Hawkes Bay, New Zealand 12:14 p.m.
Reid started off again with me beside him, and we were quiet as we walked through the field. I stole a glance at him once, but he was just looking at the ground with a thoughtful expression. His hair came over his face in a way that made my cheeks warm. Not to long after we started to walk, my ears picked up the sound of waves. When we came to the top of a small hill, as far as I could see was blue water and clear skies. I’d been to the beach before but it was nothing like this.
“Are you going to tell me where we are yet?”
“Well, this is Hawke Bay.”
Hawke bay. At first I didn’t know where that was; I had never heard of Hawke Bay, but the words seemed to cling to my mind, and as I thought harder on it, the answer came effortlessly.
“New Zealand?” I asked, turning to him.
He nodded, smiling. “Yeah, how did you know?”
“I don’t know, it must have been something from school. I don’t where my brain picks up half the things I remember.”
Reid sat down in the grass and I joined him, folding my legs underneath me. I was getting a bit warm with my hoodie on, but I didn’t mind. It was a comfortable warmth.
“When did you learn you could do it?” I asked. “Or could you always?”
“No, I was thirteen when I drifted for the first time. It’s different for everyone though, some don’t even drift until they’re twenty.”
Listening to him talking about himself, and other people like him, made me feel like he was from a different world. I found myself wanting to know everything about him, but I was afraid that he wouldn’t tell me.
“You said I was the first person that you’ve ever shown your drifting to, this that true?”
“Yeah, it’s true besides a few other drifters knowing.”
“But what about your parents? Do they not know what you can do?”
Reid’s dark eyes stayed on mine, but saw something in them that made my heart drop. There was a sadness in them that was so deep that even I felt it. I knew I should’ve have asked. “No, they died when I was ten.” He shook his head at my numb reaction. “You don’t have to feel sorry for asking, I’ve lived with it for a long time now.”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” The question made me think of Logan, and I wondered when I would see him next. I couldn’t imagine having no parents as Reid did.
“No, it’s just me.”
I nodded and looked out to the ocean again.
“What about you?” he asked.
“I just have an older brother. He’s away at college, though.”
“I’ve always kinda wished I had an older brother, or any sibling really.” He shrugged. “I guess Jake is the closest thing I’ve come to one.”
“How long have you known him for?”
Reid glanced at the ground, thinking. “I think it’s been about four years now, but it seems longer than that. I don’t see him that often. Just when he comes into town to see if I’m staying out of trouble.” He smiled to himself, and then opened his mouth as if to say something more, but decided against it.
I didn’t press him, already grateful that he was talking at all. It seemed like he was usually just as quiet as I was, so I understood about not wanting to talk about certain things at certain times. I let it go, just glad to here near him.
“What about those guys at the club last night? You said they were –”
“Different?” He finished for me, smiling crookedly. His dimple appeared again. “That one is a little harder to explain, but I’ll try. They are different like us, but they’re called sliders. Instead of drifting, they can slow time.”
I knew my eyes must have widened because he smiled at my reaction.
“So, they can just slow it, and not stop it?” I asked, still bewildered by the possibility. Everything seemed so unreal, and yet I knew if I pinched myself, I would be awake.
“Yes, but even that has its boundaries. They can only do it for certain amount of time, and it’s usually just short bursts of it.”
“Why can’t they do it for longer?”
“Both of our abilities are similar in their opposites, and both have limits. It’s the curse that comes with the power.”
“So, if the sliders can’t slow time forever, what can’t you do?”