When I needed to think, or had a particularly difficult problem to work out, I went to my Dad. He was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery. It was close enough to home that I could ride my bike there. This was important to me when I was younger. I visited his grave every Saturday with my Mom the first few months after he died. Then I got involved in summer camp and clubs at school, and I would go when I had a Saturday free. Soon, I started going only when I had a problem.
His grave marker was small, but I knew where to look. I sat beside it on the hard cold earth. It was unusually warm for March, but it was still chilly enough to warrant a jacket and pants.
“Dad, I have seen something weird. You always seemed to understand my second sight, always believed me. But there is this guy that I can’t see. I have never encountered a person who had no aura. Do you think he is dead? Like a vampire or something?”
I listen to myself utter those words and thought how silly they sounded in the cool spring air and warm sunshine on my skin.
“No. He’s just different. What if he has a gift too? Yeah, Dad, maybe that’s it. He has a gift too. I’ve never met anyone else who has gifts. He is probably hiding it, like me. I’d like to meet him and find out about his gift.” The wind blew some fake flowers around the graves; tumbling red and pink across the light green lawn.
“Are there others out there, Dad, like me?” I closed my eyes. I reached as far as I could with my second sense, and I thought I caught someone behind me. I turned but they were gone.
“I’ve done research Dad. I looked into my gift, and I can’t find exactly what I have. Maybe I am the only one. I can find people who think they know, who wish they know, but they don’t. I have found studies that try to do what I can, but they fail. And I have been practicing. I can find people with my gift now. I can reach out, search for their pattern, like a bloodhound looks for a certain scent. I can find them behind walls, or down long hallways. I can find them in the dark. It is kind of frightening, Dad. Why am I practicing this? For a guy I can’t see.” Just then, the wind blew my hat off and as I jumped up to get it, I thought I saw a black jacket with an orange bear face disappear behind the hedge that served as a border for the cemetery. I ran after it, but he disappeared again. I knew it was him this time. He was watching me. I felt elated.
Kristy thought she had found the perfect detective tool. Our yearbooks had come in. She frantically perused the pages for white male faces we didn’t know. And there were many because our school was large. Then we narrowed those down by eliminating those with the wrong hair color. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the guy. Kristy began asking around for the names of new guys who arrived after photo day. She had a connection in the office who was able to feed her the current schedules of the few guys we had on our list. We would wait outside the classroom doors to try to catch the student in particular leaving class. Most of the names belonged to guys who did not fit the physical description, too tall, too dark, too fat. But when our list was exhausted, we came to one logical conclusion.
“He must have moved away.” Kristy sighed. She loved the hunt, so this mystery coming to a close disappointed her.
“Maybe. What if he is someone we know, but he’s like lost a lot of weight or changed his hair or got rid of his acne or something?”
“Hm. But you’d think I’d have heard about that. Dramatic changes make great gossip.”
“But he’s not some new sought after hottie. You said so yourself. Maybe his transformation went unnoticed.”
“This is ridiculous! He’s gone. He’s not here. We just have to resign ourselves to that fact. Now, are you going to the homecoming game or not?”
Spring homecoming, basketball, a sport I didn’t care about, not even when my school was playing, was a big deal to Kristy. I usually went to appease her and I usually was glad I went, even if it meant two hours or more of rainbow aura torture. Something would happen to make the school buzz with news the next week and I could say I was there and not look like a loser. Secretly, I hoped The Guy would show up, but realistically, it would give me a great opportunity to test my skills. There would be more people than just my peers there. Could I block or unblock or ‘see’ all of the people? Could I search for one person in a crowd?
“Yeah I’m going.” That made Kristy’s day.
After school while Kristy drove me home, she talked about her already bought dress and how to do my hair and that we should shop for me. I liked shopping with her. The mall would be great practice as well.
“Saturday, Brynn, it’s a date!”
“Yeah Saturday.” I was half listening again. I was trying to see people inside of their houses, but the combination of the movement of the car and the distance was too much. Then we passed a guy with a Bears jacket walking up the street.
“STOP!” I screamed.
“WHAT?!” Kristy’s foot hit the brake and she swerved to the shoulder. Good thing and there wasn’t anyone behind us.
“Heavens Brynn! Don’t scare the driver like that!” she chastised before I could respond.
“We just passed a guy in a Bears jacket.”
“WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO?!” She shrieked. She spun in her seat to look out the rear windshield, but not spying him, she threw the car in reverse and backed up the street. “I don’t see him!” she announced.
“Kristy! Isn’t this illegal?” I scolded.
“Hey, I am on the shoulder! Besides, this is an emergency.” She backed all the way up the street, but we didn’t see him.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!” she sang.
I laughed. I had butterflies already, but this crazy action only made me feel alive. It was like we were James Bond spies or something. I searched with my eyes and my second sight, but I didn’t find him.
“Gah! Foiled again! Where could he have just disappeared to?” she gasped. “Brynn! Could he live on your street?!”
“There haven’t been any new people that have moved in, and I don’t know any foster parents. If he is, he’s staying with, like, his Grandma or a relative.”
“Well, we should snoop around.”
“We have Saturday. As long as he doesn’t have a job, we might see him outside.”
“Hmm, I need to think this through.”
I could literally see a plan forming in Kristy’s mind. She was most likely devising a string of excuses and lies to feed my mother so we could place ourselves in the most advantageous spots to watch for a guy on this street during the most opportune times of the day.