My uncle's wife sits nervously at the dining table. She isn't eating anything, neither are my uncle and I. We are waiting for news. Dan's friend had an accident yesterday, and we are waiting for news on his case.
The thing is, I know he's not going to make it. I don't know how to tell them that, though.
Ever since my parents died, I haven't been able to control my imaginations. It might not be right to even continue calling them imaginations, they seem more like visions.
It's sad watching them like this, my uncle, Dan, and his wife, Niamh, knowing they're wasting their time and their hopes.
Dan gets up.
"I'm going to see what's going on at the hospital," he announces.
Niamh and I sit in silence. After some time, I go back to my room.
When I can no longer help it, I decide to tell them.
"Is he back?" I ask Niamh, who is seated in the exact same position I left her in.
She shakes her head.
"When he comes back, he'd have been told that his friend is responding to treatment, and he'll be happy. But his friend's not gonna make it." I say.
Niamh looks up at me, shocked and probably angry.
"My jokes do not extend to making fun of people who are on the verge of death, and worse still, predicting death as their only option.
If this is a joke, please stop it. You of all people should know how serious death is."
That last part hits me like a slap in the face, reminding me of how I created my parents' deaths, making an impossibility possible, just so that they could cease to exist.
"I'm not joking. Why would I joke about something like this?"
Niamh is about to answer, when we hear someone clear his throat.
"What's going on?" Dan asks.
Niamh and I have never been known to argue or fight. Despite the gap in age - my dad was only two years older than Dan, and four years older than Niamh, so they could comfortably call themselves my parents - we have all gotten along as a family.
My aunt shakes her head.
"Nothing important," she says. "News?"
"Yes. Great news," he says excitedly, and I feel pity for him, because he will soon have to pull off this happy face and replace it with a grim, grief-filled one. "They said he is responding to treatment. That should mean that he will be better soon, I think. I feel so much more relaxed."
Niamh stares at me. She looks confused, like she wants answers. Unfortunately, I have none for her.
Dan looks at us, confused.
"What's going on?" he asks.
"How long have you known this for?" Niamh asks me.
"Since the day before the accident," I say quietly. "I saw the entire thing, from accident to death."
Dan looks alarmed by the word 'death'.
"When did you become able to predict the future?" Niamh asks.
"I have always been able to, but when I was younger, they were imaginations. Then, I could create the future.But, ever since my parents died, I haven't been able to control them.They became more like visions. I just see things and I know they're going to happen."
"Is there any particular time these visions come?" Dan asks. I think he finally understands that he may never see his friend again; the smile has left his face, and he looks grief-stricken.
"Now that I think of it, they only ever happen after dark. At night."
"What was the last thing you ever willingly imagined?"
"My parents' death," I reply reluctantly.
Niamh gasps in shock.
"You did that to them?" she asks.
"I didn't mean it. I was just a little girl, and it was my birthday and they were arguing. I didn't mean for them to die. I just wanted them to leave me alone."
I can't help crying. I've never told anyone this, and telling them now, I feel like a murderer.
Dan lets some time pass before speaking up again.
"We will go back to your house tomorrow to search for anything relevant. I think we should all go get some rest."
I go back into my room. I don't want to go back to my parents' home. I don't want to face memories of my childhood, or memories of my parents, whose lives were brutally cut short by my own wickedness.
I don't know for how long I stay like this on my bed, searching the ceiling as if I would find answers hidden in the intricate patterns drawn on it.
After some time I hear my uncle tell Niamh something. He must think I'm asleep for him to be talking so loudly that I can hear him, even from another room. Immediately I understand what he's telling her about, I pull my pillow over my head and force myself not to hear them.
Apparently, Dan's friend has just died.