This is itMeant to be short,
If the rain stopped now, I wouldn't be ready to go. The whole time I was meant to spend calming down before the game, only got me more worked up. And then the rain started, and we needed to wait even longer.
“I can’t do this.” I mutter to myself and clamp my mouth shut, my stupid mouth is going to get me into a lot of trouble if I can’t just keep my thoughts to myself sometimes.
“Hey, superstar.” Someone says and I flinch, it’s Claire. Who’s good and all but I sometimes wonder if she naturally filters out negativity or she actually has to refrain from breaking down with stress.
“Hey, Clairebender.” I say offhandedly, she turns to look at me. I try to look away from the field and offer her a smile but I can’t. I’m so tired and deep in thought, my eyes seem to glue to the field.
“Alex?” Claire asks and I blink twice before looking at her. Her hair’s a bit frizzy from the rain and she’s got one of her thinking faces on. This one’s thinking/concerned.
“Yeah?” I say, still looking at her. I refuse to look away, that will be like putting a huge sign above my head that reads ‘EVERYTHING IS ANYTHING BUT OKAY’.
“Are you okay?” Woop, there it is. There’s the question that everyone dreads. Because who on earth wants to bottle up their feelings, but also, who on earth wants to drag someone else down into their pit of problems?
“Yeah, I guess, just nervous I suppose.” I shrug, this time looking away and back at the small paper bag that’s been almost plastered to the astroturf by the rain.
“I see no reason to be,” She says and sits next to me. “You’re gonna do great, Coach really saw something in you.” Like a waste of time I thought, then I cringed at myself. I’m sounding stupid. But how can I lie to myself? I know what’s going to happen. I know what I saw, my dreams had never been wrong before. Sure, this one was a bit different (it wasn’t exactly realistic when the sky started pouring blood) but all the other dreams were spot on. Hailey became class president, Charles almost electrocuted himself before Mr. Hudson saved him, all the dreams had come before the day and had seemed so real. I sighed and looked to the other side of the stands, where my mother was sitting in the dream. I still remember the look on her face. I don’t know what I’d done but it had horrified her. Coach Humphrey had started screaming nonsense, he was in full-on psycho mode, he was starting to scare me. Then the sky started raining red and I woke up. I don’t know where the red rain came from, (it probably wasn’t even blood), it had been raining a lot recently I think my head got it confused with something else in the dream (maybe the school soccer jerseys).
“I don’t think this rain’s gonna let up.” Claire says, peeking out from underneath the tent.
“Yes it will.” I say a little too fast and she looks at me,
“Okay…” She says and I almost slap myself I’m acting the exact opposite of how I should. I need to seem normal and calm, not oh-my-goodness-my-dreams-are-coming-to-life-and -I’m-gonna-mess-up-this-game-so-bad-I-saw-it, that is not the mindset I need to portray.
“Well, come on, let’s head inside.” I say so suddenly it not only surprises Claire, but also myself.
“Okay.” She says, and she’s back to her chipper self. We run through the rain quickly and I almost think the ground’s covered in red. Until I reach the door and go inside. It’s time to wait the storm out.
I know the dream’s started because I remember noticing my shoelace is untied. The ball is passed to me and I ignore the shoelace just like I did in my dream and start to run with the ball. Maybe I tripped, I think to myself Maybe I trip and somehow I completely ruin the game I consider it before thoroughly telling myself I am an idiot and pass the ball to Amy. Then something hits me, if I don’t do what the dream says I did, what will happen? Maybe my mum won’t look at me like I’m dirt, maybe my coach won’t start screaming, maybe the dream will be wrong. So I see Carmen passing the ball to me and instead of controlling it and passing back as Lily moves, I take it and run. I run straight towards the goal and I keep running until I swing my leg back and send it straight into the net. There are no cheers, in fact, everyone is silent and motionless. Except for my mother and the coach. My mother has this look of horror and.. Fear on her face. My coach is running towards me, just like in the dream, but now I can hear his words.
“Are you insane?! Don’t you know what you’ve done!? You can’t change fate! Do you know what’s going to happen now you’ve done this?!” I think he’s about to hit me when he raises both arms in the air but then the sky rumbles. He stops, his face contorting into the same look of my mother and he looks up as something drops on his eye. A red drop of liquid. I look up and the sky is beginning to pour with this blood-like substance. Coach grabs my arm and yanks me, I let him. I’m too shocked to move or to speak. We reach my mother and weave our way through motionless people to run away from the field. I see people moving behind us, my mouth is open but I don’t know if I’m screaming. I’m put in the back of a car and that’s where I last remember being. Before I fall asleep.
I wake up peacefully for the first time in a long time. In fact, the last time I woke up like this was before the dreams started. I sit up straight and am about to make a very loud noise of surprise but I’m muffled by the very thing causing surprise. It’s my mother, she’s sitting beside the bed. An unfamiliar bed, at that. I hear voices from outside the room,
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Someone says, My mother removes her hands as the next person says,
“You know very well what I’m talking about Candice.” Someone else says, I recognise the voice as Coach Humphrey’s. I sit up straight,
“Move aside Mr. Humphrey.” The woman, ‘Candice’ says.
“I’m afraid I’m not going to do that. You have no right to search my house without a warrant.” There’s a small beat before the woman answers,
“You’re not still forcing that old world crap on us?” There’s a hmph from right outside the door,
“That ‘old world crap’ is completely relevant in this situation, Candice my old gib.” Old gib? I think but my mother’s picked me up (I have no idea how she’s done this?) and is stuffing me in a closet of all places.
“Mum, what are you-?” She shakes her head and makes a cutting gesture at her throat before tying a bandana around my mouth so I can’t talk. She closes the door and I bang on it just as the door slams open on the outside. I stay silent. There’s a weight in the air, it seems familiar but I don’t have much time to think about it as Coach Humphrey’s yelling,
“HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU MAGICIANS! NOT TO USE MAGIC IN MY HOUSE!” I can tell that Candice doesn’t answer because I hear her swift footsteps around the room.
“That hippie ‘save the earth’ theory is bull. Who lives here?” she says and I’m scared at how close she is to the cupboard. Then there’s a thump and Candice is back to authoritative,
“Who are you? And what are you doing here?” My mother is speaking, I can hear her voice. She hasn’t spoken this clearly since the day she got sick. Since the dreams started.
“Ma’am, I am simply the cleaning lady, these are my quarters.” I hold my breath. There’s some silence before Candice says,
“I didn’t think you’d be the kind that needs these cleaning ladies.” And her footsteps lead out of the room. The door closes and my mother opens the closet again. She doesn’t take the bandana off though. A door slams somewhere beyond the room we’re in and a few seconds later, Coach Humphrey walks in.
“Alexandra,” He says and nods at my mother who then takes the bandana off.
“What the hell!?” I yell, and Coach winces.
“You seem to be taking this well.” He mutters before pulling a chair up to the bed and sitting down. He gestures to the bed and I hesitate.
“You’d better explain what’s happening.” I say as I flop back onto the bed.
“Of course, but you have to know that it will take some time to understand.” Coach says I sigh,
“First question, what is happening?” My mum speaks up,
“People are looking for you.” I turn to her,
“Who?” I ask again,
“Important people, loads of them.”
“Why?” I ask,
“I think you already know the answer to that.” Coach says and I turn back to him.
“What? Because I scored a goal? I don’t understand, I-”
“We know you can see the future, Alex.” My mum says and I freeze. See the future. Those are the exact words that I’d been avoiding since it all started. I’d called them freak dreams, weird coincidences, I’d call them anything but predicting the future. At least my mum has a sense of realism in her, I have either pessimism or optimism, there is no in-between.
“Lara.” Coach says warningly, but my mum just shrugs,
“Bill, save the whining. She’s going to keep denying it, I know, I’ve lived with her almost her whole life for pete’s sake. It’s better to be straight with her.” Bill snorts but my mum glares back at him.
“So,” I say after a few seconds of tensity, “There are people looking for me because I can see the future?” Coach nods,
“We can’t let them get to you.” Mum says,
“What’ll they do?” I ask, Bill scoots up to sit straighter in his chair and sighs,
“They’ll train you, that’s it. They’ll help you find the parts in your predictions that you can change, and they’ll help you change them.” I sit upright,
“Really?” I ask, and he nods. There’s a few seconds of silence as I look incredulously at the two of them,
“Why can’t they do that?”
“Because it kills the earth, Alex.” My mum says, she’s always been a bit blunt, “When you see the future, nothing hurts the earth. It simply endangers it. If you change the future, then certain parts in time are messed up.”
“There are already many parts of the world that are messed up because of people bending matter. But time? That could get ugly.” Coach says,
“Why can I see the future if I’m just supposed to let it happen?” I fold my arms, Mum sighs
“Alex, you seemed to be doing fine for the first few months.” Coach’s expression soured but he didn’t say anything,
“What?” I asked him, he seemed surprise and a bit taken back that I pointed out his expression.
“Oh, nothing.” He said, I looked to mum but she just shook her head, waving her hand dismissively.
“We’ve got all your things packed, we’ve gotta go somewhere.” I scoffed,
“I’m put in a random house like this and now we’re going somewhere else? Where are we anyway?” Coach stands up,
“You really don’t wanna know. C’mon we’re leaving. Gotta go to that godforsaken base that we’ve been avoiding. Get dressed.” He walks out the door and mum follows before saying,
‘Quickly now,” And closing the door. Why do I get the feeling that I’m walking into a great big mess, and this is the start of a huge nightmare? Great.