Chapter 7 - Reliving The Second Day
This time, I didn't care that my brother was still asleep.
Barging into our room, I moved over to where he was sleeping and began shaking him awake.
"Clovis, I really need your help right now!"
Five minutes later, he was up to speed with everything that's happened to me. From the fact that I spent the next two weeks figuring out what happened, up to when Text messaged me and sent me back in time once more. Right after I was done with my explanation, he suddenly said something random.
"Purple bananas," he repeated himself. "That's the code that I thought up last night in case you ever found yourself in a time loop."
I stared at him incredulously. "Wait, you made a code for the possible chance that I would find myself traveling back in time again?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Eh, I figured that there was a possibility of it happening, so I came up with something easy to remember just in case."
Holy cow, my brother's a genius!
"But how come you didn't mention it last time? In the previous timeline?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe I didn't see the point. I wasn't sure if you were in a time loop situation. All I knew was that you traveled to the past at least once. And I didn't know if you would go back to before you explained everything to me or not. So I wasn't sure if I would remember the code in the new timeline."
Huh, that makes sense. After all, the logical conclusion would be that I'd return to the first day of school, not the second.
"Regardless, if this happens again, just say purple bananas so that you can save yourself a few minutes of exposition."
My face turned annoyed. "Do I have to? It seems sort of needlessly complicated."
"Well, it's also to prove whether or not you're actually traveling back in time or not."
It took me a minute to process what he said. "Wait, what? I thought you believed my story!"
He sighed. "You still haven't given me any actual proof that you're from the future. For all I know, you could be pulling off an extremely complicated and convoluted prank on me."
"Really?" I gave him a funny look. "But you're still willing to hear me out even now. Doesn't that mean you believe me at least a little?"
He gave a heavy sigh at that. "Against my better judgment. If you're really serious, then you'll need all the help you can get. I'd rather feel silly after finding out that this was fake rather than regretful if you got in trouble because I didn't help you."
Tears started pricking at the corner of my eyes, and I suddenly glomped him with a big hug.
"You do care! You're the best little brother in the world!"
Oh my goodness, why is he so cute compared to his future self? Compared to that emo, this version of Clovis is such a bundle of joy.
"H-Hey, get off of me!"
"Aww, Clovis. I love you too!"
Waiting at the bus stop was something I was used to after doing so for the past two weeks.
However, to the rest of the world, this was my first time taking the bus. And if I didn't figure out what Text wanted with me, he'll make me repeat this 'first time' once more.
But why did he send me back in time?
In his words, I failed to accomplish something, causing him to force me back to two weeks ago. And that it had something to do with Anna.
But all I've figured out was that there's something weird about her eyes, which had something to do with that vision of Anna he showed me.
In the vision I saw, her eyes weren't brown, but rather a brilliant pure blue. The intensity of her eyes stood out even amongst other people with blue eyes. Unlike the warm, sleepy brown eyes I got used to seeing the past two weeks, her blue eyes gave her an otherworldly look about her.
So what did that mean?
"Maybe she wears contacts," I mused aloud.
Hah, even I don't believe that at this point. No, the reason wasn't as mundane as that. Most likely, it was something supernatural like Text.
And that was an entirely different revelation that I didn't know how to handle. Actually witnessing the moment I was sent back in time. That was something I couldn't forget even if I wanted to.
The ability to freeze reality and to warp it to the extent of warping time itself. An inhuman ability that is only seen in works of fiction is being used as a tool to force me to follow Text's whims.
Until now, Text was just a random stranger with whom I've interacted over the phone. Now, he revealed himself to be this all-powerful being who could warp reality to his whims.
Without knowing how his ability worked or his motivations, I have no guarantee whether or not he'll decide to send me back in time again.
So there was only one thing I could do. I had to ask the one person most likely to understand my situation.
I had to confront Anna.
Hearing a familiar voice, I looked to my right and widened my eyes on purpose. “Maria?”
Since the next two weeks never happened, Maria and I were back to being acquaintances. It was a little sad to know that I wasn't as close to her as previously. But maybe we can still be friends in this new timeline.
"So you're taking the bus too?"
I sat down across from her. "Yup. I'm probably going to do so until I get my driver's license again."
"Err... I mean until I'm old enough to drive. Hey, what do you think about school so far?"
She took to the change of conversation with ease. "I'm super excited that I'm a high schooler now. It feels like I'm slowly becoming an adult."
I smiled at her cheer. "If you ask me, being an adult isn't as great as others make it out to be."
Then again, compared to repeating high school over and over again, I'd pick being an adult over this any day.
"Do you know what our class is going to be like? I heard from some of my seniors that the teacher gives a lot of work."
The two of us spent the rest of the bus ride discussing various school stuff.
I knew that Anna would be at school earlier than anyone else.
Walking up to where she was, I stood nearby and waited in silence for the class to start. Making sure she wouldn't notice me peeking, I took a look at what her eyes looked like.
They weren't brown.
Unlike before, I finally noticed the brilliant blue color of her eyes. The piercing blue color stood out even though her face was looking down, and I couldn't get the image of them out of my mind.
But how come I'm seeing them as blue now? What's the difference between this timeline and the last?
She looked up when I called out to her.
I scratched my head awkwardly. "This may seem a little random, but do you know anything about time travel?"
"Only in the context of science fiction stories. Why?"
Her answer didn't really tell me whether or not she knew anything about Text. So I changed tactics and tried asking something else instead.
“So continuing the topic about time travel. If you had the choice, would you want to redo your life over again?”
This question was to check if she was another time traveler like me. There was the chance that she was also connected to Text in some way, and I didn't know if there were any other time travelers other than me. Asking this question to somebody who was experiencing a redo was basically admitting to them that I was another returner as well.
Unfortunately, she just gave me a blank stare.
"While it does sound nice to be able to change a few things in the past, I can't really say I'm terribly interested in the prospect."
"Ah, is that so..."
Damn, I was sure for a moment there.
A few other students from our class began to gather, and I couldn't find a way to continue our conversation.
Soon, it was time for break.
I contemplated whether or not I should skip meeting with the rest of the group. Since only my memories of the two weeks returned to the past, I wanted to update my super list of all the details I wrote in my last try before I forgot them. Plus, I wanted to keep a record of all the things that were going to happen in the next two weeks.
But since the break was only around ten minutes, I figured that I'd spend my lunch working on that instead.
Dean smiled when he saw me approaching. "Hey, Wren. Didn't see you at lunch yesterday."
Oh yeah. Come to think of it, I did skip lunch on the first day to make my super list. I guess it would be bad if I skipped again to continue working on it.
"Oh, sorry. I had an unexpected problem that I had to work on. But I'll meet up with everyone at lunch today."
"That's fine," he waved off my apology with a smile. "As long as you're okay."
"Yeah." I noticed that his face looked a little pale, and his eyes looked like he didn't sleep well last night. "Is everything okay?"
"What?" Dean looked surprised when I asked him that. "Oh, yeah. I'm just a bit tired."
He didn't seem to want to talk about it, so I ignored it for now.
The rest of the group came, and soon we began talking amongst ourselves. Even though I've lost two weeks' worth of interactions with them, somehow it still felt like nothing has changed. My relationship with most of the group members wasn't really close enough for me to feel sad about that fact though.
That probably said something about me. But I wasn't willing to contemplate that problem yet.
Right as the break was about to end, Dylan's shocked voice suddenly caught my attention.
"Hey, why's that girl walking toward us."
I turned to look at what Dylan was talking about and was shocked to find that it was Anna he was talking about. My eyes turned confused at why she was here all of a sudden, even though this never happened in the last timeline.
Walking right in front of me, she looked straight into my eyes.
Turning around right after she said that, I looked at the rest of my group mates in confusion. The rest of them seemed to be excited and were even nudging me in her direction.
"Dude, a cute girl just called you out."
"Break isn't over for another two minutes, hurry up."
"Don't keep her waiting, go after her."
I sighed and began to run in her direction with some curiosity. She waited for me impatiently until I reached her before she continued to walk once she knew I was behind her.
The two of us moved to a corner and found ourselves alone. Turning towards me, she spoke.
"I thought about your words from this morning, and I came to a conclusion."
"My words?" I frantically tried to remember what exactly I said to her. "Oh, you mean about my question on whether or not to redo your life?"
"Yes," she replied. "I thought about what you said, and I realized that what you were basically asking was if I wished to have the chance to fix the mistakes of my past."
"Uh, I guess you could put it that way."
She took a step closer, causing me to feel nervous all of a sudden. "And there was something else that I've realized, something that immediately drew my suspicion."
Right at that moment, I realized that something was wrong.
"This morning, you called me Anna."
Her eyes hardened.
"Even though I never introduced myself, you knew my name. Even if you read it from my nametag yesterday, it would've said Annalise. So why did you specifically call me Anna?"
I felt the air between us suddenly get uncomfortably warm, and I started to panic.
"W-Well, I just felt like shortening it. A-Annalise is kind of a long name after all."
"And what's more," she interrupted. "Your eyes, they weren't silver yesterday."
My eyes? They're what?!
"As I thought, so you're the one."
"I'm what? Sorry, what the heck are you talking about?"
She pulled something out from behind her, and I was confused when I saw that it was one of those utility lighters used to light candles. The one that had a long neck with two safeties on its handle. Pointing it in my direction, she continued to speak.
"I didn't think I'd find the apostle so soon. I'll apologize to you later once I deal with whatever being is contracted to you."
Contracted? Is she talking about Text?
Wait, deal with?! What did she mean by that?!
"W-Wait, I think there's a misunderstanding here—"
"For breath — the flames of my will are born."
The utility lighter lit up as she pressed both safeties, but instead of a tiny flame, a gigantic ball of fire materialized in front of her. My jaws dropped as she created what looked like a basketball of fire with only a simple lighter.
"Don't worry, this won't kill you."
Before I could react, she launched the ball of fire straight towards my chest.