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We jumped over the edge and stepped into the car, before the doors had a chance to close. We had ridden the metro for a grand total of three times on our trip, and being the small town kids we were, we thought it was about the coolest thing since sliced bread. The four of us worked our way toward the middle where there were a few handles left for us to hold onto (this was a much more fun way to ride, for obvious reasons). Mike, Todd, Claire, and I were separated from the rest of our group due to the crowds. We were planning to meet up again at our stop before heading back to our hotel.
The metro was more crowded than it had been that morning, and all of the riders were packed tight - tight enough that the bumps and swerves hardly jarred us. The lighting was dim, and we could hear the whooshing sound that the car made traveling quickly through the tunnel. As we rattled along, we joked around, and laughed about the city. We probably could’ve ridden all day and not been bored. Not because we liked the metro, but because we enjoyed each other’s company.
As the minutes ticked by, the crowd thinned, and soon, it was only us and three other people in our car. A younger woman hung onto a strap by the door, headphones in, and periodically checking her watch. A middle-aged woman sat in the orange, plastic seat in front of us, leafing through a magazine. The last person was an older man sitting on the floor a few feet away from us. He was wearing a purple hat, and looked like he was almost asleep. I checked my phone for the time, and to see if the 15 minute ride to our stop was almost over. No reception. I’d forgotten about the underground part.
“Hey Mike, what time is it?”
“Almost 3,” he said, checking his watch.
“What time did we get on?”
“Like 2ish. Why?”
“Umm, it’s 3.”
“What!? We’ve been riding for an hour? We’ve definitely missed our stop by now. Louis is going to flip out.” Claire said. Louis was our chaperone, and in charge of us for the 3 day trip in Washington D.C. So now, we were pretty much lost, on an underground metro, with no cell phone reception. Great.
We had worked ourselves into a slight panic, and by now were not sure what we were going to do with ourselves.
“What if we die down here?” Claire cried – she was always one for the melodramatic.
“Chill. We’re not going to die.” Todd said. We all knew this was true, but still it didn’t help that we honestly had no idea where we were.
“You kids lost?” the old man with the purple hat had approached us. So he hadn’t been asleep.
“Um, yeah, kinda, sorta, a lot…” I told him.
“Well if you just stay on for the next few stops, we’ll be back to the beginning and you’ll come to your stop again.” he said, “but just make sure you remember the time change.”
“Oh. Good. Ok, well we’ll just wait then… Wait. Why would the time change? We didn’t change time zones.”
“You’ll see.” He was already on the way back to his spot on the floor, and looked to be on his way to dreamland.
“WE’RE GOING TO DIE!”
“Claire, if you don’t shut-up right now, you will die.” Todd was starting to get a little edging from the panic and now the confusion.
“You guys, I’m sure it’s fine, he’s just a creepy old man. We’ll be back at our actual stop in like an hour.” Mike said; he was probably the most level-headed of us all. So we decided all we could do was wait. It would be better to try and find our real stop, instead of getting off randomly, and trying to find our way back in an unfamiliar city. Just then, the train lurched forward, snapping our heads back against the seats, and the entire car filled with a blinding white light.
“Claire, do you really think any of us know?” I said. I was trying my best not to scream myself. We all sat frozen as the metro traveled at some time-warping speed.
And as suddenly as it had started, it was over.
“He isn’t this where we started from?” Mike asked.
“Yeah F-2. Let’s just get off here, and we’ll call Louis to let him know we’re ok, and we can get back on again.” I told him, glad to finally being seeing something even slightly familiar.
We got off, and there was - Louis, and the rest of our group. What is going on?
“Oh hey guys, we’re gonna head back to the hotel so that we’ll be get there before 2:30 and be able to eat something before going to the church.” Louis said. But it’s almost 3:30…
I looked to my friends for an answer, they all had the same confused expression, that I was sure I was wearing. Mike checked his watch.
“My watch says 2:06” he whispered.
“No way! What is going on here?” I whispered back.
“Well I know it’s completely ridiculous, and extremely unlikely, but I think we may have just traveled back in time.” We looked at each other and glanced at the other two.
“Well,” Todd gulped, “I guess we just better stay with our group this time.” Wordlessly, we decided that this would probably be the best idea. We stuck close to our group as our car approached. Then we jumped over the edge and stepped into the car, before the doors had a chance to close.