Isa Moor wasn’t your ordinary 31 year old man. He wasn’t an ordinary anything. Every since his childhood, Isa had been anything but ordinary, and it had all started with one event, one tiny, but significant event in his life as a 2 year old. Isa, for a brief few moments, mere minutes, had officially died. The cause, drowning, in his own kiddy pool while his parents were trying for baby number two. Don’t ask Isa why his parents were less than discretely humping in broad daylight in the backyard while Isa’s back was to them, oblivious, he’d never be able to tell you. In the brief moment that they were caught up in each other, little Isa had suffered his first seizure. The result, he’d been face down in his barely threatening pool, dying for the minutes it took his little sister to come into existence. According to Isa now, Lily owed her life to him. Not that he was planning on claiming it. He loved his sister more than anything and couldn’t have imagined life without her, even if it nearly cost him his life.
By the time mommy noticed him, Isa had stopped breathing. He doesn’t remember much from that day. All he knows, from brief jagged memories and retelling of the story, filled with guilt by his mother every time Isa’s birthday rolled around, is that that was the day his life changed. He went from an innocent kid everyone wanted to kiss and cuddle, to a taboo people became weary of. Why? Well, Isa, though he’d come back to life, he’d come back to life with a dangerous gift; the gift of foresight. And the only thing he could predict?
At the age of three, Isa saw their old neighbor die of a heart attack out in the front yard. At the age of four, he predicted death of his pet fish by ‘squashing’. A peculiar prediction that came to pass when his much older cousin landed on the aquarium, creating a deluge in the lounge room when her glorious cartwheel went awry. In the confusion someone stepped on the tiny fish. Death by squashing had came to pass.
By age seven, the whole neighborhood had given him the moniker ‘Death kid’. By age seven, Isa had no one but his sister Lily to play wit. By the next birthday, he’d made first attempt at his life, or at least the thought had crossed it before he saw that it would lead to his sister’s death. Ever since then, Isa had been very careful about guarding his life. It was the only was to protect his sister. And now, Isa was in a hospital, from an unpredicted crash, and he hadn’t been able to reach his sister at all.
‘Excuse me!’ He called out, and kept on calling out till a new nurse poked her head in. ‘Where’s my nurse, the lady who was meeting a friend for coffee?’
‘She couldn’t come in today. What can I do for you, Sir?’
‘Could you try and get in touch with my family again, please? I have a bad feeling about this.’
‘Sir,’ the way the nurse said sir gave Isa the chills. ‘Your wife and daughter were in the car with you. I’m so sorry, you were hit from the back and they took the brunt of the force. We couldn’t find anyone else to contact on your behalf.’
‘What?’ Isa shook his head. That’s impossible. ‘I don’t have a wife and child.’ Isa said flatly, but he’d later discover that the nurse chalked it down to PTSD and denial. ‘Can I get my personal items back?’
‘They are in that drawer for you.’ She pointed at the little cupboard next to the bed. ‘Anything else, just ring the buzzer, ok.’
When she left Isa fumbled off the bed in agony and fetched his effects. Only to discover the wallet wasn’t even his. Inside, there was a driver’s license under the name Peter Linden. In the other side, a family photo of three glared at him. Some poor fellow had lost his wife and child and the hospital clearly had incompetent staff, confusing one patient for another. He had to get in touch with Lily. But first, he needed to get out of the hospital. He grabbed Peter’s clothes, assuming they’d fit him as Peter looked to be his size and went to change in the bathroom.
The man that stared at him in the reflection elicited a small scream out of Isa. It was a battered and bruised face. An eye socket clearly broken, multiple lacerations along his cheeks, and a mad gash on his head. But there was no mistaking it, the face wasn’t Isa’s. It was Peter’s. Isa raised a hand to touch his face and Peter raised his hand in the mirror. ‘Hello!’ And Peter lip synced with him.
‘Am I dreaming?’ Isa asked of himself. He must be dreaming. The longest, most realistic dream he’d ever had, probably more real than when he predicted dad’s death.
‘Wake up! You gotta wake up!’ Isa started to slap himself. Poor Peter was probably about to die from his injuries in the hospital. Isa didn’t want to see that. He wanted to get home. To Lily. It was her 29th birthday today, and it was the first birthday since Mum passed. He couldn’t let her pass it alone.
‘Wake up. Isa!’ He slapped harder. And the room blacked out.