Friday, February 27, 2015


When I pulled up I didn't expect to see my mom wearing a white hat to block the sun, a light green shirt, khaki shorts, and her typical smile. In one hand was a glass of lemonade and in the other was a cigarette with a thin stream of smoke coming from it. I pushed open my rusted door and stepped out onto the gravel driveway.
"Cynthi, I'm happy you could make it!" she called from her lawn chair. She set her now empty lemonade glass onto the dead grass. I could see where she'd set lawn chairs all over the yard, where, in the few places there was grass, it was flattened. In front of her sat the kiddy pool I remembered me and my older brother swimming in as kids. It was now filled with wet leaves and spiders.
"Mom , why're you out here?"
"Cynthi, you know what the doctor said. I'm going to die. There's nothing he can do, let alone me," my mother had a raspy, masculine voice that let you know she had always been a smoker. What you couldn't tell from her voice was that she was in the early stages of lung cancer.
"At least don't smoke," I told her as I pulled a lawn chair for myself over next to her.
"Oh, you always were the good one. That's why your were my least favorite," she joked. She threw the cigarette into the grass and stomped on it. We both laughed. It had always been a joke among us that. That my way of always trying to take care of her had gotten on her nerves.
"So, mom, why'd you call me? Is everything alright?" She laughed a laugh that was raspier than her voice.
"Yes Cynthi, everything is fine. There's, well, uh, something I need to tell you." This was the first time I'd heard my mom pause mid-sentence. She had always been so direct with her ideas. Her sudden stutter made me nervous.
"What is it mom?"
"Our family has, um, always had special charms as my dad called 'em."
"You mean our drinking?" I asked. She laughed again. Her family had always had a bad drinking problem. From her dad, to her, to my older brother. We knew it wasn't a joke, but we also knew that a 60 year old with lung cancer shouldn't smoke.
"No, not that. We have... powers."
"Powers?" I was becoming less nervous and more confused.
"I guess the best place to start would be with Arthur," she said. It was the first time I had heard her say my older brothers name since he'd passed away.
"He could move things Cynthia. He could move things without touching them." I thought she was delirious. Too much sun? Not enough sleep? None of it sounded like my mom.
"You mean like, super powers?"
"Yeah. Kind of. I think in science fiction they called it telekinesis."
"So, he could move things with his mind?" I wanted to tell my mom this was silly, she was joking. I could tell she wasn't.
"He could. But it wasn't only him. My dad had powers, I have powers," she explained it intensely. Moving her hands and shaking her head. I could tell she was regretting throwing that cigarette into the grass.
"So, you're telekinetic too?"
"No. We  all have different powers. My dad could look at people and persuade them to do things," with this I began thinking about how grandpa used to tell us to do chores and things when he visited. We always listened. "I can, heal people."
"Heal people?"
"When Arthur was... sick... I wanted to use it to save him," her eyes began to water. She almost never cried. It made me want to cry with her.
"Why didn't you?"
"Your dad said not to. He said people would wonder how we had cured him, how he had lived. He wouldn't even be our kid anymore but would live in a hospital, being poked and prodded in order to find out the truth," she was sobbing now, "Your dad was right, of course. He always was," she kind of laughed now. The laughing through the crying came out almost as a groan and sounded somewhat like her voice before the smoke. It made me smile a little, despite all of the crying.
"So... do I have powers?" She wiped away the tears.
"Yes Cynthia, you have them too. You just need to discover them. That's why I'm telling you. I'm going to die soon and I won't be able to help you when you discover it," she stopped crying. She picked up the glass, remembered that it was empty and set it back down.
"Can't you just heal yourself?" I asked.
"You know I can't Cynthia," she sighed. Her tears were gone. She was getting out another cigarette. I decided against telling her not to. "You can go now. Unless you wanna stay for dinner."
"I have plans," I explained.
"Okay. I'll see you later sweetie." I leaned down and kissed her. She was never one to kiss back, she always hid her feelings for whatever reason. But this time, she kissed back.
"I'll see you mom." I opened my rusted red car door and got in. I looked out the window at my mom, who was waving. I waved back, looking at the kiddy pool again. Suddenly, in a small flash I saw me and Arthur in the pool. It was Fourth of July and we were spraying each other with water guns. Then it was gone. The third glimpse of the past that day. I pulled out, across the rickety gravel.

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