Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter TEN

BRISK BEGINNINGS

BlindSightLeoBookCoverA month had passed since Odette’s release from the hospital and Leocardo was finding peace in routine. Odette seemed to be doing well in school and spent an increasing amount of time with Ana amongst her other school friends. The normal school year had ended, but a special three-week program was in session for youth and immigrants who needed training on controlling their gifts. Odette had gone for the first week and sporadically the second. Then it was decided that she should not waste their time, or hers until she had an idea what gift had been bestowed on her.

“They say I shouldn’t bother going anymore,” Odette sighed, throwing her bag onto the floor. Finding a place on the sofa next to Cielo, she brought the dog in for a tight cuddle.

Leocardo wasn’t sure what to say. He was angry at the teachers in that program but they weren’t trying to be mean. They were just being honest.

“It’s not like we’re leaving this place anytime soon. You’ll find out your gift soon enough,” he tried to encourage her.

“At least you don’t know what yours is either. That gives me hope.” Odette said.

Leocardo rolled his eyes but smiled. “Gracias. You’re too kind.”

“Or maybe we just have terrible genes. Eyesight has already failed me,” Odette sighed. Leocardo didn’t like how her sadness had painted her words.

Growing up, Leocardo often thought about how hard it must have been for Odette to manage her blindness. But in time he learned that she did not really find it to be a burden because she had never experienced sight to start with. Still, she had known she was different to others. She was special, but not the way a teenager wants to be. He knew she hated being pitied or coddled. He considered walking over and giving her a hug as well, but then decided it would be overkill.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Theodore said that this place brought us here for a reason. We must both have gifts. And you’re meant to have something special.”

From the corner of his eye, Leocardo noticed Odette biting her lip pensively. There was a small smile tugging at her lip. He saw her mouth the word ‘special’.

Work had been tense since Nate had been fired. Cameron was as irritable as ever and Elizma’s hair color was a stormy grey while she worked. Peter’s warm conversations had turned into cold grunts. Leocardo tried to not think about Nate. Instead, Leocardo focused on finding out what his gift could be.

In such efforts, Leocardo had become extremely self-aware of everything he did and the people around him. Any math beyond the basics still made little sense and he had not become a virtuoso on any instruments he had fiddled around in the shops. No matter how hard he flapped his hands he did not rise from the ground, and even when he scrunched up his face, there was no shift in appearance or hair color. He even attempted to steal glances from women and learned that he was still no more attractive or alluring to the opposite sex. He was lost and it infuriated him.

Leocardo grabbed the leash from the hook in the living room and whistled for Cielo who came running. He clipped it onto her collar as her tail wagged. As he crouched down, he scratched behind her ear and looked into her large docile eyes that glistened with that innocence, wonder, and unconditional love that pets hold.

“Cielo, you want to go for a walk?”

Her tail wagged faster. Even though he knew he was alone in the apartment, he looked over his shoulder hesitantly before speaking again. “Can you hear me?” Nothing changed in Cielo’s expression but she tried to lick him. “Are you excited to go for a walk?” Cielo got up and wagged her tail again. Leocardo felt a spark of hope and sat cross legged and gripped Cielo’s leash as he gently pulled her closer. “Do you understand me?” Her tail wagged again and her tongue lapped at him, trying to give him kisses. Leocardo frowned, “Do you think I should replace you with a tiny Chihuahua that would fit into a shot glass?” Cielo wagged her tail and tried to pull him up to take her for a walk. Leocardo laughed and got up. “I’m not a dog whisperer.”

Edaion had a clear sky, but it was frightfully cold. Leocardo’s face prickled and he adjusted the beanie on his head. Even Cielo wore a knit sweater to keep her from catching something in the bone chilling winds. He tried to walk on the areas clear of lethal ice that polished the paths. A nasty bruise on the back of his thigh served as a reminder of how slippery ice could be.

When Theodore explained gifts could be used once the tourists left, Leocardo imagined fire balls in the streets, cars floating in mid-air, and talking dogs. Instead, people extended their jelly arms to reach the goods on the supermarket shelf, some he had seen hovering and he had witnessed a cat transforming back into an adult. Occasionally a few incidents out of the ordinary occurred, but it was not as frequent as he originally imagined.

Odette had mentioned the small but extensive library that the Dawson’s had in their household, including books that focused on gifts and the history of Edaion. He yearned to explore it. He went back home and reheated the leftover soup. Odette arrived shortly after.

“Hello,” they greeted each other simultaneously.

“How was Ana’s?”

“Good,” she answered shortly and went toward her room, Cielo led the way. When dinner was ready, he called to her and she came, Cielo hot on her heels, tail wagging for treats from the table. It was quiet between them until Odette lifted her head.

“I’m sorry,” she caught him off guard.

“Sorry?” he asked, bringing another spoonful of vegetable soup up to his mouth that warmed his insides.

“The soup’s nice.”

“Odette what are you sorry for?”

“What did you put in it?”

“Just what mum always did; chicken, tomato, garlic, onion, capsicum, cabbage…” He stopped himself in mid-sentence. “Why are you sorry?”

Odette did not say anything as she hastily continued to consume her soup, the corners of her mouth stained red. Leocardo extended his hand and carefully reached out for the hand she had resting on the table. She stopped eating.

“Odette, why?”

“You know why…” she murmured. He raised his eyebrows waiting for her to continue. “I thought I should just…well, I didn’t act maturely with…I know it was a few months ago, but…I never felt like I made up for it…I’m sure she was fine but I just…the way I acted …” Odette breathed in deeply before exhaling. “I’m sorry about Claudia.”

Leocardo felt a smile tug the corners of his lips. “It’s fine Odette, I forgave you a long time ago,” he said honestly and let go of her hand. “Plus she wasn’t into me.”

“What?”

“You sound surprised.” He laughed, brushing the conversation away with a wave of his hand. It was in the past but he did not want to be reminded of his rejections.

They finished their soup without another word. He was glad she could not see the smile on his face. Odette was known for her stubborn refusal to apologize. Once they both finished he took their bowls to the sink and cleaned up. She turned to disappear back into her room before she hesitated.

With her head over her shoulder and a frown creasing her forehead she said, “You’re not going to the graduation party right?”

“Maybe, why?” he asked.

A look of horror swept over her face. “But it’s not even your graduation!”

“It’s not yours either.”

*

Leocardo stood out in the cold and looked around at the dark night; it was a small backyard. He didn’t even know whose house it was, but he did know it wasn’t Ana’s. The graduation party was quiet without the blaring music or toppling drunks. He had hastily escaped the party indoors and embraced the solidarity of the night. He did not want to cause Odette distress, and the last thing she wanted was her brother at the same party as her.

With a sigh he realized how much he had regretted his choice. Furiously, he rubbed his hands together and watched enthralled, waiting for a possible spark of fire. He heard someone behind him and turned his head to see Ana bundled in a coat, closing the sliding glass door behind her. His hands shot down behind him.

“You should come inside,” Ana coaxed.

Leocardo shrugged the idea away. He was content out here. Ana stepped outside to join him, her golden hair caught his attention as she walked into the garden spotlight. She looked smaller than normal buried beneath the big, plaid blanket.

“Has anyone made a move on my sister?” Leocardo humored.

Ana wiped the snow off a bench and they sat down together.

“Not that I know of.” Ana responded seriously. She sighed, “It does not feel like I have graduated.”

“I still don’t feel like I graduated…and yet it’s been about three years since I did.”

“One day I am a student, the next I am not. Events change so suddenly. Sometimes changes are just hard to believe.” She gave him one of her beautiful smiles. She barely wore any make up and her lips were losing their color in the cold.

“Yea…” Things were hard to believe sometimes. His gaze shifted to the ground, the earth that belonged to Edaion. He thought of the changes occurring to his sister.

“Leo, oh– I didn’t–”

“Don’t worry,” he insisted and placed his hand upon hers. “This is your night. You’ve survived high school.” Ana’s expression softened and he withdrew his hand. Leocardo would have preferred keeping it close to hers but he didn’t want to appear hasty. He tried to distract himself. Leocardo took a deep breath and asked if he could use the Dawson library to learn more about gifts and Odette’s state.

“There is a diverse collection of books. You are welcome to look through the volumes, maybe you can find something I did not, though I will tell you I have tried already,” she replied enthusiastically.

Leocardo was relieved by her response. She fed his curiosity, both interested and stumped by Odette’s gift. “Great, I appreciate it; I might have a look when I come around for Odette tomorrow. How did you find your gift?” he asked naively.

“Well, I knew Theodore and Tatiana both used telekinesis differently, so for me it was more figuring out what kind I was best at rather than what I had,” she explained. “The empathy I developed later, but I cannot say at what age. I did not realize it was a power, I just thought I was skilled at reading people. I guess for natives it is different, you almost always get something your parents or grandparents had.”

Leocardo nodded, listening intently. “Yeah,” he murmured, “it’s surreal,” he added as he looked at his hands. “I haven’t felt this way since I was a kid, wishing and hoping to be more than average, to have some kind of special ability, to have superpowers, be Spiderman…”

She giggled and leaned closer as if she was about to unleash a secret that would change his life. “I wanted to be Sailor Moon,” she said softly. “Spin around and change clothes, fight bad guys, find Prince Charming.” She resumed her original position. “What was your life like back in Spain?”

The words ‘Prince Charming’ burned into his mind. He talked about his life, living with his sister alone. He mentioned his parents; his mother was an English lecturer and his father was a businessman. They were always travelling for work. While his mother could have found a permanent position, she didn’t want to, happy to guest lecture instead. Leocardo didn’t mention that his mother and father hated living in one city for too long, consequently Leocardo and Odette had lived in numerous Spanish, and occasionally European, cities. Leocardo had resented his parents’ living choice but they came by most weekends and spent long holidays together when Leocardo had anchored himself in Barcelona with Odette. It turned out for the best in the end; it prepared him for this new life.

He watched her blue eyes widen and she stared down at her boots. He wondered what she was thinking. Was she surprised? He didn’t want her pity. There was nothing to pity, Leocardo’s parents were good parents, and they never abandoned their children. They just couldn’t abandon their passion for travelling.

“It’s not ideal,” he murmured. “I do what I have to; education and a career could come later if I’m lucky,” he sighed. “You’re lucky; you have your whole future waiting for you, no responsibilities and no worries about money. The doors are wide open for you.”

She started to laugh hysterically and he felt offended. “Sorry,” she breathed. “You are not even half right. I may not have to worry about money, but my family does.” She described how her father handled the family finances. He had trouble imagining them running out of money, but Ana claimed it was a concern. “As for responsibilities, I can never get away from them! I have responsibilities to my family, to my country, to Phoenix. Some of them I take on myself, some are put on me by others and I have to accept them.” She paused and her voice grew softer. “Sometimes I feel surrounded by people but totally alone.”

Leocardo was unsure how to approach this unprecedented, sensitive topic. “Well yes…” he murmured defeated. “Life sucks, right?”

She gave him a weak smile. “Sometimes,” she admitted. “I feel terrible complaining. I see the orphaned children, and while I may not always agree with my parents, at least I have them.” She looked over at him and apologized for bringing down the mood.

“Don’t say sorry, Ana,” he said, holding her gaze. Nervously, he averted his eyes. “I hope I didn’t worsen the night for anyone in there, a total stranger coming in.” He caught himself thinking his thoughts aloud. He bit his tongue.

“Well, you would not be a stranger if you let me introduce you.”

“No, no it’s fine…I’m sure they know me as the awkward guy or Odette’s brother. She won’t be happy tomorrow.” He sighed before insisting he should leave. He only came to congratulate Ana on graduating from high school. Ana thanked him for coming before motioning toward the door. He told her, if she did not mind, that he would leave via the gate.

A moment of hesitation passed as she glanced back toward him. “I better walk you.” She walked in front of him, holding the gate open for him before pausing. “I am sorry this was not very exciting for you. It is clearly nothing compared to the group at the bar. I should have known it was not your scene.”

He saw her hand on the gate, it was pale, glistening. He smiled at her and noticed how her blonde hair curled at the ends. “The drama at the bar is not exactly my scene either. In all honesty I only came to see you,” he said and searched her face with his gaze. It was dark and he could not discern if she smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow when I get Odette.” He leaned in closer and rested his hand on the gate. “Congratulations again,” he said and gently closed the space between his lips and her cold cheek. He lingered a little longer than what was deemed custom in Spain. He stepped back and gave her another smile as he waved. As he walked to the bus, it took all of his strength not to turn around to look at her.

Just before he arrived home, something caught his eye just outside of his apartment: an abandoned newspaper. He advanced toward it before it got a chance to fly off and he held it up to read. The edition was a few months old, but there was a picturesque image of the royal family with the King, Queen, prince and two princesses. One was Ana, but the other…a dark haired woman who had a deeper ferocity than either of her siblings; she looked displeased despite the smile. The headlines read: Rebirth of Drama at Phoenix Celebration. He blinked and rubbed his eyes. Was his vision impaired? That woman, the other princess, looked exactly like Leila.

*

The pool’s sublime, undulating form tempted him to sink into its cool embrace but he needed to find Leila first. He asked a few of the other swimmers about her whereabouts, but no one knew a woman by that name. He left the building and he saw Leila.

“Tatiana!” he called and her head turned casually, confirming his suspicions. It was her in the photograph; she was Ana’s sister.

“Why did you tell me your name was Leila?”

“My name is Leila.”

“Your name is Tatiana.”

“That too.”

“Did I say something that offended you? Is that why?” he asked, wanting answers. He was sick of people not telling him things. He was tired of being in the shadows until it was convenient to show him the harsh light. He knew he shouldn’t have been so demanding with Leila or Tatiana or whatever her name was, but he felt conflicted and frustrated.

She smirked again; he hated it. He felt stupid. Maybe Leila was the name for strangers or people she didn’t want knowing her roots.

“You know my sister Odette,” he pointed out, trying to steer the conversation in a different direction as he felt defeated.

“Ah, so you’re her brother?” she asked and nodded as if casually filing away another fact.

“You’re Theodore and Ana’s sister.”

“Correct,” Tatiana sighed and yawned into the palm of her hand. “I’m guessing you have parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents too. So do I,” she added sarcastically with her eyebrow raised. “Wow.”

Leocardo stared at her for a few moments, dazzled. He was dumbfounded and confused. Tatiana’s attitude and personality just didn’t fit with Leocardo’s idea of the Dawson family. Theodore was so neat, organized, and friendly. Ana had that happy glow of compassion and generosity. Tatiana seemed like a destructive force in a picturesque family. Did she act differently around her family? He couldn’t imagine that occurring, remembering the dangerous scowl she still wore in the newspaper family photo.

Lack of interest was clearly discernible in her movements and reactions as she walked away. The front door opened without her touch, closing loudly behind her. Leocardo was quickly realizing how small and interlinked Edaion was, while also realizing that there was more to the Dawson family than met the eye.

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