1 A Terrible Habit

Nathan Grant was not planning to get hit by a bus today but life seldom went as planned. This was what he got for involving himself in other people's problems but it was kind of hard not to.

For as long as he could remember, he had this strange power that allowed him to see 1-5 minutes into the future when something bad was about to happen to someone else. For the longest time he thought it was déjà vu. But after a while it became impossible to keep writing it off, especially after the time he failed to save someone important to him when it was totally preventable…

He had a terrible habit of jumping in to help whenever he saw something bad was about to happen even since. It had never gone quite this badly for him before though.

Normally, they were fairly simple things. Pulling kids out of the way when people on bicycles were speeding down the sidewalk, catching people as they tripped, preventing dogs from running out into the street and getting hit by cars.

Nathan hadn't been expecting the bus but, honestly, it shouldn't have been surprising. The woman he was trying to save had showed up in no less than a dozen of his visions in the past few weeks. That had never happened before.

Most of the time this happened with total strangers that he never saw again but it could happen to people he was with as well. But she was the first person he didn't actually interact with regularly that had showed up in more than one. She had the worst luck of anyone he had ever seen. It was like she was a danger magnet.

This all started normally enough. He had a craving for some bacon and pancakes but didn't have the ingredients to make them himself so he headed out to the nearest pancake house. If he had known what chain of events that would kickstart, he would have stayed home.

Nathan was a novelist and spent most of his time holed up in his apartment on his laptop. He hadn't expected to take that particular career path—writing was something he did to destress since he was a kid—but when he took a creative writing class in college his professor urged him to try and get published.

Nine thriller novels later he was doing fairly well for himself but couldn't get complacent, especially since he didn't have a second job. The last three had even made it to the New York Times Bestseller List. That had really helped him out in terms of both royalties and how much the advance was worth for the book he was currently working on.

A major benefit of primarily working from home was that he had less visions. For some reason they only happened if he was within the vicinity of the danger that was about to occur.

After finding himself a job that didn't require leaving his house they happened much less frequently. It wasn't as if he had many social connections requiring him to leave the house either. His visions made it difficult for him to get close to anyone.

The exception was his much younger sister Amber Carlin, who had been adopted by a nice family after their parents died and they didn't have any relatives capable of taking them in. He had been seventeen at the time so he didn't bother trying to get adopted and knew he wasn't capable of caring for her himself. He did see her at least once a week though. She was the only person he had any deep feelings for left in this world.

Amber knew about his weird power because she had been on the receiving end of it so many times when they were together. She thought it was awesome and called him a 'real life superhero.'

Please. As if someone like him could ever be a superhero.

He only helped people out of a sense of guilt for the one he couldn't save. That wasn't heroic in the slightest.

Nathan tapped his fingers on the table as his stomach growled. He really shouldn't have put off eating this long but he was in the writing zone and hadn't wanted to stop a couple hours ago. He only came out to eat now because he was too hungry to focus at this point.

He looked out over the restaurant. There weren't many people here at 3 PM. He could only see one other booth occupied in the entire place. A waitress was heading over to them carrying a tray of food that she had a precarious hold on.

She ended up slipping on some water the child sitting at the edge of the booth had spilled and fell flat on her back with all of the food and plates falling on her. Ouch. Some of the plates that didn't land directly on her shattered and ended up cutting her arms too.

Everyone at the table began to panic and less than a minute later everything rewound. As if it had never happened in the first place, the waitress was walking over to that table again.

Nathan sighed. That was how his power worked. It was why he wrote it off as simple déjà vu for so long. There were no obvious signs that what just happened hadn't been anything more than a figment of his imagination. Unless he ignored it, that is. It would always happen exactly the way he saw it.

This was such a minor accident that he almost didn't see the point in getting involved. The waitress hadn't gotten seriously hurt. Yet he still found himself on his feet heading over there to catch her when she fell.

When the waitress slipped he was there to stop her from falling and the tray of food from spilling everywhere. He knew exactly what to do since he had seen it happen already.

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