I got up from the bed, startled as all hell. “MOM, oh my god, your hands.” I choked on the words, unable to stop myself from pointing and jumping up and down in shock.
“Shhh,” she walked towards me. “It isn’t burning me, I can conjure fire and other elements— “
“Ah, aht.” My voice was stern. “Stay where you are, you could burn this whole apartment to the ground." I closed my eyes and made a wide gesture to the chest and the fire coming from her fingertips, “Can you please explain what is going on!”
In a split second, the fire diminished, leaving strange wisps of smoke along with a slight burning aroma lingering in the air.
“I guess you get your dramatism from your mother," she sighed. "I’m a witch, Nao, well, we're both witches.”
Me, dramatic? I blinked. How else was a person to respond to something so abnormal? “Why are you just now telling me this?"
“Lose the attitude,” she warned. “I wanted to keep you safe. I thought that if you didn’t know you could live a 'normal' life. Of course, that didn’t work, because you were always so set on doing whatever you could to help others. And so I guess it was no surprise to me that you, accidentally, altered the trajectory of Leah’s life--"
"W-w-wait." I was in disbelief. "What does this have to do with Leah? I wasn't, I mean, yes, I wanted to show Leah other options but how is that a bad thing? You said it wasn’t my fault!"
This felt like my reckoning. My heart began to beat a mile a minute.
Mother ignored my questions and carefully dragged the chest near the bed placing herself on the floor next to it.
“Phew,” she blew a loc that had begun to fall in front of her face out of the way.
“Urghh,” I groaned. I wished she’d get it over with and tell me everything.
The chest appeared ancient. There was dust that had collected on the intricate designs of the lid, yet it didn't take away from its charm. A swift breeze lifted the dirt and dust off the chest and I didn't need to look up to know Meihna was responsible. I was adjusting to her strange magic abilities.
I paused my annoyance.
"It's beautiful," I said. The design etched onto the chest seemed so familiar to the bracelet mother had given it to me on my fifth birthday.
She noticed me staring at the bracelet. I rolled my eyes. "I'm guessing this isn't a coincidence?"
Mother shook her head.
It was all beginning make sense. She kept me in the dark about who I am, for seventeen years, because she thought it would protect me. Why was it okay for her to decide that?
"I know you might be angry, but everything I did, I did to keep you safe, you need to remember that," Her brown, curly sista locs cradled her chin. "The rune is a protection spell, it was my mother’s passed down by her mother, and her mother's mother." she smiled and I could see her eyes glossed with pride. "We come from a powerful line of witches whose powers were innate, not obtained through dark magic. There are evil people in this world who would do unspeakable things, I didn’t want you to be consumed by that."
She was right to assume I was angry and it made me feel a little bit better. Though, I couldn’t stop the shiver that went through my bones at the mention of people wanting to have a piece of our magic.
“We’re the good guys, though, right?” I asked tentatively.
She laughed. “Silly girl, yes, we don’t practice the dark arts.”
I rolled my eyes. "Thank the lord," I murmured. I’m just grateful that we were good. Ancestry or not, I wouldn’t associate myself with an evil occult.
“Our clan of witches is natural healers. Though there are a few witches in the bloodline who are elemental magic wielders, intuitive psychics, and spell casters.”
My head turned to the side, “So you’re a healer and you have a special ability?”
Mother nodded. “But not just me, you have a special ability too.”
I gasped theatrically.
“Oh, don’t act so surprised, this is the perfect time to bring up how you altered Leah’s life.”
A deep breath came out from my lungs and I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Great.”
I had almost forgotten this was a discussion we needed to have, because of how fascinated I was with my newfound powers.
“Human lives are constrained to this world and live out their lives through a fixed sequence in a way that a witch can disrupt if she is not careful.”
My eyes widen. “So… you just now thought to tell me this?”
“I-i” she stuttered. "There was no way for me to know this would happen."
“It’s fine, mom, I know you only did what you thought was best,” I waved my hand.
She paused before continuing with a sigh. “You’re a psychic witch. Albeit, you’re not properly trained, but that's why it happened, I said it wasn't your fault and it isn't. You never showed signs of having powers that I could sense so you must have just come into them.”
My face must have been confused because she kept going. “Nao, you were never supposed to know that about Leah, and whatever you said to her must have tipped the scales of her life.”
“So, the ‘premonitions’, those were real?”
“Yes.” her voice lowered. "The minute you began having them was when your powers manifested."
"Now that I know things," I gave my mother a hopeless look. "what do I do?"
She pushed a braid behind my ear. "Can you keep a secret?"