I’ve always found the idea of heterochromia to be extremely alluring. There’s something, aesthetic, about having two conflicting eye colors that had always kept my admiration. That is, until I met a man by the name of Bryan Haynes. We’d met on a forum on Reddit. He’d mentioned his condition on one of the threads and it quickly captured my attention. I privately messaged him and received a reply within a matter of minutes. We had discovered we lived in the same city, and after a bit of convincing I persuaded him to meet up with me for an interview. The freelance journalist inside of me had to learn more about this intriguing condition. We agreed to meet at a coffee shop in the downtown area of our city. I arrived early enough to organize my questions; I was so excited to learn more about his experiences with the condition. A bit past our scheduled meeting time, he arrived visibly shaken, an eye patch covered over his right eye.
I got up to shake his hand; he was hesitant, but reached out to return my gesture with a weak grip. We sat down and ordered two medium coffee’s with light cream. My curiosity wanted nothing more than to ask about the patch, but I figured it was best to leave the matter for now. I allowed him to tell me more about himself: details about his childhood, career ambitions, even about his past relationships. Our conversation was progressing nicely, but I wanted to steer it more towards our original reason for meeting. I began to ask questions about his condition and I quickly developed a dark sense of dread when his blissful expression turned into a somber stare. “I was hoping to stall for a bit longer.” He let out a nervous laugh before continuing. “I’m afraid that I left out some details about my condition when we chatted online. You felt so much envy towards it that I, couldn’t bring myself to tell you, but I feel it would be dishonest if I kept it to myself.” I had no response to his words, I nodded in comprehension, ushering him to continue. His attention trailed off to something in the distance, he spoke in a soft, almost inaudible tone. “This is going to sound hard to believe, I won’t blame you if you don’t by the end of it. Hell, I’d be surprised if anyone believes a damn word I say, pardon my French.” He shifted a bit in his chair, I could tell this conversation was making him uncomfortable.
“This condition that you seem to find so aesthetically appealing, well, there’s more to it than just pretty looks, not to mention being a big hit with the ladies.” He chuckled at his own comment. “This defect I have, it allows me to predict the future.” I glanced at him with a puzzling look, one eyebrow reaching past the placement of the other. He noticed my expression and let out an exasperated sigh. “Here comes the looks. I know it sounds strange but I promise you I’m not some sort of “mystical” gypsy claiming tall tales to scam people out of their money, although I’d prefer that over the hell I’m forced to live through.” I shook my head frantically. “No, no! Forgive me if I offended you, it’s just hard to comprehend, I’ve never met anyone who claimed to see the future before.” He flashed a half-hearted smile, it gradually changing into a distant frown.
“I wasn’t born with this, curse, you know, had a bad surgery a couple of years ago to correct my eyesight. If I knew then that this would be the result, I would have just went blind.” He paused for a moment, taking a quick sip of his coffee. “It was pretty subtle at first, I thought they were just vivid premonitions. Small things like forgetting to set my alarm for the next day or missing the bus. After a while, things began to get a bit more interesting. I was able to predict, or see who would be fired from their jobs or, whose bet would win in a poker game. For a while, I had no issue with the ability. It won me over many friends and grabbed the attention of admirers, they just looked at it as pure luck. Up until a year ago it was like a blessing from the gods, until..” His words trailed off into a muted whisper, his limbs shaking in an uncontrollable manner, his heart beating loudly enough for me to hear it. I was beginning to feel as if inviting him to talk was a bad idea.
“I, I, I don’t know how it started, I was just..it happened so fast..I saw it, I could’ve stopped, no, no no no no!” His voice cracked and wavered as if he was losing grip on his sanity. His eyes grew wide, pupils dilating far past their original size. I immediately leaped from my seat, grabbing hold of his shoulders, shaking him, trying desperately to snap him out of his nightmarish daze. He sat, screaming a deafening scream that called attention from those around us, I tried anything to calm him down, one of my attempts finally doing the trick. He sat with his head between his knees gasping for air. He looked up at me with a widening stare, one that made me fear even more for him. “I saw their deaths.”
I looked at him with crippling perplexity; I was still registering what had just transpired when he said those words. I stumbled back into my chair, keeping my gaze fixed upon his wild stare. “What do you mean, you saw their deaths?” “I could see how she died, how anyone died, the most gruesome, most horrendous deaths you can imagine; homicides, mutilations, rapes, torture, everything! I can’t look at them, I cannot witness another! It has to stay covered!” His skin faded into a milky white texture, his cheeks flushed of their color. With every word he spoke, his seemed more and more deranged. “Wait, who is she? Please speak more calmly, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say!”
“I saw, my mother’s death! I saw it and did nothing to stop it! I saw the robber climb through her window, I saw him violate her, I saw him slit her throat! I saw, everything, and I didn’t even warn her! I could’ve called the cops, I could’ve called her and told her to leave the house, but I thought it was nothing more than a dream, nothing more than a sickening nightmare.” He began sobbing hysterically, I wanted to comfort him, to console him, but I knew nothing I could do would alleviate his pain. “One by one, I saw them die right before my eyes. My mother, my girlfriend, my best friend, hell, even my dog. I witnessed all of their deaths, and I didn’t warn any of them.”
I watched him in awe, tears assaulting his grief-stricken face as he tried unsuccessfully to wipe them away. I tightly shut my eyes trying crudely to suppress my own. We both sat in silence, unsure of what to say next, a few minutes later the silence was broken by his words. “The scariest thing of all, is having to witness your own death, knowing when and where it will take place. The terrifying details of every second of it, the pain and emotions that flow through your mind. It’s like having a front row seat to a private showing for the grim reaper. The worst part of it all, is that even if you wanted to stop it, you know you can’t.”
“Surely there’s something you could do, you said you knew all of its details, maybe there’s a way to cheat the system.” He looked at me with vacant eyes and slowly stood, casually checking his watch. “Thank you for taking the time to listen, I appreciate that more than you know.” He shook my hand and began backing away with each word, a loud screech was steadily approaching in his direction. I called out his name to warn him, but it was too late. The car struck him with enough force to send his cadaver flying through the air, landing hard onto the concrete. I quickly ran over to him, pushing onlookers and pedestrians out of the way. The site was unnerving. His body was mangled, limbs twisted in the wrong directions, his neck almost severed from his spinal cord, fresh blood stained bones protruding from his wrists and ankles.
My eyes swelled with tears, I wanted to escape this gruesome scene as quickly as possible. As I began to walk away I felt something tightly held between my fingers. It was a note, a note he’d given to me when he shook my hand. I unraveled the note and betwixt the tears I began to read it. “I apologize for what you just witnessed. I knew of my death for quite some time now and instead of avoiding it, I decided to embrace it. No more running. I thank you again for allowing me to tell you my story, I hope that I am the only one to suffer from this curse. Please do not blame yourself, I decided to partake in this interview on my own, I just, couldn’t live with this anymore. I wish we had more time to become better friends, but I enjoyed the little time we had. I would like for you to remember me, and retell my story to as many people as you can in the hopes that someone who may be struggling through something similar can see it. Thanks again. See you on the other side, my friend.” –Bryan.