Mina vs. The Curse of Knowing (Read or Listen)

Mina vs. The Curse of Knowing


Everyone in class claimed she was actually psychic.

I didn’t know her at all, until we got paired up for an assignment in physics class.

Mina* was the quiet girl in our small town school. But she had these eyes that bore into the back of your head so you felt it.  She was friendly enough, but always seemed to be plagued by something.

She had worry etched into her face, like she had survived decades of loss and heartbreak, by the age of fifteen. She was always staring straight ahead and looked like she was fighting the impulse to announce something terrible because she had made a promise not to do it just yet.

I thought the rumors about her were exaggerated.

And when we sat together to start the project, we were two outsiders, who stood out as different, in a sea of otherwise homogeneous faces.

She was friendly and sincere. It felt like we were going to be friends right away.

At first, it was fun, the way she seemed to know what was going to happen before it happened.

It was like having a friend who did this amazing party trick that made me forget about the parts of my life that I wanted to escape.

But it was a lot less fun to hang out with her when there was something I wanted to keep private, and she seemed to always know anyway.

And not in a general sense, like, “Oh, you look worried about something.”

I’d have a thought, and she’d respond to it out loud.

Spending time with her started to feel invasive.

Our friendship strained.

She confessed that it had always been hard to keep close friends.

But then my mom was up for a job she really needed, one that would really help our family.

My mother just wanted it so much, that I was worried too.

I went over to Mina’s house to ask her about it. And when she opened the door, she had an answer for me before I even asked the question.

“Is my mom going to get this job?”

The pause and breath she took before answering told me everything I needed to know. She eventually said, “I wouldn’t worry about it.”

My mom didn’t get the job.

Now that I look back, I wonder if she knew what was going to happen in the world, and in my life.

Even if she had tried to reassure me about some of it, and warn me about other parts of it, I probably wouldn’t have believed her.

My guess is that we were probably able to stay friends for at least a little while because of everything she knew and chose not to tell me.

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*Some details have been changed.