The Next Time You Get Déjà Vu, Don’t Try To Figure Out Why, gremlin, gremlin

I don’t get déjà vu. At least, not in the original sense. Sometimes, I’ll trip and fall, and then I’ll have that feeling of “Holy shit, this has definitely happened before.” But I know it hasn’t. And then, weeks or months or even years later, I’ll trip and fall in the same exact spot and I’ll understand why I had that original jolt of déjà vu.

To me, déjà vu isn’t remembering the past. It’s predicting the future.

And then there are other times, times when my gut feelings are dead on. I’ll be driving down the street, taking occasional glances down at my iPod to choose a song, and then I’ll have a feeling I should stop at a certain one. At a shitty one I don’t even want to listen to. But I put it on anyway. I obey the feeling. And then a fucking dog will scamper in front of my car and, since I’m no longer focused on my music, I’ll have enough time to slam on the breaks.

My friends call them coincidences, but I don’t buy it. I think it’s something bigger. Something supernatural.

That’s why I visited a psychic. Not the closest one MapQuest could direct me to, one that conned people for money by using vague phrases like you’re feeling lost or you need to make a change in your life.

I wasn’t a fucking idiot. I did my research. I found a psychic with a good reputation. One that did more than transfer generic messages from dead relatives to the ones missing them. This psychic had appeared on national talk shows and had visited crime scenes to help solve several murders. He was legit.

When I showed up at his place, a dome shaped building with mirrors wallpapering the waiting room, I filled out my name, date of birth, and address on a tiny slip of paper. After handling in the sheet, he personally led me into his office.

Before we even sat down, I could tell he knew. Knew that I was different. That I didn’t come with the usual questions. Is my dead mother happy? When am I going to meet Mr. Right? Should I move to L.A.?

Instead, I asked, “How did you know you were psychic?”

He took a seat, folding his hands over his lap. “It started small. I could guess who was knocking at the door. I could sense who was on the phone before picking up. This was before caller ID of course. But my parents didn’t find it odd. Plenty of people have lucky guesses like that. Everyday.”

I nodded, and as he went on to explain his vivid dreams and his heightened sensitivity, I kept nodding. I had experienced all of the same things. I once had a dream about my father snapping my mother’s arm and the next day, guess what happened? Not all of my dreams came true, of course, but the ones with a little more… color… always turned to reality.

“One day,” the man continued. “I picked a scarf off from the ground and I could feel the person who had owned it. I glimpsed a face. Heard a voice. Saw a name. So I went home to look her up on the Internet. When I found her page, her profile picture showed her wearing the same scarf. And condolences were covering her wall. She had died only a few days earlier.”

I’d never spoken to ghosts. Never heard the voices of the dead. Never had a vision after touching an object. “So what caused the change?” I asked.

He raised an eyebrow, supposedly impressed that I could put two and two together. That I realized going from predicting phone calls to predicting murders didn’t happen naturally.

But I didn’t guess what he would say next. That he would say, “I had a failed suicide attempt. Slit my wrists and climbed into the tub. I came close to death. Could taste the afterlife. But my mother… She saved me. The day I found the scarf was the day after they released me from the hospital.” He leaned forward in his chair. “You see, we all have psychic energy hidden inside of us. If you don’t pay any attention to it, it comes in small doses. You have to commit to it to receive the full effect. You need to taste death.”

Most people would roll their eyes, refuse to pay, and get the hell out of there. But I wanted to believe. Just like some people blindly believe in God, even though they have no evidence of His existence. They just like the idea and latch onto it. Their hope guides them.

That’s what happened to me. I forked over two-hundred bucks, drove home, and found my sharpest knife.

I considered jumping in front of a car or smashing my own car into a tree on the way home, but I wanted to do it the way he did. Mimic his suicide exactly, so I’d have the same results when I woke up in the hospital. So I’d be enlightened, too.

Except, I didn’t live with my mother, so I left my door unlocked and kept my cell phone by the tub. I’d call 911 after slicing myself open and by the time they arrived, they would (hopefully) have time to save me.

After filling the tub to the brim, I sunk into it, letting my arms drape over the side. I gave myself a second to adjust to the temperature and then I grabbed the knife, ready to embrace the pain. Ready to expand my psychic prowess.

But before I could make even the tiniest sliver, I felt a hand yank on my hair. Felt my head smash against the tub and get dipped into the water.

When I came up, thrashing and gasping for air, it was only for a second, but it was still enough time to hear, “It’s never been this easy before.”

I don’t know if it was psychic intuition or just common sense, but in that moment, I knew. It was him. He took my address off of the sheet I’d filled out. He’d tricked me into self-harming, so he could watch me die. So he could get off on it. I could hear the zip of his jeans before I was dunked under again.

All of those murder cases he helped solve. He put the bodies there. He slashed and sliced and fucking masturbated, and then he framed someone else for it all. The predictions he gave the police were well thought out lies.

The story about the woman with the scarf was a lie. His suicide attempt was a lie. Everything was a lie.

But, when the police eventually found my limp body floating in the tub, he wouldn’t have to come up with any lies about how it happened. It would just look like suicide. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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