We all had our own way of coping. Out of all of us, Eirene had been closest to Aunt Lumie. She spent a lot of time outside taking walks, hardly ever coming back inside. Artemis threw herself into her summer classes and barely got any sleep. Dad–he knew Aunt Lumie pretty much since he and Zaid met–so they had been good friends. He seemed very grieved and withdrew into himself for quite a while (I think it also reminded of him when my other dad died). Grandpa… well Grandpa didn’t really ‘cope’. And I worked harder at trying to solve my visions. Remembering them. Studying them. Doing whatever I could to try and figure out how to decipher them and change them.
How did the cliff vision change? I scoured all the news sites to try and figure out if anything big happened that could’ve triggered it. I messaged all my school friends to see if they heard about any faeries or pixies passing on during the summer but it all came back negative. I couldn’t figure out what it could be.
I mostly focused on the day of the vision. Big news of that day: famous singer caught having an affair with his manager’s wife. Leader of the Free World talked about a possible change in law (whether or not known supernaturals could do jury duty; currently, we could not). Big business in Bridgeport doing some charity work to hide some of their underhanded deeds. The only thing that really seemed like it might change the cliff vision was the death of a vampire. An ‘accident’ claimed the public media, murder insisted the supernatural community. I guess they had been arrested and put in a cell with windows and kept there in the day or something? I wasn’t sure.
My head began throbbing trying to link things. Anything could be it. Hell, the celebrity’s affair could have done it. Except why? If my visions were based on the future then why did something change it? What made the visions happen?
“Like, why can I see that X is gonna happen?” I asked Sam one day near the end of the summer vacation. “If I see something so far in the future, can’t something change it every day? And if so, why don’t more of my visions alter? Seeing this one being changed proves they can be altered. So something happened, or happens. But why didn’t the initial vision take that into account?”
“Watcher, now my head hurts.”
“If they can be changed and if I do something to change them, why did I have the vision in the first place? Why did I have this vision of the faerie jumping off the cliff in the first place instead of–well, it not happening? Like now?”
“Maybe it still happens…”
“Then what the heck happened in my newer vision?” Sam put his hands up in a helpless gesture. I buried my face in my hands and felt like weeping. “Maybe you’re right, maybe it still happens. Maybe what happened was just my–my power doing something to me. I don’t know. Maybe Mr. Hunter’ll know…”
I didn’t abandon my attempts to figure it out. Doing this seemed better than thinking about what happened with Aunt Lumie.
Summer ended and Dad, Uncle Max, Uncle Royce, and Eirene took the lot of us to the airport. I wasn’t sure why Reeny came with us until she gave me a super tight hug and a big kiss on my forehead. “Stay safe, Jamey, k?” she asked, messing my hair up. I tried to duck from her hand but promised her I’d be all right.
This time around we were going to Dragon Valley on our own. The kittens were beside themselves with excitement and Clifford took advantage of this by constantly calling a stewardess to his side by insisting he was scared. At first I thought he had a crush on her then I discovered she brought him things each time. A comfier pillow, a new can of pop, some candy. The brat.
I called Dad when we landed in Dragon Valley, promising him everything had gone well and that we were all safe. Professor Webb picked us up so we were in for a pretty speedy and bumpy ride back to Hunter’s. It felt so good to be there when we arrived, to see all my friends. Lilah flew to us as soon as Sam and I hopped off the bus and gave us each a tight hug. Tal’s bus came a bit later and she texted me when she was almost there so I was waiting outside when her bus pulled up.
We hugged tightly though didn’t kiss with all the other people around. Romance was on the same bus and gave me a rather strange look before coming over to say hello. I felt a bit sad as I greeted her but not as sad as I thought I would. Tal held my hand tighter.
I didn’t see Kiley until we were getting ready for dinner. She ran over and gave me a big hug, planting a kiss on my cheek. “Apollo you look as sexy as ever!”
“A-hem.” Tal cleared her throat.
Kiley kept her arms around me as she beamed at my girlfriend. “Tal, you look sexy too.”
“We’re dating,” Tal said with a hint of a threat in her voice.
Kiley stiffened then slowly took her arms away from me. “Oh. I see. Well, congratulations you two. You make a sexy couple.” She turned to leave then whirled around and whispered something in Tal’s ear. Tal’s blue skin darkened and Kiley marched off. When I inquired after what Kiley had said Tal just shook her head and refused to tell me.
It felt pretty good to see all my other friends and dinner consisted of people running around to say hello. As per usual the vampires didn’t come to the meal, however Booker wandered in and found a seat next to me and Sam. Eli and Blake were across from us and we all caught up with one another, laughing, making probably more noise than necessary. After dinner I said goodnight to Tal before joining my friends up to our dorms. Booker split from us to go down to the basement.
“Sooooo!” Blake slung an arm over my shoulder and yanked me close. “You and and the water nymph, eh? Eh?”
“Our little Apollo is all grown up and getting action.”
“BLAKE!” I screamed and he took off flying down the hall while I ran after him determined to wring his stupid neck. Thankfully my vision didn’t hit me until after I got away from the stairs. I didn’t even know I could fall asleep while running but apparently it was a possibility.
“Watcher,” Sam hissed as I came to. “You moron.”
“S’not my fault.”
I struggled to sit up and found blood pouring from somewhere on my face, down onto my shirt. Eli and Blake stood nearby looking anxious. My fingers lifted and I pressed them against my nose. I must have busted it when falling. “I didn’t–how does that even happen? I was running!”
Sam pulled me to my feet. “I don’t know but you just went down. You slammed down against the floor and started saying something about how disappointed you were.”
“Mmm.” My arms felt sore too and my left side. “Yeah it was Eli. I think your grades drop or something this year, Professor Valadez was saying how disappointed he was.”
Eli’s eyes got huge then he frowned. “I see. I guess I’ll need to work harder than I meant to–though that’s not really the, er, big deal right now. You’re still bleeding everywhere.”
“I am so so sorry!” Blake’s wings beat so fast it reminded me of a hummingbird. “If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t’ve been running though really it’s Eli’s shitty grades really at fault here–“
“Hey!” Eli snapped.
“–but I do feel a little bit guilty. I’ll take you to see Professor Summer.”
Before I could argue he scooped me up and began flying down the stairs. We were going towards Summer’s rooms when we ran into (not literally, thankfully!) Romance. She saw me in Blake’s arms and raised her eyebrows, hiding a smirk behind one hand. That is, until she noticed the blood.
“What on earth happened?”
“He fell,” Blake said as I slipped out of his grip.
“I can still walk you know,” I complained and he finally set me down. “I’ll be fine, I just need to see Professor Summer.”
Romance pulled her wand out. “I can heal that. Just the bloody nose, not any of the bruises really. Only if you want–if you’re more comfortable going to Summer that is completely understandable.”
“No, that’d be great thanks!”
She spoke strange word and flourished her wand. A pale yellow light shot out at my nose and it felt like ice. A cooling sensation filled my nasal area followed by a strange sort of jerking sensation. It hurt for a second then the pain faded along with the pain of my hurt nose; the blood also stopped.
“Please be careful,” Romance said softly.
“I–I’ll try,” I stammered, feeling nervous all of a sudden.
Our eyes met and the jerking sensation in my head happened again, this time without a spell. She’s so… so… My heart began to ache, like it would break into a million pieces. The worst part was the fact I could imagine the feelings being reflected back in her eyes. I knew how she really felt, so I knew I had to be imagining that she might feel sorrow we weren’t together. Still. It hurt.
Blake cleared his throat and Romance and I broke eye contact.
“I–I’d best get to bed,” Romance said quickly. “Goodnight, I’ll see you two tomorrow.”
We said goodnight and turned to go back to our dorm. Blake walked next to me, the silence more overwhelming than anything he could have said. But as he was Blake the silence didn’t last long. “Sooooooo. You and Tal, huh?”
I held up one finger. “Tal’s my girlfriend. Romance is my friend. That’s all. Nothing else.”
“Pretty intense staring for friends.”
“You… are a complete idiot.”
“An idiot that could see that–“
“There’s nothing!” I spun around towards him, my pointed finger in his face now. “Nothing, we’re just friends. Romance has no interest in me whatsoever.”
Blake shrugged. “Pfft, if you ask me she wants you.”
“I didn’t ask you.”
His words kept turning over in my head all night long as I tried to sleep. I did my best to push them away, it just didn’t work. She’s not interested in you, she’s made it clear, I kept telling myself. It didn’t work and by the time morning came I felt more confused than ever.
Mr. Hunter listened carefully as I talked about my various visions from the summer. I gave as much detail as I could involving the vision that had changed. He didn’t seem to have any more idea as to why it happened than I did. He promised to do some research into it but I didn’t really have much hope into finding an answer. We didn’t understand how my regular visions worked, why would we find out why one of them changed?
“There is one thing I needed to discuss with you.” Mr. Hunter pressed his fingertips together and leaned forward, his forehead rather wrinkled. “It’s an important matter in regards to the driving course.”
During the summer I received a list of extra classes I wished to take. Things like flying, cooking, art, etc; however there also had been an option for driving. For students fifteen and over wishing to learn to drive a car. Since I wouldn’t be around for my dad or sisters to teach me, I signed up for that one.
Mr. Hunter sighed. “To put it simply, you will not be taking this class.”
“Is it… full?” I asked, not surprised when he shook his head. “Why can’t I take this class?”
“Apollo. Do you plan on trying to get your driver’s license out of school?”
“And what will happen if you have one of your visions during the test?” Mr. Hunter asked. Gentle as he tried to make his words sound, they seemed more like a knife slicing into my chest. “I understand last night you were running through the halls and crashed into the floor when you fell asleep for one of your visions.” I pressed my lips tightly together, not responding. “Not only would you put your own life in danger by driving, but many others. Unless you are open about your visions and falling asleep so suddenly in the outside world, you will still be able to attempt to get your license outside of the Academy. Just please keep in mind how many people could die if you fall asleep while driving. You–“
“I get it.” I sank back against the chair, shaking with rage. “I get it, you don’t have to keep rubbing my nose in it. I’m not stupid. I get it.”
“Is there anything else? Thank you.” I got up and stormed off. The rage just kept building as I went. Because his words revealed so much more than just driving. I never considered my visions as limiting me very much. But yeah, I couldn’t get a license, how could I risk driving? More than that. Cooking, taking a bath, and so much more.
My temper got the better of me and I punched the wall. The stone wall. Swearing loudly I began flapping my hand even though that really didn’t help much at all.
Why me? I trudged through the halls, cradling my sore hand. Why not Arty? Why this at all? What did I do to deserve this? Or my family? My father had been psychic with Aunt Lumie, but only Aunt Lumie (and maybe if they could have talked to others in their heads then Aunt Lumie might still be alive…). But neither of their parents were psychic. Eirene had the most magical/non-human blood in her than any of us, why not her?
My opinion of having visions were not at an all-time low. I just wanted them gone now. I wanted to be a normal kid. Who could get a driver’s license.
During the first few weeks of school I felt too depressed to do much of anything, especially when the driving classes started and everyone went to them. Even the ones who wouldn’t be able to get a license like Blake. He told me he just wanted to learn. And naturally they all wanted to know why I wasn’t coming along. Sam, Blake, and Eli standing in the hallway about to go on their first time trying to drive and I just stood in the doorway to my room feeling pissed off.
“Cause I’ll freaking fall asleep and kill everyone, that’s why!”
Sam offered to stay behind with me but I managed to hold down my anger long enough to get him to leave. Once alone I began slamming doors and kicking walls. Tal texted me telling me good luck and I nearly hurled my phone out the window. I grit my teeth and calmly replied to her. After all, it had been my fault for not mentioning it sooner.
so sorry babe want 2 hang out? she answered.
no ty ill ttyl ❤
She had taken the class the previous year, though like Blake she’d never be able to get a license. Hell, even some of the vampires were going to learn at night. I couldn’t think of one other person who wouldn’t be learning even if it was just for fun.
Knock, knock, knock.
I rolled my eyes and stomped over, wrenching the door open. “Tal, please, not right–” I stopped more in shock than anything else.
Romance looked up at me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I can go if you like.”
“Ah. No. Uh. I mean, that’s okay.” I stepped out of my room and shut the door behind me.
“It’s just I know you weren’t taking the driving class either and thought…” She trailed off then reached up to tuck a bit of hair back. Light glinted off her glasses as her head tilted to the side.
“Ah, erm, no. I mean. I’m not. I mean.” Damn it, words, work! “Why aren’t you taking the class? Everyone else is.”
She smiled. “Yeah I think we’re the only two our age who’s not taking it. I’m guessing it’s because of your psychic ability? Falling asleep?”
“Erm, yeah. Mr. Hunter doesn’t want me to–I mean, uh, I agree with him, I don’t wanna be behind the wheel and you know. Risk. Killing anyone.” Romance nodded in agreement. “But you…?”
“Oh, it’s nothing so frightening as your reason,” she said with a laugh. “It’s just I’m not permitted. My parents didn’t want me taking the class. I did think maybe you’d like to join cooking class? I’m taking that one. There aren’t many of us in the class, so… I know it’s probably not very exciting for some people.”
I bit back a comment about the parent thing. I couldn’t even imagine that happening. My dad had his rules but forbidding someone who could drive to learn? When it wouldn’t even cost them any money or time? Jeez. “I dunno I mean, I really can’t cook either. With my visions. In the future? Like, if I’m alone and I try to cook something I could fall asleep and burn the house down.”
“That sucks.” The bluntness made me laugh for some reason. Romance’s smile came back. “Okay so not cooking class. Do you want to hang out anyway? You don’t need to. I just thought I’d offer. They’ll be playing a movie soon, if you want to go see that.”
“Sure. That’d be awesome.”
It wasn’t until the movie was halfway over when I realized I had turned Tal down to spend time together and wound up doing this with Romance. Crap. After the movie was done (Romance and I spent most the movie making jokes about the film since we were the only ones in the room) I sent a text to Tal. Do I lie? I could claim I went to watch the movie on my own and just happened to meet Romance there. I even typed that out before deleting the ugly words.
hey im feeling better. rom. invited me to watch movie omg it was a bad movie it was hilarious and just feel better now. want 2 go get food?
Her response took some time and when it came the blechness got worse.
adva saw u 2 going 2 theater. been mad tbh. tnx 4 telling me tho not in mood 4 food tho still mad.
i understand. sorry 4 being jerk. wasnt thinking. let me make it up 2 u tmorow? ❤
jerk. yeah. sure. ❤
Things between me and Tal suffered as September turned to October. I hated myself for not thinking when I went to the movie with Romance. It really didn’t help that Blake acted as though Romance and I had a thing going on. He teased me about it and one of the times he teased me, Tal overheard. I tried to point out that Blake was just a big giant idiot and she promised she knew I liked her and not Romance. Still, things seemed to start fizzling out. Not really out of… bitterness or anger or hatred. Just, we started to feel like the heat we felt on the phone over summer and the times she met up with me didn’t really work out too well being in person.
Or maybe the whole Romance thing did have something to do with it and Tal was better at hiding things than I thought.
In either case, by the time Halloween rolled around Tal and I broke up. Amiably, at least.
Just in time for everything to go to hell.
Sorry if this chapter seemed weird. I decided screw it and just push the story to where it needs to get to. I have been having way too much trouble dealing with the school save file since the lot is so big. It’s been making it way too difficult to deal with and I finally decided to cut it loose. So this chapter was just sort of trying to get the point where I can write again, and it’s worked–I’ve already written several chapters after this and I feel excited about Danevbies once again!