Chapter 4: Cat's Eye
My mother used to tell me a story about a woman she knew who was born with a cat’s eye; one yellow-green eye, her other, a normal blue. I had never met this woman, and from an early age, I hoped I never would.
Supposedly, the cat’s eye was made into a stone. Or there was a stone with the same coloring, and it was named for that. Whoever created it, apparently said it possessed some sort of power.
The memory only tugged at my mind because, while I was sitting outside with Clay, he had shown me the necklace he was wearing.
“My grandmother told me this has some sort of powers.” He laughed softly. “Can you believe that?”
I could, but I didn’t tell him that. Instead I said, “What did she say it could do?”
He clutched the stone between his fingers and shook his head. “She said it gave the person who wears it immortality.”
I nodded, considering what he was telling me. It makes me wonder about the old woman. But thinking of her makes me think about my mother and I start to rip up more grass from the lawn.
“Do you believe that?” I asked, staring at the ground.
“I don’t think so. I mean, think about it. Cats aren’t immortal. They live and die like we do.”
“They have nine lives,” I told him. Then I shrug. “So, that’s something.”
Clay placed the necklace back under the safety of his shirt and looked at me, his blue eyes looking all the more gorgeous when the sun hit them. A silence settles between us, and when he spoke again, his words were soft, uncertain.
“When I was fifteen, I drowned in the pool in our backyard. It was stupid, I should have been more careful.”
I stared at him, my eyes wide, waiting for him to continue.
He scratched the back of his head nervously.
“It was a normal day, and I wasn’t doing anything out of the usual when I went for a swim. Except, I guess, this time I was. Anyway, I dove into the water and when I came up, it was right under the side ladder. I slammed my head. When I woke up, I was alive and well, lying on the deck and staring at the sun. But, I remember the water rushing into my lungs. I remember screaming, remembering dying.”
I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
“There was water all over me, and around me, on the ground. And later, when I started coughing violently, I thought I was going to throw up. I did. It was a bunch of pool water. It looked like there had been enough to fill a large bowl.”
Something about his words made me shiver, because I knew that this, what he was telling me, was impossible. It didn’t make any sense.
“But you’re—” I began.
“I’m not dead, yes, I know.” He shook his head. “I was wearing the cat’s eye when it happened. But, the funny thing was, that it was clean. There was no water on the stone at all, like it hadn’t even touched it.”
“Jesus,” I said softly.
“Since then, I’ve had so many accidents where I should have died, but I didn’t.” He takes the necklace off and lifts it so it’s level with the sun. “Maybe this thing really does have magic powers.”
I watched as a brilliant glow of yellow and green slide across his face, and onto the sidewalk behind him, and I could only think one thing.
Would it save me?