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I was born with the ability to see how long people’s lifespan would be. I’ve seen a lot of numbers that span from one year left to 100 years left. Until one day, I was sitting in a local Starbucks, studying and drinking a frappuccino, and a girl walked to the counter to order. I glanced above her head, like I normally do with people, but then took a double take. Above her head was a bright gold infinity symbol. I stared at her, my eyes wide. The brightness pulsing from above her head was starting to give me a headache. She turns and we make eye contact. Her eyes, lined in black, are also a bright gold. I blink, knowing they can’t be a color like that. My head pulsing along to the rhythm of my heartbeat, I stand up, grab my stuff, and walk swiftly out the door.
My name is Zion Adams, and I’m 15 years old. I have 20 years left of my life. I don’t know how I will die, and I don’t want to know. I just live my life to the fullest. I have the average family, a mom, a dad, and a younger sister named Ava. They don’t know about my ability. No one does.
I’m trying to get my headache to go away before I get home, because my mom tends to notice every single thing that’s out of the ordinary about me. Somehow she doesn’t know that I know she only has 45 more years left in her life. I get home, my headache almost gone, and try to get upstairs.
“Zion! How was your studying?” my mom asks, walking around the corner. I turn around, one foot on the step.
“It was fine,” I say. “I got most of my math packet done.”
“That’s good!” she replies, putting a hand on my shoulder. I smile thinly and turn out of her grasp to go up the steps. I get to my room and fall face first onto my bed, shivering slightly. How can someone live forever? There’s no such thing as immortality. Right? I think about her eyes again and shake my head. There’s no such thing as gold eyes. There can’t be. I stand up and am going to the bathroom to shower but something in the mirror stops me. My number changed to 19. What the heck? I didn’t think the numbers could change. I go into the bathroom and shower, then go to bed.
The next day, I wake up, eat breakfast as fast as I can, and run to the Starbucks where I saw her yesterday. I sit in the same spot, and stare at the door. I must have sat there for hours, but finally, she comes in. She orders her drink, and walks over. I ignore the glowing halo around her head and walk up to her.
“Would you like to sit with me?” I ask. She looks up at me. I didn’t realize she was so short.
“Sure,” she says, her voice light and musical. She follows me back to where I was sitting. She looks at me and I look at her for a few moments.
“So...what’s your name?” I ask, breaking the silence.
“Cassie. What’s yours?” she replies.
“Zion,” I say. “Is it Cassie, short for Cassidy? Or Cassandra?”
“It’s short for Cassiopeia,” she says quietly.
“Oh,” I say. “Wow, that’s a really pretty name.”
“Thanks,” she says and smiles. My heart starts to pound, it’s so beautiful. We talk about basics, like family, and where we go to school, and things like that. We exchange phone numbers. I look at the time and gasp.
“Shoot, I have to get home, my mom will be looking for me,” I say. It’s already almost five o’clock. I stand up.
“Will you be here tomorrow?” I ask, trying not to sound desperate.
“Yes, I can. I will be here at around 3 o’clock. Is that alright?” she asks. I nod, trying not to look too triumphant. I turn and walk out the door.
When I get home, my mom doesn’t seem to notice I’ve been gone all day. She nods and smiles at me, and I walk up the stairs to shower.
I meet Cassie every day at the same place, and the same time. I don’t even realize the fact that every day I see her, the number above my head goes down. I finally acknowledge the fact that I’m in love with her. Finally, when I get home from school one day, I text her to come to my house. I wait about 5 minutes for her to respond. She says yes, and then ten minutes later I hear a knock on my door. I run down the stairs and open the door for her. She walks in, and looks around.
“Nice home,” she says quietly. Ava, my mom, and dad come out of the kitchen and smile and shake hands with her. I don’t smile, though, because as I stare at their numbers, they all go down until they say 0.5. I shake my head and grab Cassie’s hand and bring her to my room. She looks around.
“I’m assuming you like the Harry Potter series,” she says, smirking and pointing the the stack of them next to my bed. I nod and smile. Then, without even thinking about it, I lean in and kiss her. I pull back then, and she’s just looking at me, the smile gone.
“I think I love you,” I whisper. She doesn’t smile. She doesn’t move. The infinity sign glows brighter over her head.
“I know,” she says. Then everything goes black.