She’s getting a promotion...
He’s going to win the lottery...
His mistress is going to get pregnant...
Her son just failed the first grade...
He’s going to walk in on his daughter and her boyfriend...
Wow, now that is something I wouldn’t mind getting a front seat of.
I continued studying the eyes of the people passing by from my seat at one of the tables outside the café. My shades were perched at the perfect angle, low on my nose allowing me to just get a glimpse of their eyes, but not seeming as though I was interested in observing them.
They continued with their mundane lives, doing their mundane activities, oblivious to the fact that a seemingly harmless, black-haired woman was casually picking apart their future by just a peek. Just a direct look into their eyes and their future is bared naked for me.
I let the blurry images of their upcoming activities cloud my vision. Why blurry, one might ask. That’s because the future is everchanging. There’s no set path as to where someone might end up, it always depends on the decisions of today that shape the puzzle of tomorrow, which is why the images that I see are always blurry. Some less than others, the former is usually when that person has an incident that cannot be escaped from, like the death of a loved one, those are almost clear. Almost.
I glanced at the watch on my wrist. Maybe a minute or two more wouldn’t hurt.
It’s not that I was nosy or taking advantage of my powers—okay, maybe I was, but just a little bit. I needed this, the finding out people’s futures thing. If not, I would become too anxious and jittery and would need something close to me to look at. Imagine that you don’t use a limb of yours for a while, you start getting that restless sensation and immediately wiggle or shake or do something to wake it up. Not using my powers for a while gives the same feeling, which is why I get so fidgety. Seeing that I live alone, the only person close to me is me and I definitely do not want to know what fate has in store for me, for knowledge of the future is dangerous.
It can either empower a person to omnipotence or disarm them to submission. And I have yet to see the former for the latter is always the case. Even a single glimpse into the future leads to people turning into a frantic mess, grappling for power.
Which is why I refrain from disclosing any such details as I have seen far too many people lose themselves over this. And that’s exactly what happens. Whenever I hint at anyone about how the future looks for them, they become anxious. Waiting for their so-called good fortune—or in some cases, misfortune—that they lose all sense of their reality. They focus all their attention on something they have no control over and forget about their present in their mad hunger for power. It’s probably because of this very battle of what comes next that the outcome turns out to be different from what was expected. May not be a huge difference but it’s never the same. At least not in my twenty-seven years have I ever seen it to be.
There was a smudge on the cup at the rim from where I had taken a sip. Taking out the compact mirror from my bag and angling it in such a way that I could see only my lips. I used my thumb to brush away the colour where it had smeared at the corner.
Unfortunately, I too was not immune to my so-called powers of seeing the future causing me to wear my Ray-Bans wherever I go. Be it a sunny day or rainy; smouldering heat or biting cold, one would never find me without a dark shade covering my eyes. I couldn’t afford a slip-up and come face to face with whatever is in store for me. I knew how people can get when their future is not how they had planned it to be and I absolutely, without a doubt, did not want to be next in line for that. That was one of the reasons I did not have a lot of shiny surfaces at home, nor did I have a mirror. Just one tiny mirror tucked away in my bag for the necessary application of lip and skin products.
I took one final look at the little girl with fiery red hair sitting with her parents on the table beside mine, she was going to have a baby sibling soon... too bad they didn’t share the same father.
I pushed my shades further up my nose, covering my eyes completely. With one last sip of my coffee, I stood up and made my way to my car parked opposite the café I frequented for my daily dose of caffeine and searching the eyes of others for a peek at their future.
While walking up to my car I noticed the truck in front, from which workers were unloading various appliances and furniture. It looked like some office was being set up. Different types of almirahs, desks, chairs and some sort of mirror were being carried into the building.
I must’ve been too distracted as I didn’t see the man coming from the other side and bumped into him. While trying to catch my balance, I twisted my heel and landed on the ground.
I got off the dirt ridden path and noticed my shades weren’t on my face anymore. Growing agitated, I started searching my surroundings, looking everywhere but I just couldn’t seem to find it. If I couldn’t find them, that meant looking people in the eye whether I wanted to or not. How the fuck was I supposed to go about my day if visions of their future kept appearing before me? And god forbid I came across anything through which I could see my own reflection.
Just as I was losing every last brain cell, I saw something shimmering from the corner of my eye. Looking to my right, I found my shades laying upright a few feet away. Breathing a sigh of relief, I got off my knees and onto my feet, maintaining my focus only in front of me. I was about to take the two steps required to get to them when my vision started clouding.
There was a black blotch in the middle of white. I squinted, trying to get a clearer picture. The apparition slowly came into focus as I saw the blotch transform into a figure. The apparitions were still faint, but I could vaguely make out a few details.
A human figure!
Taking a step forward, I saw someone wearing a black hoodie with the hood covering their head. I couldn’t make out if it was a man or a woman, it was too blurry to pinpoint.
Another step closer and I could see their sleeves covering their arms, dripping a liquid, painting the floor below a bright scarlet resulting in a puddle right below their arm.
One more step and the hooded figure disappeared revealing a woman on the floor sitting with her face in her hands. Her bare arms were stained red with blood trickling all the way from her wrist, past her elbows to her washed jeans. Her hair was a dark black and was left free, spraying across her shoulders creating a sharp contrast against her pale skin.
She was shaking uncontrollably. It seemed as though she was crying.
Three more steps and I was in front of her, on my knees. As if sensing my presence, her shoulders stopped moving and came to a still.
She slowly brought her hands down, revealing her face and my heart missed a beat.
Her cheeks were covered by streams of crimson flowing. It was as if she had been crying blood but that was the catch. Where her eyes should’ve been, were two bright red empty sockets.
Her eyes were gouged out!
Two hollow pits stared right back at me. Blood was gushing out of them like an endless waterfall. Her face was covered with a thick, red, gooey substance and so was her neck and top. It was completely drenched crimson that one couldn’t even make out what the original colour was, yet she was calm as her body became a statue. She didn’t move a muscle.
I could hear my heart hammering away in my chest. Who, on this dying planet, could be so heartless to commit such a heinous act? This was beyond humane, this was absolute savagery. I wanted to look away, the image in front of me was too ghastly to be staring at but I couldn’t. This woman, I knew her somehow.
That black hair, those bright red plump lips, sharp cheekbones, she looked so familiar but my mind was too preoccupied with the blaring holes in her face to place a name.
She turned her head to the side, allowing her long raven hair to fall over to the side. I mimicked her actions and did the same coming face to face with a mirror.
My blood ran cold with realization of who it was. The black hair, the mole at the left corner of her lips, the slender nose.
The woman beside me, the woman who had her goddamn eyes gouged out, the woman who was on the floor crying blood, the woman who was victim to such a beastly crime, was none other...