Chapter 1~ Mei
A young, sixteen-year-old girl named Mei Gordon lived in a neat, three-bedroom townhouse with her mother, Song, younger sister, Ariaha, and stepfather, Thomas Paulard. She had been born in Atlanta, Georgia to Jacob and Song Gordon. Two years after her father’s tragic death, her mother remarried, and they moved to a remote town in Central Florida called Lexington.
As far back as Mei could remember, the world appeared differently to her; it felt different. To her, seeing, speaking and playing with human spirits was a typical experience. She enjoyed most visits from numerous spirits; however, the occasional dark entity would present itself to her. It did its best to drag her into the darkness.
Mei refused to allow the darkness to win. Her being epitomized the spirit of a profound fighter; yet, she did not fight alone. Her great-grandfather encouraged her by speaking into her spiritual ear, summoning her will to continue fighting. She knew that he was sent by God and cherished each visit with him. He revealed to her things to come, the good and the bad. Occasionally, she would find the courage to tell her mother about her supernatural experiences; however, Song would ridicule her experiences and scold Mei for daydreaming.
At school, Mei often got into trouble for daydreaming. Her teachers were annoyed with her muffled whispers into thin air, along with the occasional blank stares, from which no one could shake her. Despite their intentions, however well they might have been, it was hard for them to understand or appreciate Mei’s profound gift.
When Mei experiences a vision, her entire, physical body shut down. She becomes rigid; her eyes do not blink, and her mouth is agape. This alarmed her teachers, causing them to call for the school’s nurse and counselors each time. Sometimes Mei’s episodes would last minutes, but on exceptionally rare occasions, it could go on for an hour.
Although her body appeared unresponsive to the outside world, inside, an entirely different scene played in her mind's eye. Mei was utterly taken in by the strange experience. Her spiritual body actively recorded everything she felt, tasted, viewed, and heard.
At thirteen, Mei experienced an ardent vision that changed her forever. Thomas, her stepfather, had hired a small, local, landscaping company to care for the lawn and trees around their home. They were reasonably priced and eager to please. The usual, two men did a terrific job and paid attention to every detail, but on this particular occasion, they had brought along a new guy. The new person had missed the warning on mowing the patch of soft land beside the thirty-feet deep, man-made canal. To his surprise the lawnmower fell into the dark murky water, taking him with it.
He had to let go realizing he would drown if he didn’t. For the next few days, the owner of the landscaping company insisted on retrieving the lawnmower, grumbling over the expense of the machine.
Mei and the entire household had watched intensely as the three-man crew fought to find the lawnmower in the dark waters. After coming back with scuba equipment, they discovered the lawnmower resting on a ledge about ten feet down.
They were scratching their heads, struggling to understand how to get the lawnmower out. It was too heavy to swim it to the surface, even with two men, and the murky waters offered no visibility.
Mei stood by the closed, back, sliding glass door of her home and watched. She wanted to hear what was being said and touched the handle to the sliding glass door to step outside.
Suddenly she was pulled into a vision.
In the vision, she stood on her back patio. Her mother frantically ran past her. Mei looked down by the canal in her backyard, and the two men were screaming, standing around a man, lying unconscious on the ground. The two, conscious men were panic-stricken. Song, Mei’s mother, ran by yelling at her to get towels, but Mei couldn’t move; she appeared to be in shock.
In her mind, Mei pondered on what could have gone wrong. Instantly, images of what took place, moments before, began playing in her mind’s eye.
One of the men had suggested attaching a strong chain from the lawnmower to the back of the owner’s old Ford truck. Unfortunately, the chain they found wasn’t long enough, and they decided to find a way to acquire more length. They saw a rusty chain in the back of the owner’s pickup and quickly attached it to the other. But when they began to pull the chain by using the power of the truck, the lawnmower became wedged on a second ledge.
The owner seemed to be more concerned with retrieving his lawnmower than with safety. Annoyingly, he stood too close to the chain. Song had repeatedly warned him, "Watch out for the chain!" or "Don't stand so close to the chain." However he chose not to listen. So focused on his investment, he would step away, only moments later to end up right back next to the chain.
One of the men started the engine while the other stayed in the water, a safe distance from the lawnmower. The owner precariously stood near the rusty, old chain. When the chain jerked, the owner thoughtlessly yelled at the driver not to stop. “Force it!” he encouraged.
Then it happened. The chain snapped, wrapping around the owner’s leg, ripping away at his flesh, right down to the bone.
Mei abruptly came out of the vision. She needed to tell her mother what she had just experienced, but then she stopped and thought, She never believes me; she always feels that I'm daydreaming. She also thought that her mother would do nothing to prevent the accident from happening, but after careful consideration, Mei decided to tell her mother about the vision.
Her mother’s response was, "Don't worry; they seem to know what they are doing." But her mother's body language seemed to say the opposite as she stood, staring nervously out at the men in her backyard.
The very next day it happened, precisely the way Mei had envisioned it. She felt guilty and angry; it was as if she had intentionally done it to him. She cried, standing out on the back patio. Song assumed that Mei was just scared by what had happened.
From that day forward Mei felt punished for not doing more to prevent the accident from happening. She felt as if God had punished her for not wisely using her gift. She no longer had visions. Mei stopped communicating with spirits. She knew they were there, but she blocked herself from hearing and seeing them. She became miserable and withdrawn, loathing herself for years, until that one day in school, when she experienced something new.
Max Martinez, a favorite student who attended her school, finally caught her attention. Of course, all of the hormone-driven, teenage girls were obsessing over him. He stood an impressive six-foot, two with soft, alluring grey eyes, perfectly dark, curly hair, and a sweet, caramel complexion. He kept his hair well maintained and was always seen donning the latest fashion. His belief in staying fit and healthy attracted Mei; however, his ego seemed a bit too large for her tastes.
Yet he stood apart from the other guys his age, particularly in the way he treated girls. This is why the girls could never get over him. Every girl, except Mei, wanted to be with him. Mei just found it too hard to become silly about a guy over whom everyone else was obsessing. She wanted a guy who embodied a good heart, and someone she could trust. Mei had to know she was truly loved by a guy and refused to settle for nothing less. She had observed the girls Max dated and could not see herself in any of their shoes.