Lucian has a gift.
One that nobody knows about, but a gift nonetheless. He never considered it one that could really help others. Not like anyone would believe him anyway. It was more of a burden than anything, so he kept it to himself.
Numbers that only he can see. At first, they appeared in his mind’s eye. As a child, the numbers would just find their way out of his mouth, and he couldn’t explain it. As he got older, the haunting numbers would float in front of his eyes like specs of dust. No matter how much he tried to wipe and blink them away, they wouldn’t leave him be. Then finally, it would manifest as a countdown over a person’s head. This gift appeared to mature as Lucian did.
Everyone was different. There were no clues or indication for what they were for, and the numbers were ever changing. Very rarely in an actual numerical order, depending on a person’s everyday choices or events they could not control. For a while, he had no idea what the mysterious numbers meant. Until one day his grandmother fell ill, and she ended up in the hospital.
He watched in horror as every day he visited that her number would change. Dropping faster and faster as her health declined.
787, 534, 236, 189, 67, 5, 0
Lucian could see how many days someone had left. And this ‘gift’—this curse—it was his burden to bear.
Since then, the numbers led to a life of being a constant witness to tragedy. He had hoped that maybe if there were enough people in one place that their countdowns had all reached the same number, maybe he could predict an accident, but he couldn’t be everywhere at once. The anxiety, the anguish, it ate at him until he made an oath to himself that he would do his best to not interfere. There was no use in trying to play God, attempt to change the course of events, or alter the sacred timeline. Why him?
Until one day.
His oath aside, Lucian continues to keep a close eye on his closest friends and family members. He figured the silver lining in all of this was at least he wouldn’t be completely caught off guard if something were to happen. One of the people he watches out for is David, his childhood friend turned bully. Despite their history, Lucian still cares deeply for him. He just keeps his distance for obvious reasons. As the blonde’s mood got progressively worse over the years.
David hadn’t been at school the last few days, worrying Lucian to no end. Finally, when he returned to school, he looked absolutely awful. With sunken eyes and a pallid looking tone to his skin. His normally harsh and brutish demeanor was gone, replaced with one of indifference. The complete 180, and seeing him this way caused his stomach to plummet and his heart to race. Then Lucian sees something he’s never seen before.
A negative number.