I took a deep breath. Yes, I'm going to do this. I have to do this. I need to do this. My life is already ruined - and this is my only chance to get it right.
I looked at the special black telephone, waiting for me to dial to myself. I closed my eyes, letting the tear fall. I didn't knew how I'm going to talk to her. What would I even say her? Will she even believe me? To answer that question, I questionsed it to myself.
Marie, will you believe anyone right now to call you, tell you that she's your future self and warns you for what is waiting ahead of you?
For sure, I'd believe no such thing.
But still, i had to try. I had to. I wiped my fallen tear from my cheek, inhaled through my nose and picked up the telephone. I dialled the number carefully. The bell began to ring.
While the phone was ringing, I thought about the woman i visited today in the morning. She told me to do this trick to save my life. Even the telephone I'm using is of hers. I paid her a great deal of money before she got ready to help me. And she also made me swear on my life that I'll not utter a word about her or her special telephone to anyone for one exception - my younger self.
"Hello?" My mother's voice said from behind the telephone.
She sounded so young, it made my eyes fill with tears. I held back a sniff to reply her.
"Can I talk to Miss..." I hesitated. It felt awkward asking my mother that i want to talk to myself. "Miss Marie Cassidy, maam?"
"Sure. Please wait a second." She told me. I could almost see her calling me from dinner, and my younger self jumping from the dining table, rushing to see if the call is of my best friend Jessica.
"Yes? Marie Cassidy speaking." Marie said. My younger self.
"Marie, is this you?" I said and held my breath.
I couldn't believe it! That lady...she wasn't lying!
"Well, this is Marie Cassidy. And you are? Jessica or Matilda?"
"None. I'm you."
Well, this is super crazy. Mom made such a lovely dinner, and i had to get up and talk to this elderly lady, saying that she's me.
"Excuse me? I guess i didn't heard you correctly." I stated.
"No, Marie. You heard me right," She said through the phone. "I know this might sound super crazy but please, do not shut the phone. Please listen to me, no matter how much the stuff i'm talking about go crazy. Please."
I sighed and glanced back at dining table, at my empty seat. I wanted to shut this phone right now and go eat those enchiladas. "Go on," I told her.
"Thank you. Now, listen to me carefully. Marie, you're sixteen years old. And there will be a time when you'll become of fourty-eight - friendless, familyless, poor and helpless. At that time, you could do nothing. Marie, litsen to me. I know this is crazy but - I'm your older self. I'm Marie Bruella Cassidy, daughter of Sherlock Jackward Cassidy. Age is fourty-eight. Are you listening to me?"
At first, I was shocked. But then i rolled my eyes. "Yeah, i am. Go on,"
"Take this seriously, Marie. Please. Don't be so childish. I know these are the words your parents - or my parents, i'd rather - say, but now i know that you really were annoying when you were teen. Now, i don't have very much time. Remember this: tommorow, when you'll be coming back from your school, you'll bump in to a stranger -"
"Excuse me, but why are you wasting my time like this? I guess I'm done with your speeches." I said angrilly.
"Listen!" She scolded. "The stranger whom you'll bump in will be a tall man wearing a grey and black coat, grey hat hiding half of his face and he'll have a black suitcase in his hand. If i remember correctly, he'll also have a cigar in his mouth."
"So? What am i going to do? Kick him or punch him to death? If i'm going to do either of those, than please say no more and let me finish my dinner." I snapped.
The lady sounded taken aback. "Please, Marie. Only this once. And I'll promise you I'll never call you again."
I clenched my teeth, but said nothing.
"So, he'll say 'Marie Cassidy?'. You'll nod. Then he'll shake your hand. He'll ask you to go with him, which i eventually did when i was you. Do NOT do that. He'll talk to you about money and stuff. He'll give you his email adress, and will ask to email him if you are interested in what he said. I actually emailed him. We stayed in contact for many months. Eleven, I guess. That’s almost an year. We usually met here and there. And my parents – your parents – knew nothing about it. He fed me with information, helped me with home-work, used to buy me ice-cream on hot days and coffee plus brownie on cold days. He became my best friend. Pretended to, actually. He knew everything about me, and pretended to keep my secrets. Then it happened.” The woman from the phone paused.
“Then what happened?” I asked curiously.
“He started to…feed me with…wrong information about my dad. He made me hate my dad. Hate my mother because she was his wife and hate my brother, Andrius, because he was his son. The man, his name was Marcus by the way, told me that I can start a new life. In which I’ll not have to be his daughter. No one will bother me because of him. He asked me to…to…my god I can’t say it…k-kill him.”
I gasped. “W-What happened then? You killed him? My dad, I mean?”
I could almost see the tears swelling up in her eyes. “I didn’t knew that Marcus was using me. I didn’t knew that…he was a secret agent from the enemy agency. Your father, Marie, is a secret agent. I know he never told you that. But he had his reasons to.”
I should be angry at her words. But, surprisingly, I was not. “Please don’t stop.”
“Okay. So, that wasn’t all. He used me even more later. After I killed my father, I killed my brother Andy and my mother, too, because she saw me killing my brother. The neighbours – Aunt Guiltson – called the police. I had to run and find Marcus. But then it hit me like a lightening bolt. He never, ever gave me his address. Yet he pretended that I know everything about me. He never told me where I could find him and, - foolish me – I didn’t even asked him what I’d do if someone will call police. I didn’t knew what to do. So I ran. I stole my father’s money, my mother’s gold, my brother’s stuff – anything I could basically got my hands on. My brother haunted me in dreams. I got nightmares. I was on the run until I was of twenty. I ran to Canada. There, I worked as a part-time cashier and lived in a cheap guesthouse for, probably, seven months. Life became very sad and boring. I started to want to suicide badly. But I made a life goal. To get revenge on Marcus. One day, coming back from my work, I accidently bumped in to him. Seriously. He got there to find me – to make sure I don’t put him in any trouble.”
“Did you kicked him to death right there?” I asked angrilly. If I was on her place, I would have killed him.
“No. Once again, he fed me with lies. He said as soon as he heard police got to my house, he rushed to my aid. But at that time, I already left the house. So, since then, he wandered across the world in search of me. He got to know that I’m living in a cheap guest-house, so he was coming to meet me.”
I felt a tear tickle down my cheek. I didn’t realise I was crying before. “Stop. Please. This is very, very sad.”
“It had to get even sadder, Marie. Right now, I’m on the run from him. I got to know his name isn’t Marcus at all. He is James. He lied even about his name. Now he and his buddies are finding me – to kill me. And I need your help. Will you help me, Marie Cassidy? In love of your father, maybe?”
I started to believe in her story. “Yes. I’d do anthing.”
“Thank you for understanding,” She sniffed. “Well, if you don’t run away from James tommorow, all this will happen to you, too. Because you are me. I am you. That’s it.”
I sighed. It’s so hard to believe something like this.
“Now, what you have to do is: Tomorrow, when he ask you to talk to him, run away. Also, record your little conversation with him. Show it to your dad. He’ll understand it in a minute. He’ll try to talk to you often. Aviod him. Do you understand, Marie?”
I let a moment pass. “Yes. I do.”
“Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ve got only a minute left. Ask me or tell me anything you want. Do not hesistate. Remember: we are one.”
I wiped my tear, “I wanted to say…that…thank you. For warning me. If you are real, and this is no prank at all – thank you very much. I’ll never, ever forget you.”
“You’re always welcome, Marie.” She said. “From tomorrow, my life will change to. And all credit goes to you for helping me. Good-bye, Marie. I can’t call you again, so – live in peace. Love your family. You can do nothing without them. They are your backbone, Marie. Always remember that.”
And the call ended.
Just like that.
My stomach did a backflip. I put the phone back to it’s place and glanced at the dining table. Right now, I didn’t want to eat Enchiladas. I want to go to my bedroom and let my elder self’s words sink in me. And just like that, I went upstairs to my room.
The next day, after school, I was walking bak to home, my head down –thinking about the phone call. If it was real, I’m about to knock in to someone right no-
I looked up to see a tall man standing after me. He had a cigar in his mouth. He was wearing a black and grey coat, with a gray hat hiding his eyes and black boots. He held a black suitcase in his right hand.
“Are you Marie Cassidy, miss?” He had Scottish accent.
I narrowed my eyes before cleverly putting my hand in my hand-bag and pulling my phone out of the bag just enough to record the man’s face and voice.
Then, I nodded.
He smiled and stretched out his hand for me to shake. “Nice to meet you, ma’am.”
I shook his hand.
Then he glanced at my bag. “Nice camera you’ve got there.”
Now, I was sure he’s a spy. Or else how could’ve he noted the camera which wasn’t even out of the hand-bag?
“Thanks,” My throat felt dry.
He looked at the surrounding. “I wanted to talk with a little, ma’am. But I don’t think it’s the right place. Come with me and I’ll get you some Frozen Yougurt, and then we could talk.” He said casually.
Heck, this is real!
“No.” I said.
“Excuse me? Oh, the payment. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for you, too.”
“No!” I said a little louder.
Before he could say one more word, I pushed him and ran. I ran so hard without looking back. Now, I guess I’m save. I saved my family. I saved my life from becoming ruined. All because of the phone call. The telephone call.