It could have remained like this. She might have had an entire lifetime of crossing paths, unaware of how many times a destiny looked her in the eyes and walked right by and this was exactly how it was until she was nine. That was the year her eyes were opened by a simple accident that seemed relatively minor at the time. So minor in fact, that everyone around her did not suspect that anything had changed. Even Edan herself wasn't aware at first when the slight touch of a hand brought images to her mind that she did not understand. After all, it was only a slight bump on the head, surprising, but not really alarming. She didn't even have a headache afterwards. It was nothing.
She easily ignored the distractions, after all they were short and didn't make any sense. But later, as she got older she realized the person who seemed to be a constant within the images flashes was her. She was seeing herself with the person inadvertently touched at some future time. She knew this because the self that she saw was older than she was each time. Even this seemed easily explained when she considered the few books she'd read about precognition. She innocently regarded this as a plausible explanation. She told herself that it just meant that she was going to meet that person again, at some other time, some other place. That conclusion did nothing more than help her to ignore what was really happening. She hurried across the street only to be the last to arrive at her gourmet cooking class.
“Timing is everything!” the chef's voice loomed at his captive audience.
They were attentively perveying the ingredients for tonight's dish as Edan removed her coat and slipped in next to her cooking partner, Lonnie. She regarded him as a complete dweeb hoping to impress girls with his new found cooking skills, an idea he likely got from a movie. Edan was pretty confident that the likelihood that any self-respecting girl that would go out with him had to be made in an inflatable plastics factory, at best. Her body shuddered at the thought and she hoped he hadn't noticed.
“Cold?” he said with one raised eyebrow.
Edan pretended not to hear him. She didn't want to engage in any conversation that didn't have to do with their cooking project. She'd made that mistake before. He always managed to turn the conversation into asking her out on a date, starting out with his undetectably subtle, yet relentless pursuit. Edan suspected that he had never actually been on a date, not with a live person anyway.
Her skin crawled as she reached for her knife to begin chopping a large onion. She focused on the sound of the blade slicing through the layers, trying to remember what she was thinking when she signed up for this class. Stupid idea. Not stupid enough to throw away what she paid, however, so she kept chopping.
Two hours later, the class had gathered together to watch the chef taste their results. He was always full of praise for his pet student, Amanda Peasley, whom Edan surmised early on, was much more than just another student. All the other dishes paled next to hers, no matter what. Still, he was pleasant and encouraging to the rest of the wannabe's, being kind with his critiques which included some persistent eye contact with Miss Amanda. If you weren't paying close attention, you couldn't ever be sure who he was really talking to.
“Miss Tatum?” The chef grimaced.
“Oh, uh,...yes?” Edan stammered as she came back to the here and now.
“I have to say that you killed your dish.”
“Killed? What?” she was confused.
“You killed with the onions, my dear. How much did you put in?”
“I-I don't know. I must have been distracted.”
“Two cups.” Lonnie smirked, because of course he was paying attention.
He smoothed back his hair on one side and did his best to smile seductively at her. This caused some small amount of vomit to rise in the back of her throat. As everyone tidied their stations and gathered their belongings, Lonnie somehow managed to inch closer and closer to her.
All at once he blurted, “Want to go have a drink?”
“Gotta go or I'll be late!” she said with some forced exacerbation as she ducked under his arm while he put on his coat.
She hurried outside as fast as she could without breaking into a run. Her eyes were drawn to the pavement wet with red as she approached the building across the street. It filled her with dread until she realized that it wasn't the red of blood pooling, but the reflection of the red-lettered sign above her showing in the rain puddles. She chastised herself for the foolish thought inside her head until she got to her car. Once inside, she took a deep breath and put her key in the ignition. Again, she missed the eyes that were on her for the few seconds the interior lights illuminated her face.
It wasn't Lonnie who watched her. He was too busy attaching his sights to the nearest female facing his general direction. That was all he needed, that or a slight wind.
Copyright 2011 by M.C. Kelly. All rights reserved.