Helios blazed from the sky and materialized in front of me. This time, there was urgency in his voice. His beautiful, silky voice. All I could make out was the crystal-clear aqua coloured eyes that I wanted to swim through. The rest of his face was still too luminous to make out clearly, but it was beautiful. His eyes were worried and pained. He reached out for me, and called my name.
“Jasmine. Please open your eyes. Open your eyes Jasmine” he said in an exasperated voice. He was fading away from me. I tried to reach out to touch him but I couldn’t. The more I strained myself, the more blurry he became, until he literally evaporated into thin air. I woke up gasping for air. It felt so real, it was like I was actually there and I got transmitted back into my bed. Open my eyes? What was he talking about? And why did I keep dreaming about this dude? I was starting to get freaked out. I never had any powerful dreams like this one before. I also never dreamt about the same thing twice. He was trying to warn me about something, which I guess was probably about the betrayal I had just lived. Well, so much for the warning, but it came about a day too late. Thanks anyways sunshine. He was the brightest thing I’d ever seen! Even his name means light. Helios. Mmmm. Not even two minutes later my alarm squealed at me to get up. I had another week of school ahead of me. I couldn’t even think that far ahead. I was just going to have to take it one day at a time.
The bus ride wasn’t very appealing, considering the fact that I was stuck sitting next to some douche-bag who wouldn’t shut his damn trap, singing along to his iPod. Like, have some consideration for other passengers, Cumquat! I didn’t have much of a choice but to put up with him, since every other seat was taken. Thank God it was only about a ten minute ride until my stop, although the next stop wasn’t too promising either. A grungy tootsie-bar hopped on and decided it was convenient to park his raunchy ass right in front of my face. Of course the fact that I’m only 5’2 doesn’t help the fact that his smelly rump was waddling in front of me at eye level, since there were no seats left. Just dandy. What a way to start off the morning! I shuttered as I gathered my stuff to get ready to get the fuck off the bus. Man, Hamilton people on buses give me the creeps. On the plus side, no loonie-bins tried to talk to me today. Yet. Bonus. I stepped off the bus, and accidentally dropped my book. I bent down to grab it, only someone else had already beat me to it. A luminously pale, slender hand reached out to hand me the book. “I believe this is yours” said the gorgeous golden-eyed Barbie doll standing in front of me. Oh. My. God. I froze. I couldn’t even speak, never mind hold my hand out to take the book from her. She stood about six feet tall, slender, and wore a perfectly tailored, black business suit. She had the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen, with perfect facial features, and glowing flawless skin. And I mean glowing. Her eloquence captured me again. She spoke so powerfully, as if she was from another era. Her eyes started to do that glowy thing and that was when I collapsed.
I could smell the beautiful dewy meadows I stood in. I felt the mist of the waterfall sprits on to my skin as the soft breeze gently dried the moisture away. Birds were chirping, and all was calm, serene. From behind me I heard his voice.
“Jasmine. You are safe now, but you must open your eyes to the dangers lurking around you. Look for the signs, but do not be deceived” said the silky unmistakable voice of Helios. As I turned to face him, he had already dissipated into nothingness.
“Are you alright? Jasmine? Can you hear me?” A Jamaican voice startled me as I opened my eyes and found myself in an unfamiliar place that resembled an infirmary.
“Where am I? What happened to me?” I said to the large, round black woman who was starting me in the face with a raised eyebrow.
“You’re in the nurse’s station at Mohawk College. You blacked out right near the bus station” she said as she checked my pulse.
It was all coming back to me. Yes. The pale skinned beauty with the glowing eyes. Was I seriously insane? Did that actually happen?
“We checked your sugars but they’re normal. Your vitals look fine, but we’d like to run a couple other tests on you to make sure everything is fine before releasing you.”
I was so confused. I didn’t feel ill. I wasn’t even tired. “I feel ok” I said as the nurse looked up at me from the corner of her glasses as she jotted something down on her chart.
“Uuuuh-- huh?” she said in her Jamaican you-do-what-I-tell-you-when-I-tell-you voice that ended like a question.
I quickly realized I didn’t have much of a choice, so I complied with whatever tests she wanted to run. They gave me some orange juice while I waited for my results, and within about fifteen minutes the nurse came back to inform me that I was good to go. Everything came back normal. What the hell? She even did a pregnancy test on me, and that also came back negative. Thank the Lord Almighty. That news would have been enough to push me into Loonieville, which I clearly was not far from at the moment. I tried to take comfort in the fact that things could be worse for me right now. I tried to imagine carrying Tom’s baby, who was now fucking my trailer-trash skanky ex-best friend, currently in the transition of finding a place to live and afford, while working part time and attempting to finish college. That’s some pretty horrific nightmare drama I was more than happy to not look forward to. Phew. Then again, maybe it wasn’t my blood that had to be checked after all; it was my brain. These dreams or visions were really starting to worry me. Eeesh. I grabbed my books and headed for social studies where I was now going to hand in my assignment, and probably lose some marks due to my lateness. Or so I thought. Mr. Di Benedetto was pretty sympathetic towards me, due to my ‘dizzy spell situation’, and apparently was already filled in on it. “Please have a seat Miss Penner” he said in a kind tone. “I hope you’re feeling better. If you’d like you can leave your paper on my desk and just take the day off and rest” he said with his eye brows scrunched up empathetically.
“Uh, thank you Sir, but I’m alright. I’ll stay for the rest of the class” I responded feeling awkward as beady eyes veered in my direction from all around the class.
“Very well then” and he continued on with his lesson as I rummaged through my bag to gather my papers and utensils. I wondered how he knew I was at the nurse’s station. Weird. As I made my way to the cafeteria, I bumped smack into Tom. Oh God. “Hey Jaz, I think we need to talk” he told me with an apologetic voice, as he reached his hand toward mine.
“I disagree, I think actions speak louder than words” I snapped back at him, as I flinched at him as if he was a venomous slime ball. Well, not far from actuality.
“I know what you saw is unforgiveable, but please hear me out” he said starting to sound desperate.
“I already read one ridiculous fucked up explanation for what happened, I don’t need to hear your version of the events” I said.
“No, please listen to me, Jaz—“
“Leave me the fuck alone!” I cut him off yelling at him. I noticed a group of kids standing around the lockers were turning to look at us, and a group of teenie-boppers started doing some major eye-rolling and giggling amongst themselves as they looked in our direction.
“Something fucked up happened the other night, and I can’t explain it. I really do care about you Jaz, and I really didn’t wanna hurt you” he said with a glazed look in his eyes. He was all scruffy, with dark circles under his eyes. He even looked as if he had lost weight. Was that possible in two days? Ugh, I hate men! I saw pain in his eyes, and he looked truly sorry, but I just didn’t care. What about my pain? What about the fact that I had to start all over and try to go through one second of my day trying not have flashbacks of what I saw? I couldn’t care less about his pain right now.
“Ya I’ll tell you what’s fucked up, you fucking my best friend aka home-wreckin’-slut!” I told him as I swiftly turned in the opposite direction and started bolting down the hall of the school. I couldn’t bear to look at him for another second. I wanted to erase him from my past, from my life. I felt something hot sliding down the side of my face, and realized it was a tear. I angrily wiped it away with the back of my sleeve, and made my way to the ladies room. Blood was flushing through my body at high velocity. I wanted to break something. I tried to ease my breathing, as I looked at myself in the mirror and fixed my face. I nearly shot through the ceiling as I wiped my eyes through the mirror’s reflection. The girl that looked back at me was no longer me. At least not the same ordinary me. This girl had glowing eyes, and iridescent skin, with golden rune-line marks glowing where the light hit. Ok, I officially reached insane status. This could not be real. I wiped my eyes again with a tissue and stared deeper into the mirror. Still the same reflection appeared. I touched my face and it felt ordinary. I looked down at myself, and realized that my reflection wasn’t lying. What the hell was happening? I quickly locked myself into a stall and started breathing heavily. My heart was pounding so hard I felt as if it was going to explode its way out of my chest. I tried again to take deep breaths to keep myself from passing out again. What was happening to me? I felt clammy and hot all over, as if I was being held under a UV lamp, and then within seconds, I felt a fresh breeze sweep over me and it cooled me right down. I looked back down at my arms and the top of my hands and realized the iridescence and the golden rune marks were gone. Was I morphing into something? Or was I seriously losing my marbles? Man I needed a shrink and stat! I took one last look at myself in the mirror, to confirm I was back to my ordinary self again, and pulled my hoodie over my head. I opted to skip my next class and make a run for home, wherever that was now.
I had nearly forgotten about the appointment I had at 7pm to see an apartment tonight. “Shit!” I scowled as I slurped down the last of my soup.
“Sweetie” my mom said in her stern tone as she narrowed her eyes at me.
“Oh, sorry mum, I forgot I have to be on Fennell and Gage in fifteen minutes! Do you mind taking me right now?”
“Ok let me finish wiping down these dishes and I’ll get my shoes on” she said.
As my mom drove down the Lincoln Alexander, the rain suddenly started gushing down so hard it looked like horizontal white lines. The car skid a couple of times and my heart started palpitating. It was thundering so hard it sounded like world war three had started. Before long, it got so bad we could barely see where we were going. The wind wipers couldn’t catch up to the rain. It was like buckets of water were deliberately being dunked onto the car. I started panicking, but didn’t want it to show. I didn’t want to make my mom feel any more nervous than she already was. She was clenching the steering wheel so tight that her knuckles had gone all white. “I think this is our exit “she said as she slowed down the car and turned into the right lane. As I looked in the rear-view mirror in front of me, I saw an image of a person literally floating behind us. It was a man, with golden glowing eyes. I turned to look behind me, but all I could see was rain and darkness. I blinked repeatedly and looked in the mirror again, and there he was. He had the look of horror all over his face, and had an outstretched arm pointing to the left of the highway. Was he telling us not to take the exit? My chest started palpitating so hard I could almost feel it coming out of my throat. I felt something like a scream within me telling me to go left, go left! Don’t take the ramp! The feeling was so strong, like déjà-vu, and without a logical explanation to back myself up I yelled “Don’t take the exit!”
“But, this is it, otherwise we’ll pass---“
“Just don’t mom! Please!”
I came across more aggressively than I had hoped, but I couldn’t shake the horrific feeling that was gnawing at my gut.
“We better turn around and go home please mom, I’m not feeling so good and I don’t think driving in this weather is such a good idea. I’m sorry”. She just looked at me with a crinkled up, worried forehead and gave me a nod. “You know you can stay with your father and me for as long as you have to” she said after a few long moments. “I’m going to find a place. But thanks mom” I said still in shock after what had just taken place minutes before. As we took the exit going back home, a slew of police vehicles, ambulance and fire trucks plowed by us. “Hmm… yeah it was definitely not a good idea to go out tonight” I said as I followed the wailing sirens that sped by us. It thundered every few seconds, and the sky cracked with white flashing veins of lightening while rain continued pouring in its horizontal fury. The wind was so powerful that my mom’s little Neon rocked from side to side as we sledged through the flooding streets that traced our way home. The ten kilometer trip home felt like a never ending obstacle park. Phew. We finally made it home safe and sound. We were drenched from the two-meter skip from the driveway to the door. But we were safe and sound. As I slung my coat on the hanger, and wrung out my hair, I heard my dad calling my mom anxiously to the living room.
“Deb! Come here you have to see this!” he pointed frantically at the television, as the local news channel blared with danger.
Authorities are still investigating the scene. The bodies of James Whitney and Ella Samuels were identified just minutes ago. Their bodies were violently thrown out of their vehicles from the impact of the collision. One vehicle was travelling Westbound right on the Lincoln Alexander exit ramp at Gage Avenue, when the other vehicle lost control, travelling Eastbound ended up heading towards on-coming traffic. Police believe the woman driving Eastbound lost control due to poor visibility and slippery conditions of the rainstorm when her vehicle collided head on with Whitney….
The television continued to spur out details of the accident, but I couldn’t even hear the broadcaster’s words. I was shocked deaf, and frozen in my tracks. I felt numb all over, and all I could suddenly hear was the rapid thud of my heartbeat, drumming in my veins. After what felt like an impossibly long minute, I gasped for breath and shook myself back to reality.
“That was the exit we were supposed to take, and then… then Jasmine told me not to take it” my mom was telling my dad in a voice of disbelief. “This just happened, at ten to seven, which was right about the time we were headed there” she continued. I knew she was right because as I had that vision, I glanced at the car clock just as mom was about to take the exit. It was exactly 6:50pm according to my mom’s car clock. I stood dumbfounded in the living room as my mom finished her sentence, and our eyes met. “Things happen for a reason, I guess” I said as I shrugged, and made my way back up to my temporary bedroom.