Chapter 5 - Dreaming of Different Times
I found myself in front of the family computer looking up stuff.
The family computer was an ancient relic that might have been cutting-edge when my father bought it. But now, it was far slower than the more modern computers from this year.
It wouldn’t be for another year until we’d get a more up-to-spec computer. But to browse the internet, it was enough.
My theory that I was sent to this time to change something was still at the forefront of my mind. Spending the next few minutes browsing for anything through the news didn’t help much, however.
“Agh,” I grabbed my head in frustration. “What’s the point of sending me back?! There must be a reason why someone would want me in the past.”
The fact that there was someone capable of casually sending someone back in time freaked me out. Even if it wasn’t some kind of omnipotent being, then the person who sent me back here might be from some secret organization or something.
“But there’s no way I’ll be able to discover who that is from just searching the internet.” I gave out a heavy sigh. “Still, I could’ve been sent to any period of my life. But I was specifically sent to the first day I started high school.”
That had to be a clue. Why such a specific day in particular though?
“If I haven’t read that text message from before, I wouldn’t be so suspicious about this whole endeavor.”
So the clue to the reason I was sent here is centered around my high school.
...or at least that’s the theory I came up with after several hours of thinking. Really, I’m not the kind of guy suited to solving mysteries or coming up with hypotheses. I’m sure that there are countless people smarter than me who could have found a better way of discovering the reason behind why I was sent here.
But since this is only happening to me, or at least as far as I’m aware of, I can’t really count on anybody’s help in this. Not unless I was willing to divulge the fact that I’m from the future.
...actually, why shouldn’t I?
I left the computer room and knocked on the door to the room my brother was in.
“Clovis, I need your help!”
He opened a few seconds later. “What?”
I pushed him into the room while closing the door behind me, ignoring his squawk of protest. Locking the door on the doorknob, I turned onto him and gave him my most serious look.
“Okay, I’m going to tell you something unbelievable. Mom and Dad won’t believe me if I tell them, but I think you might at least be willing to at least treat me seriously.”
He quirked an eyebrow. “What, did you get yourself a tattoo or something?”
“No, I—” I paused at that and looked at him weirdly. “Where did you get that idea?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Dunno, I just said the first random thing that came to mind.”
We just stared at each other after that.
“...never mind. Okay, I need you to listen and not interrupt me while I explain.”
He mimicked zipping his mouth shut, and I told him about how I was from five years into the future, having been sent back in time to this morning. I told him everything, including how the text conversation played out, to my theories on the fact that there might be something special about this time period in particular.
Once I was done explaining, he finally spoke. “So assuming you aren’t messing with me, do you have any proof that you’re from the future?”
I thought about it. “Well, my memories from this time aren’t exactly the most accurate. I’ve told you about what’s going to happen in a few weeks though.”
“Yeah, I got the part where you mentioned our schools going into lockdown. Honestly, that kinda sounds like something that only happens in a story.”
“Hey, these things happen in real life. After all, I went through it.”
Sure, it was pretty rare in a small town like ours. But big cities probably had tons of robbers and criminals causing problems for schools.
“Allegedly,” he quickly replied. “But if you’re right, I’ll know it once the things you mentioned happens. So I’ll just choose to believe you for now.”
“Oh, thank the gods for that.” I collapsed onto my bed. “Glad to get that off my chest.”
Clovis sat at the corner of my bed. “So, what’s the future like.”
“It’s only been five years, nothing really changes in that much time.”
“With the way you’ve been describing things, I can’t really trust your account on that.”
Dammit, he knew me too well. He was always the smarter one between the two of us.
Something crossed his mind. “Wait, you mentioned something about puberty this morning?”
I waved my hand at that. “Eh, you just grow up really tall and fit even though you eat chips and sleep in all day.”
Honestly, I’m actually pretty jealous of that. How come he’s the one who gets to laze around without any consequences? In fact, he was even taller than me by the time I finished high school.
“Neat.” He took a moment to think. “So… do you know any lottery numbers?”
I quirked an eyebrow at him. “Do you?”
He sighed at that. “Guess it was too much to ask for you to help us get rich quickly. If it’s only five years, I doubt you’ve messed around with stocks or anything.”
I shrugged my shoulders from where I sat. “I mean, maybe I can look into cryptocurrency.”
B**co*n was still pretty cheap around this time, right?
“Never mind.” I got up from my bed and stood up. “Any more questions before we’re done?”
He suddenly smirked. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
I leered back in surprise at the unexpected question. “No! And how come you aren’t asking if you got a girlfriend?”
He gave me a funny smile. “Please, I know myself well enough. Let me guess, I said something along the lines of it’s too troublesome to get a girlfriend, right? Or maybe something like I don’t want to get hitched before you do to get you off my back”
I stared at him with my mouth gaping open. Holy cow, my brother can predict the future.
He laughed at the shock on my face.
Dinner soon came, and I found myself eating with the rest of my family. Even though everyone looked slightly different, it was nice to do something familiar again. Especially since I haven’t had a good meal ever since I moved into the dorms.
Damn, I missed my mom’s homecooked meals.
I suddenly recalled my earlier thought and voiced it out loud. “Hey, is it okay if I take the bus tomorrow?”
The conversion around the table paused as everyone took a moment to stare at me with a surprised look on their faces. Even my brother looked at me in shock, which really shouldn’t have surprised him since he knew that I was from the future.
My dad blinked and adjusted his glasses. “By yourself?”
“Um, yeah.” I looked at him funnily. “That’s kinda the whole point.”
This time, it was my mom’s turn. “Do you even know how to use the bus?”
Well, yeah. But I can’t exactly say that without drawing suspicion. “I'm just looking at a map to know my bus-routes, right? How hard can it be? ”
She gave me an unamused look. “Sweetie, your sense of direction is atrocious. I wouldn’t trust you by yourself on a school field trip, let alone taking transportation on your own.”
My face flushed. “That was in fifth grade, and I didn’t get lost. I just went on the wrong bus by accident.”
My father gave out a heavy sigh. “You know, that doesn’t really inspire confidence when you’re asking permission to take the bus to school.”
My brother just snickered from where he sat.
I groaned dramatically. Seriously, I didn’t remember my entire family being this snarky. That was usually my brother’s thing.
I held up my hands. “Just let me try it out tomorrow. I still have my phone, so I can look up directions if I’m lost. And I’ll wake up early so that I’ll have time to see how it works.”
My parents looked at each other at that.
It was my mom who caved first. “Alright, I guess we can see if it works out. Do you want me to pick you up after school at least?”
“No thanks,” I shook my head at that. That would kinda defeat the whole point of the process. “I can take the bus back too. Who knows, I might even know some students going home on the bus.”
Actually, that was another good point. Did I know anyone else who took the bus home?
My brother took that moment to chime in. “If he’s not getting picked up after school, can I just walk home too?”
Now, this time my parents didn’t seem to mind. After all, Clovis’s school wasn’t actually that far from our house. My dad just dropped him off by car simply because it was more convenient to do so when he left for work. So they didn't really think that it was a bad decision to let my brother walk home on his own.
Either that or they simply trusted my brother more. I wouldn’t exactly deny that either since I thought so too.
“Sure,” my mom agreed. “Guess this means that I don’t have to worry about picking you two up anymore.”
And that was the whole point to this.
Soon, it was time to sleep.
My brother was in his bed next to mine reading with the nightlight on. I was staring at the ceiling thinking about what else I wanted to change in the future.
I heard him close his book. “Yeah?”
“If you could, would you like to redo your life over again?”
He took a second to think about it. “I mean, I’m still pretty young. There wouldn’t be much of a point if I reset my life now.”
I chuckled. “Guess that was a stupid question then.”
He continued to speak. “Now, if you asked me the question again when I’m in college, or even when I’m an adult. Who knows, but I’d like to think that I wouldn’t need to. I’d like to think that I would’ve led the kind of life where I didn’t make that many regrets.”
Damn, it always amazes me how he can say stuff like that even though he’s so young. I really can’t look down on him because of his age.
“Thanks for answering.”
He snorted. “Go to sleep already. I’ll stay up for a bit.”
I smiled and closed my eyes, letting my drowsiness overcome me.
Even though I could tell that I was asleep, I knew I wasn’t dreaming.
Why does it hurt so much
it’s wrong, it’s wrong
Flashes of images passed my mind, too many for me to focus on any in particular.
nOt aN ApoStLe
The multitude of images suddenly flew away until only a single one remained. Focusing my concentration on that one image, I suddenly found myself in a memory from the past.
The bomb threat freaked out most of the students at first, but now we were just waiting around for things to settle down on the lawn.
I saw a few of my classmates joking around, even as the teacher reprimanded them for making noise. Suddenly, another staff member walked up to my teacher and began to speak in a rushed but quiet voice.
Most of our class noticed how our teacher’s face paled until she began to look for someone in our group. Finding the person she was looking for, she quickly walked towards them and pulled them out of line.
I didn’t know the person, but I recognized her from my class. She was someone who was usually pretty quiet, only involving herself with others whenever we had to participate.
The teacher pulled her to a clearing a distance away to speak. Being the closest to them, I was able to catch a few words.
“Why — br - ght — -ighter - bag?”
“F—ot —ut -— didn’t - know — in —”
“—alk ——ith — trouble — guardian.”
The rest of the class was now whispering that the girl was in trouble for some reason. Gossip was aplenty for the rest of the day, especially when the teacher left with the girl towing behind her and didn’t return.
Even as everyone else was dismissed for the rest of the day, nobody heard back from the teacher or student. When everyone was able to go back to school the next day, the girl had transferred to a different class.
A week later, the police caught the prank caller who scared the school with his call. The incident made the news that night and everyone continued to talk about the incident for the next week before forgetting all about it.
And as for the girl from his class, nobody ever found out if she was involved in the incident or not.