“I just . . . I love you. I love everything about you. The way you speak, the way you bite your thumb when you’re deep in thought, the way you purse your lips when you’re worried.”
“Alianna, I do not permit you to see that boy again! You bring shame to our family!”
I woke up with a start, but after waking up, all memories of my dreams were washed away and I couldn’t remember what I had dreamed of at all. Worse yet, the smeared makeup on the face of the purple-haired stranger that was my one-night stand was the first thing I saw when I woke up.
All of these made me unhappy, ruining my morning as I extricated myself from the arms of my one-night stand while shaking my head at the way he was snoring and recalling how poorly he performed in bed the previous night.
I walked out of the large guest room and nodded once at the stoic dark-haired minion with green eyes sitting opposite the door. My nod and the tilt of my head were an unspoken order for him to get rid of the previous night’s hookup. I watched him walk into the guest room before going to my room where I never took my one-night stands.
I didn’t stop to say hi to Ava, the leader of my security team, or the members of said security team whom I called minions seated beside her in the small living room near my bedroom as I shuffled into my room, slammed the door shut behind me and headed to the bathroom.
Even though I woke up earlier today, I didn’t have any meetings until 9am so I treated myself to a nice bath where I sat for thirty minutes struggling to remember my dream without success.
For a while now, I had been having these dreams, but I could never remember what they were about. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop thinking about them.
After draining the tub, I took a shower and threw on my robe, ready to start putting on makeup, when I lost my sight. Instantly, I sat on the tiled floor of my bathroom and hugged my knees, placing my head on them. Then I entered the vision of the future by walking toward the distant light in the tunnel of darkness in my mind.
At the end of the tunnel was a vision of the future I had been seeing repeatedly for a while now. A vision of the world shrouded in shadows. A vision of the world in ruins.
I looked up to the sky and there was no sun or moon up there and no white fluffy clouds either. Instead, the sky was gray, shadowed with clouds that were dark and smoky enough to leave dark shadows on the light gray sky.
The soil at my feet wasn’t any better. It was dark and dry as charcoal, as though it had been scorched by fire so intense that the surface of the earth didn’t look like anything could be planted on it in the next few thousand years.
Around me, there were no buildings or trees. In the distance, I could see the remains of an old city and dying trees, proof that this world may have once been home to beings intelligent enough to construct houses. I tried to move closer to examine the ruined buildings carefully, but someone holding my hands in the real world brought me out of the vision.
I tried to work out what I felt in the vision so I could figure out whether it was about my world or not, but before I could reach a conclusion, someone shook me none too gently. “Minerva, what did you see?”
I looked up to meet Ava’s focused eyes. Many people knew her as the head of my security team, but both of us, the minions, and my father, knew she was my handler.
Ava wasn’t the one holding me or shaking me. It was minion 1 and minion 2.
“Stop shaking,” I protested, pushing their hands off me as I sat with my back to the bathtub.
“What did you see? Your heart started beating so fast. Did you see a vision about the new motorcycle to be launched in the next three days? Did it . . .”
“Water,” I said in a croaky voice.
Minion 2 ran to get me water from the sink, which I gulped down. I looked down at the bracelet with a blinking blue light on my wrist. It looked so innocent and because it was future tech from the Avalon Company that my father had paid thousands to get, many people admired it and envied me for owning it.
They all thought my father had gotten the bracelet because he cared about me, his dearest only spoiled daughter but only I knew that it was just another monitoring device from my father because I was growing beyond the age where he could manipulate me to do the things he wanted.
“You’ve had water, now answer me,” Ava asked.
“It had nothing to do with Powell. My vision had more to do with . . . well, something in the future.” I said, drinking the rest of my water when my throat felt dry.
As I was drinking, Ava was studying a tablet that took data from my fancy bracelet. “According to this, you’re not lying, but Minerva, the new Powell Axis motorcycle is about to be launched and your father expects you to make sure it won’t have any issues.”
“It’s funny how he doesn’t trust that his engineers can produce a flawless car or motorcycle. Every launch, you guys hover over me so hard, as though my ability to see the future was given to me for the sake of the Powell automobile company.” I grumbled under my breath as I struggled to stand without the help of the people who were making a fuss over me a few seconds ago.
I was barely standing with that familiar after-vision weakness like my bones had all been rearranged in my body when I heard Ava scoff and say in a snarky tone, “You might as well have been.”
Then she walked out of the bathroom with the two minions, leaving me in the bathroom, staring blankly into the red-rimmed blue eyes of a girl with disheveled dirty blonde hair in the mirror while trying to ignore how much Ava’s snarky words hurt me.
As I got ready for another day at the company I had come to hate, where everyone else also loathed and envied me for having the perfect life as my father’s favorite daughter, heavy regret washed over me once again. If I could go back in time, I would have never told my father about my instinctual magic.