Window Seat

So here’s a short story I just thought up and wanted to share.

DISCLAIMER: The views and concepts portrayed are purely fictional and do not in any way express the views of the author.

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Audrey and I have been best friends for eight years, and in that time, the only thing we’ve fought over was who’d get the window seat on the bus.

Now in tenth grade, we’d usually wake up and start snap chatting each other as soon as we looked presentable.

When I was ready to go, I’d text her and tell her I was leaving. Then I’d wait about five minutes to let her pack up the piles of homework she was checking for completion.

We usually left our houses at the same time, and we’d meet each other in the middle of the road and walk to the bus stop together.

Today was no exception.

I really love Audrey. Even if she’s the smart, hot, teachers pet and I was voted most likely to be a juvenile delinquent last year, we’re best friends.

We just understand each other. We might not understand what it all is, the way I don’t understand her OCD and she doesn’t understand my sloppiness, but we understand that those quirks make us who we are. We certainly won’t embrace those qualities (much to my mother’s disappointment) but we also couldn’t imagine the other without them.

When it comes to choosing an outstanding quality, I admire her brilliance as evidenced in her 4.0 GPA. She says she admires my capacity to love selflessly.

The most unique thing about me is my night visions. The most unique thing about her is that she doesn’t question them, and she even understands a few.

Those visions are always the meat of our morning conversation, although today I pretended to still be concerned with yesterday’s.

While we continued the conversation, I found myself contemplating our unique bond. The only times we really talked were before and after school, or school events.

Neither of us went to the other’s birthday parties. As soon as we got to school, she would be surrounded by a crowd of hopeful next boyfriends and I’d meet up with my own “bad boy” version of her crowd.

We’d never even been inside each other’s houses.

But somehow, she understood me.

I turned my attention back to the conversation.

“How hard do you think it would be to stop a prediction from coming true?” I asked, referencing the moment when a certain phrase or warning entered my vision.

“You can only delay it. It’s going to happen, and delaying it will probably only make it worse,” she answered thoughtfully.

I didn’t see how it could be worse. Then, as the bus pulled up and she turned to say her classic line, I understood.

“Let’s flip for the window seat. Heads I win, tails you lose.”

“Let’s not,” I threw back, a chill of fear settling down my spine as I saw the possibilities.

“Aw, come on, maybe you’ll win this time!”

“Audrey, you of all people should know that when it comes to cheating, I will always win,” I reminded her.

“Maybe you’re just rubbing off on me then,” she suggested.

Suddenly, the choice was mine, but it was an impossible choice. Or it was until I looked into her face through what she called my third eye. In that instant, my choice was made.

“How about Bear-Hunter-Ranger this time?” I suggested.

I knew that my idea could potentially destroy her trust and our long term friendship, but at this point, the only thing that mattered was getting the window seat.

“Sure,” she agreed, and a pang of bittersweet sadness went through my heart as I thought, street smart is something she’ll never be. I’d have to find someone new to protect her. If I had time, I would have.

The moment she turned her back, however, I ran past her to our seat. After three seconds, she turned around pointing an air gun at…nothing.

“Sal!” She yelled, following me angrily. “Do you just not care anymore? You held out on me all morning about what you saw last night, and now you’re lying to me just to get to a stupid seat?”

I could have pointed out that she never found it stupid when she won, but the bus started moving, and I was forced to force to renter my one true nightmare.

“I’m sorry, Audrey,” was all I had time to say before my third eye opened and last night’s vision returned.

This time, however, everyone else could see it too. Eighteen wheels of steel barreling toward the bus.

I turned to face the window and tuned out every thought except for “Save Audrey” as my nightmare came to life.

My friends helped me protect the bus, but they demanded payment.

So it was that the entire bus was protected except for my seat, the barrier between me and my best friend being a foreshadow of the days to come after I joined my friends forever.

At the impact, the past, present, and future all flashed through my mind. I saw Audrey live a good life. I saw the police puzzle over the complexity and impossibility of the accident, and the last thing I saw was the vision from last night.

Along with the scene in front of me was my warning:

Avoid the window seat at all costs.

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