Sometimes her world looked different to Jennil. It was hard to say what was wrong, but then it was hard to say what was right with the ordinary, everyday world. The world was just the way it was and it was the way it usually was.
When she was younger, Jennil had tried to ask the rest of the family, individually or together, if they ever found the world… well, different every now and then.
Everyone, though, was always busy. Always distracted by whatever they were doing to give the question the serious thought Jennil thought it deserved.
Now, though, she was much more cautious. Her own family was not unusual in finding something out of the ordinary to be a matter of concern or worry, rather than a subject of wonder or inquiry.
Jennil, during those younger days, wondered if maybe it was her that was occasionally not right, rather than the world itself. Now, though, after thinking about it for many years, she knew it was not her that was wrong. Although, how she managed to know something like that was another of her concerns.
She just knew it, that’s all.
‘It’s like the world goes out of focus for a while,’ Jennil once said to Paunna, the doctor, during one of her scheduled annual checkups.
Paunna checked back over the result of the eye test. She shrugged and smiled. ‘Perhaps it is just tiredness.’
Jennil knew it was not tiredness, but even by that age, she’d learned not to trouble adults with vague speculations about the nature of reality, or daydreaming as they called it.
Now though as Jennil had learnt how to control, understand, these episodes, she knew that it was not a matter of the word going a bit out of focus because her eyes were tired.
It was much more than that.
Now, in her late teens, Jennil could see that the world was – in fact – permeable. After training herself how to see it, she could now, reveal this other world that edged up against her own. She was sure too, that if she dared, she could touch this other world, that lay behind this one like the view through a window obscured by a flimsy net curtain.
Not only that, Jennil knew that the window was open now. She thought it could also be possible to step through that window. The world going out of focus she’d seen since… well, as long as she could remember, was this other world rippling into her own world, like the breeze through that open window behind the flimsy curtain.
Jennil knew that – if she dared – she could sweep that curtain aside and step on through into this other world that was there, waiting only for her.
All she needed was to take that one step.