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Sometimes, you end up places where you don't expect to end up.
And sometimes, you put yourself there.
So, you're probably wondering: Eliza, why are you hanging from a tree outside of a nice suburban house at precisely 3:02 AM?
Why, you ask?
Honestly, I wish I could give you an answer that didn't just sound completely unbelievable.
But there I was. Hanging like my life depended on it (which it did - the drop below me had to be ten feet). My feet dangled beneath me, the white sneakers I'd been wearing threatening to come off.
I used my arm muscles to pull myself all the way up onto the branch, so I at least wasn't hanging over certain doom. My fingers hurt like hell. My arms felt like they'd just been ripped from their sockets, and my mind...
...Well, I still wasn't sure where my mind was.
The branches about my shook violently with my movements. For a second, I feared the one I was on would snap. To my fortune, it did not.
But that did not change the fact that I was currently hugging the branch of a tree to death, barely able to see anything ahead of me. It was a new moon. The only actual light came from the white suburban house - more specifically, from the room I was hanging precariously close to.
It had a small little balcony with cute white marble fencing around it. There were little leaves scattered across it's white painted wood, and a glass door leading into the room beyond.
Inside the room, sat a boy, aged 18, his desk lamp still turned on so he could see what was going on in front of him. He was hard at work, and I guess it was a little creepy that I was watching him.
More than a little creepy when I thought I was wearing the stereotypical black pants and jacket of any robber ever.
But here's the thing: I was definitely not here to rob him. Even though he seemed to have a nice house...probably had a really nice laptop...I really didn't need any of that. I was here for another reason entirely.
And like I said, even if I wanted to explain it, I wasn't very sure I could do so successfully.
But you know what? I think I'll try.
My life was a bit of a crazy mess. It's always been that way. I had six siblings - three older, two younger. Four girls, two boys. And you can probably guess: it was always complete mayhem in my house.
My dad was always working overtime to make sure we had enough money to eat and drink, and live. We went to school. Grew up. Got friends. Had lives.
I mean, I guess I was still young. I'd only just graduated home school, so it wasn't like I'd discovered the secrets of the universe yet.
But the funky thing about all this: no matter how normal my life seemed from the outside...it was so utterly abnormal on the inside.
Because no matter how hard I tried to be a normal kid, I never would succeed in being one. Some people are born with six siblings to deal with.
Others are born with six siblings to deal with and a secret.
A secret that I didn't even know I had to keep secret until one day...
My sister found out.
This is how it happened.
I was minding my own business playing cards with my older sister, Kenzie. She's really nice. If you ever meet her, tell her she's a sucky card player. It'll really piss her off. But it's fun to piss her off.
Anyway, we were playing with cards, and I was about six. She wanted to show me a magic trick and I was all too ecstatic to agree. She did it a few times, shocking my little 6-year-old brain each time the card just so happened to be the exact one I'd picked from the pile.
Then, I wanted to try.
I told her to pick a card. Before she even put it back in the deck, I told her what it was.
Back then, I never understood why this was such a miracle to her. She'd seemed flabbergasted each and every time I'd managed to correctly guess the exact card she held, despite there being no possible way for me to figure it out.
Long story short, she'd realized I was a special little kid.
Because I could see the future. Yeah, that thing that everyone's so afraid of. That thing that everyone wants to leap into just to see what kind of technologies we soon will have.
Yes, I was born this. No, I did not jump into chemical waste to get these powers (please, do not do that - I do not want to have man slaughter on my conscience). No, I did not get blasted by some radiation wave. Nor is this all some crazy magic illusion that I've just artfully crafted since I was six years old.
It's real. It's a thing. And it's freaky as hell.
And ever since that day, Kenzie is the only one who knows about it. She still is. She's twenty-one now, living her life...but she always checks in on me, at least once a week. I guess it's kind of hard for her not to.
I am her psychic little sister after all.