Only Time Will Tell

October 2, 2016
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    “Listen, this is important...I don't care if...but my needs are important too! You know what, forget it! I just can't I'm not sorry...maybe it's for the best, this might be a sign...with our schedules, you with the baby and me with filming...maybe we just can't...I think it's for the best...bye Elizabeth.” I hang up, lay down on my pink, satin, bedspread, and start sobbing. I lay into my pillow and cry myself to sleep. I wake up only minutes later to the sound of bells.

     “My dear, you’re a mess! Here, have a tissue,” a strange old lady pulls a tissue seemingly out of thin air. I blow my nose. Her kindness only distracts me for a moment, before I realize I don't know who she is or how she got in. I live in a high security mansion (only the finest for a famous actress). No one can get in or out that easily.
     “Sorry, but who are you? How did you get in?” I pepper her with questions, but she ignores them all.
     “The only question that needs be answered is: what's wrong, dear?” Is all she responds with. There’s something so intriguing about her mysteriousness, something so familiar about her face. Is it enough to make me want to pour out my problems to a stranger? Apparently.
     “My friend and I had an argument. See, she’s having a baby girl very soon. She wants me to be there when she has her. She wants me to be the godmother. And I've just been offered the biggest acting role that I can't pass up, filming starts at around the time she’ll be expecting the baby. I told her I can't come. She and I have had so many scheduling problems, I told her maybe it was best if I wasn't the baby’s godmother, maybe not being in her life at all.” I start sobbing as I say this.
     “Well don't you think you could give up this role for her? There will always be more roles out there,” the old lady reasons with me.
     “But this is so important to me!”
     “But she helped you so much in the past, I think it's your time to repay her!”
     “What do you mean, it's not like she changed my life or anything!”
     “You'd be surprised.” I look at her curiously, next suspiciously. Has she been stalking me? Suddenly, there's a blinding flash of light. “I'll show you what I mean, she says.
20 Years Earlier
     The welcome, warmness of my bedroom fades away into my old, drafty elementary school auditorium. I shiver, wishing I had worn a coat earlier. I suddenly see a little girl with short brown hair next to a little girl with waist length blonde hair. It's ten year old Elizabeth and I.
     “You need to try out, you've just got to!” She says, tugging on ten year old me’s arm.
     “Gee, Lizzy I don't know…”
     “Please, Gen! I know you'd be perfect for the role of Annie. Your singing is beautiful and I know you’re amazing at acting! You don't even have to worry about your blonde hair, you can wear a wig!” She keeps listing off reasons why I should try out until past me finally gives in and auditions. I get sadder and sadder as I watch this, what our friendship used to be.
     “She was the one who helped me get the role of Annie,” I say, holding back some tears. If only Elizabeth was here to hold me and tell me it was alright, but instead I ended things selfishly.
     “She's the one that got you into acting and made you famous.” Says the mysterious old lady from behind me.
     “So how did you do it? How did you bring me back here?” I ask in disbelief. There's an edge of anger in my voice that even surprises me, but the old woman ignores me again.
     “Trust me, you'll thank me later.” She grabs my arm and there's a blinding flash. All I hear is the sound of bells.
Present Time
     I wake up and check the time; only a few minutes after my argument with Elizabeth. It seemed like so much longer. My head suddenly feels dizzy, probably from time travel. But then again, time travel doesn't exist, does it? Was I only dreaming this whole time? Yes, that's the solution, sadness was giving me hallucinations. But this hallucination made me realize that Elizabeth had helped me so much more than I had ever known. She was the one who got me into acting in the first place. Maybe if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be where I am today. Maybe I'd be an old, withered, single…(oh wait, that's still true) librarian or something! I shudder at the thought.
     I go to the phone again and dial two numbers. The first to the people who offered me the role, declining it with a heavy heart. The other, to Elizabeth’s, hands shaking. I hear her surprised voice on the other end of the phone.
     “Hello?” She asks, her voice shaking like the ground during an earthquake.
     “Hi, Lizzy…” I whisper into the phone.
The End
Epilogue: 35 Years Later

     “Genevieve, come here love, say hello to Grandma Elizabeth and your Great-Aunt Genevieve,” Connie says to her five year old daughter. Elizabeth and I exchange a happy glance as little Genevieve waves shyly. Little Genevieve only stays around for a minute before being distracted by a gorgeous butterfly at the window. I smile, realizing I would've done the same at that age.
     “She wants to be just like you, you know,” Connie says, giving my hand a squeeze. I look between her and Elizabeth; she truly is a spitting image of her mother.
     “You mean an old lady who's never been in a relationship?” I joke. But then I turn serious. “I used to be a bratty actress who almost never came into your life. Ever since staying here and being a stay at home aunt, I realized there was so much more in me,” I tell her. It's true, I abandoned my career for Elizabeth, but she really needed me, and it was worth it.
     “And my daughter was named after you too! I'm glad something caused you to change your mind and bring you here,” Connie gushes. Something inside of me suddenly feels strange. I'm dizzy for a second, then I come to a realization.
     “Are you okay, Gen?” Asks Elizabeth.
     “Excuse me for a second,” I respond, going out of the room to the nearest mirror. When I reach it, I realize it's true. My mind goes to the lady I had seen all those years ago, then back to my reflection. They're almost exactly the same. I gasp, not feeling so well. So in the end, it was me who had saved my friendship with Elizabeth. I was the reason I was there when Elizabeth had Connie and became her godmother. I was the reason why my name was passed down to Connie’s daughter. But how? That would mean…”time travel…” I whisper to myself. I grip the table in front of the mirror to steady myself. When I've calmed down, I notice a bell on the table that wasn't there before. I remember those 35 years ago when I heard the sound of bells, before future me came and left. I don't think before I pick it up and ring it. Lights seem to glow around me, a feeling I remember from before, and I know it's time to re-fix my past.

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