She stared at me, eyes narrowing a moment before she edged closer, cradling her mug in both hands. “You’re sure?”
I nodded a little. “As sure as I can be. Never saw him buried…never saw him actually slip away….but I saw him in the process of…” I exhaled, rubbing at my eyes, hard, as if rubbing my eyes would erase the memory of the awful vision, would stop it from happening. “That can’t be real, Kellin. I can’t let it be real.” I laced my fingers through my hair, holding my head for a moment, shaking it slightly. “I can’t let it happen the way I keep seeing it happen.” I wanted to curl up and hide, pull a blanket over my head. It wasn’t going to do anyone any good…but I was pretty sure I’d feel better, at least for a little while. A little while was all I really wanted right then.
Kellin hugged me gently as I struggled not to start crying. The ache inside of me didn’t go away, it only grew, along with a sick feeling. I can’t let him die. I just can’t. She was saying something reassuring, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying—maybe I didn’t want to hear whatever she was saying. I just struggled not to cry, hugging my knees against my chest.
“Whatever happens tomorrow, Mar, he’s still here now. Who knows. Maybe this is one of those things you’re seeing so you can stop it from happening.”
I looked up at her, sniffling a little. “Do you think that’s possible?”
“Anything’s possible,” she murmured back, giving me a squeeze. “Ask any of our friends two days ago if what happened yesterday was possible. Things can change in a heartbeat.” She held me at arms’ length for a moment. “Besides. You said you never saw us putting him in the ground. Who knows what path lies in front of him, and where it’ll end. None of us.”
I sniffled again. “You really think that’s true?”
She shrugged. “You’re the last person I’d lie to about it, Mar. All I know is that things’ll be what they’ll be. You’re the one who sees things. Remember, you thought the world was going to end with nuclear war. Instead we got an asteroid or something. Not everything that you see comes true in the way you think it’s going to. What’s going to happen is going to happen, we just make do with whatever insights we can get.”
It will be what it will be. I closed my eyes and took a slow breath. I couldn’t let him die. There was no way I was going to let him die on me. There was just too much that needed to be done. I need him too much. We need him too much. All of us. Not just me.
“I’m going to have to get moving soon,” Kellin murmured.
I nodded. “It’s…it’s okay. I’ll be all right.” I lifted her head and patted her foot, smiling briefly. “Really.”
She hugged me briefly. “Hope so, Mar. Hope so. We need you, and your visions, as unpleasant as they might be.”
I swallowed hard and nodded slowly. She was right, of course. I licked my lips. “I’ll spread the cards later. I want you to ask the questions, though.”
After blinking, she nodded slowly. “All right. Later, we’ll do it.”
I stretched my hands out toward the fire, leaning forward. Does she know why I want her to ask the questions? She must. She must realize I’m afraid of what they’ll say if I ask. I sighed and closed my eyes, trying to shove the fears aside. Those would only cloud my visions, potentially alter what the cards would tell me. I’d see them differently if I let my fears consume me.
Focus. I needed to focus. And clarity. I needed both, but finding them was easier said than done. Stuff like that was always easier said than done. I looked back over my shoulder again toward where Thom was sleeping. My hands tightened into fists and I pulled them back from the fire. I wasn’t going to lose him—couldn’t lose him. I’d make sure he survived, even if it killed me, if it killed us. I couldn’t afford to be selfish and put our relationship above his survival.
It would mean more fights, I knew that. I just hoped that I could prepare myself for them. I just wish I knew what he’d dreamed, that J.T. knew what it was so he could tell me. What was it that had him so badly scared he’d switched from acceptance to full-on denial? Part of me wasn’t sure I wanted to know. The rest of me knew that I needed to know, if I was going to fix this. Otherwise, Thom’s denial was liable to get him killed.
That much, I was sure of.
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