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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter NINE

MOURNING CHANGES

BlindSightLeoBookCoverOdette slept through the night. Very few times did her movements alert Leocardo as he tried to sleep in the chair by her bed. Although it looked like a soft marshmallow, it contained taut and ill shaped blocks of hardened foam, making her sleep much more peaceful than his.

Her voice broke the disgruntled sleep he was experiencing. “Leo?”

She moved her head as she repeated the request for her brother in her own darkness that her eyes restricted her to. He wiped his mouth and cleared his eyes and tried to focus on her. “Si?

Her head snapped to the direction of his voice.

She wanted more answers. Once he explained what had happened and where they were, he could see how tense she had become. She kept shaking her head in disbelief.

“So what did the doctors say?”

He was at a loss for words. He could not tell her about the powers of Edaion and the hold it had on them both, especially her. He had to wait until Theodore told her.

“They want us to keep a closer eye on you, but they suspect it was just dehydration that made you faint,” he lied. That answer satisfied her, and she rested back on the bed.

Podemos ir a casa?” She was hoping they could go home. He raised himself out of the chair and told her he would see.

Despite the quick in and out treatment one received in city hospitals, this one differed greatly. They insisted Odette stay for a few more hours and would not release her until further observation of her mental state.

Leocardo sat beside Odette. Thoughts of his parents rose. This was a moment he would have appreciated their support. “Odette, do you miss our parents?”

There was a pause. “I hadn’t thought about them…until now. I…” Her confused expression saddened him. She had forgotten about them, just like they had forgotten their children. Theodore was right, Edaion was easing her pain. Tears trickled down her cheeks, Leocardo caressed her shoulder. He felt stupid. Why had he asked her now? She had just woken up; she was scared and she didn’t need this. Together they wept. No more words were shared about the topic. He wondered if her memories of their parents would fade once more.

After the required observation hours passed, Odette was allowed to get out of her bed. Odette’s irritation at being confined to her room grew until a nurse and Leocardo took her out to the hallways and walked with her to stretch her legs and exercise the muscles. They ate downstairs at the bottom level of a cafeteria with surprisingly varied food choices.

“Did I scare Ana?” she asked, devouring a fruit salad.

“When?”

“You know, when I collapsed in our apartment.”

“Oh,” he said, not realizing. He was hesitant to admit that he and Ana had kept each other company into the early morning.

“You gave both of us a scare.”

“How bizarre…maybe I’m not eating well enough,” she proposed.

“Maybe,” he murmured. He hated lying to her, or in this case lying by omission. “After we go by home, I’ll drop you off at Ana’s. Theodore wanted to talk to you about a few things.”

“What does Theo want to talk about?” She pondered with a scrunched expression.

Leocardo averted the question. Shortly after, the hospital released Odette. He was glad he finally had his sister back, alive and well. They went straight home.

*

Theodore greeted them and took Odette from Leocardo as they shared a mutual nod. “Just let me know when I should come by to pick her up again.”

Leocardo kissed Odette on the cheek before leaving and exchanged one last glance to see if Ana would pass by the door, but she didn’t.

Leocardo walked Cielo to the bar to pick up his check. All his escape plans had fluttered from his mind and now only the ghosts lingered. He could not leave. They had been brought here for a reason and Edaion wanted to keep Odette. He could not leave Odette alone and that was something he had to accept. Swallowing his pride he decided that this was home for now.

Aside from the hate he had for Edaion itself, he was still trying to accept the fact that Edaion’s inhabitants possessed gifts or powers that they were allowed to use during winter. He kept waiting to wake up. He stretched out his free hand and turned it over. He gazed at the contours of his hand and wondered what his gift would be?

As he considered a variety of fantastic possibilities and overused clichés he had seen in movies, he suddenly heard his name. He turned around and noticed Claudia was walking toward him. He felt a sudden rush of color stain his cheeks.

Hola,” he responded with a smile and stuffed his free hand in his pocket. Cielo sat with a large canine smile adorned with a fat tongue hanging out as she panted. Leocardo had anticipated the awkward silence and glanced down at Cielo.

“Look, I want this as comfortable as possible,” she started, before rolling into the rest of her words. “You work at Peter’s bar. I love that bar. I still go there and you will continue to work there so we are inevitably going to bump into each other. I just want to make sure you understand there’s no hard feelings and there won’t be. I hope the best for you.”

“I hope the best for you too.”

They began to catch up about what had been happening in their lives recently. Leocardo avoided the seizure event as he did not want to talk about it. He realized that what had drawn him to her before was her familiarity and connection to a home he no longer lived in. Now things were different; he had accepted his place here to protect Odette. He wanted to move on and start making a life for himself.

“If you don’t mind I’d like to know what was in your hand that night at the bar.” Leocardo asked with a smile.

“Of course,” Claudia replied and opened her hand. All of a sudden the skin of her palm tore and a bloody stem shot out. The stem evolved into a crimson flower, leaves sprouted from the stem. The leaves shook themselves free of the blood until they were green. The small flower swayed in her hand, bustled by the breeze. Leocardo’s eyes widened.

“Beautiful,” he murmured. Leocardo wondered what kind of response he would have uttered if she did show him that night in the bar. He didn’t know then what he knew now.

“I can grow most flora from my hands.” Claudia blushed.

“You must have a beautiful garden.”

“Not really. I can’t even grow a cactus naturally.” She laughed. She snapped the stem of the flower and it fell to the ground. Its once voluminous petals shriveled up and darkened.

After a few more minutes of polite chit chat, Claudia excused herself. Leocardo glanced over his shoulder and watched her for a few moments. There were no hard feelings, and at least they were going to stay friends. He felt himself smile again as he continued to the bar. He tied Cielo up to a pole as he ducked inside, promising her he would not be gone long.

The moment Leocardo stepped into the bar he knew he had just walked into something private. The office door swung open and Nate halted in midstride. Nate turned around and stared at Peter who had followed Nate, scratching his neck, distressed. Cameron and Elizma kept darting their gazes toward the scene while working. Leocardo wished he had come at a different time.

“Why the hell did you fire me?” Nate demanded, shifting the weight of his backpack. Leocardo wondered if Nate was going to hit Peter with it.

“I need to cut you loose. We’re going through a rough patch and well…you aren’t the worker you used to be.” Peter kept his voice to a minimum.

“I have been here for years!”

“Keep it down before I have to kick you out,” Peter pointed at Nate, furious at the scene being made in his own bar. “I need workers, not…”

“Not what?” Nate demanded. Peter waved him away before disappearing into his office. Peter returned with a fresh check and slapped it into Nate’s hand.

“That’s the rest of your pay. You don’t work for me anymore.” Then he went back into his office, pulling out a cigarette as he went.

Leocardo was still frozen in surprise. Nate had been fired? It seemed absurd. Didn’t he have connections? Was he not one of Aniela’s close friends, Peter’s niece? Nate clenched the strap of his backpack before marching out of the bar, pushing past Leocardo without a glance.

Leocardo turned around and found Nate outside in the cold. “Nate!” Leocardo yelled before catching up with him. “I don’t know what happened and I don’t mean to try and understand. But do you want to grab a drink tonight, at that hippie bar down the street?”

Leocardo was not sure what he was doing himself, but he felt like it would help someone he considered a friend.

There was a blank look in Nate’s eyes, like he was lost. His clenched jaw loosened. “Okay,” he agreed. “See you at eight.”

“I’ll invite Cameron and Elizma too, is that okay?”

Nate nodded in response. He turned to leave before faltering. “Your sister okay?”

“Yeah she is, thanks for asking.”

Then Nate left. Leocardo walked back into the bar to find Cameron and Elizma whispering to each other.

Leocardo walked into Peter’s office. Peter grunted at the check on the table and Leocardo took it before leaving the room. The less he spoke the better, he thought. This problem was big enough without his meddling. Cameron waved at him.

“I’m taking Nate to the bar down the street at eight to cheer him up, you two want to join?” Leocardo offered. Cameron and Elizma nodded, the substitutes were working tonight.

“It’s so horrible,” Elizma whispered, knowing full well that Peter was only a wall between them. “Poor Nate.”

“He’ll get it back,” Cameron noted. Leocardo wondered if Cameron felt guilty as he remembered their conversation about Nate’s employment weeks ago.

*

Leocardo was sitting in the bar they had all planned to meet at, they called it The Bear. When Leocardo went to order his drink, it was evident why. The man who served him was 6’9″, had a thick dark beard and broad arms with hair so long it could be braided. The brown bar stools were worn, oversized couches were pushed up against the walls, and abstract art covered the walls. It was not long until Nate dragged himself through the door, he did not look well. They greeted each other and he took up the stool beside Leocardo.

“You saw it, huh?” Nate asked.

“It was pretty brutal.”

“Tell me about it,” Nate whined. “Everything was going fine. Peter had warned me a couple of times of my…well…my behavior, but that was it. Then all of a sudden, he springs this on me. He fires me! Do you know how long I’ve been there?”

Leocardo shook his head.

“Three years. That’s a long time; I’ve never had a relationship that lasted 3 days. If all those years mean nothing to him then…he has no heart.” Nate signaled over to the bartender to grab them a couple of beers. Leocardo didn’t feel like drinking, even though Odette was staying over at Ana’s, he felt a sense of responsibility but did not have the heart to say no to Nate.

“He will probably hire you again,” Leocardo proposed, trying to keep the mood positive. Nate took a swig from his bottle.

“I don’t know man,” he groaned. “I’m nothing without this job.”

“Nate that’s not—”

“I have nothing! You have your sister, your job and a new life. That job was the last thing I had.”

Leocardo struggled to see his new life as a positive one, but comparing it to Nate’s situation, it definitely was better. The last thing Leocardo could handle right now was unemployment.

“I didn’t act that inappropriately did I?” Nate asked in between big swigs. Leocardo really did not want to be asked that question. Thankfully Cameron and Elizma walked through the door. They ordered more drinks.

At first they did share Nate’s grief of the loss of his job, then cheered him up with new prospects for his life before the chatter convoluted into light hearted conversation. A broad smile spread across Nate’s face as he looked at a green light above the entrance.

“Green means there are no tourists or the non-gifted in the room,” Elizma explained.

Nate looked at Leocardo who had only finished two beers while they had finished four. “Check out—” he faltered. “Wait you know about…like…you know…Edaion…people…gifts?” He stumbled and tripped over his words unsure how to phrase it without breaking any rules.

“Yes, I know about the gifts.”

“Go!” Nate gave Elizma the thumbs up.

Leocardo felt his eyes widen as he saw the fluorescent green of Elizma’s hair rotting away to a moldy brown before flames of red emerged and sparks of yellow tipped the ends. She bit her tongue and scrunched her nose as she giggled.

“Does the color suit?” she asked as she flipped her compact open.

Leocardo was lost for words as he had just seen her hair color swap from green to red in a matter of seconds. She had never left her hair one color for very long before, but he had always assumed it had been dyes.

“Ye…yes,” he managed. This was another gift. Nate’s hand rubbed Leocardo’s shoulder enthusiastically like a child waiting for him to say something hilarious or witty. “Wow.”

“It’s pretty cool right?” Nate urged.

“Yeah, it’s definitely cool,” Leocardo said, still trying to get his bearings. They laughed over inappropriate jokes and shared their recent stories. Leocardo was primarily an observer. There wasn’t much he could contribute since his recent activities consisted of worrying and fretting over a collapsing sister.

A drunk man stumbled into Elizma. She fell off her stool like a limp marionette doll, her sense of coordination absent. Nate got up, angry and shouted at the guy who had knocked her down. Her eyes fluttered open and she groaned.

“It was an accident!” the man defended himself.

“You knocked over my friend you idiot! Say sorry before I beat you!” Nate’s voice skyrocketed. Cameron and Leocardo moved to calm Nate.

“Sorry for this,” Leocardo excused his friend.

“He’s a dick,” the man spat.

Nate suddenly lunged at the drunk, but Cameron was so fast that he protected the man in time. Cameron pushed Nate to the side and tried to calm him down.

“What’s wrong, doll?” The drunk man harassed Elizma as she tried to orientate herself. The man’s fingers extended themselves unnaturally, by the means of a gift, and caressed her cheek. The color of her hair seeped into a murky green. “You’re cute.”

“Leave her alone,” Leocardo urged.

The drunk swung a punch toward Leocardo. Leocardo’s vision blurred and Cameron was before him. He had not been punched, no one had, and the drunk’s hand was in Cameron’s grasp instead. The speed at which Cameron worked was supernatural. Was this his power?

The bartenders called security and the drunken man was escorted out.

“You’re fast,” Leocardo said.

“Yeah, a gift.” Cameron shrugged and tended to Elizma who was still shaken up. Leocardo looked around for Nate who seemed to be absent. Nate’s figure flickered like a light bulb until it became visible again. Leocardo blinked. Nate walked toward him and noticed his blank expression.

“I have invisibility,” Nate murmured, seemingly embarrassed. Nate hiccupped and his body flickered from view.

They gathered together again, drinking more conservatively by switching to juice. Nate was the only one who continued to drink alcohol. The mood was finally brought back up and Elizma’s hair transformed into a golden bulb with vivid pink streaks.

“Things will get better,” Leocardo reassured Nate, taking the bottle out of his hand. Nate had been suckling at it all night like a hungry pup.

“Thanks for this,” Nate murmured. “I needed the distraction.”

They shared a look as friends. “You’d do the same for me, right?”

“If Peter fires you too, he’s truly lost it!” Nate’s hand swung down and collected the bottle. Within seconds he was taking long gulps of the beer.

An hour passed. It was nearly midnight, and Leocardo realized that Nate had no way of getting home and was clearly very drunk. He had already fallen out of his chair and Leocardo worried he should have cut him off earlier.

Who could he call? He wasn’t going to let Nate drive home. There was only one person he could think of that knew Nate well enough and wouldn’t mind helping. Leocardo excused himself and rang Ana. He apologized for the late call, explained what had happened and that ringing her was not part of the plan. She agreed to come by to pick him up, getting her dad to drive.

When Ana texted him that she was out front he told Nate that it was time to go.

“No! No! Not you! I don wanna to go home! Ana can’t see me like this.” Nate lunged away. After convincing him that there was vodka in Ana’s car, with the help of Cameron and Elizma’s encouragement, Nate followed Leocardo outside to find Ana.

“I’m so sorry,” Leocardo apologized to Ana about Nate’s state. He was after all just hoping he could cheer Nate up for the evening. Nate tried to run back inside the bar, he tripped and began vomiting. Eventually they restrained him within the car.

Leocardo was annoyed that his planned evening out to cheer up Nate had ended up disturbing Ana’s evening and Odette’s. He just didn’t know who else to contact.

“How has the night been with Odette, apart from this little incident of course?” he asked Ana.

“It’s been good; we got to talk more than we could in the hospital. Oh, and thank you for helping with him,” she said. Nate broke into a tune of, “Nate, Nate, Nate of the forest!”

They talked about Ana’s schooling while they had the chance. The conversation did not last long. There was a groan from the car and a murmur of, “I don’t feel well anymore, Ana.” Nate sounded just like a toddler who ate too much ice cream, asking for his mommy.

“I…better go,” Ana said.

Aniela turned, hesitated and then faced him again. “Leo…some of my friends and I invited Odette to our graduation party next month. I would really like it if you could find time to stop by.”

He tried to keep his face as neutral as possible, but a smile crept along it despite his best efforts. “I’d love to, I just hope I don’t cramp Odette’s style too much,” he said.

“Great. I’ll have to give you the date…” She shared a smile. Leocardo resisted the urge to caress her face.

“Ana! Home!” Nate whined.

“Sorry, I really should be going,” she said, looking and feeling quite reluctant to leave. He smiled and just nodded as he said goodbye. He noticed the profound inky darkness of the night. The soft spheres of light from the sparse streetlamps guided him home on that cold night.

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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.

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