Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter SEVEN

IMPENDING DAWN

BlindSightLeoBookCoverLeocardo threw open his bedroom curtains and saw the wonderful transformation the snow had brought upon the city. Everything was covered with frost. Icicles dripped into pools below. The white flakes clung to the branches and trunks of trees, sticking wherever the wind pushed it. A smile grew on his unshaven face as he stood there in only his long pajama pants. He caught Odette in the hallway.

“When is your friend coming over today?” he murmured as he closed his bedroom door.

“She’s picking me up to go out, then we’re having dinner, then we’ll come back here. Apparently her friend Nate will be joining us,” she added quickly.

“What?” His head snapped around. “And you tell me this now?”

“I mentioned it some days ago,” she replied, innocently.

“You must’ve muttered it under your breath because I don’t remember you ever asking,” he said.

“It’s fine.”

Leocardo shook his head in disappointment. “Keep your phone on you at all times, and watch out for Nate—”

“Don’t be stupid, Ana trusts him,” she tried to defend.

“I’m sure he won’t try anything with Ana, but you’re the pretty friend who is accompanying them.”

Odette blushed. “Go away,” she said trying to cover up her embarrassment and avoided the rest of the conversation by going into the bathroom.

The gushing sound of water echoed around the bathroom as Odette turned on the shower. He closed his eyes for a moment and realized how little control he had over his sister’s decisions and her actions.

The apartment buzzer went off. Leocardo glanced over to the door, was that Ana and Nate?

Odette yelled from the shower, “Can you get that!”

Leocardo slowly made his way toward the buzzer. He pressed the button. “Hello, who is it?”

“Ana. I am a little early to pick up Odette. Do you mind if I come in?”

“Yeah, sure, come through.” He pushed the button to unlock the main door before opening the apartment door for her.

Ana came to the apartment door bundled up in a ski jacket with yarn gloves over her hands and ice skates hung over her shoulder. Unlike his drowsy appearance, she was wide awake and aware. He smiled.

“Hello!” she said. Leocardo gestured for her to come in and she followed. Suddenly, he wished he was wearing more appropriate clothing. The chitchat was short lived. When he found out she worked at the orphanage Phoenix, he was stupid enough to mention his surprise that as a princess she did community work.

“What do you think I do all day? Sit around in pretty dresses?” she asked.

Leocardo suddenly realized she had taken what he said the wrong way, and she had been insulted by his comment. He just assumed she was as busy as Theodore appeared to be, hence the statement. Aniela departed with a stern lip and took Odette with her who was beaming. After they left he sighed and let his head fall into his hands, rubbing his eyes. It was too early for this.

*

He had seen many people lobbing snowballs at each other or sledding down the hills sprinkled through town on everything from sleds to pool tubes and cafeteria trays, clearly enjoying the outdoors. He, on the other hand, did several laps at the pool until he grew tired and floated aimlessly on the surface.

The water crawled along his face when he faltered in his balance. He breathed evenly with his eyes closed since there was nothing to look at but the empty warehouse ceiling. All sound was muffled as he listened to the indiscernible static of movement in the water. He enjoyed being alone and felt at peace simply floating like there was nothing around him.

His serenity was broken as a hand reached out and grabbed his ankle, pulling him aggressively to the side. Even though the hand let go, he instinctively splashed. He brushed his hair out of his eyes to see the rude girl he had met the first time he visited the pool. She had a smirk on her face. She had become somewhat of an acquaintance when he greeted her earlier. He now knew her as Leila.

“Thanks,” he muttered, annoyed by her actions.

“I thought I’d let you know that someone wants to use your lane to swim,” she pointed out as she retied her soaked dark hair into a ponytail.

“And that was the only way you could let me know?” he asked. Now that he had gotten over the initial shock, he found her actions amusing.

“If you say so.” She shrugged before swimming away without real notice. He knew she recognized he was being sarcastic, but she decided to ignore the implied question mark to the statement. Leocardo looked around and noticed a man waiting for the lane to be freed; Leocardo hastily swam across the pool to get out of his way and decided that he should go. Leila had disrupted his thoughts and he did not feel like he could get back to that state of calm now.

After he rinsed off, packed his bag and donned warm clothing for the cold outside, he left. He sat at the bus stop and admired the glistening white snow while he waited. He noticed Leila come out from the pool and decided to strike up conversation, hoping she would be polite enough to reply.

“Hey,” he started. She gave him a fleeting look before returning her gaze to a clump of snow on a street corner. Leocardo tried once again to start conversation; he did not want to wait in awkward silence after saying hello.

“One thing I am always reminded of when I see snow is what my little cousin said a few years back.” He paused and noticed her glance at him from the corner of her eye. Leocardo took his cue to continue. “He said that ‘it’s not snow, but snowmen that fall from heaven, waiting to be assembled.’”

Leila’s blank expression creased and she smiled. “Interesting way to break the ice.”

“I have another little story about ice,” Leocardo started. She smiled back. Their conversation grew.

“Winter is my favorite season, favorite time of the year,” she confessed. Leocardo told her that his favorite season was autumn because winter was just a little too cold for him.

Leila did not answer; her eyes were glued to a pair of young men walking down the path. When they neared, she tensed up. Her eyes narrowed as the two men walked away and he could see her fingering the air, as if getting ready to suddenly ball up a pair of fists. Was she really going to try to punch them? He became concerned. Both men were taller, broader, and older than him, yet Leila did not seem to notice or care.

“What are you doing?” Leocardo hissed.

“What did you say?” she demanded from the two men. Leocardo was still trying to piece together what she had heard in the silence.

The two men turned and smirked at Leila, but Leocardo could see the fear in their eyes, and he knew by the way Leila smiled that she could see it too.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I didn’t say anything,” he insisted haughtily.

Leila glided toward them, focusing on the one she had directed her question to. He stepped backward until he was up against the wall of the building, still holding the same smirk. The only two who were not smiling were Leocardo and the man Leila appeared to have ignored.

Leocardo started to say Leila’s name, but he did not want to get involved unless he was needed. He feared that the stranger Leila had become would turn around to advance on him next. The man’s back closed the space between the wall and his body and his smile disappeared.

“You can’t do anything out here.” Something about how his blue eyes quivered worried Leocardo. Leocardo wasn’t sure what the man was talking about.

“You think you’re so witty you piece of shit,” she spat.

Leila’s fingers grew rigid, but instead of punching him, she simply stood there. He shied further away from her. The man, despite his tough, insolent remarks, was pushed so hard against the wall it appeared to be hurting him.

He’s watching.” Even though the man didn’t gesture toward Leocardo, he was fairly certain they meant him.

“Like I care,” she smirked as another bus pulled up. She retraced her steps as she walked toward the bus stop, leaving the man up against the wall and his expressionless friend beside him. The man remained pressed up against the wall even though she was leaving.

“See you next week, Leo,” she said carelessly, and then she stepped onto the bus.

“Bye,” he muttered as the bus rode off and he stood there alone. He looked over to the two men. Only when her bus turned around the block did the man fall from the wall onto his knees. His friend lent him a hand and brought him up.

“Jared, I told you not to mention her family,” the friend hissed loud enough for Leocardo to hear. Jared rested a hand on his neck and massaged it; he was breathing hoarsely even though Leila had not laid a finger on him. Something about her must have terrified him.

As the minutes flew by, Leocardo found it hard to understand what had happened. Jared and his friend scampered away before Leocardo could ask them any questions. He couldn’t wait until he spoke with Theodore. The wound with Claudia was still too fresh to go probing her with his curiosities. He wanted to ask Leila, but he didn’t know when he would see her next or how she might react to his questions. Was he going mad?

*

In the midst of a deep sleep he heard a stirring in the kitchen. Was there someone in the house? It didn’t sound like Odette’s footsteps, which were lighter. His mind immediately jumped to the worst possible situation. Every muscle in his body was taut. A chill ran down his back, and the hairs on his arms rose.

He slid from his bed and looked around for something to grab, certain now that someone was in the kitchen. The only thing he found worthy to use as a weapon was a lamp. He ripped the plug out from the socket, ready to strike.

Leocardo opened the door quietly, lamp poised. He stepped out, surveying the dark room with caution. He flinched when he saw an unknown figure sitting on a counter with a bowl in between their hands. It was a girl. Ana? His memory suddenly jolted and he remembered that she was staying the night. He felt so stupid standing there with a lamp.

“It’s a little early to be redecorating, don’t you think?” she commented.

“I thought that…” he murmured. He lowered the lamp and placed it on the table before rubbing his eyes. He moved into the kitchen, turned on the light and took a seat at the dining table. He narrowed his eyes to look at Ana again; he could see the golden tones in her hair now.

Aniela placed the bowl to her lips and drank the remnants of milk from it. Her legs were swinging; her eyes wide and she appeared giddy. Leocardo didn’t understand why she would be up at this time. Rather than speaking he got up and opened the fridge. He blinked in disbelief, overwhelmed by all the Chinese food boxes and take away combos. “Did the food multiply while I was asleep?”

“Odette wasn’t feeling well after we went ice skating, so rather than taking her out to dinner, we ordered in. I did not know what she wanted, so I got a bit of several things. I was not expecting quite that many leftovers, so I got Nate to take some home with him.”

“This isn’t all of it?” He felt his eyes widen.

He shook his head in disbelief. Not feeling like takeaway, he squeezed a carrot out of the vegetable drawer where someone had crammed boxes of what smelled like curried rice. He took a seat at the table.

“If you woke me up, what woke you up?” he asked, managing a lazy half smile.

“Most of my family are morning people, comes with the territory.”

Just thinking about it made him sleepy. “What time is it?”

She encouraged him to go back to bed, but he shrugged it off.

“Do you want anything from the fridge?” he asked even though she had been the one that overstocked it. “We don’t have much…” he joked.

“Are you kidding? My mother would die if she knew what I was eating. It’s not something I would ever eat on a regular basis, but it sure is nice. It’s like the forbidden fruit.”

Leocardo smiled and asked her what she usually ate.

“Sugar free, fat free, gluten free and anything else tasty my mother can suck out of food, and anything with flavor I can get my hands on that she has not spotted. What about you?”

“Sugary, fatty, gluten-y?” he tried to make up a word, “cereal,” he humored.

The conversation developed further about food and then on to career ambitions and other hobbies. Chitchat between strangers had never been more enjoyable. Leocardo felt strangely comfortable in her presence and her sophisticated use of the English language. Even as early as it was, he managed not to stumble over his English. As for her, regardless of the stereotypical attributes of a princess, she captured the essence of teenage youth, albeit a very refined, well-mannered and cultured teenager.

“What time does Odette usually get up?” Ana asked, a sudden disturbance from around the corner had caught their attention.

“Odette is far from a morning person, expect cave man answers when she first wakes up,” he joked, assuming Odette was awake and making her way to the bathroom, but he wanted to check. “Odette?” he called loudly, simply to quell his doubts. No response. “Odette?” No response again.

This time he got out of his seat, suddenly filled with an overwhelming tide of panic and paranoia. Odette always responded, even if it was a sleepy grunt. When he was younger, his parents would freak out at any instance Odette wouldn’t respond. It was always in fear that she had tripped on something and was unable to call out. He moved toward her room, abandoning Ana mid-conversation, he noticed the bathroom door was open and his things had been rearranged on the sink. Had she gone to the bathroom? Why had she touched his stuff?

He knocked on her door. “Odette, are you okay?” No answer, he knocked again.

There were scurrying noises within her bedroom. He knocked louder until he was about ready to bust the door down when it swung open. Odette was throwing clothes behind her into a heap. She spun around. Her eyes were dilated, and she was shaking. Leocardo reached out and brought her close to him, trying to hold her still, but her trembling only grew in strength.

“Odette!” he cried out. Suddenly Odette lost the strength in her knees. He pulled her close as she collapsed. Leocardo’s hand supported the back of her head as she shook and stirred. Was she having a fit? She became heavy and Leocardo went down to his knees. She continued to twitch in his arms.

Suddenly Odette stopped shaking and went limp in his arms. He tilted her head. Her eyes remained hauntingly open. While the suffocation of shock and grief numbed his body, tears burned his eyes as he pleaded, “Ayuda, please, Ana, help, por favor, ayúdenos.”

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

FROM THE START (ProloguE)

Blind Sight is an urban fantasy series about a blind girl who develops the ability to draw. You are reading Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes. This volume is told from the point of view of Odette’s brother who thinks she’s having premonitions. The companion novel, Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson tells the same story, but through a different point of view. Odette’s new friend Ana is convinced Odette is a medium channeling spirits and cannot be convinced otherwise. Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?

amazonbutton-purchaseYou can also learn more about our novels on our page, Ermilia Books.

Advertisements