A Gift or A Curse

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A gift is not just something wrapped in pretty paper with a gigantic bow that is supposed to show our love for one another. A gift can be something completely different.
Any ordinary person could have any simple gift, like the gift to forgive or the gift of saying ‘sorry’ and meaning it or the gift of having bewildering beauty.

I’ve never been sure if my gift was a gift or a curse. Of course my mother said it was a gift but she could just be lying to protect my feelings. I’ll never know because she’ll never give in.

I can see things before they happen. I don’t like to put a label on it but I guess you could call me a ‘psychic’. I have flashes of the near future. I see silly things like what’s for dinner on Tuesday night or what Christmas presents I will receive. Things like that.
It’s quite frustrating really. I can’t help it.
I’ve had it since I was born, 19 years. That’s a long time. Some of my ‘visions’ pass me by but some really stand out from the rest. In 1995 when my mother was expecting a baby I foresaw that it would be a girl and now 14 years later I have a sister, Annie. Seven months ago I saw a Volvo car with a red ribbon addressed to me. Now I have my driver’s licence but my mother won’t let me go anywhere when the roads are so icy.

When I was only 11 months old I remember seeing a man packing his bags and yelling ‘This is far too overwhelming’. The next day my father left us, my mother and I.
I only knew my father for those 11 months and I haven’t seen him since. He and my mother were never married. They were together only a short time before I came along. He sends birthday presents and Christmas presents. He sent me rare crystals from India and incredible fabrics from Jordan and Iraq and Africa. He travelled a lot so he never visited. Mom says that’s one of the reasons why he left. He didn’t want to settle down with a family, he wanted to explore the world. After he stopped travelling he married a widow with two daughters. His wife has agoraphobia. How very ironic.

Mom had no other boyfriends except Fred, Annie’s father. Fred is a truly amazing guy. He is a very enthusiastic primary school teacher. He has this long, black, leather jacket. Two years after Fred and mom started dating Annie came into the picture. So I guess really she’s my half sister but I love her all the same which can be hard because she’ll only accept the best presents for her birthday so I’ve been saving up to buy her this gorgeous jacket (which means having a job. That’s not that bad but if I knew what was going to happen today then I would have dreaded coming home from work).

I came home from Mama Neo (the Italian Restaurant I work at. It’s the best paid job within walking distance and Mom pushes me to use my carbon footprint as little as possible. She is very eco-friendly).

After freezing in the slippery Winter Wonderland that is the outdoors, I quickly measured out some milk into the glass jug with faded markings of ‘oz’ and ‘ml’ and popped the jug into the microwave. ‘Two minutes, ten seconds should do the job’ I thought to myself. I took out my Sesame Street mug and put in three tablespoons of cocoa powder. The microwave dinged. I gently poured the milk into the mug, mixing the light brown liquid while humming ‘9 Crimes’. Finished. Time to drink.

As I approached the double doors into the sitting room I suddenly dropped my mug. In that second I zapped into another world created by my mind. Well, it was just another vision but I knew exactly what I would see.

I’ve been having the same reoccurring vision over and over. I was right- that night wasn’t going to be any different. I see it every night or morning as if it’s trying to say something.

There’s a funeral. The coffin is carried up an empty road by six men and it’s raining heavily. Behind the coffin I can see the back of a girl that looks to be the same age as my sister. Perhaps the girl is one of my sister’s numerous friends? There are pink tulips upon the coffin. Then my vision flickers to the burial of whoever is inside the dark, mahogany coffin. The men lower the coffin into the black pit of earth in the ground. The mysterious girl walks over to the grave stone with a bouquet of pink tulips but I still can’t see her face and before she gets close enough for me to see the engravings on the stone, it’s over.
I was back to reality. I heard Mom ‘Eliza, is that you? What’s going on?’ I heard her footsteps and the door opened. Fred stood there. ‘What happened?’

‘Oh,’ I looked down to my feet at the shattered mug and spilled hot chocolate, ‘Oh that? It’s nothing. I’ll clean it up. I just got a-a fright’.

Fred knows that I’m a ‘psychic’. It’s just; sometimes I don’t like to talk about it to him. Not just to him, but to everyone. Annie always asks me about it. She doesn’t mean to upset me but when she asks me if she can bring me in for ‘show and tell’ I can’t help losing my temper.

Fred winked at me and told me to go in and sit with my mother and that he’d be in momentarily.

That wink he gave me, I just have a feeling I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.

I dragged myself into the sitting room and sat down next to my Mom on our squishy couch.

‘Are you okay darling?’ Mom asked me.

‘Yeah, I’m fine. I just had that vision again. It’s beginning to...’

‘To what?’

‘T-to scare me’

‘Oh sweet heart, don’t worry your pretty little head’

‘Mom, come on. I’m not your pink-loving six year old daughter anymore. Face it, I’ve grown up!’

I staggered out the doors only to bump into Fred, holding three cups of hot cocoa.
‘Where are you going? I made hot cocoa for all!’
I kept walking to the stairs but then I paused, ‘I’m not a child. I can make my own hot chocolate’.
I ran up the stairs with such fury and speed I thought I was on fire. I never want to feel like that again. I’ll never go too fast again.

I changed into my pyjamas and sneaked downstairs to retrieve my mug of hot chocolate. Success – I was not caught surrendering and drinking the liquid of forgiveness, the cocoa of surrender. I was sick of being treated like a child, I’m nineteen for peat sake!

I hopped into bed and before I knew it I wasn’t in control of what was laid out before my eyes... my mom shouting at me. She says ‘You may think you’re in charge but you’re not.’ I cry. I run outside and drive away. The clock says 10.23pm.

I’m back and it’s over. The clock now says 10.12pm.

I have to get out of this house to prevent my vision from coming true if it does... well who knows what could happen? I’ll simply drive to Browne’s shop and back and the visions expectancy time will have passed.

I quickly put on my ‘glee tee’ and some black jeans. I lace my converse and slip them on. I grab my Abercrombie and Fitch jumper and tip-toe downstairs.
‘Where do you think you’re going, madam?’ says my mother as I look for my car keys in the hall drawer.
‘I really have to go mom. I’ll be right back,’ I reply, hoping that she’ll let me out of her sight for five minutes.
‘Nope. You’re not leaving this house to go to any party or what not!’ she insists.
‘It’s not a party. It’s nothing and I have to go. Please? I’ll be back in five minutes!’
‘No way am I letting you leave this house at this hour. You may think you’re in charge but you’re not’.
I burst into tears. I glance at the clock – 10.23.

I try to save myself but I run outside and drive away. I want to go. Go away from my gift or my curse and I push hard on the accelerator.

Unfortunately I miss a stop sign.

The next day the news reader reads ‘Nineteen year old, Eliza Morso has tragically died in a car accident due to the icy conditions. Her funeral will be held in her local town, Wilkenrough. A moment’s silence for Eliza. The family has requested her favourite flower, pink tulips’.

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