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?


9. Chapter 9

The image was gone within a flash and I jumped out of bed.

I re-played the image I had just seen in my mind. It looked like some sort of abandoned building; I had no idea where it was. I didn’t know what to do; I was just standing there helpless. In the vision, Daniel had been wearing completely different clothes from the costume he’d been wearing tonight. He’d been in a white, buttoned shirt and a black, hooded jacket. That didn’t mean that he couldn’t have gone home and changed into those clothes, though. He could be about to walk right into what could be his death.

Every vision I’d had in the past few weeks had occurred soon after I’d seen it, so I was certain that Daniel was out there now, about to walk right into this mess and there was nothing I could do. I sat down on the edge of my bed, trying to calm down. I had to think rationally.

Why would Daniel be out so late? I thought to myself. At one point, I even considered calling the police but decided against it. What could I have told them? That I’d envisioned the future and saw the guy I’d been kissing, just a few hours ago, lying in a pool of his own blood? No way, they’d think I was crazy. I realised that I’d never actually gotten Daniel’s phone number from him, so I couldn’t call him either.

I sat there, frozen on my bed, watching the clock ticking. At six, I’d had enough. I grabbed my phone off my bedside table and dialled Adam’s number. It took several rings before he picked up.

“Jesus, Lissa, what is it?” His voice sounded groggy.

“When you agreed to meet Daniel last night, how did you stay in touch? You must have swapped numbers, right?” I asked him, hurriedly.

“What?” He sounded confused. “What’s going on, Liss?”

“Do you have his number?” I asked more forcefully.

“Yes, I have his number,” his voice was full of concern. “Now tell me what’s going on.”

“Just forward his number to me.” I wanted to tell Adam everything but I didn’t have time to explain.

“Not until you tell me—”

“Just do it Adam!” I cut him off.  “Please, I’ll tell you later!”

He sensed the desperation in my voice and told me he’d send it before hanging up the phone. A few seconds later, the text came through from Adam, with Daniels number on it. I quickly replied with a thank you and a promise to explain everything later.

I dialled the number and got no answer. I felt my stomach drop. I dialled again and to my complete surprise, someone picked up after the third ring.

“Hello?” It was Daniels voice.

Relief flew through me. “Daniel! Thank god!”

“Lissa?” His voice was sleepy and utterly confused.

I froze again, and then panicked. He was completely fine and I was calling him at six in the morning, without even having his phone number. I had no idea what to say to him.

“Lissa, that is you, isn’t it?” He sounded more awake now, more alert.

“Yeah, it’s me,” I tried to quickly think of an excuse. “I lost my purse last night! I was wondering if you’d found it anywhere. I called Adam and it wasn’t at his place so he gave me your number to call you and I was going to but then I fell asleep, but I woke up just now and remembered.” I cringed at how pathetic I sounded.

“How would I have found your purse, Lissa?” Confusion was no longer in his voice, he actually sounded quite amused.

“Well, I thought maybe I dropped it and you saw it after I walked off.” I tried to sound as convincing as possible.

“Wouldn’t you have noticed if you’d dropped your purse right where we were standing?” he asked.

Actually, thinking about, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. I’d been so wrapped up in kissing him last night that I totally could’ve dropped my purse, phone, legs if they weren’t attached, without realising.

“Yeah, I guess it seems quite silly now. It was just playing on my mind. Sorry for waking you.” I was about to hang up, ready to bury my face in my pillow and wallow in humiliation, when he carried on talking.

“Well I’m awake now, so why don’t I get dressed and we can retrace last night’s steps to try and find your purse?” he suggested, still sounding slightly amused by the whole situation.

I tried to string a sentence together but the fact that he said he needed to get dressed meant that he wasn’t fully clothed whilst having this conversation and my mind had gotten a little carried away.

“I can meet you at seven thirty, on the corner, near the coffee shop?” he proposed.

“Um… yeah, I guess.” I was trying so hard to sound casual but I was finding it hard to remain calm.

“Great, I’ll see you in a bit.” He hung up the phone and I flung myself back onto my bed. My mind was racing.

What the hell had that vision been about? I wondered. Did the fact that Daniel was safe mean that it just hadn’t occurred yet, or was it just a malfunction? I knew nothing about these images that I kept seeing, who was to say that they weren’t wrong sometimes? I had so many questions but no way to answer them.

I got up and managed to have a quick shower and get dressed in my nearest basic jeans and top. I also put on my converse because I was going to need comfortable shoes if I was to be walking around on wild goose chase, looking for a purse that wasn’t even missing. I put my purse in my bag, just in case an opportunity came up to drop it on the floor and act like I’d just found it.

I quickly put on a dash of my faithful, soft pink lipstick. Although the dark red had made such an impact to my look last night, I’d missed the comfort of my usual pink. My hair was still slightly damp at the ends but it was too late to do anything about that now, I had to leave if I was to meet Daniel on time.

I grabbed my bag and quietly headed downstairs and out the door. I was nervous about seeing Daniel for two reasons. One, we would inevitably have to talk about last night at some point and two; because this morning’s whole situation had been incredibly awkward. Dropping my purse, could I not have thought of something a little more creative?  

I slowed my pace as I got closer to the coffee shop, which was closed of course, due to it being 7:30 am on a Saturday. I felt giddy and nervous, but a part of me was excited by the urge I had to see him. I turned the corner and there he was, leaning against the wall. He was wearing dark jeans that fitted him perfectly and a navy blue shirt. On top of that, he had on his leather jacket, which just made him look more alluring. He noticed me and smiled, walking towards me.

I wanted to try and explain myself. “I’m so sorry for waking you up; I was just worried and couldn’t get back to sleep, because of my purse.”

He looked amused. “It didn’t bother me, I like early mornings.” He grinned and I felt myself melt, just a little bit. “Shall we go to the school gates, start there and walk the route we took last night?”

I nodded and we began to walk in the direction of our school. I felt bad, knowing all too well that my purse was actually safe and sound in my handbag, but a small, selfish part of me was glad to have an excuse to spend time with him.  

We walked in silence for a while before Daniel started up a casual conversation about some of the costumes we’d witnessed at the Halloween Ball. Every now and then, his arm would brush against mine and I’d feel a jolt of electricity at the touch. Before I knew it, we were outside the school gates.

“Right,” Daniel started, looking thoughtful. “We should concentrate on each side of the floor as we walk.”

We turned down the road that led to Adam’s house and began looking for the purse that I knew we wouldn’t find. Daniel kept looking at me every now and then, with the same look of amusement on his face, almost like a knowing smile.

When we got to near Adam’s house, Daniel looked at me. “I presume Adam has looked in his loft?”

“Yeah, it wasn’t there,” I lied.

“Okay,” he said, turning down the road that leads to my way home. “Down this way then, yeah?”

He carried on walking and seemed to be enjoying our little goose chase. I felt myself smile, slightly guiltily. We slowed down the pace as we got to the corner where I usually leave Daniel to go down my street. We stopped and he looked at me.

“Sorry, Lissa, looks like your purse is a goner,” he was trying not to laugh.

“I guess it must be in the house somewhere then.” I knew how pathetic I sounded.

He laughed. “You don’t have to pretend, you know. I know why you really called me.”

“Y-you do?” I asked warily. How did he know?

“I wanted to talk about last night as well,” he grinned at me.

Relief took over for a moment as I realised he wasn’t talking about my vision, how could he? Then I realised want he meant. I looked up at him, mouth slightly open, not knowing what to say. I really hadn’t had the time to prepare for this conversation.

“How about we have coffee?” he suggested.

I raised a brow at him. “The coffee shop isn’t open yet.” It was barely 8am; the place wasn’t due to open for another hour.

“I know, I can make us coffee, I only live a few streets away,” he replied, brushing his hair off his face.

God, he was cute when he did that. Even though I’d had only a few hours’ sleep and was confused about the vision I’d witnessed, there was no way I was going to turn his offer down.

“Alright then,” I tried to act casual. “I could certainly do with some coffee.”

He grinned at me again before he began walking down the street. I followed him, wondering exactly how close he lived.  We had only been walking for five minutes when he turned into a small cul-de-sac. Wherever I expected Daniel to live, it really wasn’t this place. All of the houses were perfect family size and they each had pristine gardens. From what I’d learnt about Daniel’s family history, I just didn’t expect him to live somewhere so… quiet, I guess.

Oh no, I thought. I’m turning into my mother with all this judging.

He walked up the driveway to one of the houses. The garden was full of small flower pots, making everything pretty and scenic. He got a set of keys out from his pocket before he turned to me on the doorstep.

“I should warn you, my mother,” he looked back at the door, lifting his key to the lock. “She’s a very curious lady. Just politely shut her up if she asks you too many questions.” He winked at me before opening the door.

He walked into the hallway and held the door open for me, motioning for me to step inside. The house had an immediate cosy feel to it. The hallway was painted cream and I could see pictures hung on the wall, heading up towards the top of the stairs. I heard Daniel shut the door behind me and I saw a woman step into the hallway, from a door at the back. She was a short woman, wearing a plain top and a long, flowing skirt. Her long, dark hair was braided to one side. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I felt a bit of a ‘hippy’ vibe from her. She looked tired but she broke into a smile the minute she saw us.

“You must be Lissa,” she looked right at me, giving me a friendly smile. “Julia,” she introduced herself. She looked over my shoulder, at Daniel. “Out of bed, out the house and back again before I’d even made you breakfast.” She raised a brow at him before looking at me again. “You’re a good influence, getting him to get out of bed this early on a weekend.”

Julia told us that she was putting the kettle on and walked back into the kitchen.

I shot a look at Daniel. “Early morning person?” I quizzed him.

He looked slightly sheepish before shrugging. He walked past me and I followed him into the kitchen. The kitchen looked like it belonged in a little countryside house. There was a round table in the middle of the room with a red and white checked cloth over it. I liked the homely feel of it; it was a pleasant contrast from all the modern furnishings my mother had insisted upon in our house.

He walked over to his mother, by the kettle. “I’ll make the coffee, are you having one?” he asked her.

“No time,” she replied to him. “I have work at nine. Would you like anything to eat, Lissa?”

I politely declined. I was too distracted to eat anything. Knowing that I’d soon be alone with Daniel put my stomach in knots.

Julia told me to sit down and then took a seat across the table from me. Although she was friendly and seemingly happy, there was sadness behind her smile. I wondered what it was like for her, not knowing where her youngest son is.

“How are you finding school this year, Lissa?” she asked.

“It’s been great so far,” I replied, glancing at Daniel. “Better than I expected.”

“Any ideas on what you want to study next year?” She looked interested. I thought about for a second. I actually didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted to study net year.

“I’m looking at my options at the moment,” I said vaguely, trying to make it sound like I had actually given some thought to my future.

“I keep encouraging Daniel to continue his art,” she told me.

My eye’s widened slightly. “You never told me you were good at art,” I said to him.

“He’s a fabulous drawer,” Julia told me excitedly. “He has a talent for it.”

Daniel turned away from the Kettle, to face us. “I’m an average drawer, like many people. It wouldn’t be practical to study art; there wouldn’t be many options for me at the end of it.”

Just by looking his face, I could tell it was something he was passionate about. 

“Nonsense,” Julia said loudly, trying to get her point across. “I’ve always taught you to follow you dreams. If you want to draw, go and draw.”  

Daniel rolled his eyes at his mother. I was really curious to see his drawings, then.  The kettle boiled and he turned back around, to pour water into the mugs.

I caught Julia watching me from across the table for a moment, observing. Daniel walked over and placed a mug down in front of me, then took the seat next to mine. Julia stood up.

“I’m off to work,” she announced, before smiling at me. “It was lovely to meet you, Lissa.”

“You too,” I replied cheerily.

She grabbed her bag from the kitchen counter and walked out of the room, to the front door. A few seconds later, we heard the front door close. I turned my head to face Daniel.

“She’s really nice,” I told him.

“That’s the most enthusiastic I’ve seen her act, since Charlie.” His face darkened for a moment. “It was selfish of him to leave without telling her anything.”

He took a sip of his coffee and I lifted my mug to take a sip of mine.

“Hey,” I said in surprise. “You made my coffee right. Not many people can make coffee to please my high standards.”

He looked up and laughed. “Well that’s a relief.”

“I’m serious; I’m fussy with my coffee,” I informed him.

He replied, still smiling, “I don’t doubt it.”

We locked eyes for a moment before going back to our coffees. We sat in silence for a while before I decided that one of us needed to say something first.

“So,” my voice broke the silence. “Last night, you kind of kissed me.” I held my breath, waiting for his response. I glanced over at him and he looked amused.

“There was no ‘kind of’ about it, and I’d say it was more of a mutual kissing, rather than me kissing you.” The corners of his mouth began to curve up into a smile.

“You started it,” I argued.

“You wanted me to.” I opened my mouth to deny it but I couldn’t. He smugly smiled.

“So, what shall we do about it then?” I asked curiously.

“What do you want to do about it?” He looked at me seriously, eyes locked on mine. “Because I would, very much, like to kiss you again.”

 I felt a jolt run through me at the intensity of his words. I didn’t know how to respond. I sat there, looking at the guy who I’d let walk past me in school corridors for the past four years without acknowledgment, who had suddenly become everything to me. I didn’t quite know how to tell him how I felt about him. I figured I had nothing to lose.

“Daniel, I—”

The confession I was about to unleash was rudely interrupted by a knock at the door.

He shot an irritated glance towards the hallway that led to the front door.

“Hold that thought,” he said before he stood up and walked out of the kitchen. A moment later, I heard the front door open.

“Tyler,” I heard Daniel say. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

He didn’t sound all too pleased. I got out of my chair and peered out into the hall.

The guy, Tyler, looked in my direction and Daniel turned around to see where he was looking. Tyler looked back at Daniel.

“We need to talk,” he said, his face looking serious. Daniel sighed.

I walked out into the hall, behind Daniel.

He pointed to the kitchen, addressing Tyler, “Wait in the kitchen. I’ll be there in a minute.”

Tyler passed me, recognition flashing across his face as he remembered me from the bowling alley.

Daniel turned to face me, his eyes regretful.

“I’m sorry, Lissa.” He took my hand in his and, as cheesy as it was, I felt a spark at his touch. “Can we talk later?”

I nodded, studying his face. I kept seeing the image of the vision I’d seen in the early hours of this morning. The image sent chills down my spine. Seeing him now, so much life in his eyes, it was hard to think about how it could still come true.  It had scared me, the vision, and made me realise just how much I cared for him.

I took a small step forward and closed the gap between us. Reaching up, I grazed my lips along his, briefly, before pulling away. I opened his front door and took a step outside.

“I’ll call you,” he said to me, “I have your number now.” He gave me a mischievous smile, before closing the door.

I pulled my phone from my pocket and saw several missed calls from Adam. I had completely forgotten to text him and let him know that everything was alright. I dialled his number and he picked up almost instantly.

“Jesus, Lissa, where have you been?” There was a hint of relief amongst the concern in his voice.

“Sorry, Adam,” I apologised. “I meant to call you sooner. Can I come round? I’ll tell you everything.”

I told him to call Charlotte; I wanted to tell them both about the vision. We agreed to meet in an hour, so I headed home for a while. I brushed off the questions of where I’d been all morning, from my mother, by saying I’d gone to see Charlotte. 

An hour later, I made my way to Adam’s house and knocked on the door. The minute he answered, he was off.

“What the hell is going on?” he started “Do you have any idea how worried I was this morning? You sounded terrified.”

I was touched by his concern. He closed the door behind me and we made our way up to his loft. He kept asking me questions but I told him to wait until Charlotte got here.

When she arrived five minutes later, Adam launched straight into telling her about my phone call this morning. She frowned, looking confused.

“I had a vision, early this morning,” I began.

They both turned to look at me. Charlotte sat down next to me, on the sofa.

“What kind of vision?” she asked, her expression growing worried.

Adam sat down next to her.

“I saw Daniel. He was seriously injured, or worse.” Charlotte’s eyes widened. “He was in this building, it looked like an emptied out warehouse or something. He was lying on the floor, blood everywhere.” I shuddered at the memory of the vision. His hair had fallen onto his face but I could see bruises beginning to form underneath. His white shirt had been covered in blood and dirt.

“Is he okay?” Charlotte asked, panicked.

“He’s fine,” I assured. “I’ve been with him all morning and there was no harm done.” Charlotte went back to looking confused.

“So it was a false vision, perhaps?” Adam wondered.

“Maybe,” I leaned back on the sofa. “Or maybe it just hasn’t happened yet.”

“But the event usually happens quite quickly after you see it,” Charlotte sounded hopeful, “so maybe Adam’s right and you’ve just had a false vision.”

I thought about it for a second.

“So is this how it’s going to be now? I’m going to get visions that might not come true and I’ll just have to sit there and worry, not knowing if it will?” I was sick of it all, the visions, and the uncertainty. I just wanted my life to go back to normal.

Adam jumped up. “You could have stopped it,” he paced around the room. “The vision, it might have been going to happen but because you called Daniel and met up with him, it didn’t.”

“No, that’s not it. It was dark in the vision, night time. When I called Daniel to see if he was okay, it was starting to get lighter outside.” I put my head in my hands, trying to make sense of it. Adam continued pacing around and Charlotte just sat looking concerned, biting her bottom lip.

“Maybe there’s something in that book of yours, Adam?” she suggested.

Adam went down to his room and came back a minute later with the book. He sat on the floor and flicked through the pages.

Charlotte looked at me curiously. “What did you tell Daniel, when you called him?”

“I made up this pathetic story about losing my purse. He didn’t buy it.” I told her. “He thought I was calling him because…” I trailed off.

“Because, what?” Charlotte pried. Luckily Adam put his head up at that point.

“The visions you’ve had in the past have been flash precognitions, meaning you see things minutes before they happen,” he said as looked back down at the book. “But there are different types of precognition. This could be more of a danger intuition, which would make sense because your previous visions had been about pretty harmless events; this one was serious.”

“So what is this danger intuition thing?” I asked, not understanding.

“Well, it sounds like it’s just a vision that shows danger, but you can’t predict when it’ll happen. It’s not like the flash precognitions that happen straight after you’ve seen it.” His brow was crinkling in concentration as he continued to stare down at the pages.

“So you’re saying that this vision that Lissa saw could still happen?” Charlotte got off the sofa and knelt down on the floor, next to Adam. She moved her head closer to read the book and I caught Adam look up at her, his face softening slightly.

“What are we going to do, guys?” I sat forward. “We can’t constantly check up on Daniel to make sure he isn’t about to walk into what could potentially be his death. We need to figure out what it is he’s walking into and how we can stop it from happening.”

Adam looked serious. “You shouldn’t mess with the future, Lissa,” he warned.

“What? Do you expect me to just sit back, knowing that Daniel is going to walk into the mess I saw? I don’t know what is causing these visions, but I can’t just see something like that and knowingly allow it to occur.” I was growing more worried, I couldn’t allow what I saw happen to Daniel.

“I don’t know what else we can do.” Adam sounded defeated. He continued, “Do you know if he’s in any sort of trouble, Lissa? Did he tell you anything last night that could have triggered the vision?”

Heat crept into my face at the thought of last night. “No, he didn’t mention anything.” Then it hit me: Tyler. Tyler has been getting information about Charlie. I jumped up from the sofa.

“What is it?” Charlotte asked.

“It’s his brother,” I said quickly. “It has something to do with Charlie and their father.”

Adam and Charlotte exchanged glances.

“What do you mean, Liss?” Adam spoke up. “Has he told you anything?”

“His father is in trouble with debtors, and not your average debtors either. Daniel thinks that he fled the area to get away from them and that Charlie has gone with him.” I paced the room, running a hand through my hair. “One of Charlie’s friends has a father who knows of the man that their father is in debt to, he’s been telling Daniel anything he can find out. He called round to the house before and I left so that they could talk.” I had a sinking feeling that whatever Tyler had come to talk to Daniel about was related to the vision.

“Do you think this guy had found out where Charlie and their father are?” Adam asked me.

Charlotte raised a brow. “You were at Daniel’s house?” I ignored her comment and turned to Adam.

“Maybe,” I sat down on the floor, next to him. “I really don’t know.” I hated the uneasy feeling I had, not knowing if Daniel was going to be safe or not. I jumped up again, unable to stay still. “I have to go and see him; find out what Tyler told him.”

“Would he tell you,” Adam looked up at me, “if he was planning to go looking for his brother himself?”

I thought back on the past few weeks, the conversations we’d had.

“Yeah, he’ll tell me.” Charlotte was looking at me quizzically. I knew she wanted to ask me questions about Daniel, but she held back. “I’m going round there now.”

Adam stood up and walked over to me. “Do you want us to come with you?”

I shook my head. “It’d be better if I go alone.”

He nodded and I grabbed my bag from the sofa, heading for the door. 

Charlotte called to me as I walked out the loft, “Call us if you find anything out.” I rushed down the stairs and out of the front door.

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