell me that Stacey had confronted Ben about it this morning. She must have figured out that I was lying about it though because she walked into the cafeteria about ten minutes later, Ben it tow and throwing me disgusted looks.

We still got several stares as we walked out with Daniel after we’d finished our lunch. As we headed through the door, he slowed down his pace to walk in step with me. Hayley went off to the toilet and Adam and Charlotte were walking ahead of us, having a heated debate about something. Probably Charlotte’s taste in music or film, which Adam often questions.

“So,” Daniel said to me quietly, as we walked. “Can I expect to see you at the coffee shop anytime soon?” he said casually.

“Maybe,” I replied, as we gave each other a sideways glance.

The rest of the week went by quickly and assignments were being thrown at us from all subjects. Rumours of mine and Daniel’s scandalous ‘relationship’ had vanished completely. It would have gone on for longer if Stacey hadn’t have been distracted by the upcoming auditions for the winter school production. It was clear that she would get the part anyway, like the past two years, but she continued to talk about it none stop.

On the Friday night, Charlotte came round to mine, complete with a new Rom-Com in hand. It was the first chance we’d had all week to talk alone so she quickly asked me if I’d had anymore ‘visions’.

“None,” I told her as we sprawled on my bedroom rug. “Nothing what-so-ever.” Charlotte seemed disappointed. I was relieved. After the movie ended, the conversation quickly moved onto our new lunch-buddy.

“Hayley’s being very flirty with him, isn’t she?” Charlotte quizzed.

“Char,” I said, looking at her. “Hayley’s flirty with everyone.”

One thing I’d learned throughout that week was that Daniel was also quite the charmer. Hayley was beside herself, having a new boy-toy to play with and Charlotte, even though she wouldn’t admit it, was also a bit doe-eyed around him. It was no wonder why Adam was a bit pissed off with having him around.

“He has got a nice smile though, hasn’t he?” Charlotte asked me.

“I haven’t really noticed,” I lied. She’d go crazy if she knew I’d had coffee with him twice that week. Not that it was anything exciting, we’d just talked. I tried to ask him about his brother but it was clear that he’d wanted to avoid the subject.

“I have my theories,” he’d said to me with a slight scowl. I could tell that Daniel thought that his brother had left of his own accord. Even the local authorities were starting to believe he was just another run away teen. They were still looking for him though, obviously.  It was clear to me that a lot had happened to Daniel’s home life in the past, but I wasn’t going to push him into telling me. Even though we’d spoken a lot, which was still surprising to me, I didn’t know him well enough to poke at his personal life.

“You can’t say you haven’t noticed his eyes, though,” Charlotte said, bringing me back to the conversation.

“What? Oh, his eyes. Yeah, I suppose they’re nice.”

“Nice?” She wacked my arm with the magazine she had been skimming through. “Nice? They’re gorgeous!” She pondered for a second. “Adam’s got nice eyes.” She kept her head down at the magazine.

“Adam’s eyes?”

“Yeah, they’re sort of like, a chocolate brown.” She looked up. I didn’t quite know what to say to that. Luckily, my dad knocked on the door.

“Girls, I’m going over to the pizza place. Do you want one?” he shouted through the door. We said yes and made our way downstairs. I was thankful to have dodged the awkward Adam question.

When we got to the sitting room, we saw Jade on the sofa, her thumbs moving furiously over her phone keyboard. She didn’t bother to look up as we came into the room. I hadn’t exactly been on the best of terms with her since she came home the other day and asked me if I was ‘seeing the freak whose brother had been, like, abducted or something.’ 

Charlotte and I sat down on the rug, next to the fireplace, as we waited for my parents to get back. I began to feel light headed. I panicked, knowing what it meant this time. It was happening again and this time, I knew what to expect. The edges of my vision blurred as the head pains kicked in. It felt like hundreds of pins were jabbing my scalp. I could tell by the way Charlotte’s eyes widened that she knew something was wrong. Then, the image appeared, clearer than the previous two I’d experienced. It showed the floor of my driveway. There was an earring, near to my doorstep. Then, as quickly as it came over me, it stopped. I focused on Charlotte.

“Check your earrings.”

“I… What?” she said, looking confused.

“Do you have both earrings in?” She raised both hands to feel her ears and, after a moment, looked shocked.

“Oh no, I’ve lost one!”

I stood up and walked out of the room, Charlotte in tow. Jade hadn’t been paying any attention to us so she didn’t bother to see where we were going. I went over to the front door and pulled it open.

Charlotte caught up to me. “Where are you going, Liss?”

I took a few steps away from the door and saw something shiny by my feet. I bent down to pick it up and held it out to Charlotte. She looked at me, then at earring, then back to me again.

“You had a vision, didn’t you?” I cringed at the word ‘vision’. It sounded so sci-fi. “I knew something was going on before, you went all weird.”

What does this even mean and why me? I thought.

Charlotte could see the look of worry on my face. “At least it comes in handy sometimes,” she laughed nervously, trying and failing to make me feel better. We saw dad’s car pull into the driveway.

He got out of the car. “That hungry are we, girls?” he laughed. I realised it did look a bit strange, the two of us just standing on the doorstep. Luckily, he didn’t think anything of it and we all walked into the house. I’d pretty much lost my appetite but I grabbed some pizza with Charlotte before she went home. Before she left, she looked at me with a stern face.

“I’m going to do some research for you because if I leave it up to you, I know you won’t do it.” I rolled my eyes at her. “I’m serious, Liss. We need to find out why this is happening to you.” I said goodbye to her, promising to call if it happened again.

I could barely sleep that night, I was seriously freaked out. Am I going crazy? I thought to myself. After tossing and turning most of the night, I woke up just as it was getting light outside. There was no way I was getting back to sleep so I decided to go for a run. I hadn’t gone for a run in years. Maybe it was just what I needed to clear my head. I looked into the mirror whilst I was tying my hair back. I didn’t look too great after hardly any sleep. My brown hair looked darker because of the lack of light, making my face look paler than it usually is. I tried a darker make up once. It was awful. My face was orange whilst the rest of me remained white. Since I vowed never to go near tanning products, I decided I’d just embrace my pale skin. It was times like this, though, when I looked ill, that I resented my paleness.

I got dressed and put my Converse on before heading, quietly, downstairs. I was hit by a morning chill when I opened the front door. I headed off towards the park and almost died before I even got there. Clearly my running skills had completely vanished. I carried on running for a short while in the park before I threw myself onto the nearest bench I could find. Why I didn’t think to bring some water, I’ll never know. I was contemplating throwing myself into the fountain to cool down when I heard someone call my name. I turned and saw, to my horror, Daniel walking along the pathway with a golden retriever. What was with this guy? I’d never seen him around at all for the past four years and all of a sudden he was everywhere. Or maybe I’d just never noticed him around before.

“Not stalking me, are you?” He said with a smile, as he sat down on the other end of the bench. I really wasn’t prepared for company right then. I couldn’t even breathe, let alone have a conversation. I just let out a feeble attempt at a laugh.

“Do you run here often?” he asked. His dog started head-butting his hand so he began petting it.

“Not really,” I said, panting.

He looked at me and laughed. “Do you run at all?”

“I used to. Not so much anymore though, as you can tell.” The dog trotted over to me and sniffed my hand. “I didn’t know you had a dog.”

“Yeah, we’ve had Chief for about 7 years now. He was only a pup when we first got him. My dad somehow thought that getting a dog would make us more like a picture-perfect family,” he said in a bitter tone. I petted Chief and he placed his head on my knee. I’d never really been a pet-person but Chief seemed friendly enough.

“When did your dad leave?” I asked quietly, with reluctance.

He hesitated for a moment. “I was 12 when he finally left for good. By that time though, he was hardly around anyway. I spent so much time making sure my mother was okay that I failed to see how much it was affecting Charlie.” He didn’t look at me as he spoke. “All the times dad had screwed up, I’d managed to hide it from him. I regret that now though because Charlie can’t see dad for what he truly is.” He carried on petting Chief.

I knew I shouldn’t have pressed on but I was curious. “Do you think he’s with him? Charlie?”

Daniel looked up at me. “Two weeks before he disappeared, he told me he’d heard something about where our dad might be. I told him I couldn’t care less and we ended up arguing about it. If he went off to be with dad then that’s his choice.”

“But don’t you want to at least know where they are?”

“I don’t care where they are,” he snapped. “If Charlie wants dad to be a part of his life then fine, but I don’t want any part in it. As far as I’m concerned, my father is dead. He died four years ago when he left my mother answering to his debtors.”

I stared at him carefully. He was more cut up by everything than he was letting on.

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly, looking away. “I shouldn’t have asked.”

“People usually don’t ask. They normally just assume.” I looked back at him and he was staring at me with an expression I couldn’t work out. He stood up quickly.

“You think you’ve recovered enough to walk yet?” And just like that, he was back to normal. His guard was back up. Still, he’d opened up to me, even if it was just for a moment. I stood up and walked alongside him, Chief trotting off ahead of us. We walked around the park in silence but it wasn’t an awkward one. The sun had come out by the time we got to the park gates and it was pleasant. I was disappointed when I said goodbye to him, realising how much I enjoyed his company. I bent down to pet Chief before turning to walk home. I caught sight of myself in a car window. The messy hair, the thrown together running clothes, it was awful. I was instantly envious of those girls who can go for a run effortlessly and don’t even have a strand of hair out of place by the end of it.

When I got home I found everyone in the kitchen.

“Where have you been so early?” my mother asked, eyeing my running clothes.

“I went for a run.”

My dad nearly spat his coffee out and mum’s eyes widened. “You went for a run?” she asked suspiciously

“Yes, mother, why is that so surprising?”

“You don’t usually mix well with exercise. Just getting out of bed during the weekends is a hardship for you.”

“Ha ha,” I replied sarcastically as I walked over to the kettle and poured myself some coffee. I looked across the table and saw Jade with her hair perfect and face full of make-up.

“Where are you going?” I enquired.

“Shopping,” she replied, without looking up from her phone. “Problem?”

I knew exactly who she was going shopping with. I opened my mouth to say something but I saw my dad shoot me a warning look. She got up and grabbed her bag before heading to the door.

Before she walked out, mum called her back, “You need to meet us at one.” She said okay before leaving.

I looked at mum, confused. “What are you talking about?”

“I have to get dresses for you both, for next weekend.” I had a feeling it was going to be a long day.

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

I hated dress shopping. Dresses just looked awful on me. The last time I went dress shopping it was with Charlotte and Hayley for last year’s Valentine dance at school. We didn’t have dates but we were going anyway. They both tried on a bunch of gorgeous dressed which completely transformed them. I put one on, expecting my reflection to transform into some sort of goddess. It didn’t happen. I looked ridiculous. Both Hayley and Charlotte’s dresses brought out their curves. I didn’t have any curves what-so-ever. Strapless dresses just slipped down. Low cut dresses just made me look like a child. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t feeling optimistic about finding a dress that actually looked good on me.

Mum and I made our way to the food court, where we were meeting Jade. After about five minutes, we spotted her. With Stacey.

“Hey,” she gave us a wave as she approached us. “Stacey wanted to help me pick my dress.” Stacey smiled at my mum with a fake niceness.

“I hope you don’t mind me coming along with Jade, Mrs Bennett,” she said in her sickeningly sweet voice.

“Not at all, Stacey,” mum said, brightly. “Let’s get going then. Which shop first?” Stacey flashed me an evil smile before following Jade and my mother.

Stacey suggested we go into a small boutique first because she’d been there plenty of times before. When we walked in all I could see were these tiny, short, girly dresses. I already wanted to vomit. Stacey took Jade straight over to the red dresses whilst going on about how the colour would complement her dark hair.

Mum turned to me. “Which ones catch your eye?”

I could tell she was disappointed with my lack of enthusiasm. My mother was a great lover of events that she could dress up for so she wanted me to be the type of girl to get excited over a new dress, like Jade.

I looked at several dresses but it was hopeless. There was nothing that I thought would look even remotely nice on me. By the time I had picked out one potential dress, Jade was already trying on her fourth.

“This one totally brings out your eyes!” Stacey was busy complimenting Jade on the purple dress she had picked out for her.

Mum caught me holding the dress I was looking at. “Oh, are you going to try that one, Lissa?”

Her eyes lit up at the fact that I’d actually picked out a dress at all. I really didn’t want to try it on though because that meant having to come out and parade around in it with Stacey watching. I wasn’t going to forgive Jade for this. I sighed heavily before walking into the changing rooms. I set down the dress. It was quite a simple design that came in at the waist and flared out at the bottom. The top part of the dress was blue, whereas the skirt was black. It was pretty to look at but I was doubtful about it looking as nice once I was wearing it.

I slid the dress on and the chest area felt quite snug. I looked in the mirror and almost died of shock. I actually had a cleavage in this dress. I didn’t look so tiny in this dress either, it actually made look taller. It fell to just above my knees. I walked out of the dressing room, amazed to have found I dress that I liked and didn’t make me look a total disaster.

“Good choice, Lissa,” my mother said, sounding quite relieved. “It suits you! I saw a pair of blue heels that would go perfectly with it.” She made her way over to the shoe section. There we had enemy number two: Heels. The minute my mother walked away, Stacey started.

“With your skin tone, Lissa,” she began smugly. “I would’ve gone for a lighter colour. Don’t you think, Jade?” I saw a flicker of hesitation in Jade’s eyes. “Dark colour make you look… Sickly” She looked from my face down to my legs. I walked off before she could say anything else and joined mum by the shoes. I saw the pair she had hold of.

“You can think again if you honestly think I’m going to wear those things.”

“But Lissa, they’ll match your dress so well,” she pleaded.

“Do you want to spend the night at the hospital? Because that’s where I’ll end up if you make me wear those.”

Mum rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Lissa, you must be the only girl your age that can’t walk in heels. Try them on.” She shoved the shoes into my arms and then went back over to Jade. I tried the shoes on and they fitted perfectly. That didn’t mean I could walk in them, though. I could barely stand up straight. I attempted a few steps in front of the mirror but it was hopeless. I was walking like a chimp. I sighed again and took off the shoes. Mum was going to buy them anyway, whether I could walk in them or not.

We changed back into our clothes and mum paid for the dresses. We walked out of the shop and I almost walked straight into Adam. His eyes widened upon spotting Stacey.

“Hi, Adam,” she said cheerily, flashing her best smile. The two-faced bitch.

“What are you doing here?” I said to him, grabbing his arm. He looked confused. I decided he was going to be my escape.

“I was just going to the book store.” He looked at me, still confused.

“Oh, great, I’ll come over with you,” I turned to mum. “I’m going to the store with Adam, I’ll be back later.” Without even waiting for a reply, I was dragging him away.

“Lissa, what the hell?”

“Jade brought Stacey dress shopping with us!” I huffed. “How can Jade not see how much of a witch Stacey truly is?” We went into the book store. I let go of Adam’s arm and he started to walk off to the classic literature section. He was a sucker for Jane Austen novel.

“Adam, I can’t go on living with a sister who is associated with her.” He had completely tuned me out now. He was off in literature land. I picked up one of the books he was looking at. “How do you even read this stuff?”   

“They’re classics,” he stated.

“They’re soppy.” I put the book back down. “You know, Adam, I don’t get you. You bitch on Charlotte for watching those stupid Rom-Coms, yet you come in here and buy books about 18th century love affairs.”

“I appreciate art. Not the drivel that Hollywood makes and claims it romance.”

“So you prefer the Mr Darcy type romantic hero than the Ryan Reynolds type?”

“Exactly,” he said, moving away from the novels and heading towards the small comic section at the back of the shop.  I have to admit, he really did rip apart the stereotypical nerd. One minute he was a historical romance buff and the next, he was a sci-fi geek. I really loved him.

“Oh my God, what if Jade starts inviting Stacey to sleepovers. I cannot have her in my house!”

“Lissa!” Adam spun around. “Please, stop talking about Stacey. I have to put up with people talking about her constantly for five days of the week. Can I please just have a break from it on weekends?” He turned back around to his comics and I stormed off to the magazine rack. After a couple of minutes, he walked over to me.

“Do you want to go get some food?” I ignored him. “Oh, so you’re sulking now?”  I continued to flick through the pages of the magazine I was currently holding. “Look, I understand how frustrating it must be that your sister is becoming friends with the girl who hates your guts, but you have to just put up with it until Jade sees what Stacey is really like.”

I put the magazine down and sighed. “I guess you’re right.”

I linked my arm through his and we walked out of the shop. We went over to the food court and shared some fries.

“I’m glad I can eat with you,” Adam said, with a fry halfway to his mouth. I laughed. “Charlotte and Hayley just complain about calories if I offer them junk food.”

“I embrace the calories,” I said as I continued eating. “I’d happily welcome some curves. Any type of curves would be an improvement for me.” 

Adam sighed at me. “Are you girls ever happy with figures you have?” I laughed again. Adam was just so nice.

He really would make an amazing boyfriend. I pondered. I looked at him and wondered how guys like him go ignored.

“Adam,” I looked him right in the eyes. “I can tell you anything, right?” He raised an eyebrow at me, curiously.

“If you’re about to confess your undying love for me…”

I gave him a friendly whack on the arm. “I’m being serious!”

“Okay, okay,” he laughed. “What is it?”

“I’m having visions of the future.”

Whatever Adam was expecting me to say, it certainly wasn’t that. But no matter how crazy it sounded, there wasn’t a moment of doubt in his eyes. He knew me too well to think I’d joke about something that sounded so stupid.

He stared at me, his face serious. “Why don’t I get us some more fries?”

 

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