Free touch by Melissa Haag

Book: touch by Melissa Haag Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melissa Haag
the only one to see it.  And for all of the people it’s possessed, I’d
been the only one to hear it.  My ability to glimpse my future, coupled with
the sleep thing, wasn’t normal.  Growing up I’d been told repeatedly to keep
that part of who I was to myself.  What if they just wanted to protect me from
myself and this was all in my head?
    Deep in thought, I left the library and started the
seven-block walk home.  The overcast sky matched my troubled mood.  Just in
case my psyche wasn’t the issue, I needed to categorize the questions I had and
decide which was the most important.  I would ask the most important first
    I really wanted a better explanation of what it was.  That,
although finding out what it wanted, should come first.  But after our talk
today, I didn’t think I needed further clarification regarding what it wanted. 
It wanted to present itself to me as a choice.  Maybe I needed to know what,
exactly, that meant.
    Nodding to myself, I set the first question to memory.  But
that brought me back to who it was.  Was it a he?  A she?  Did it even have a
gender?  What was its name?  The questions started piling up.  Taking a deep
breath, I cleared my mind and started again.  What is your name and what does it
mean to choose you?  Good.
    As I neared the house, I slowed down circling back to my
original thought.  Could I trust anything it said?  I debated again about
telling at least Gran.  If what it said were the truth, she’d be interested to
know about our history.  But how could I tell truth from lie?  The only person
to verify it died almost two hundred years ago.  All I had to go on was its
word, which might even be a figment of my deranged mind.  Alright.  Keeping it
to myself.
    Red nosed and weary, I pushed open the front door and called
out a less than chipper greeting.  Gran responded from the back of the house.
    “I was wondering where you were.  Did you run into
trouble?”  She moved toward the kitchen with a concerned expression looking me
over for any new marks of trauma.  They were well hidden… in my mind.
    “I was doing some research at the library.  Mom’s right. 
Living in town is kind of nice.”  Making an effort to sound happy, I peeled off
my jacket, hat, and mittens.  She stepped aside as I put them away and moved to
help her with dinner.
    “As long as you’re safe, that’s all that really matters.” 
She grinned at me impishly and then added, “You’re mom was right about town.  I
do like having neighbors again.”
    Moving to the stove, she started browning some ground meat. 
While we put together the fixings for tacos, she told me about the widower two
houses down who’d stopped by to offer his help when it snowed.
    “I assured him that with all of us girls working, we’d be
fine on our own, but he insisted.  He had one of those machines to clear away
the snow.  Said he’d be happy to do it in exchange for some cocoa.”
    I looked up at Gran in astonishment as something clicked
into place.  We needed to choose before seventeen.  We lost our gift, but no
longer needed to hide until our daughters turned twelve.  Oh, and our husbands
were short lived.  Why, then, hadn’t anyone ever re-married?  Based on our
conversation, Gran was still interested.
    Before I could open my mouth to ask her, the door opened and
mom and Aunt Grace got home.  It wasn’t a topic I wanted to bring up in front
of everyone.  So I kept quiet.
    The next day, I waited for the lunch hour with a sense of
expectation, the question repeating in my mind.  What is your name and what
does it mean for me to choose you?  I still wasn’t decided if I would believe
what it said.
    This time it took me by surprise in the lunch line.  “I like
how you dress.”
    I turned and saw Beatriz standing just behind me.  Since I’d
been looking around watching for it, I had no idea how it had managed to sneak
up on me.
    The boy who’d been behind me eyed

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