Incognito

The light was about to change, and we were waiting at the curb. Her thumb and index finger circled my wrist, as far as they’d go, and her other fingers rested lightly on my palm. Touch is important to her. It’s her thing.

When the light finally changed, I was about to step off the curb, but her hand suddenly closed around my upper arm, not tight enough to hurt me because she knows her strength, but tight.

She’d heard something somewhere — somewhere close, probably. It wasn’t the first time. I whispered, “Don’t”, because I knew she could also hear me, even over the traffic noise and the jackhammer up the block and the normal city shouting. There were camera spikes where every third telephone pole used to be, and the cop on the opposite corner had a Detector hanging from his belt. “Don’t.”

By then I could hear it myself: a car, an old car, gas-burning, accelerating out of control, headed towards the intersection. She could’ve reached it before it got there, before it hit anything, she could’ve slowed it down safely, stopped it, prevented anyone from getting hurt. She might even have been able to do it without her face being seen, without biometrics being recorded. Maybe.

“Jack…”

The car appeared up the street, going seventy, seventy-five, careening out of control. I watched it scrape a parked car and overcorrect and go sideways. “Don’t.”

I haven’t watched the news. I don’t know if anybody died, or how many. The other people waiting to cross all got hit by flying glass or debris, cuts and bruises mostly; nothing hit us; I don’t know how she does that. Cops said it was ‘just one of those things’. They waved us along, to concentrate on the injured.

She’s gonna hate herself eventually, or me, or both. I can live with that, because of what they would do to her if they found out, or what she would have to do to stop them.

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