Chapter 3 - Hah, You Call This Annoying
Class finally ended, and I thanked my neighbor with a smile and a nod in her direction. She reciprocated the gesture with a nod of her own, and the two of us left in different directions.
I should probably find out her name later. I didn’t get the chance to look at her nametag.
Taking out my schedule, I found that my next class was apparently English.
Heading towards the room I was assigned to, I blinked as I saw several familiar faces through the window.
Two boys were seated together while deep in conversation. I hesitated for a moment, before walking up to them.
The two glanced over and smiled when they saw me.
“Hey, Wren. So you’re here as well?”
“Guess that makes three people from our group.”
I awkwardly sat down next to them and smiled back. “Yeah, I saw Dean earlier. I guess we’ll meet with everyone else a break.”
The two boys nodded at that.
They were also friends of mine from middle school, but unlike Dean, I was supposedly more friendly with the two people here.
Dylan was a short guy who I knew since the beginning of middle school. He was the one who introduced me to his group of friends when I had nowhere to sit during lunch.
The other person, Kyle, was someone who often brought cards to our table to pass the time. He was considered one of the more popular kids in our group because of that fact.
Hearing myself say that in my head made me feel embarrassed at how simple their descriptions were. Middle school was a lot easier and embarrassing compared to college.
“So, does anyone know where we’ll meet up later?”
Kyle was the one who asked that, and it took Dylan a second to reply. “I was just thinking we’d find a nice spot and hope that the rest of us would find us.”
If I recalled correctly, the seniors in this school were the ones who usually took up the tables and benches. The rest of us would have to settle for standing around the lockers until the group later decided to sit on the ground underneath the shade of a large tree.
Yeah, no. I wasn’t going to settle for that this time. Even if I’m not sure if I wanted to continue hanging out with this group, I might as well help them get a nice place to sit.
“Let’s try to get a spot near the cafeteria,” I suggested. “Not at the tables, but the ledges to the flowerbeds.”
Those were usually free game for anyone who wanted to sit there. But if a large enough group claimed the area first, it would count as ‘our’ spot.
And I just realized that my first usage of taking advantage of future knowledge was used to secure myself a spot during lunchtime.
“Oh, that sounds nice.”
“Yeah, we can even get food quickly if we sit near there.”
The two seemed to agree with my idea, and I felt weird about feeling proud of that fact. Even though things got awkward for me and them in the future, right now we were still friendly enough to talk casually with each other.
Interacting with them like this was… nice.
The teacher finally entered the class and called out to the classroom. “Alright everyone, settle down. Pick a seat and raise your hand when I call out your name.”
Hah, attendance. Compared to college, attendance was only filling in a sign-in sheet at the beginning of class. And that was only if the professor even bothered to take attendance.
Taking up five minutes of the period, the teacher finished calling the last student before showing something on the blackboard.
“I know it’s the beginning of the year, but I want everyone to do a small assignment.”
Quite a number of students groaned at that, and the teacher gave a slightly sadistic smile.
“Don’t complain, it’s not that bad. I just want to see everyone’s skill level by having you write a quick paragraph based on the prompt here.”
I wanted to laugh out loud at that. Compared to the future, where it was expected of me to quickly write 1000-1500 words of work, this was nothing.
It wasn’t even the basic intro, three-paragraph body, conclusion essay.
My friends grumbled as they got out a piece of paper to start, and my face dropped as I realized I didn’t bring any paper either.
“Hey, sorry. Can you please spare a sheet?”
At least it was easier to ask for help this time. Taking only a minute or so, I quickly finished the assignment and stood up to turn it in.
Huh, I was the first one to finish. Not that it was anything special, but I felt a little bit proud at the simple accomplishment.
After the rest of the class finished their own paragraphs, the teacher just explained the class guidelines and gave us a syllabus before dismissing us.
Since break was right after the first two periods, I followed my two friends out of the room and the three of us made our way to the cafeteria.
“Huh, high school doesn’t really seem that different from middles school so far.”
I laughed. “Just wait till the homework starts coming in. Then you’ll see the difference.”
Granted, I’m pretty sure that freshman year was still pretty tame in comparison to the later years. I might even forget about all my classes from college if I become used to freshmen-level work.
That gave me a thought. I still had my knowledge of the next few years’ subjects. In fact, I graduated high school with pretty good grades.
Should I take this chance to skip a few classes? I wouldn’t want to waste my time repeating the same classes I’ve already taken.
Wait, I shook my head at the thought. Why was I planning out my future so casually like this? Wasn’t I supposed to find a way back to my own time?
But so far, nothing about this entire experience was bad per se. At most, it was only awkward because I was complicating things with how I saw my friends due to what happened in the future.
However, I already know what happens in the future. If I didn’t make any big mistakes, wouldn’t I actually enjoy my new high school life?
The memory of the text conversation finally came back to me.
[That's an interesting point. But what if you took your memories of your first life and managed to avoid making the same mistakes you did in your first life?]
Wasn’t this exactly how the stranger from the text conversation made his point? Was he right after all?
Is that why I was sent to the past? Did he send me back in time just to prove that I might actually make things better for me?
That didn’t make any sense. There must be a different reason why I was sent back in time. Who would use such a broken supernatural ability just to have someone get the chance at getting a better social life?
No, there was something about this time period that must be special for some reason. I couldn’t find anything noteworthy in my memories, but that might just be because I’m not thinking too hard about it.
Alright, I’ve made my decision. I’ll try and write down all the noteworthy events that happened during high school later. I’ll try and see if I can figure out the reason why I was sent back to this time.
But until then, I still have to deal with school.
The three of us quickly secured our new spot and waited for the rest of our group to find us. Kyle perked up as he spotted someone in the distance.
“Look, Dean’s here.”
I looked up and saw that Kyle was right. Dean was approaching us with a couple of other people I vaguely recognized. However, my memory was a bit spotty on who they were, since I wasn’t really that close with everyone but the ones I knew by name.
Everyone mingled with each other for a bit, discussing our schedules and talking about who had the same classes as each other. Dean walked over to me after finishing his talk with another friend of his.
“I heard that you got English with two people you know. That’s pretty lucky of you.”
I was a bit surprised that he was suddenly talking to me, but I nodded anyway. “Yeah, it surprised me too.”
“Speaking of which, I also heard that you’re taking French. That’s pretty rare in our group.”
“Yup. Other than you, the only ones taking French are Dylan and me. So I’d figure we’d help each other out in case any hard assignments crop up.”
I racked my memory to see if anything like this ever happened, and I vaguely recall agreeing to something similar. Last time, Dylan was the one who brought up the offer though.
Wonder why things changed like this.
“Sure,” I agreed. Nothing really came out of this deal from what I recall. “But I hear that it only gets hard when you’re in your third year. I think I’ll just fulfill the minimum two years before giving up.”
“Hah, that sounds fair.”
Break ended, and the rest of us split up to go to our next classes.
The next two periods quickly ended, and I didn’t recognize anybody I knew this time. Lunch soon came, but I decided that I wouldn’t meet up with the group this time.
I dug through my contacts and sent a quick text message to Dylan to tell him I wouldn’t be at lunch today. I didn’t bother waiting for a reply before I found a corner to myself to think.
Alright, now let’s figure out what’s different so far.
I’ve only been in the past for less than a day, but already some things are different. Most of those could be attributed to the butterfly effects my own actions caused, so that wasn’t much of a help.
But as time passes, the accumulated changes from the original timeline might add up to cause a large deviation from what I remember. And if that was the intent behind the person who sent me here…
I paused at that.
How exactly did they send me to the past anyway?
I didn’t really think much about it until now, but the fact that somebody has the ability to send someone to the past should’ve been a big deal. Since I wasn’t just reading the plot to a B-grade story anymore, I had to understand the mechanics behind the rules that go over time travel.
For one, do changes in the past change the future? Am I actually in an alternate timeline, one branching off from the moment I stepped into this world? Does changing the past cause any paradoxes?
And the person who sent me here, how exactly did they do that? Did they use a time machine? Is it a superpower of theirs? Or maybe they cast a magic spell?
I’m missing too much context to properly figure out what rules I’m under.
“Okay, so I’m dealing with an unknown person who has the power to send someone into the past with unknown motivations. That’s problem one.”
And I really shouldn’t have expected to ever say something like that.
“Next problem, I’m going through high school again. It sucks, and I don’t like it. But I need to decide whether or not I should act as my past self did or if I should just do whatever I want.”
Because if I was sent to the past to change things, following their plan might be detrimental to me in some way. But if I did everything exactly as I did in my past life, that wouldn’t be an enjoyable situation for me.
“To be honest, I doubt I could even act as I did a few years ago. I’m missing too much of my memory to be able to stick to a script, and I wouldn’t be able to handle the kind of problems I’ll know coming my way.”
So yeah, changing things was probably unavoidable.
But what if I limited the changes I make to the past. If the person who sent me here wanted me to change something, then as long as I didn’t affect my surroundings too much, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to change events in any significant manner.
“Alright, so what constitutes a ‘significant’ manner?”
I pulled out a piece of paper (thank Dylan for the extras) and took out my pink mechanical pencil.
“Let’s write a simple timeline of the big things I remember.”
I thought about the really noteworthy things that I managed to recall from my first time in high school, and was shocked at what I was able to remember.
“Wow, I’m actually amazed at how much occurred while I was in school.”
In fact, there were so many big events that doubt that I’ll be able to recall every one of them at the top of my hat.
Then again, let’s just worry about what’s going to happen in the next few weeks.
I began to write down what I recalled was going to happen in the immediate future.
Wren's Super List of Future Events To Watch Out For (Part 1)
I stared at the piece of paper in my hand and realized that maybe there were too many events that counted as significant. And this was only the first month, give or take a week. I knew for a fact that there were a lot more things that were going to happen in the next few months.
“What the heck, now that I’m reading this to myself, how the heck was my high school life this crazy?”
Did I just assume this was normal growing up? Maybe it was, but now that I’m supposedly supposed to change something in the past, these events look a hella lot more suspicious now.
“Now I’m not even sure if I want to stay passive when these things happen. Am I supposed to prevent any future disasters from happening?”
That’s crazy! I’m not the D***or from D***or Wh* or T***ks from D**go* B**l Z. I’m just a normal guy who really should be concentrating on getting his degree.
Then again, while a lot has happened from what I remember, nobody really got hurt from what I know. The fight didn’t cause any big injuries, the shooter didn’t kill anyone, the bomb threat turned out to be a prank, and the earthquake only scared a few neighborhoods and maybe weakened a few foundations.
So I still have no idea what my plan is, and I’m just confusing myself at this point.
The early warning bell signaling lunch was almost over rang, and I hurriedly began to pack and make my way to my next class.
Whatever, I’ll probably figure something out once I’m done with class. I’ll see if I can think better once I’m home.