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?


8. Chapter 8

The school was buzzing with excitement on the day of the Halloween Ball. There were so many rumours going around about what Stacey was going to be wearing.

I wanted to vomit already.

During history, I heard Rachel Burton telling someone that Stacey might be going as a sexy pirate. Someone else jumped in, saying that they heard she was going to be Wonder Woman.

We sat down at lunch and went over the plans for the Ball, “So, girls, bring your outfits to mine at four and then we can be ready to leave at six.”

“It’s going to take you two hours to get ready?” Daniel looked at us all like we were crazy.

“Perfection takes time, dear Daniel,” Hayley stated. “The two of you need to be here by six fifteen, okay?”

“Don’t worry, Hayley,” Adam said to her. “We don’t have a full face of make-up perfecting to cause us to be late.”

Hayley gave him a sarcastic smile.

“So,” Daniel had a coy smile on his face. “Do you ladies have handcuffs and other disciplinary objects?”

Hayley smirked, “You’ll just have to wait and see.”

Once I got home that afternoon, I went up to my room to pack away my outfit, ready to go to Hayley’s. I saw Jade lingering around, looking a bit anxious. She’d never really been to a big high school event in the past so I just assumed she was nervous.  

“Have a good night, Liss,” She called after me as I walked down the stairs.

“You too,” I replied. “I can’t wait to see your tail.”

When I got to the front door, mum came out of the sitting room.

“You didn’t tell me what your costume was.” Oh, here we go, I thought.

“It’s just a police woman costume.”

Her eye’s narrowed, “A police woman costume? Well, I can’t wait to see the pictures, have a good night.” She waved me out of the door.

I wondered how disappointed she was going to be when I came home and told her that my camera decided to brake for the night.

I got to Hayley’s on time and Charlotte turned up a few minutes later. Hayley went to work straight away, telling us what hairstyles would suit us best and what lipstick we needed to wear. She already had her hair in rollers and immediately started to place some in Charlotte’s hair. Then she turned to me.

“You know my hair fails at curling.”

She grabbed her curlers from her dresser, “Not with these curlers it won’t.”

I decided it was best not to argue with her and let her get on with it. Twenty minutes later, she pushed me in front of the mirror. She had completely transformed my hair. Instead of the small curls I could only achieve with my curlers, she’d created bigger and much looser curls that bounced when I moved my head.

I loved it.

I set to work on our make-up, then. We all had my signature smoky-eye look and dark red lipstick. I have to say, I was a little disappointed to be sat on Halloween, doing make-up that wasn’t all blood and zombie-fied.

“You know, it would have been way more interesting if we’d have been zombie cops.” Hayley rolled her eyes at me.

After Charlotte and Hayley removed their curlers, we started putting on our outfits. Hayley looked incredible, as always. I stood in front of the mirror and took a look at myself. The dark red lipstick was a total contrast from my usual, soft pink lip-gloss. My eyes looked mysterious and alluring and my hair just completed the look. The same had to be said for Charlotte. I hadn’t seen her look that confident in years. Everything that had happened with Stacey and Ben those few years ago had broken Charlotte, but tonight, she looked amazing and she believed it.

“See,” Hayley triumphed. “I told you we’d look amazing.” I immediately began to feel more excited for the Ball.

With a last look in the mirror, we went downstairs. Hayley’s mother was more relaxed than mine and didn’t seem to mind the shortness of the skirts we were wearing. She drove us to the school and we got out of the car. We could see from outside the school gates that the main entrance had been decorated with pumpkins and cobwebs.

“Do you think the guys will be here yet?” Charlotte pondered.

“They best be,” Hayley said. “I warned them not to be late.”

We walked into the school grounds and bade our way to towards the main entrance. There were other people arriving in all kinds of costumes. There were dead school girls, clowns, sexy clowns. There were even a group of girls who’d dressed as the Pink Ladies from Grease. I instantly envied their choice in outfits. It was freezing outside and fishnets were not worn for warmth. I also despised these boots already.

As we got closer to the main entrance, we saw two guys in striped tops by the door. It was Adam and Daniel. They both had on black jeans with long sleeved striped sweaters. The also had black masks covering the face around their eyes, which stood out brightly amongst the dark. Adam’s eyes practically popped out of his head when he saw us.

“We cannot be held responsible for any of this,” I said as we approached them. “It’s all Hayley’s fault.”

“You look amazing.” Adam said, complimenting all of us but looking directly at Charlotte.

She noticed it too and even though it was dark, I knew she was blushing.

“We all look amazing!” Hayley added with excitement. “Are we going in then?”

I glanced at Daniel and saw his gaze fixed on me. If he didn’t look away soon then Charlotte wouldn’t be the only one blushing. I felt heat creep in to the back of my neck as I returned his stare.

“Guys, come on.” Hayley was practically jumping around, eager to go inside.

We all walked through the main doors and into the lobby. We handed in our tickets and made our way towards the main hall.

The hall was covered in fakes cobwebs and huge spiders, dangling down from the walls and ceiling. There were green, orange and purple lights all around us and there was even a giant caldron in one part of the room that had fake smoke coming out of it. I don’t think our main hall had ever looked so exciting. Hayley went whizzing off to take a look around. We saw her blonde hair bobbing away amongst the crowds of students. I tried to call her back but the music was too loud for her to hear. I looked around to see if I could spot Jade anywhere but I couldn’t find her, there were way too many cat outfits around.

The four of us just stood there for a while and looked at the people around us. I could recognise a few people from our year dressed as typical pirates or superheroes. The younger students were a bit more creative though, dressed as giant babies or astronauts. I envied the first and second years, who didn’t care what they looked like and whose outfits weren’t judged by the people in their year.

I glanced at Adam, who was looking uncomfortable. Parties were really not his thing, even if was just a school ball.

“Shall we go check out the food?” I asked him.

He perked up a bit then and we walked over to the table where the food was set out. I was in cupcake heaven, picking out a bright orange one with a little iced bat on the top, when Hayley found us.

“Nobody recognised who we were when we first walked in!” she said to us, face flushed. It was clear she’d been on a quick dash around, listening to the gossip.

“I take it the Stacey circus hasn’t arrived yet?” Charlotte asked.

“No,” Hayley told her. “But I’ve heard that she and Ben have planned matching costumes.”

“Of course,” Charlotte said bitterly.

“I didn’t drag myself here to talk about Stacey all night,” Adam said sharply. “So can we please just forget about her and continue to demolish all of these delicious cupcakes.” He turned back to the table and grabbed another cake.

“I’m with you on that one,” I chimed in, also grabbing another cake. Daniel looked at us in amusement.

Hayley’s face fell slightly. “Are none of you going to dance?”

I pointed to my feet. “I can barely walk in these things. If you wanted me to dance, you should have let me wear normal boots.”

“You won’t learn to dance in heels until you try,” she said to me, sounding more like my mother. “Now get onto that dance floor.” I looked at her like she crazy for a moment before she grabbed my arm and pulled me into the centre of the hall, where a few people were dancing.

“If I fall over, I swear I’m going to make the rest of your life a living nightmare.” She laughed at me before starting to dance.

Charlotte came over to join us and grabbed mine and Hayley’s hands. We spun around in a circle, laughing.

“Please don’t make me fall over!” I shrieked.

Adam and Daniel were just standing at the side of the dance floor, staring at us. People were standing around us, watching, but we didn’t care.

I noticed people turn their attention towards the entrance to the hall so I stopped spinning to see what they were looking at.

It was Stacey. Dressed in a sluttier version of the costume we were wearing.

She had stockings and suspenders, teamed up with a shorter skirt and a shirt that was tied just underneath her chest, showing off most of her flat stomach. Her blonde hair was straightened to perfection and she had a police hat on her head. She was linking arms with Ben, who was dressed as a robber.

People from our year went over and fussed around her whilst the younger years looked on admiringly. I turned to Charlotte and saw the look of fury on her face.

“How did she find out?” she fumed.

Hayley’s eyes widened at Charlotte’s anger. “Well cops and robbers isn’t a very original idea, I should have thought of something else.”

“No,” Charlotte continued. “No way is this a coincidence. She found out somehow, I know she did.”

She was starring daggers at Stacey from the middle of the dance floor. Stacey’s eyes found us and she smirked. That was when I saw Jade trailing in behind her, looking sheepish in her cat costume.

“I know exactly who told her,” I said through gritted teeth.

I was about to storm over there when I felt a hand on my arm. I turned and saw Daniel standing there.

“It’s not worth it,” he looked at the three of us, still holding my arm. “Don’t waste your time on her.” I looked over at Adam, his eyes pleading.

“You’re right,” I said to Daniel, before turning to Charlotte. “It’s not worth ruining our night on her.”

I turned back and shot Jade a glare, showing her that this wasn’t over. She looked guiltily back at me, eyes full of regret, before walking off with Stacey.

We walked off to go and sit at one of the tables. Charlotte was still furious, “What a complete bitch!” She was watching Stacey, all over Ben and lapping up the attention. A part of me still wondered if she still had some feelings for Ben. Hayley looked crest fallen and Adam was looking at us all, not knowing what to do.

“Look on the bright side,” Daniel broke the silence. “We are much more convincing robbers than Ben. The guy can’t even steal a kiss; he has to wait for permission.” I had to laugh. Ben was Stacey’s lapdog who obeyed her every wish.

“Feel free to steal a kiss anytime, guys,” I joked to them both.

“I might just take you up on that,” Daniel winked at me. Although it was only meant as a joke, it made me feel a little flushed.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jade walk over to the food table.

I stood up. “I’ll be back in a minute.” Daniel gave me a questioning look. I turned and walked over to Jade.

“Why did you do it, Jade?” She turned around, quickly, not knowing I was behind her.

“I… I didn’t mean to tell her,” she stuttered. “It was an accident!”

“Is this how it’s going to be now? Do I have to watch everything I say from now on, just in case you go blabbing to Stacey?” She just stared at me, sorrowfully.

I was too wound up to notice Stacey walking over. “Everything okay here?” She said, sickeningly sweetly.

“This is pathetic, even by your standards, Stacey,” I turned to face her. “You always have to go one better, don’t you?”

She continued her fake niceness. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Lissa.” There was no point even wasting my breath. I was turning around to walk off when she continued. “How’s Charlotte tonight? I do hope she’s enjoyed seeing exactly why her boyfriend left her for me.”

“You total witch—” I turned around, ready to walk back towards her when Daniel appeared out of nowhere, blocking my way to Stacey.

He put his hands on my shoulders. “Don’t go there.”

“But she—”

“I know,” he cut me off. “But let it go, you’re better than that.” He turned me around and walked me back towards our table, his hand lingering on my back.

“You could have at least let me throw a drink over her,” I said moodily.

He laughed. “As entertaining as that would be, it wouldn’t have done you any favours.” We sat back down at the table and Charlotte looked concerned.

“What’s going on?” she asked me.

“I’m just fed up of seeing Stacey walk all over Jade.” We sat in silence for a little while. The excited mood from earlier had pretty much vanished.

“Dance with me?” Hayley nearly spat out her drink and Charlotte’s eyebrows raised as I turned to look at Daniel, in horror.

“What?” I asked, astonished.

“Do you want Stacey and the rest of those guys to see you sitting here glumly for the rest of the night? Show her that you don’t care.”

“I’d rather stay seated and keep my dignity,” I lied.

Truth was I wasn’t scared to dance. I was scared to dance with Daniel. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it was more a case of how attached I was becoming to him. I feared that being that close to him might just make things even more difficult.

“Well somebody needs to dance with me before I get up and start dancing with Adam, because I’m bored.”

Hayley laughed. “Well, that I’d like to see!”

“Seriously, Liss,” Adam warned. “Dance with him.”

Daniel stood up, took off his mask and held out his hand. Defeated, I took his hand and stood up.

“You might wanna be careful in those boots, Lissa,” Hayley teased.

I gave her a threatening look as Daniel pulled me away from the table. The song that was playing wasn’t exactly slow, but it wasn’t a fast song either. Daniel must have decided to treat it as a slow dance, though, because he put both hands on my waist and pulled me closer towards him. I didn’t know where to look or where to put my hands, I just stood awkwardly for a second before coming to my senses and linked my hands around the back of his neck.

After a moment, I felt brave enough to look up at him. There were other people on the dance floor, couples and friends who were messing around, but in that moment, I felt as though we were alone. I was so close to him that I could see the darker speckles of blue in his pale eyes. I saw his gaze travel from my eyes to my lips and I felt heat rush to my cheeks. I wasn’t a weak person, through the years I had managed to build up a thick skin, determined to protect those around me rather than worry about what people thought of me but with Daniel looking at me the way he was, I felt vulnerable.

After what felt like hours, I dragged my eyes away from his for a moment. Over his shoulder, I saw Stacey glaring at us from across the room. She stood up immediately and dragged Ben onto the dance floor. I spun round so that my back was facing her, I couldn’t let her ruin this moment for me.

The song came to an end and Daniel took one of my hands and twirled me around. I laughed and suddenly, the look in his eyes changed. His gaze mirrored how I’d felt during that dance, just for a fleeting moment. Then he just went back to his usual smile again and winked at me. We turned to walk back towards our table and I could feel Stacey’s eyes burning into the back of my head as I walked. When we got to the table, I realised that it was just Adam and Charlotte sitting there.

“Where’s Hayley?” I asked, looking around.

“She got bored and went to go flirt with one of the math geeks,” Charlotte informed me, pointing to Hayley, standing across the room with a guy dressed as a mummy.

I looked at Daniel again, to see if he looked as affected by that dance as I was, but his expression was still unreadable. Stacey appeared to have lost all interest in Ben now that Daniel and I had stopped dancing. She had walked back over to Jade and the other two sheep that follow her around. Ben was standing at the side of the dance floor, looking awkward. For a fleeting moment, I caught him looking over at us, particularly Charlotte. She quickly averted her eyes from his direction and I saw him walk away.

Suddenly, Adam’s hands slammed down on the table.

“Right, that’s it.” The three of us stared at him, wide eyed. “I’ve taken about as much as I can handle of this night. I say we get out of here and go watch a scary movie, and quickly, before Hayley starts making out with half of the math club.”

I looked over at Hayley; she was twirling her hair and giggling now.

“I second this notion,” I said before I walked over to the table that she was near. “Come on,” I grabbed her arm. “We’re leaving.”

She pouted. “But I was just talking to… you know, that guy.” I pulled her across the room, back to our table. “Why are we leaving, anyway?”

“We’d rather spend the night in front of a horror film.”

“No, we wouldn’t,” she argued. We got to the table and the others were standing, ready to leave. “Char, you don’t want to leave do you?” she pleaded. “You hate horror films.”

“No movie I see tonight will be scary as that,” Charlotte was staring at Ben, who had re-joined Stacey.

Hayley huffed and began to walk to the main door. Stacey gave a sarcastic wave as the rest of us walked out.

“So, where are we going?” Charlotte asked.

Adam looked back at her, over his shoulder. “We can go to mine; you know how awesome my horror film collection is.”

Charlotte sighed. “They’re better than Lissa’s, anyway.”

I gave her an offended look. We found Hayley waiting by the school gates, still sulking.

“Come on, Hayley,” I draped an arm over her shoulder. “This will be more fun.”

She shrugged me away but perked up a bit as we walked to Adam’s house. He only lived five minutes away from the school so luckily, I didn’t have to walk for long in my boots. Hayley, Charlotte and Adam began a debate about what to watch so I fell back into step with Daniel.

“You must think we’re cursed,” I said to him. “Every night you come out with us, it ends in disaster.”

“I wouldn’t say tonight was a total disaster.” There was a smile playing on the corner of his mouth.

We got to Adam’s house and his mother excitedly asked us about the ball. I loved Adam’s mother. She was always so bubbly and full of life. She and Adam’s father had divorced when he was younger and, although his older brother went to live with his father, Adam had chosen to stay home. He was very protective of his mother. I was about to introduce her to Daniel when she turned to look at him.

“Did you have a good night, Daniel?” she asked.

“Yes, thanks, Miss Scott,” he replied, flashing a killer smile.

She began walking into the kitchen, telling us to help ourselves to snacks. I glanced at Hayley and Charlotte. Adam must have seen the confusion on our faces.

“Daniel came here to get ready, so that we could leave together, on time.” he said, before following his mother into the kitchen.

I hadn’t seen that one coming. Adam came back out with a bowl of pretzels and we headed up the stairs, to his loft. He and his mother had converted the loft into a TV room, last year.

When we walked through the door, Daniel spotted the DVDs and headed straight over there, looking at possible film choices.

“Ah,” he looked up at Adam. “I see you like the old classic horror films. Good taste.” Adam went over to pick out a DVD with Daniel and Charlotte slumped down on the sofa.

“I despise horror films,” she said moodily.

“You were the one who was eager to get out of the ball,” Hayley said to her pointedly. “I didn’t even want to go and watch a horror film anyway. You can do that on any night of the year.”

The guy turned to stare at her.

“But don’t you think it’s better on Halloween?” Daniel asked, turning his attention back the DVDs. “It’s more atmospheric.”

“Exactly,” Adam agreed.

“Well, I’m glad the two of you seem to be agreeing on something for once,” I said as I watched them both turn their heads back to the DVD shelf.

I was glad that they were getting along. They had a lot in common, without realising it. I couldn’t help but think back to how Daniel had spoken about his mother in the park, that time. It was with the same protectiveness that Adam had for his own mother.

I heard Charlotte sigh heavily. Clearly, she wasn’t in the best of moods after the Ball. Adam looked up at her for a moment and I saw a wave of sadness cross his face. He realised that he still had his mask on and he pulled it off, putting it on the floor.

As I looked at him then, I knew I could no longer hide from the fact that he had feelings for Charlotte. As their best friend, I couldn’t help but feel a little worried by it. I was certain that Charlotte felt something for Adam in return, but the way she had acted at the ball today had shown me that she wasn’t as over Ben as I’d thought she was. I worried because Adam and Charlotte were like family to me and I didn’t want to see them be torn apart.

After another few minutes of deliberation, the guys had decided on a film and ten minutes later we were watching Carrie. Well, trying to, anyway. Hayley wouldn’t shut up about the ball, continuing to gossip about who had gone with who. The gossip must have bored Charlotte as much as it had bored me because I saw her dozing off.

She woke up about ten minutes before the end of the film.

“What’d I miss?” she asked groggily. We all laughed before Adam told her she’d missed the entire plot.

A few minutes later, Hayley called her mother to come and pick us up.

“It’s okay Hayley, I don’t need a ride,” I told her. “I only live around the corner.” I also knew that if I walked home, I could walk with Daniel.

“Are you sure?” she asked me. “Your stuff is still in my room.”

I told her I could pick them up tomorrow and she didn’t read anything more into it. Charlotte, however, gave me a quizzical look.

Daniel and I said goodbye to the others.  

“Have a nice walk home.” Charlotte whispered into my ear as she hugged me goodnight.

I pulled back and gave her a warning look, to which she just smiled, knowingly. We said goodbye to Adam’s mother before we were out the door and on our way. We walked in silence for a little while before Daniel spoke up.

“You know, you were right,” he grinned at me. “Adam’s not all that bad, once you get to know him.”

“See,” I nudged him. “He’s just a harmless, loveable, geek really.” I laughed to myself, thinking about how much Adam hated to be stereotyped as a ‘geek’.

“Have the two of you ever…” he trailed off, raising an eyebrow at me, questioningly.

“Ever what?” I asked him.


“Oh god, no,” I sputtered. “I mean, I love him to pieces, but just not that way. Besides, he’s—”

“Hung up on Charlotte?” Daniel finished my sentence.

“It really is that obvious, isn’t it?”

He laughed as I realised that I wasn’t the only one picking up on the tension between the two of them.  We continued walking in silence for a bit. It didn’t seem as cold out now, somehow.

“Have you heard anything else?” I asked him. “About your brother, I mean?”

He looked at me. “Tyler has been trying to find out some more stuff from his father.”

I smiled at him, encouragingly. I didn’t know Charlie, but if he was anything like his brother then he’d come to his senses and realise that he’s needed at home.

We came to the corner of my street and Daniel turned to face me. “Thanks, Lissa.”

“What for?” I asked quizzically.

“For listening, understanding,” his face was serious, “for not judging.”

He was standing so close to me that I could see every little detail of his blue eyes. Before I could even process what was happening, his lips came down over mine. I didn’t even have time to think about it, I just kissed him back.

A nuclear war could have broken out around us and I still wouldn’t have been able to drag myself away from him. He pulled his lips away from mine for a moment and searched my face, as though looking for approval to continue. I grabbed the front of his t-shirt and pulled his lips back down to mine. I felt a sense of achievement when I finally got to run my hands through his hair. 

I have no idea how much time had passed once we finally pulled apart. I rested my hands on his chest and looked up at him, his arms still encircling me. We stood there for a while before Daniel took a step back. I looked at his face, trying to read his expression. It mirrored how I was feeling. We had both just took a crazy leap into the unknown and we weren’t quite sure what to do about it. I knew one thing; nothing between us would ever be the same again.

That kiss had confirmed all of those little inklings, those little feelings that I’d found creeping up on me since getting to know him and now I knew he felt the same.

What now? I thought, as I looked at him questioningly, hoping he’d have an answer. He stared at me for a little while longer before breaking the silence.

“You best get inside,” he said, his voice a little breathless. “It’s freezing out here.”

Not knowing how to react, I turned around without another word and began to walk away.

“I told you I’d take you up on that kiss,” he called alluringly, as I walked away.

I glanced back over my shoulder and saw him wink at me, in his usual, flirty way. I carried on walking down my street, smiling to myself as I approached the house.

The minute I walked through the front door, my mother came bounding out of the sitting room, asking me questions. I just brushed them off, telling her that my night was fine. All I wanted to do was go upstairs and think over the nights events, memorising every second.

I saw Jade sitting on one of the chairs in the sitting room, looking worried. I didn’t say anything to her; the events at the dance now seemed a million years away. All I could think of was the past ten minutes.

I kicked off my boots the minute I got into my bedroom and sat down on my bed. I was tempted to text Charlotte but I wanted to keep this to myself, just for now. I wondered how, in the short space of a few weeks, someone could affect me as much as Daniel had. I wasn’t the easiest of people to get along with. I usually found it hard to trust people. After spending most of my high school life just with Charlotte, Hayley and Adam, they’ve been all I’ve needed, all I’ve known. Letting new people in had always been difficult for me after Stacey. Even though we were young when we were friends, her betrayal still lingered at the back of my mind when meeting new people. Stupid, I know.

I don’t know why I seemed to trust Daniel so easily, but I did. A little more than a month ago, he was just the weird loner who looked like a cross between a biker guy and a rocker. Which was instantly stereotyped by the rest of the school, even by me, I’ll admit. But he was so much more than that.

I changed out of my Halloween costume and got ready for bed, still feeling flushed from that kiss. I settled down and easily fell asleep. It must have been about 4:30 am when I woke up and it happened. The thing that I’d forgotten was even a part of my life, the vision. I knew it was coming; the warning signs were familiar to me now, even in the grogginess I felt after just waking up. The lightness feeling that clouded my head, the pin-prick pains that I felt all over my scalp, the blurriness of my eyesight as the image in my mind took over.

It was an image I would never forget.

It was Daniel, lying in a pool of his own blood.

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