Read Remember Me (Weaver Series) Online
Authors: Dena Nicotra
Copyright © 2013 Dena Nicotra
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the author.
This novel is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and locations are either derived from the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, or persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.
I change the events of life
like other people change their minds. I do it for family, for friends, strangers, and every so often for myself. I have a hard time doing it for myself because it seems – well, frankly selfish. No, that’s not the right word. Greedy fits better. If I’m doing something for myself there’s always that fear that I’m taking something from someone else, or not focusing on the needs of others like I should be. That sort of thinking is probably a direct reflection of how I was raised. Those of us who live in the south understand that putting others before ourselves is as natural as breathing in and out.
You’ve probably heard that old saying about someone who would give you the shirt of
f their back right? Well, where I come from, that’s a compliment. Of course, I could change it so that you had twenty shirts, if I had a mind to. I could also undo your request entirely. Better yet, I could change it so that you had a highly successful shirt company – not that you’d ever know you hadn’t had a nickel to your name before I changed it.
If you want to know the truth, I’ve done things like that more times than I can coun
t. Fixing this, changing that. A ton of little adjustments that just make things in life -- a little better for folks. It doesn’t take much to make people happy. If it feels right and I can do something, I like to do it. In fact, there are times when I feel I absolutely have to do it. I just wish I understood what I do a little bit better. Trying to figure it out by myself hasn’t been easy. I’m not a witch. At least I don’t think I am, although it does seem magical. I don’t cast any spells, or boil toads and I sure as heck don’t worship the devil or anything like that. I’m just me. Have you ever talked yourself into being sick? You know, you think about it, and think about it and the next thing you know you have a sore throat and a temperature? What I do is more like that, only I can project it, and then twist it around with time.
I don’t take this ability for granted. I use it as responsibly as I can because the way I see it, there’s always the risk of consequences. That and the fear of the u
nknown have always kept me safe. These are the thoughts that have kept me up all night.
n’t light out yet but there I was -- wide-awake. Sitting on the edge of my bed (which I’d already made), biting on the dead skin at the side of my thumb. With the exception of the droning buzz of insects fattened by the succulence of the Delta, our old house was quiet. My mind wandered aimlessly through a million different thoughts. Death and its finality took a front seat in my head, but only because of a stupid promise. I could revoke the hold, but I’d made my mind up that I couldn’t live with myself if I did. I pushed that thought to the backseat in my head along with the other curious aspects of my existence.
excited -- and equally terrified as I forced myself to move. It was unseasonably muggy so I dressed in a pale green sundress and pulled on a thin white sweater. Simultaneously I shoved my feet into my slip-on shoes and pushed back another wave of guilt. I scrubbed my face and tied my blonde hair up in a ponytail. When I finished, I returned to sit on my bed with my quilted-sack purse propped in my lap. It was too big and a little raggedy, but very dear to me because my Mamaw made it. Now it was overstuffed with personal items -- mementos and necessities that I had gathered up quietly in the dark. I didn’t really need to pack. I could take what I wanted with me, or send for things (by my own means) later. My physical actions were somewhat mechanical because I needed the sense of normality to help me stay calm. Like it or not, my decision had been made. What else was there to do? Now it was just a matter of tending to the finer details. For example, I considered the fact that I could do things the
way. I could drive myself to the airport -- but starting my crappy old car would wake my folks. That is, if I made it that far. Just climbing down the creaky stairs to get to the front door without anyone hearing me was a risk. Then there was the telltale sound of the screen door…nope. The natural way wasn’t going to work.
things, the “natural” way was always my first instinct. Probably because I prefer to pretend that I am as normal as everybody else. I know I’m not normal, but if I dwell on that, I end up feeling really lonely. Besides, it was usually less exhausting in the end. I had a lot to learn. I knew one thing. I didn’t want a confrontation that would require my
energy to undo. That would just delay things even more. Worse, it might cause me to change my mind altogether.
This is my reality.
I’m nineteen, but because I’m petite, I look more like I’m fifteen. Daddy says that I inherited my fair hair and frail appearance (along with my freckles) from the women on his side of the family. All I know is that it hasn’t helped me much. My folks don’t think of me as an adult -- and they certainly don’t think that I belong any place else but home. About the only thing that they think I should be doing with my life is minding them and learning. Maybe that’s because neither one of them actually finished high school. I suppose that wasn’t much of a requirement for folks back when they were younger, especially if you came from a family of farmers. Daddy inherited nearly everything he had (and knew) from his daddy – my Papaw.
I guess they wanted more for
my sister and me. I had to respect that, but they didn’t know that I had other means. I mean seriously, who needed an education if you could change the outcome of a situation at will? They had no idea how much I had already done just to keep things okay for our family. Still, I was about to venture into new territory and changing the outcome of situations was about to become serious business for me. I’d need my energy. Okay, reality check – I would need all of it and then some actually. I had no idea how far I could push my abilities, or if there was a limit to them since as far as I knew, there wasn’t a handbook for time and event re-arrangement. To that end, I’d also never met anyone else that could do the things that I could.
Sure, I tried to share my extra abilities and ask questions with kids in school when I was little
. Some of them even claimed to know exactly what I meant. Time after time, I found myself disappointed by kids who thought it was a game. Nothing I do ever starts out by waving my arms and shouting “Ah-la-ka-zam!” Sadly, there’s a big difference between make-believe games and advanced senses. My imagination is a tool that I have to use very carefully. Realizing that others don’t have this problem at such a young age made for a lonely childhood in lots of ways. Eventually I just put up a wall and stopped talking about it with anyone other than Papaw. That’s a part of my reality too – I don’t let people get too close to me. I mean, I have friends but not one of them knows about my abilities. I keep my walls closer than I do my friends. I guess you could say I’m more of the loner type.
I’ve never even had a boyfriend
. If I were being honest with myself this tidbit might explain my real interest in my plans. Instead of taking further action, I stared out my window at the cotton fields. A part of me feared that once I started, things would change in ways I might not be able to fix. I stuffed that thought down and focused on the view. I just love that grey-blue light of early dawn. That quiet time when everyone else is sleeping provides me with a sacred lack of interaction with other people, and allows me a certain peace. I absorbed this now, and idly wondered if I was losing my mind. Why else would I follow the instructions of a mysterious voice that had recently started talking to me inside my head?
I listened as t
he cicadas sang their last song of the night and absently wondered how long I had been stalling. As the sun began to rise, I picked up the little framed picture of my Papaw and me from my nightstand and traced my finger around his sweet, smiling face.
“You’d understand, wouldn’t you Papaw?” I whispered. I could almost hear his reply, “Get to gettin’ Jo-Jo girl. Sometimes, life doesn’t give us answers. We haveta’ find em’ for ourselves.” I could almost hear him saying my name. He always called me Jo-Jo girl, but my name is Josephine, just like my Mamaw whom I was named after. I guess to my Papaw, there could only ever be one Josephine. Over time, everyone came to call me Joey, which my Daddy started when I was little, or just plain Jo.
my Papaw so much it hurt to the bone. Every little degree of him hung in my memory, and I prayed that those memories would not fade with time. The scent of his cologne, the cotton-white stubble that defined his chin, the ever-present coveralls, and those clear blue eyes that danced when he laughed – a million little traits defined a dear man that I missed more than anything. Yet the truth was, my loss wasn’t nearly as painful as it was for someone else that I loved just as much. My poor Mamaw wasn’t the same since he’d died. It was hard to watch her ramble around our big old house talking to herself. Her ebony-colored eyes would have that far away glaze, and her frail little hands would twist nervously as she silently wandered. Something about her mannerisms reminded me of a lost child. Truly, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Grief had taken her as much as the grave had taken him. It was even harder to hear her crying at night through the thin wall that separated our rooms.
My folks had insisted she move in with us after he died
. I think that they thought they were doing right by her, but I believe it just made her worse in some ways. Not being in familiar surroundings couldn’t be very comfortable for a woman who had lived in her home for nearly fifty years with the same man. I glanced out toward the bayou where their house had been. Now there was just freshly turned dirt in that open space. Their two-story home was within walking distance, and always served as my retreat when I needed it. I recalled a million jaunts across the field when the days were long and I was bored. Now it was gone. Daddy had it torn down a week ago. Just after he had moved Mamaw in with us. He’d said it was “nothing more than termites holdin’ hands.” Most of their belongings were now boxed in our attic or trashed.
I wiped a
way a rogue tear and carefully tucked the framed picture into my bag. My poor Mamaw. I’d done all that I could to save her, but without my Papaw it just didn’t seem to matter. She was so lost now. A fact that made me question my judgment on pulling her back from the hands of death. In my own defense, I’d done that twelve years ago when I was seven years old, so my judgment was not a big consideration at the time.
It was my first recollection of actually using my abilities
. Maybe I should have left nature alone. Then again, I could no more have stood leaving my Papaw without his Josephine, than I could watching her suffer now without him. I’ve been called
more than a few times in my lifetime, and with good reason. I get what I…put my mind to. I suppose from the outside it would seem like serendipity, but I know better.
The only thing stopping me from
trying to do something about Papaw’s death now was that damn promise I’d made to him not to. Since he was the only person that knew anything about what I could do, he could ask that of me. How could I refuse anything he asked of me? He’s the one that told me about my gift. Don’t ask me why, but he understood me better than anyone else in my life. His advice had carried me through the confusion of my childhood, and the strangeness of my abilities. For that I trusted him more than anybody on the planet. He understood me. I don’t know how he came to know about my gift, but over the years he made me swear to leave nature to its course with him if his time came.