Chapter #28: The Prom
April 28th, 2028-CE
Jena never expected to be going to this event so soon. She had her dress pulled on and her hair curled up which framed her face better than she expected. The dress was a dark purple one that she and Angela picked out a few months ago. Unless something had changed, they both would be going in the dresses. She headed down the stairs and fitted her feet into the shoes she would be using for the evening. She preferred to be on time.
So did her date. She answered the knock at the door a moment later. Angela smiled. Most of her long black hair was done up in a long pony tail at the top of her head and the bangs were curled the same way as Jena’s which framed her silver eyes. Jena returned the smile, “You look awesome tonight. Makes me wish I grew my hair longer.”
Angela gave her a hug and shook her head, “you look fine as you are.”
Jena stepped outside and closed the door, “Thank you! Now off to this shindig!”
Angela smiled and led the way to her car. She hit the unlock button on her fob to unlock the door and opened it up for Jena to climb in. She shut the door after Jena situated herself and headed to the place the prom was being held at. It was a hotel that had a small event hall with it. The students were using the event hall and couldn’t check in to any of the rooms for obvious reasons. It was common for them to use hotels and resorts for proms if the school could afford to rent the place for the night.
They pulled up to the hotel awning. Angela climbed out of the car and opened the door for Jena before handing the keys to the valet. They walked inside at that moment and waited in line to take pictures.
Angela curled her nose as she was hit with an assault of different colognes and perfumes as they waited. She glanced to her date and noticed Jena was displaying a similar grimace, “It would be nice if they didn’t have to bathe in their favorite stuff.” Jena commented, “A spritz or two is all you need.”
“Or just a shower,” Angela commented, “People don’t usually smell bad on their own.”
Jena nodded, “true. I put a little perfume on but you won’t be able to tell because some of the people in line smell like they rubbed those car air fresheners all over themselves.”
Angela chuckled, “Their cologne turns the corner before they do.”
The line proceeded about as fast as it would if they were taking school pictures. As they got closer, it was surprising because the photographer was taking several shots of each couple after they signed up and paid for a package of photos. However, since it was couples shots, it did make more sense. Their turn came as soon as the couple in front of them was done taking their pictures.
The photographer took the form that Angela had just completed and read it over. He glanced at the two of them and said, “Okay I will take a picture with the red head seated and the black haired on standing. I will then switch them and then have a final pose of both of them standing and holding hands.”
Jena glanced to Angela and asked, “My hair isn’t red, is it?”
Angela shrugged, “More of an auburn if you ask me. I guess there is some red in it, however.”
Jena shrugged as they walked up to the backdrop. The assistant pulled out a stool for Jena to sit on. They set in the center of the castle background and Angela stepped behind Jena. She placed her hands on Jena’s shoulders as the photographer stepped behind the camera. He glanced up and said, “Get closer, you two! You aren’t sisters, unless you are…”
Angela smiled and placed her chin on Jena’s shoulder next to her cheek. She wrapped her arms around Jena’s upper chest. Jena reached up and squeezed her arms closely and smiled. At that point, the photographer snapped a picture. He glanced at the image he just took and smiled. He glanced up and said, “perfect, now switch!”
Jena rose and walked behind Angela as she sat down on the stool. Unlike Angela, the shorter woman wrapped her arms under Angela’s chest and rested her chin much closer to Angela’s face. Angela hugged her arms and the picture was snapped. They both rose and stood in front of the stool at that point. They wrapped one arm around each other and held their other hands. They put their heads together as the last image was snapped.
The photographer smiled, “You have been wonderful, ladies, I will have that CD and the photos out to you in about a week.”
Angela nodded as she led Jena away and into the dance hall. While the atmosphere felt much like other dances the two had been to so far, the decorations were more elaborate. The pillars had been done up with carefully painted cardboard and Styrofoam to look like castle brick pillars and gossamer like fabric hung between the pillars. There were less tables and less people than at the homecoming dance but that was to be expected. This was just the junior and senior class and their dates, not the entire school and their dates like before.
Jena and Angela found a table soon enough and sat down. She glanced around to see if there was anyone around that she knew despite the fact that she knew there wouldn’t be any underclassmen there. She didn’t know why, she figured it was habit. It didn’t take long for Angela to come back with refreshments for them both. Angela sat down and slid a glass over to Jena, “Just about the same other than the pictures and fancy dresses.” She commented.
Jena nodded, “Everyone around here seems to have mixed impressions about what to expect here.” She glanced to her gray eyed friend, “What do you think they are expecting?”
Angela blushed as she thought about it. She didn’t want to reach into people’s minds for specifics and in truth, she didn’t need to. If Scarlet had been around, she would have been expecting the same conclusion for the night, “Well, there is an after party after this where people can enter drawing and possibly get stuff. It is more like a rowdy school dance, the after party, that is. Then there are the private parties that some people are expecting.”
“Which is?” the emerald eyed girl questioned in response.
“Will you hit me if I use a euphemism to answer that?” Angela questioned in response.
Jena smirked and shook her head, “I promise I won’t. I take it a few people around here also feel the urge to merge tonight? Is that what you are getting at?”
Angela nodded and Jena questioned, “Do you also have that urge?”
Angela shook her head, “Not particularly.”
“Why not?” Jena questioned with an arched eyebrow.
“I’m not looking for a long term commitment except I might,” Angela replied then held up a hand to keep her from commenting, “I know, that sounds like a contradiction. Let’s say that there could be something wrong with me and I could drop dead at any moment. For that reason I don’t want to tie myself down to someone. I don’t want to cause them pain if I should die on them. At the same time, I don’t want to end up being alone. I won’t pass up the opportunity, if it should present itself but I won’t force it to happen either.”
Jena nodded. She was pretty sure she understood what was going on, “You are here just because it is a right of passage then. As far as what makes you think you could die at any moment. I remember that you lived with your grandma until she died. Did your mother die at an earlier age?”
Angela nodded. Jena could tell that it was hard for her to talk about but Jena needed to know what it was, “Do you mind if I ask you what makes you think that you will drop dead at any moment?”
Angela shrugged, “Both my grandmother and mother died of aneurisms,’ She replied and took a deep breath, “My grandmother must have known that his was coming. She left a video for me to watch. She said in that video that her mother and grandmother also died of the same things. With four generations of that, it makes me think that there is something wrong with me and that I will die of that too. It was bugging me before I saw that video and I made sure that I wouldn’t fall in love with anyone after that video.”
Jena nodded. It made sense. With four other generations succumbing to that malady then she could have the same problem. There were a couple of ways that Angela could be sure that wouldn’t happen. She glanced to her friend and said, “Lone Wolfe was troubled by his mother’s death. She was a gifted psychic. Had powerful abilities including clairvoyance. She had seen her own death but it wasn’t from what took her life. Lone Wolfe said that clairvoyants usually see the natural conclusion to their life so other things can take them by surprise such as murder or a car crash. An aneurism is a natural death. Have you seen your own death yet?”
Angela shook her head, “Then you know you aren’t dying anytime soon.”
“You don’t know how fickle the future can be. I don’t know how well Lone Wolfe sees the future but there have been times I was sure something was going to happen and nothing did,” Angela stated in response.
“Well, there are problems with him seeing the future,” Jena commented, “First off; he can’t see past anything he doesn’t understand. If he sees a war in the future but not why it started then he doesn’t know how it is going to end or how to change it to keep from happening. Also; when it comes to seeing the future of someone else, he can’t nail down a time frame. He can either see a time and anyone during that time or focus on an individual and see a random time. He has also said glimpsing into the future can change it. He said there are three different types of futures that he sees; fragile futures where the observer changes it by seeing it, more stable futures that come into play with limited options of it changing and fixed events where things have been in play long enough that knowing it will happen doesn’t change it, you can only change how the outcome will affect you. I have the feeling the first kind is really common.”
“Where are you going with all of this?” Angela questioned in response.
“A natural death is that second type of future; hard to change but it can be changed. You haven’t seen it yet so you won’t suffer an aneurism any time soon. In between now and that time, there is the possibility that you could go rock climbing and slip or die in an earth quake or of a lightning strike. That means you live the with same uncertainty that the rest of us has,” Jena commented.
“You may think that helps but it doesn’t help as much as you think,” Angela replied, “What if my clairvoyance doesn’t show me how I will die? What if I never know how I will die? I could drop dead tomorrow and never get any warning about it.”
“Welcome to being human,” Jena replied, “That is what the rest of us live with everyday. Any of us could die of something tomorrow and we would never know it. Stop living as if you have the sword of Damocles hanging above your head. Enjoy the moments you have and don’t let your worry of the moment threaten what you have. If you think you will die tomorrow then so be it. Live for today. That is what the rest of us do. We may plan for a tomorrow but in the end we always take every moment we get as if it will be our last. If you love someone then let yourself love. Don’t shut yourself down because you are afraid that you will hurt them even more if you die. Did you think of the pain you might cause them if you never gave them the chance in the first place?”
Angela shook her head, “No but if they fell in love with me and woke up next to me after I died then they would be crushed. They wouldn’t have to go through that pain if they fell in love with someone else.”
Jena sighed, “There is another way we can see if you are worried over nothing. It is something that I can help you out with. You know I have empathic abilities. I can check and see if you have a ticking time bomb in your head. If you do, I might be able to fix it. If nothing else, I can tell you how long you might have left. Give you time to feel love and then kick whoever it is out to the curb so they don’t have to go through what you are fearing. How does that sound? There is no harm in looking for that? You can’t argue this with me, can you?”
Angela sighed and shook her head. She glanced flatly to the younger empath and replied, “You’re right. What do you need me to do?”
Jena took her seat and arranged it to face Angela, “Pull your seat as close to me as possible. I need to touch your head in order to get the best use of my power as possible.”
Angela did as she requested. Jena placed her right hand at the nape of Angela’s neck and the other on the temple of her forehead. She gazed just above Angela’s gray eyes. Normally, Jena would have been quick about it but she knew that if she was anything other than slow and methodical that Angela wouldn’t trust what she was doing. She also flowed more energy than she needed into the connection. She figured that if she felt any kind of energy flow as opposed to the normal precision control she normally could do, than Angela would trust her words more.
“Look, those two are about to make out!” Someone called out.
“No PDA here! Save that for after!” Someone else called out.
“This is a jerk-wad free zone, kindly fuck off please!” Jena replied without missing a beat in her search.
“Kindly?” One Person questioned.
“Please?” The other person questioned.
“Politely,” Jena stated. She broke her glance with Angela at that point and glanced to the other two with a look of sheer rage in her green eyes. The two people jumped, suddenly filled with a kind of terror they never knew before. She dipped her head down where she was glaring up at them, “Now can you leave us alone before I have to deal with you?”
The two males nodded and ran off as fast as they could without drawing any more attention to themselves. Jena sighed and glanced back to Jena. Angela glanced up at her as she started to work again, “I can tell that wasn’t normal fear. What did you do to them? Was that something telepathic or empathic?”
Jena glanced down as she answered, “It was mainly empathic. All I did was give them the strong impression that they were going to get their buts kicked by the both of us if the continued to mess with us. They have no business making comments about things they don’t understand anyway.”
Angela nodded, “Makes sense but you shouldn’t put the fear of god into people. Some people would think that’s not nice.” She glanced around then back to Jena and asked, “Did you find something wrong? You seem to be taking a long time at this? I thought you would have been done by now.”
She had forgotten that she was dealing with a clairvoyant. They sometimes know more than just things dealing with time. It seems like she knew how long it would have really would have taken her to do a good job at finding anything wrong. Instead of trying to assure her that she did a good job of looking and finding nothing, she was now starting to worry her friend. Jena shook her head, “I haven’t found anything. Just being thorough. Although, if you keep driving yourself like this then you will kill yourself from exhaustion!”
Jena released her hold on Angela and sat back. She had funneled some energy back into Angela to keep her from feeling the exhaustion the young shaman felt from burning the candle at both ends. She had been taking it easy but it didn’t seem to affect her like it did back a few months ago. Angela nodded, “I can take in the power of the sun now so I can make sure that I am getting what I need from it.” She glanced back towards Jena, “Besides, I only have a couple of months left before I graduate. Once that happens, I can run the store on my own full time without having to worry about it too much.”
“Good luck,” Jena nodded, “I will have to make it a point to visit you there every once in a while.”
Angela rose to her feet and grabbed Jena’s hand. She pulled the younger empath up to her feet and said, “Let’s go dancing!”
“But it’s not s a slow song,” Jena replied as she was pulled onto the dance floor by the senior shaman, “The DJ is better about playing songs than they were at the last dance. How about we just wait for the next slow song?”
“I don’t just want to wait for the slow songs,” Angela replied as she grabbed Jena’s other hand and started to swing her around on the floor, “You don’t have to have a slow song to dance!”
“I gave you a little extra energy and I have created a monster!” Jena chuckled as they danced.
Angela chuckled and twirled her around. They both attempted to dance something like a quick waltz but it turned out nothing like what they were planning. Jena smiled a bit and asked, “Do you know how to dance?”
“No, I’m just making crap up as I go along! As long as we are having fun, does it really matter?” Angela replied as she swung their arms around in a quick sway.
Jena shrugged, “I guess not but we look like two monkeys on steroids.” She commented in response.
“I don’t care!” Angela laughed, “Just let loose and have a good time!”
“You know creepers say that too to the people they are trying to get with,” Jena replied as she went along with the spastic dance moves.
“Then consider me a dancing creeper! I say that to people I want to dance with,” Angela joked.
“That isn’t as funny of a joke as you think,” Jena replied but she did chuckle at the comment just the same.
“It got you to laugh,” Angela smiled as she let Jena spin her around this time, “Now if we did know any dance moves, what do you think we would dance to with a song like this?”
Jena shrugged, “I don’t know. My family never really thought about setting me up with any dance lessons growing up.”
“I am sure my grandmother would have had me doing that if she could afford it,” Angela replied. It was out of habit. Knowing the amount of money her grandmother really had, she was sure that if she expressed as serious interest in dancing, her grandmother would have come up with the money for lessons. It would have been anything that would have kept her from working in a dead end job in some call center or burger joint in the city. Anything that would have given her a future her grandmother would have invested money in.
She paused at that moment. Jena caught on right away that something was bugging her. She cocked her head in confusion and asked, “What’s wrong? Why did you stop dancing?”
“It’s just,” She started and glanced away, “My grandmother always led a frugal life and I assumed that was because we were poor. Because of that assumption I never asked her for a lot of things growing up. I never knew that she did have a lot of money socked away for a rainy day or something like that. It never occurred to me that I could have asked for something and she might have made it work somehow. I just got to thinking what the future would have been like had I not made that mistake.”
“There is no use dwelling on the past and all of those what ifs,” Jena replied, “Right now you are dancing and I would like to see you dancing and having fun!” Jena beamed as she started their spastic dance back up again.
As they continued to dance, Jena noticed that time almost seemed to slow. It was a subtle effect. She knew the song that they were dancing to and it seemed slightly slower than it should have been. She had heard of the affect before through communions from telepaths she had dealt with before. She couldn’t help but think is this what they call a perfect moment? She questioned to herself.
As soon as she thought that, they seemed to fall out of the moment and time resumed its normal march toward eternity. She glanced to Angela and asked, “What were you doing at that moment?”
Angela cocked her head at that moment, “Do you want a technical term? I think it is called being a goof ball.”
“No! Not with the dancing, with your clairvoyance,” Jena replied, “I wanted to know what you were doing with making the time around us go slower for a moment.”
Angela shrugged, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Jena glanced around, “We were dancing and everything just started slowing down. The moment I thought about it started running normal again.”
Angela looked dumbfounded, “I wasn’t even aware I was doing anything. I was just really enjoying myself at that moment.” She blinked a couple of times. He gray eyes washed over with realization, “I did look over toward you just a moment ago and you looked like you weren’t having fun.”
That must be how we fell out of the moment, Jena thought to herself, I didn’t think just my thought would have ended the moment like that. Jena shrugged, “Like I said, things started to move funny and as I picked it up it moved normally again. You must have picked up on me picking that fact up and confused it for something being wrong. It wasn’t anything wrong. I just didn’t ever see anything like it before. I probably would have ruined it anyway by asking you about it just like I did.”
Angela shrugged, “Let’s not worry about it. Tonight, we aren’t psychic. We aren’t different from everyone around us. We are just two normal girls at the prom dancing with each other. Let go and have fun!”
Jena nodded. She couldn’t argue with that logic any more than Angela could argue with her words earlier. She started to dance with Angela again as the song ended and the DJ transitioned them to a slow song. Her left hand connected with Angela’s right hand and their other hands went to each other’s waist. They attempted to waltz slowly to the rhythm of the song and ended up in a more coordinated sway as a result. Still, both of the seemed to enjoy themselves.
The music started to slow down a little bit, just like last time. With the beat and rhythm being slower, it was easier for them both to notice what was going on. They glanced at each other as the music slowed down a little more. Neither was sure what was going on but it wasn’t normal. They glanced around and saw that no one else seemed to notice. In fact, they all seemed to be moving at the same speed as what the music should be.
Afraid to disrupt this moment, Jena reached out with her abilities and tried to slow her projection down enough for Angela to hear, “We are the only people moving fast. I never did anything like this with my empathic powers before. This has to be something that your clairvoyance is doing.” She projected.
Angela glanced at her with a confused look on her face and the music started to speed up in response. She was about to respond when she focused on Jena and started dancing, the song, and time around them, seemed to slow down again, “Okay. How am I doing all of this?”
Jena shrugged, “I am not sure on the how. Not a lot of psychics have witnessed this. I know some telepaths that have heard about it call it a perfect moment. When a Clairvoyant can slow down the time around them. It’s like how their precognitive abilities work for them when they are in the middle of a crisis but in reverse. Instead of speeding the clairvoyant up, it slows time around them with the exception of one other person.”
Angela nodded as they continued to dance to the slower music, “That person being you in this case. You noticed this happening first. I have never done this before. Have you experienced it with Lone Wolfe?”
Jena shook her head, “He doesn’t have any memories about this and he doesn’t talk about it. If he had a moment like this it either never registered or he keeps it a secret for some reason.”
Angela glanced around and took a breath, they fell out of the moment and the music started up normally again. Jena glanced at her and asked, “Why did you stop it?”
“I don’t know. I wanted to see if I could control it or play with it at will,” Angela replied. Her gray eyes showed her frustration after a moment, “I can’t seem to get us back into that moment.”
“I am not sure if it is something you can do consciously,” Jena replied, “There is so much about clairvoyance that you and Lone Wolfe don’t do with deliberate effort. It is possible that you have to just be in the zone for it to work,” Jena replied.
Angela nodded and as the song ended, they started their walk back to the table. Both of them felt a little more tired than normal. They didn’t know if was the effort they put into dancing for the first couple of songs or if it was the perfect moment they shared that drained them. When they sat down Angela asked, “I wonder. Since I didn’t notice it the first time, do you think that we have these moments more often and just don’t realize it?”
Jena shrugged, “That would be a question for Lone Wolfe. You would have to make sure that you aren’t referring to your precognitive abilities in order for him to understand the full meaning of your question. I don’t know if he would remember having a moment like this. You might also be able to figure out if you had these moments before if you meditate and focus on your memories for a moment.”
Angela nodded, “I can try that. Do you think you can have these moments with more than one psychic? Do they have to be psychic? Can I do this by myself?”
Jena shrugged, “I don’t know enough about this to answer that question. If this moment works like Telepathic Communions and Empathic Bonds, I would say you need to have one other person. Those two acts can’t hold more than one other person and have to be with one other person. However, with Empathic Bonds; the person doesn’t have to be psychic. Just one of the people has to be special in order for it to work. Since I’m not clairvoyant, maybe you don’t need a psychic for this to work too?” She thought of another question as she took a drink of her punch, “Just curious, why did you try to play with the moment?”
Angela shrugged, “Seemed like the thing to do at the time. I felt like I should.”
Interesting, Jena thought to herself, Maybe you don’t need to have another clairvoyant to start a perfect moment but if you want to develop it you do need another clairvoyant. Something like this being stage one and the second state being something different. I wonder what would happen if you could force those two to have a full perfect moment like that? Jena thought to herself.
Jena leaned back in her chair, “What do you plan to do after high school? Especially with your friends?”
Angela shrugged, “I know a lot of them are planning on going off to college. That was my plan until my grandmother died. I intend to stay behind and man the store for the time being. At least until I get to a spot where I can do something local for a business degree. I don’t know if I will be keeping touch with any of my friends.”
Jena looked dejected and forlorn by the words her friend just said, “Please say you will keep in touch with me. I would also like it if you keep in touch with Lone Wolfe. I don’t know why I feel this way. It might have been something with that perfect moment we had but I have the feeling that he will need a friend soon.”
“You do know I don’t like boys more than just being friends, right?” Angela questioned in response.
Jena nodded, “Yes and Lone Wolfe knows that as well. He won’t try to do anything with you and he won’t try to seduce you. I really think he needs you just as a friend. You two have things in common. You both have lost parents and you are only children that have been isolated from your families. That gives you two a lot in common and a lot to bond over. Plus; he is clairvoyant. The only clairvoyant outside of your family. Maybe the two of you can figure out how to use your abilities together?” She explained.
Angela shrugged, “I don’t know. I will have to get to know him better. I do trust you and you have known him all your life so I know you are trying to vouch for him.”
“If you allow it I think you will find that he will become a valuable friend,” Jena replied, “Keep that in mind as you think about it.”
Angela nodded, “I will.”