Razor blade? Check. Warm bath? Check. Hard liquor? Check. Excellent. I glanced in the mirror and nodded with satisfaction. Yup, halo is blacker than black. Okay, did I forget anything? I thought for a minute. Good bye note? Eh, who cares. Won't be too hard to figure out why the hell I did this. I mean, my parents knew that I was… "disturbed". Come on, seeing halos, predicting deaths? Pffft! They took me to the shrink twice a week since I could never keep my mouth shut about the whole thing. Well, bite me. I thought I could make a difference, okay? And then the whole Josh thing… I believed that son of a bitch! I told him everything about me. And what did he do? Ugh, don't ask. Just check his MySpace page and you'll see. There is an entire freaking page dedicated to yours truly.
So yeah, screw the good bye note. I hemmed "Good Bye Cruel World" under my breath and turned the faucets off. Should I get completely naked before getting into the bathtub? I imagined my parents (or my brother) finding my naked corpse and shuddered. No way! I am going to keep as much dignity as possible in this situation.
I took a huge gulp out of the liquor bottle and coughed when it burned my throat. Ugh, if this crap will make me throw up, I'll be livid. I carefully sat the bottle on the sink and shook my head. Even one gulp of this stuff was enough to make me feel funny. Good God… I guess the fact that I barely drink and that I haven't had any food since last night… Oh well. Who cares. I picked up the razor blade and looked at it critically. Okay, looks sharp enough. Good deal. I started to take my socks off, getting ready to get into the bath tub with my T-shirt and shorts on, when I've heard someone sigh deeply right behind me. I froze. Are you kidding me?! Did my parents decide to come back early?
I whirled around and when I saw whoever was standing behind me, I lost my balance and plopped on the cold bathroom floor.
"What…" I muttered, blinking rapidly. "Who the hell are you?!"
There was a guy in my bathroom. I have never seen him before. He was tall, blond, and he was wearing a black long jacket. He was also wearing black sunglasses. Oh boy… A robber? Great, just great! Just my luck.
The guy sighed again.
"You know", he said quietly and sat next to me. "I am breaking the rule right now. In fact, I am breaking the rule number one."
"Look…" I took a deep breath. "Take whatever you want… Just please, go away, okay?"
"Take whatever I want?" he frowned. "What are you talking about?"
"You came to rob my house, right?" I asked weakly.
"Rob your…" he shook his head. "No! Rayne, you seriously don't remember me?"
"No", I whispered. Oh God, please don't tell me that he came here to rape me… Oh hey, maybe he'll just kill me instead?
"Ugh", he sighed again. "Okay, I am Seth."
"Seth what?" I asked automatically and he shrugged.
"Just Seth. Listen, you know me, all right? You used to talk to me every day until your parents started telling you that you are delusional…"
I glanced at the liquor bottle. Is that to blame? Probably. The guy sighed again, this time even deeper - a thing I didn't think was possible - and he took his sunglasses off. I guess I would scream when I saw his eyes but instead my breath got caught somewhere between my throat and my teeth, and the only sound that came out sounded something like "Grmph…" His eyes were bright yellow and he didn't have any pupils.
"Remember now?" he asked gently.
I stared at him silently and all of a sudden I had some really weird flashbacks. Old dreams, conversations, and images flooded me with nauseating speed.
"Honey, who are you talking to?"
"It's my friend, Mom! His eyes are really funny!"
"Oh honey, I see… How old is your… "friend" with funny eyes? Is he also five? Ask him if he wants some cake?"
"No, Mom! He is old! He is like thirty!!"
"Seth, that one is black…"
"I need to tell them!"
"No. They won't listen to you. Believe me on that."
"Rayne, kiddo, who are you talking to?"
"Rayne… Look at me please… It was okay to talk to your imaginary friend when you were a little kid. You are older now. I need to tell you that…"
I shook my head and closed my eyes.
"What the hell is going on…" I muttered.
"Remembering, eh?" he asked with a grin. "Good. Listen, I have an offer for you."
"Who are you?" I didn't open my eyes. I didn't dare to look at him. I guess my parents were right all along. I am delusional.
"An Observer", he sighed. "As I said, I have an offer for you."
"Uh huh…" I muttered, eyes still closed.
"Look", he said patiently. "It is obvious to me that you don't want to be a part of this world anymore so…"
I forgot about the fact that I didn't dare to look at him and opened my eyes. Weird, but his yellow eyes didn't scare me anymore.
"What are you?" I demanded. I'll just play along, what the hell. "Guardian angel or something?"
He snorted at that.
"Angel? No, actually I am quite the opposite. But back to my offer… Rayne, I've known you all your life. Call me sentimental but I've grown to like you. Plus", he shrugged. "You are special as you are aware."
"Delusional", I corrected him.
"No", he said simply. "You have a gift and it might actually come in handy if you accept my offer."
"What offer?" the entire scene seemed beyond surreal. I wondered if I actually managed to slit my wrists and now was just hallucinating because of blood loss or something.
He leaned closer to me.
"How would you like to become a Tribuo?"
"A what?" I frowned.
"Roughly translated it's a chance giver. Look", he fiddled with his sunglasses. "You can see when someone is about to die. You also want to make a difference, right?"
"Wrong", I answered sharply. "Look, I don't know who the hell you are but…"
"What if I told you", he didn't even blink at my outrage. "That you could be able to give someone the last chance? For survival?"
I stared at him. If this is some sort of a stupid joke…
"It's not a joke", he grimaced. "Rayne, as an Observer I am breaking rule number one right now. Which means that I will have to…" he shook his head. "Never mind."
"What's rule number one?" I asked numbly.
"Do not get involved", he sighed. "But it doesn't matter. If I make you a Tribuo, it'll be worth it. Plus", he grinned. "I always wanted to have a Tribuo on my side. Never could get one though."
"A chance giver…" I muttered. "What does it mean?" I couldn't believe myself. I am actually taking this seriously?! What is wrong with me? But then again… I remembered this guy. It was like remembering something that was long forgotten but it was real, you know? Plus, he knew about the halos it seemed.
"Well", he kept fiddling with his sunglasses. "You can try and change the chain of events for… Certain people", he glanced at me. "Not the ones that face death because of illness but the ones that face it because of the choices they made. Or about to make. As a Tribuo you can give them one last chance."
"Wouldn't that be getting involved?" I asked without even thinking that I am talking to my own hallucination. This was interesting.
"No", he shook his head. "You will be giving them another chance. You won't be making it for them. If they take it then something will change. If not…" he shrugged. "You will only get one try but you just might succeed, right?" he smiled and I was almost mesmerized by that point. "I mean, you want to end it all right here and now but… Becoming a Tribuo is a much better thing than dealing with consequences of a suicide…"
"What consequences?" I whispered and he shook his head.
"Doesn't matter. Just believe me on that, okay? Look", he took another deep breath. "If you say no, that's fine. I'll still end up in a deep shit for intervening but…" he shrugged.
"I am not going to…" I bit my lip and looked into his yellow eyes. "I am not going to say no", I finished and he smiled slowly. I smirked bitterly. "If this is but a hallucination, then I guess I'll play along until I bleed to death. And if it's not a hallucination…" I hemmed at the very thought. "I'll take your offer, Seth."
He got up so quickly that my head spun. He stretched his arm and I took his hand. His skin felt smooth and cool. Almost too cool. It wasn't unpleasant, it was just odd. Like he just took a very cold shower. He pulled me up on my feet and suddenly his face was really close to mine.
"What, now I have to kiss you or something?" I asked with a nervous giggle and he smiled.
"No", he said. "Nothing like that."
He leaned even closer and suddenly I pulled away.
"Wait!" I exclaimed and he frowned. "What about my parents? I mean…" I stuttered. "Will I just disappear or something? They will go crazy!…"
Seth glanced at the bathtub full of water, opened bottle of liquor, and a razor blade that I sat on the side of the tub.
"Does it really matter?" he asked solemnly and I bit my lip.
Does it, really? I was about to let my parents to find my dead body. Disappearance is actually better.
"No", I said finally. "It doesn't matter."
He nodded without saying anything and then his yellow eyes were so close to my face that for a second I felt like I was drowning in them.
"Breathe, Rayne…" he muttered and I did just that.