This is another First Time post, this time focusing on a First Argument. I might be stretching this one a little bit, because I sincerely doubt this is the first argument any of these characters have ever had, but it’s the first in this story, and this is related to the First Meeting post which you can read here.
After a thoughtful moment Grandpa asked the question I had been dreading. “What did you see?”
Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I told them everything I had seen. The blood, the slashed and mangled body, and the fact that it was a young women. That part hadn’t registered with me at first, but replaying that horrible scene in my head I saw she had been beautiful. Before he got to her. Brown hair, as best I could tell through the blood. And her face had been untouched. Clean, actually.
At my descriptions, Gran’s lips pursed in anger. I’m not sure if it was anger at what had been done to the poor girl or anger at my having seen it. Probably a bit of both.
“Could you tell if it was a memory or a something the person was just thinking about?” That was my dad, always straight to the point.
“No way to tell unless it was a conscious thought. And it wasn’t.”
“Do you know who you got the vision off?”
“I…no. There were so many people getting of the ferry the same time we were. I was bumped from behind and ran into a couple of people in front of me because of that. But I couldn’t tell you what any of them looked like. It was just an ordinary crowd.”
Will pushed the plate of cookies towards me, knowing how much I loved them. I’m sure he was hoping to help cheer me up, but I couldn’t eat. The sights I had seen kept swirling in my head like a tornado of blood and gore.
“What do we do with this information?” Grandpa asked.
“What information?” Dad countered. “The information that my psychic teenage daughter saw what could have simply been a sick psycho’s fantasy when she brushed up against some unknown person in a large crowd? Maybe it was a scene from a movie that stuck with someone. Maybe it was…”
But before Dad could keep going, I interrupted. “It was real. I don’t know if it was past, present, or future, but it was real.”
Gran put her hand over mine. “How do you know that?”
“The rage and the…the…pleasure behind it. It was a feeling of pride, I think. Pride in the scene and the act. I think that’s how the vision got through my defenses. It was the strength of the emotions that allowed it to push through, maybe even helped it.”
“I repeat,” Grandpa said, “what do we do with this information?
Everyone looked at me, but it was Dad who spoke. “We do nothing with it. We don’t know that it means anything or even have any concrete details we can pass to anyone.”
“Dad,” I said quietly, meeting his stare with one of my own, “you know that’s not possible. You know that’s not what mom would have done. I have to go to the police.”
“Absolutely not,” Dad said. “There is no way I’m letting my teenage daughter tell the police she may have seen a crime scene in someone’s head because she’s psychic. At best, they’ll blow her off. At worst, they’ll try to lock her up thinking she’s mentally ill.”
“Now, we should talk about this,” Gran said. “Maybe she can tell them something useful.”
“And what exactly would that be?” I had never heard my dad speak to Gran in that tone of voice and apparently she hadn’t either.
“Don’t you take that tone with me, Robert Matthews,” she said. “I am still your mother, I don’t care how old you are.”
“Yes, you are. And I’m Francie’s dad, so I get to decide what’s best for her.”
“What about what Francie thinks?” Will asked, his quiet voice drawing attention from everyone. “She’s the one who saw it, she’s the one who has those pictures stuck her in head now. Shouldn’t she be the one to decide the next steps, if there are any?”
I smiled at him gratefully before meeting my dad’s gaze again. “You know I have to say something. What did mom always tell me? With great power comes great responsibility.”
“That’s from Spiderman,” he said with a sad smile.
“I know that. But the sentiment is the same and she meant it. Mom always said because I had this extra sense that allowed me to see what others couldn’t, I had to help if I saw an opportunity. What if that poor woman I saw on the table is still alive right now and I could help save her? How can I walk away from that?”
Dad leaned back in his chair and ran his fingers through his hair, making it stand up straight. “You don’t know what it’s like, Francie, to try to tell someone you have knowledge that you absolutely shouldn’t have. I saw your mother try time and again to tell people things they didn’t want to hear, it didn’t end well. Many times either they didn’t believe and she wasn’t able to change anything or they listened to her and became suspicious of how she knew what she knew. I don’t want that for you.”
“I know,” I said. “I know you want to protect me dad, but when it comes to this, you just can’t. This is my ability, my call.” Dad stared at me for a second with sad eyes before standing up and walking out of the room.