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Perfect Collision

By:Lina Andersson

“Holy mother of god! What the fuck have you done?” his wife suddenly yelled, and when he looked towards the door he saw why.

Vi, their youngest daughter, was standing just inside the door with her eyes closed. Her long, thick, beautiful hair was... violet. As in purple. He swallowed a laugh when he realized his wife was running towards Vi, and he got up to stop her from killing the kid right then and there.

Vi and Ella had a difficult relationship, to put it mildly. They argued constantly. Or more, Ella yelled at Vi about everything, and Vi quietly glared at her mom as her only response. Lisa’d been surprisingly easy as a teenager; she liked school, had a lot of friends, and was a generally happy kid.

Vi, on the other hand, struggled in school—struggled with everything. They’d done some tests a few years back, and she had ADD. According to the docs she was smart, really fucking smart; she just couldn’t focus long enough to use it. To top it all off she had dyslexia.

The ADD, the kind she had which was without the hyperactivity, meant she never acted out. In fact, she had an extremely even mood. It was sometimes almost unsettling. He’d been worried she was depressed, but according to the shrink she wasn’t. She was just calm.

Vi was his girl, and he understood her. Even if there hadn’t been any tests or diagnoses for it when he was a kid, he knew she’d inherited her shit from him.

To save Vi the embarrassment of having the fight in public, something he knew would mortify her, he headed over to his still screaming wife and took Vi's arm as he looked at Ella.

“Go to Lisa, babe. I’ll handle this.”

“Do you see what she’s done?!”

“It’s hard to miss. Go to Lisa,” he repeated and started walking Vi towards the door. “You’re coming with me, Katze.”

He didn’t wait to hear his wife’s reply, but simply pulled Vi with him outside, walked her over to his bike, and gave her the helmet he always had with him.

“Dad, I'm wearing shorts.”

“We’re not going far, honey. You know that.” That’s when he noticed she looked scared, and he pulled her in for a hug and kissed the top of her now violet head. “I’m not angry.”

“You're not?”

He leaned back and picked up one of her curls. “Nah, kinda like it.”

She rewarded him with one of those far too rare smiles, and he hugged her again.

He took her to their spot. It was along the road, nothing special, just a big tree that gave them some shade. They sat down underneath it, and then he lit a smoke and looked at his daughter.

She was so much like him, so much it sometimes made it pretty fucking obvious Lisa wasn’t his biological kid. Lisa was his kid too, make no mistake. He'd been her father since she was three years old, and he loved her just like he loved the girl sitting next to him. But it was painful for him to see what Vi was going through. He understood it all too well, since he'd gone through the same thing when he grew up. The same feeling of being an outsider, of not belonging, and not understanding or being understood by other people.

He thought Ella treated Vi badly at times, but when he brought it up she argued he was more lenient with Vi since she was his 'real kid.' He fucking hated when she used that phrase—real kid. That wasn't it, but he couldn't figure out why she insisted on comparing Vi to Lisa instead of seeing Vi for the girl she was. He'd tried to ask, but they always ended up discussing him instead, and how he treated them differently. Of course he did! They were different people! Ella was expecting Vi to be something she wasn't and it pissed him off. More importantly, it made Vi feel bad about herself. Or rather, worse about herself.

“Drawn anything?” he asked.

She nodded, searched through her bag, and handed him her black sketchbook.

Vi loved to draw. When they did those tests, it turned out her sense of pictures was uncanny. Her capability of visualizing, seeing patterns, and remembering what she'd seen was way off the charts. They’d shown her pictures and asked her what was missing in them. She always noticed instantly.

In a picture full of stuff, she immediately saw the dog missing a leg, the board missing in a fence, or the stairs that were shaped wrong. They’d given her a picture to copy, and then asked her to draw it again thirty minutes later without having the original in front of her, and she did it. Obviously not to perfection, but pretty damn close. She saw patterns where he saw blur. She could see a picture, imagine it in 3D, and draw it from another angle as easy as breathing.

That wasn’t from him, and he had no fucking idea where she got it from. Ella said it was the same with him and engines, that he just knew how they worked, and he guessed she had a point.

He opened Vi's sketchbook and flipped past the pictures he’d already seen. He knew this was almost like a journal to her, and no one else could look in it. She had other pictures she showed if someone asked, which rarely happened, but never these. It was just pencil or charcoal and no colors; she wasn’t much for colors.

The first new drawing was a view of the compound. Bikes and people scattered around. She’d been there waiting for him a few days back; this could’ve been drawn then, and he remembered her sitting at a table sketching. He hadn't reacted at the time since she always did that.

The next was Mel sitting by her desk, talking on the phone, with Brick standing next to her. Bear’d seen Vi's drawings for years, but he was still impressed with how it was always so obvious who the people in them were even if it was just simple sketches like this. She somehow managed to catch a person's stance or just a few things that immediately made it clear who it was. Mel with her curves, leaning her elbow on the table, and playing with her hair like she always did. Brick with his ponytail and big mustache, holding a hand on the backrest of Mel's chair leaning over her. It almost looked as if he was peekin