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My Past Love
Author's note: It's a funny thing how this all came about; I used to have a crush on a guy 7 yrs. older than me. One day, I thought, what will happen if I go back in time? And then it just took off.
“…If someone would have asked me what I thought of my life I’ll say ‘It’s a very boring, everyday life, thank you very much.’
All my life I’ve always wanted excitement.
I’m a dreamer-type you see. I’m a bookworm and read too many books for my own good.
I have a normal life, not worthy to be turned into a book, but this is a journal so it doesn’t count.
First I'll talk a little about my life.
Hi my name is Mandy Ferrera.
I know, I would want a more unique name, like Erin or Alexa, and could have changed it, but I’m keeping this journal factual.
Oh, I have a mom, a dad, and a pesky little brother named Justin.
I have an abuela (to note that we are Spanglish people. Or at least I am. My family are Spanish people)
I also have an aunt named Susana who’s a widow and lives with my abuela (this is my mom’s side, okay; don’t even get me started with my dad’s. We breed like rabbits)
Now, this is the part where I’ll say something creative, or cute, or funny.
But, I’m going to tell you this: everything I say is real.
No fantasy is involved here.
I’m a very artsy person.
Not only in drawing but in the whole subject of THE Arts. Things like singing, acting, drawing, playing piano, writing, etc.
It would take too long to explain my whole life, so to make the long story short, I’ll start with a place.
St. Dominic Catholic Church.
The church I have been going to since before I was born (in my mom’s belly, if you’re wondering)
As any child around the age of six, I was bored in church and never really paid attention (sue me, I at least admit it).
Though, that’s irrelevant; why I brought attention to my six year old self is because this is when I started the Choir.
Yes, I love to sing, even at that age, but I never thought of myself good.
I remember my first choir director well.
Her name is Diana and she was in her twenties.
Carmen, the pianist, I still remember because she still plays with us.
As the years went by, I was still in the Choir and I’ve seen Choir directors come and go. Let me count how many…in a matter of five years, at least four Choir directors came (that I remember).
Some for a year or two, others for a few months; I’ve also seen fellow Choir members come and go.
Then, about three or four years ago, he came.
Our new choir director was then a young man around sixteen or seventeen, looking for a part time job.
His name is Vicente.
Vincent in English, but I got used to saying Vicente, so even now I still call him that.
Vicente is, I think, a genius in music.
He plays the flute, piano, organ, almost everything else in the orchestra, can sing well, and composes music. He was already in University studying music at age seventeen.
He’s around 5’8’’, dark curly short hair, dark eyes, glasses, pale, and yes he stammers (though I don’t notice it too much because I stammer sometimes too). Oh, he also has a little beard and mustache (though not the corny kind).
I know he may sound like a geek (when I was young I just thought of him as: director).
I never thought of him much; I just saw him one hour each week and never thought about him again.
My first crush was in fourth grade was with this guy named Cesar.
I continued to like him until the summer of eighth grade, and then I stopped.
I was never a one who was “boy crazy” or go over boys fast.
But when I do have a crush, I have it for a LONG time.
But let me describe my second crush, which is very importance for this tale.
I didn’t know about it, but I think it started when I was twelve years old and the start of my thirtieth year of life. I recognized that I started liking him around two months after my thirteenth birthday. That I liked Vicente.
I was kind of nervous and ashamed though, because he is seven years older than me.
For goodness sake, he was finishing University when I’ve barely even taken a step in High school!
I am fourteen, he is twenty-one.
No, he wouldn’t like me back, it’s impossible for him to like a plain girl with lots of pimples and is practically a baby to him, not when he has a lot of pretty talented girls his age in school with him.
I started thinking about him more and more, this is only a crush, I kept thinking, only a crush…”
“Mandy! My, look how much you grew!” I grimaced as I stepped inside my parent’s house.
“It wasn’t even a semester, mom.” I tried to tell her, but now she’s fussing about my new haircut.
Ugh, treated like a child…again.
I laid my luggage down and my dad hugged me and said “It’s been too long, though.”
“I don’t think Justin missed me, though.”
“Don’t be too surprised.” My mom told me and I rolled my eyes.
I was about to bring my suitcase to my old room when my dad insisted that he’ll do it.
I didn’t argue; it’s been a long ride from Seattle.
“Do you miss our heat?” My mom teased, I grimaced, that’s what I hate most about Miami.
“No, but I do miss St. Dominic, though.”
“I’m sure Carmen would be happy.” My dad said.
I smiled “I’ll be happy to help her out.”
“Good, Vicente is conducting the midnight mass again, it’s tradition.” She smiled at me as I narrowed my eyes
“I thought Vicente wasn’t the director anymore.”
“No. But that doesn’t mean he stops by a few times and does something.” I laughed; these people haven’t changed at all.
“Still taking care of Abuela. You know she’s happy you’re here.”
“Oh. And Abuela?”
There was a pause. “Abuela’s still feeling bad, but she’s getting better. She lit up when she heard you were coming.”
“Well, that’s good.” I confirmed as I sat down in the familiar faded sofa.
“Do you want anything to drink? I know that it’s a six hour flight from Seattle.”
“I’m fine, I’m fine, just tired.”
We sat there and my dad came back.
“Hey, where’s Justin?” I asked.
“He’s coming. He went over Susana’s house to ask Susana something about the guitar.”
“Oh.” There was silence.
“Great! It’s a lot of work, but who said University wasn’t a lot of work?”
Let me explain life.
Well, mine anyways.
I’m back for the Christmas holidays, so the heat isn’t that bad, but it feels like the summer in Seattle.
That night I called Carmen; she wanted to know if I was coming on Sunday.
When I said yes I asked her about the practices for Midnight Mass (or Misa de Gallo).
“If you can, come tomorrow at eight.”
I agreed to come at that time and make a mental note of that.
The next day, I visited Susana and Abuela.
Susana greeted me at the door of their apartment and I hugged her and she told me how much I changed, I sighed, things never change.
We went inside and I talked about the programs in Washington University and that I was studying music and journalism, so my schedule is packed. I was lucky to take this month off (though I have to finish a report by the time I come back again).
I said hi to Abuela and she was as energetic as ever; she was so happy, though she didn’t like to talk of her health much.
We all talked and talked and I stayed for lunch.
“So, have you been in any relationships?” Susana casually asked while we were eating salad.
“Not really. That episode with Jack in high school was the last one. There are lots of offers, but I prefer to concentrate on my studies.”
“That’s good.” Susanna replied and we continued to eat lunch without further explanation of the subject.
At four, I said goodbye and went back to the house.
I then bathed, checked my email, drew a few sketches, and sang a few songs before it being six and my mom saying “Dinner!”
Justin and I raced each other, and as usual Justin won (I hate running. He’s the athletic one)
Mom made my favorite dish (note the sarcasm): Salmon.
That took me an hour to eat (mom was kind of disappointed that my taste didn’t changed much as my appearance. I hate seafood and soup. My mom insists that fish isn’t seafood but I keep telling her: anything that came from the sea is seafood. She says the rest of the world doesn’t share my opinion.).
I then hurriedly brushed my teeth and did some finishing touches to my hair.
I got my piano books and binders (these binders hold music that I had since first grade, I have two full binders)
I hurriedly told my parents goodbye and Justin told me “Can you take me too? I have to go too.”
Great, now I have a baggage, but I can’t refuse.
“Fine, get ready in ten minutes.”
He didn’t move.
“Why aren’t you moving?”
“I am ready.”
“Fine. Then let’s go.”
I eyed his t-shirt, almost ripped faded jeans, and messy hair.
Oh well, at least I tried.
I looked at myself and wondered if I had changed.
I had dark jeans and a black t-shirt, my hair fell loosely on my shoulders in waves and I have a messenger bag; it carried things like an emergency brush, my wallet, my spare glasses (I have contacts), Chap stick, a pen, a small sketchbook, colored pencils, and a notebook.
My cell is in my back pocket (bad habitat from my teens) and my car keys in my front pocket of my bag.
Justin and I stepped into my father’s car and I started the engine; we were quiet for most of the car trip.
I thought of Vicente. Of course, I got over him, I had to, but that’s when he left when I was sixteen, four years ago.
He came and went, though the last I saw him was a year ago in a concert, but he didn’t see me then.
We reached the church at 7:50. Carmen was already there.
“Mandy, you came!” she said.
“Yes I did, here I am. So, where’s Vicente? I want to talk to him about the program.”
“He’s doing some technical stuff with Miguel. Here, I got the program.”
We went over the songs and I checked through my binders.
I only missed one song, and that’s because it’s one of the Psalms, but Vicente composed that one and it’s probably new.
I was asking which key do we do Silent night/Noche de Paz, when Vicente finally showed up.
He looks the same as the last time I saw him, except a bit older.
But he was busy and whizzed by me, I wasn’t bothered though, I was trying to do a tricky introduction of one of the songs.
Carmen and I decided that in some songs we’ll do a duet and in the other songs I sing; all we had to do was tell the maestro.
Vicente was asking Carmen something when Carmen randomly said “Look who we have back.”
He looked at me for the first time and I smiled “Hi Vicente, nice of you to notice me.”
“Mandy, is that you? You’ve grown so big.”
I laughed “What, you expected me to be the same forever?”
He looked at me strangely again, then said “It’s good you came back, because we are going to need help…” and that’s how the practice came about.
I learned a lot in University, so I was able to help with most of the stuff.
I could tell Carmen was proud and Vicente was being…distant and more or less the same.
Justin did well; he brought his guitar and was singing at the same time, I was kind of proud of him.
When the practice ended I told Justin to call dad to pick him up because I had to stay and help Vicente with the PowerPoint (seriously, he needs my help).
I was then very thirsty and went to the water fountain.
Seeing a piece of paper, I picked it up out of curiosity.
To go back: Malcro Sivi forez
To go forward: Genis Maxi fowaid
Back to your time: Youi Sho pricenti
Okay, this note is weird.
“Malcro Sivi forez. What’s that suppose to-“
The world was spinning and colors swirled all around me.
I stayed calm and stumbled to the same place I was before.
Disappointed, I opened the door to the bathroom and found…me.
We both almost screamed and then my other self dragged me to the bathroom and closed the door.
I realized that my other self was younger, around fourteen years old.
She also studied me and then asked “From the future, right?”
I shrugged “I guess so. What year is it?”
“2009. Almost 2010.”
“Yup, I’m from the future.”
We stood there looking at each other, not really freaking out much of the situation.
I knew why; we always kind of expected this, because we didn’t want a normal life, for something…abnormal to happen.
Now it did.
My stomach suddenly bubbled with excitement.
I am in the past, seven years ago!
Wow, the things I can tell her…
I then asked her “Is it Sunday?”
“You guessed it.”
“It’s so weird talking to me.”
“Same here; I like your bag.” She pointed at my messenger bag.
Thank god I didn’t left it in my chair.
“Wait…what time is it?” I asked, wondering if mass is going on.
“Dunno, but mass hasn’t started yet. Hey, I have an idea. We can introduce you as a-”
“Cousin.” I said, suddenly getting her plan “But not to our family. Don’t worry, I’ll get a job or something and get an apartment. I wonder how the Real Estate is over here at this time…”
“But how would we not let the others say to our family that you’re here?” I thought for a minute then told her.
“Brilliant plan. But what should we…”
“You worry too much.” I smiled as I said this and she nodded.
“Okay.” We paused for a moment the she asked me “So how did you came here?”
“Good question.” I answered “I read a few words in a piece of paper.”
“Now’s not the right time.” I told her and she nodded.
“So what should I call you?” I thought for a while.
“Oh. Okay, nice name, Erin.”
“Same to you, Mandy.” She smiled.
We went out of the bathroom and went towards the choir and caught sight of Vicente.
Oh right…he worked here at this time…he looks young, around my age.
I looked at Carmen. Wow, she looks really young.
But I stopped thinking of them.
I have to concentrate and be Erin.
Thank god I took acting in University, High school, and Middle school.
Now, it’s time to live my character.
Mandy walked straight up to Vicente and said “Hi Vicente!”
“Hi Mandy.” He answered but not looking at my direction.
“My cousin, Erin, is here from-“
“Seattle.” I cut in as I moved in, time for me to take control.
“I’m here visiting, but I’m not sure how long. I can sing, play piano, the organ, and help with technical stuff. Plus, if you need any help in the theatre or in drawing, I can help.”
He looked at me for a second then said “Cool. Carmen come over here.” He addressed this to Carmen.
Carmen came and looked at me “Why you look just like Mandy!”
“We’re cousins.” I said to her.
“My name is Erin. You must be Carmen, Mandy’s piano teacher.” We shook hands and Carmen smiled.
“Our family though doesn’t know Erin’s here.” Mandy said and I nodded.
“I’m not very…liked by my family. I would rather introduce me to them myself than have you mention me. Please.”
Carmen nodded and Vicente said “Sure.”
“So, Vicente, where do you want me?”
“Singing, for now.” I shrugged, I love singing.
“Get ready, the priest is here. Oh, Erin, if you don’t know one of the-“
“Don’t worry, I’ll manage.” I replied and smiled sweetly.
He nodded and then we stood up and went to position.
As we did, Mandy whispered “You did well.”
“So did you.” I answered and winked.
Carmen then played the first chords and Mandy pressed “Clicky.”
The song appeared in the wall.
You see, we have a PowerPoint that lists the lyrics to all the songs so that the people can sing along, the projector projects the words to the blank wall.
Right now, the lyrics of “Pueblo de Dios” were on the wall.
Yes! I love this song, I sang enthusiastically and Mandy smiled at me while she was singing it.
Hmmm….she actually sounded good. I didn’t know I had a good voice. I mean, people did say that to me, but I thought they were just being polite.
I looked at Vicente conducting and singing, he was looking at us and grinning.
I looked at the rest of the choir. Wow, I haven’t seen Amanda in years, and look at Natalie still with glasses, she now has contacts…like me. I looked at Mandy, she is kind of pretty.
Just lose the pimples and the glasses.
Especially the pimples.
We finished the song and I saw Padre Alberto speak.
Wow, he’s so young here! But he still has the same voice.
He finished speaking and we sang “Señor ten Piedad”, which means 'Lord have mercy'.
Anyway, at the end of mass Mandy exclaimed “You sang great, Erin!”
“Same to you, Mandy. I didn’t know you have it in you.” Mandy blushed and Vicente came saying to me “You sang well, Erin.”
Our family was waiting for Mandy to come and I saw the trouble on her face and I understood at once.
“Don’t worry I’ll find a place to sleep, I do have money.” I patted my wallet, thank god I have cash. I don’t think my bank account would work in this year.
I need to get a job.
I smiled as I watched my younger self embrace my family.
I sighed and went out of the church and started walking from here.
I’ll give anything for a car right now, but at least it’s exercise.
I went to an Inn and was surprised to find my bank account worked.
I took note on how much I spent for I could pay it back; I booked for a week and got the nearest newspaper to look for job listings.
Hmm…no that one is too far away…
I at last circled four jobs that could be possible.
Tomorrow is job hunting; today is resting time (I’m going to have to walk a lot tomorrow) but now that I think about it, I have to find out where the jobs are. Damn, so now I have to do it today.
I asked the guy in the lobby where the nearest library is, he smiled and asked “Tourist?”
“No, it’s just I haven’t came here in a while. I’m visiting family.”
He told me where to walk and which buses to take as I scribbled all of them down.
When he finished I smiled and said “Thanks so much!” I then walked to that location and thought, when am I going back to my time? I smiled, hopefully not around now because this is like the adventure I’ve been waiting literally all my life for. I don’t want it to end anytime soon, no way.
I entered the library and was thankful for air condition, I seriously hate Miami.
No wonder I live in Seattle, it’s too hot.
I sat on a chair and had to rest a bit. Then I looked around and was amazed, this library is huge.
I’m in heaven; then I saw the computers and repeated again, heaven!
Then I remembered I didn’t have my library card (you have to have one to use the computers) so I went up to the front desk and said to the woman up front “Excuse me, ma’am, but I lost my library card. Is there any way I can get another?”
She smiled and answered “Sure.” And started giving me stuff to sign and everything and explaining stuff (I barely understand half of what she said) I then finally got my library card and signed in the back with: Erin Ferrera.
I smiled at the librarian and said “Thank you very much. This means a lot to me, I love reading and I don’t have a computer.”
“My name’s Terry. Glad to be of help.”
I then went to the computer and searched in Google Earth where the places are. I wrote them down and found even more job listings. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.
“You’re looking for a job?” Terry asked me, I nodded and then Terry asked “Part-time?”
“I need help around here; especially now in the holidays. Maybe…”
“Oh!” I turned around and almost hugged her “Yes! Can I? Thank you, thank you!”
“It’s nothing, thank you.”
We discussed what times and I admitted that I was planning to go to school but didn’t have the money. Terry told me we’ll discuss it later after I know my schedule.
I thanked her once more and actually hugged her this time. She hugged back and said “Don’t worry, I was once like you.” I smiled, if she knew.
I checked out a ton of books (about ten) and went out of the library, grinning.
I checked my watch and almost died of shock: 6:45. I have been in the past for around seven or eight hours.
I walked back to the Inn and flopped into the bed. I opened my bag and wished I brought my iPod, but I’m kind of asking for too much; at least I have my emergency brush. I brushed my hair and looked at my clothes.
Great, now I have to go waste money for new clothes, but I can’t wear these clothes all the time, people’ll think it’s weird if I have same clothes (plus, it’s disgusting).
I took off my shoes and just feel into a deep sleep, because I was super exhausted.
20…40…60 dollars, I counted the pocket money I have. $60.
That’s all I’m going to spend on clothes.
I am now on a bus shuttle that goes to Dolphin Mall and trying to remember my past phone number.
I forgot the last number, oh well. Other than a few old ladies in the front, the bus is empty.
I fidgeted as I thought of the number again, 305-308-305…8.
That’s it, that’s it!
I quickly got out my phone, hit the numbers, and put the phone on my ear, waiting for Mandy to pick up.
A voice asked uncertainty “Hello?”
“Mandy, it’s me, Erin.”
“Erin? Oh, wow, how are you?”
“Fine, I have a place to live, for now, I found a part-time job, and I’m now heading to Dolphin Mall.”
“Dolphin mall? What for?”
“To buy clothes.”
”Where are you?”
She then paused for a minute.
“What! And you’re talking?”
“Relax, I’m on my way to drama, but I have to go now.”
“Yeah, okay, bye.”
“Bye.” She hung up the phone.
I forgot it was December and there was school, I checked the time: 11:15.
Smart move, Mandy, you could have gotten yourself into trouble.
The bus stopped and I realized we were here. I hurriedly got out of the bus into the mall and decided to go to Marshall’s, since it’s cheap and you could find some good stuff (if you’re lucky).
By lunchtime I found two jeans, three shirts, five underwear, and a bra (that was embarrassing to buy) I made a good buy, it only cost $40.
I bought lunch in the food court and went to see other stores.
I saw Sam Ash and thought what the heck, and went inside.
I automatically went to the keyboard section.
Yes, the piano; I haven’t practiced all day. I played the scales as a warm-up and a couple of Czerny studies.
Then, I did the real stuff I love.
After those I browse through some song books and sight read music I didn’t know.
A man who worked there asked me “Can I help you?” I blushed and said quickly “Just looking. I like your selection of books, though you don’t have many.” We talked about music and concerts and stuff and when I mentioned that I didn’t have enough money to go to University, he told me that his father was in charge of finical aid and scholarships in a university.
“Which University?” I asked, interested. Might as well get an education here.
“University of Miami.”
“UM?” I asked, then shook my head.
“That place is expensive.”
“Just talk to my dad, maybe he’ll find something out.”
“Okay, here’s my number, have him call me if he wants to meet me.” I gave him my number and I left.
Hopefully, it does work out. UM. I heard it is a good school, if it’s not too expensive…I’ll go.
I checked my watch: 2:54. The next bus is in six minutes. I walked over to the bus stop and in about three minutes the bus came.
I mounted the bus, paid the fee, and sat down in the middle of the bus. We waited for five minutes and a few more old ladies came, a woman carrying a small child, and a family of four tourists (you can tell, t-shirts, shorts, caps, and cameras).
There was a few stops before my stop and I walked a few blocks to the inn. I said hi to the man in the front desk and went to my room.
I sat on a chair and let go of my bags.
Oh, thank God air condition is an invention in this time, because I wouldn’t, no, couldn’t live without it.
I sat for a while, then realized my eyes were hurting, Irushed to the bathroom and saw my eyes were red and swollen and my vision started to act a little funky.
Oh no…my contacts!
I hurriedly reached for my eyes and took out those cursed things; I forgot all about them, I can’t believe I slept with them! I splashed water in my eyes until the pain and irritation started to dull.
I reached for my messenger bag and took out my glasses; I pushed them against the bridge of my nose and I remembered why I disliked these glasses: they were a little lopsided, at least I can see, but I have to go to an eye doctor soon; I need new contacts.
I took off my glasses and decided to take a bath.
I washed my hair and found out that hotel shampoo and conditioner is really not that bad.
I put on one of the new shirts, my old jeans, Converse, and my glasses.
I got one of the books that I got from the library and sat down to read it, to just kill time, it was a book called “Sundays at Tiffany’s” by James Patterson.
I looked at my clock and saw it was 5:32.
Wow it’s late, I should call Mandy, but then stopped because I remember we eat dinner at five (a point that my stomach is whining about) so I went out of the Inn and went to this nearby Burger King.
As I ate I reflected; how long do I have to be like this? Eating at the cheapest places so I can live? At least tomorrow I start working at the library with that nice librarian and the practice for the midnight mass (with Carmen, Mandy, Vicente, and Justin)and I’ve got to do something about school.
I can’t just work in a library forever (or as long as I’m here), I want to become an editor.
Maybe Vicente can help, he’s in that University, maybe he’ll know some people…that guy in Sam Ash, I don’t really expect his dad to call, but I do wish…
I finished my burger and was glad I brought a book (my ultimate favorite series: ‘Harry Potter’) I went to Starbucks and got a cup of hot chocolate (I never liked coffee). I curled up is an armchair and read the seventh book.
I looked at time and saw it was 7:04. I closed the book and started walking to Church (I had a sudden urge to go there) I’ll be in time for the 7:30 mass.
Monday…that meant that mass is going to be celebrated the actual church, not the chapel.
I went inside, took a seat in one of the benches, looked around and saw a few people scattered here and there. I examined the church and thought it quite exceptional; there’s about eight huge stained glass windows (around ten feet, I don’t know since I’ve never measured it).
On one side of the church, there’s a glass picture that has the symbol of the Creation and on the other side of the church has another glass art that symbolizes Baptism; the church itself is plain, but in a comforting way.
As I was looking around the church and sinking all the details in, a family of four came in. I gulped as I turned my head to the other side, its Mandy, Justin, and our parents. I forgot that sometimes they come to the 7:30 mass.
I was starting to eye the side exits and wondering if I escape now will they notice me when Mandy caught my eye. She motioned to the bathrooms and I followed her instruction.
As I was going in I saw her get up and go to the bathrooms. “Hey Mandy, so what’s up?”
“My mom had the sudden urge to come here.”
“Typical.” She nodded. “I’m debating whether to tell Justin.” She told me.
“Yeah but can he keep a secret?”
“I think so.” She answered, then I said “After communion, urge him to drink water with you, we’ll meet, and I’ll explain.”
“So how did job finding work?”
“I got a part-time job in the library.”
“Cool. I brought some snacks since…you know…” she brought out bags of cereal, chips, and a bottle of water. “Thanks Mandy, but I’m not poor.” Though, I pocket them anyways.
Free food is free food.
“I notice you have your glasses, you need to go to the eye doctor, right?” I nodded and she said “I’ll get the address and number of our doctor and I’ll give it to you tomorrow, Wednesday, okay?”
“Right, thanks.” We hugged and I went out to the pews and she went after I was almost sitting down; and Father Albert was commencing the mass.
Before I knew it, I was in line for the Eucharist; when it was my turn Father Albert said “The body of Christ.” I replied with an “Amen” and I received the “Bread”. I went to my pew and meditated.
God, why have you sent me back here, for I know there must have been a purpose that only you know.
I continued my prayer and as I finished I got up to do some unfinished business.
I waited for Justin and Mandy and saw that Mandy did convinced Justin to come.
Justin was saying “…see why you have to drag me here.”
“You’ll see.” Mandy said mysteriously and then said “Do you know about time traveling?”
“Well, this has something to do with it.”
“By any chance you didn’t figure out how to time travel, did you?” He joked.
“I told you not to guess.” He shrugged and they reached here. I saw Justin and was astonished how young and chubby he was. “Hi Justin.”
“How do you know my name?”
“Because I know you.”
“I don’t know you.”
“Think again.” I looked at him straight in the eye.
He stared at me “No way, this is…”
“Yes, my name is Mandy Ferrera and I am twenty-one years old and all of a sudden I am here is 2009.” Justin continued to stare at me and Mandy. When he found his voice (I’m betting that he was speechless) he said “Wow, so you know me…” “In your seventeen year old self.” I finished his sentence.
“But you’ve got to promise not to tell mom and dad, they won’t believe us.” He nodded, “That’s true.”
“I don’t know why I’ve came back here, but I’m going to find out why.” And we talked for a little bit until we had to go.
I gave them a few seconds then I left. We came right in time for the priest to bless us and to say goodbye. Everyone starting piling out and I stood up and walked out of the church. I walked to the Inn and went to my room. Before I knew it, I was asleep and dreaming of weird things I don’t remember in the morning.
I woke up at five when the alarm went off, dragged myself out of bed, and put on fresh clothes.
I then woke myself with ice cold water right at the face and believe me, that’ll wake any person up.
I wrapped my almost-black hair into a ponytail and at the last minute remembered my glasses.
I checked my watch: 6:14, right on time.
Grabbing a bag of cereal Mandy gave me, I then went downstairs to the lobby, walked to the library and on the way got hot chocolate from Starbucks.
I got on the bus at 6:30 and came to the library on time (7:00, Terry was opening up the library.
“Hi Terry!” I called out cheerfully.
“Ah, Erin, come in, I have a lot of work for you.” I laughed “That’s why I’m here.”
She first put me to organize the books in their order and to clean the dust from the shelves. Then, I had to broom the floor and then clean the windows.
By the time I was done with that it was opening time.
Of course, there wasn’t a lot of people, but a lot of adults and some home-schooled kids came and I helped them as much as possible; a few college kids came and studied here and I was a little envious.
By lunchtime, more people were starting to come in and I helped as many people as I could.
One woman said to me “You’re new, right? I’m a regular here.” and she gave me her approval and everything.
She talked to Terry for a little while then she left; the rest of the day was as hectic as ever.
At closing time there was a lot of scurrying and a lot of shooing.
Once everyone was out we cleaned up again and Terry turned to me “Thanks, Erin, you were a great help. I want to invite you for dinner.” I looked at my watch, it was six, there was time.
“Sure, but I can’t stay longer than 7:30.”
“Don’t worry. Come on now.”
She’s a woman around her fifties who has brown hair with gray streaks in it, glasses, gray eyes, is shorter than me and has tanner skin.
She led me to the Library Parking Lot (back of Library) and we went into her car.
“Do you live around here?” I asked curiously.
“About ten minutes away.” She replied and turned the engine on; 80’s music flowed in the car.
“Do you mind or do you want to change it?” She asked as she went out of the parking lot.
“No, I love the 80’s, they had the best music.” She smiled and drove on.
We sang to “Walking on Sunshine” and kept on laughing whenever we got the chance.
By the time we got to Terry’s house, we almost died of laughter.
Terry’s house is a bit small, but cozy.
She has a beautiful landscape and a garden in the backyard.
Terry introduced me to Von, her husband, and to her dog, Zag (a Fox Terrier); Zag and Von liked me at once.
Zag kept on stalking me and Von kept asking me stuff concerning of the Arts, he’s a retired actor and is now teaching Drama in middle school, so we discussed about plays and shows we love.
While we were talking Terry was making dinner.
When dinner was made we sat around the table, blessed the meal and ate it.
“Wow, Terry it’s delicious!”
“I’m glad you like it.” Terry said.
“You’re just being modest. She could be a five star cook if she wanted to, but instead wanted to be a Librarian,” Von stated.
“I like it as a hobby, Von.” Terry replied and rolled her eyes, I had to suppress my laughter.
It seems as though they had this conversation more than once already.
When the dinner ended I said bye to Von and Zag and went in the car with Terry.
“Von’s very nice.” I said.
“Yes, that’s why I married him.” Then she asked me where to drop me off.
“Do you know St. Dominic Church?”
“Yes, we go there.”
“Really, what mass?”
“The 9:00 one.”
No wonder I’ve never seen them.
We cranked up the volume and started singing to “Footloose”.
Yeah, we’re that crazy.
When we reached the church I said “Thanks a million. I never knew I could have so much fun with my employer.” We laugh and said goodbye and she left.
I walked to the church and checked the time: 7:45.
I’m early, but I’m going in anyways.
I went inside the church and saw Carmen there, studying a few pieces and reviewing some songs with some singers from the adult choir.
I didn’t see Vicente.
Typical, probably doing some technical stuff.
I walked over to Carmen and she said “Good, you came.”
We started to review stuff and I asked her where Vicente is.
“He said something about microphones, I have no idea what about them though.”
Really, I’m sensing a lot of de ja vu here; we’re doing more or less the same songs as we practiced three days ago, creepy.
I saw Mandy and Justin come in, along with mom.
Mandy greeted Carmen and me and we talked about the songs.
Justin said hi to me and smiled as I asked “Don’t you know how to play the guitar?”
“Yes, but he’s still a beginner.” Mandy piped up and he nodded.
“Well, in my time you are very good, so don’t worry.” I whispered and he grinned.
Vicente finally came.
Carmen and I presented to him our ideas and he said “Cool.” And then went towards the chorus.
Carmen looked at me and said “He’s always hectic around this time of the year.”
“I know.” I said before I could stop myself, but Carmen didn’t noticed.
Vicente first did warm-ups for the singers and then handed the piano to us.
We reviewed the songs with the singers, and Carmen and I worked together.
Carmen smiled and said “Have you studied piano in the university?”
“Not really, but I had a very good teacher.” You. I wanted to add, but didn’t want to blow my cover.
Carmen asked me which university I went to.
“None at the current moment. The university I last went to is the University of Washington.” Carmen nodded.
“Is it because financial stuff?”
I sighed “Yeah, my family really dislikes me and don’t really want to give me money for university. So…”
“You’ve got to pay for your own tuition.”
“And of course scholarships work, but now I lost my high school diploma and everything, I can’t prove that I went to high school now that I want to apply for FIU or UM.”
“Yes, you are in a terrible situation.”
“Do you know any place or anyone that can give me a test or something?”
“I know a friend who works in that department, would that help?”
“Yes, thanks!” She gave me the number and talked for a little more as we went out of the church.
When we reached her car she said “You know, not only you look like Mandy but you act like her, see you later.”
You know, I would be scared if I didn’t act like her.
I looked at the number and decided to call Carmen’s friend.
My phone rang, I walked towards the Inn as I heard the phone ring and a woman answered “Hello?”
“Hi, is this Jen?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Well, a friend of yours, Carmen, told me to call you because I lost my high school diploma and-”
“Carmen, right?” She asked.
“Yes.” I answered.
“Come over here at 4:00 p.m” She told me the address as I hung up I almost jumped with glee, I’m moving on, yes!
I almost jumped up the stairs in the Inn and reached my room.
I then took a bath, put on my “p.j’s”, said my night prayers, and went to sleep.
The next morning I woke up at five again and I got dressed.
I got another bag of cereal and went out the door.
I said ‘hi’ to the person behind the counter and I skipped my way to Starbucks and got my hot chocolate there; from there I went to the Library.
I guess this is going to be my normal routine for now.
I met Terry at the entrance.
We went inside and I did the same stuff I did yesterday. I then remembered something and turned to Terry.
“Terry, I forgot to tell you, today at four I have to meet someone for my high school diploma. Do you know where this address is?” I gave her the paper and she told me. “Wow, that’s far away.”
“How long will it take?”
“By car, around half an hour. Walking, I have no clue.” I sighed.
“Just give me the directions.”
“Nonsense, use my car.”
“I can’t do that. You’ll-”
“If you don’t come back by six, leave the car in my house, I can walk.”
“I need my exercise. You do have your driver’s license, right?”
“Yes.” I answered, taking it out and I stared at it.
Uh oh, year 2013, hopefully I don’t stopped by a cop.
“Okay then that’s settled.”
“I don’t know how I can repay you.” I told her, she pointed to the pile of books I was sorting away.
“Work.” She ordered and I nodded and she smiled, but continued to work.
At 3:15, she gave me the directions and I wrote it down.
“Wish me luck.” I said to her, got her keys, and went to the parking lot.
Terry was about right, it took about half an hour to get there but I made it on time.
I stopped in front of the building and checked the number: 401.
Yes, it’s the one.
I parked the car and went inside the building.
I went towards the secretary and asked “Excuse me, do you know where Jen Garcia’s office is?”
“Yes, it’s two doors down, number 4A.”
“Thank you.” I told her and went to that door.
Five minutes later I was seated in front of Jen, who was drumming her fingers.
“Your high school diploma. Well, that’s easy, just take this test.” She handed me a very thick booklet.
“Go to the other room and take the test, you have two hours. I suggest you start. When you’re done give the test to my secretary, Macy, you saw her on your way in.”
I nodded and went into the other room, where I quickly started my exam.
It was easy, stuff I did years ago, though the math, for me, was the hardest of the whole test.
I looked at the clock.
5:73. Hmm…I passed this test with lots of time to spare, as always.
I got up and gave my test to the secretary. Macy looked up and smiled and said “We’ll check your test. Come Friday at 5:30. If you passed, we’ll have your high school diploma ready for you. Just fill out this form.”
I filled out the simple form, like what’s my name, age, birthday, high school, etc.
I went to the car and saw it was six.
Oh, now Terry has to walk home, I felt pretty bad.
I knew Terry likes apples, so I bought her some apples and drove to her house.
I reached there and knocked on Terry’s door, she opened the door and I said “Thanks Terry, so much.”
“How did it go?”
“Good, test results on Friday, I brought you some apples.” She smiled.
“You didn’t have to.”
“But I wanted to.” Terry invited me in, so I did.
We were talking about the test and I saw Von.
“Hey kiddo, I heard you borrowed Terry’s car.”
“She can be rather persuasive.”
“Erin.” Terry said suddenly.
“You mentioned none of your families liked you, so where do you live?”
I shrugged “In an Inn.” Terry looked at me.
“How long did you already paid for the Inn?”
I thought then said “Up to Sunday. You reminded me, I’ve got to put another week. Thanks for reminding-”
“No Erin, don’t do it.” Terry said with such seriousness that I jumped up.
“Von and I, we’ll be okay with you staying with us.” I gaped for a moment at her then stammered.
“No, Terry, you don’t have to do that, you’ve done more than enough.”
“But I want to. For some reason I’ve got a good feeling about you, like you’re special.”
“Terry, before you decide on anything I’ve got to tell you something.”
I have to tell her the truth, it’s only right.
“Before you think I’m crazy or anything, hear me out in my side of the story with an open mind, okay?”
“All right.” They agreed.
“I’m from the future.” I said and they didn’t look like they think I’m crazy so I continued. “I came from the year 2016, seven years ago. I went to Washington University, but I was visiting my relatives for the holidays. Then, I saw this scrap of paper at the floor of St. Dominic Church, I read these words out loud, and ended up at this time. I found my past self, who is fourteen now, and we figured out a plan, because not so many people will believe that I came for the future.”
I looked at them, Terry was smiling sadly and Von was thinking.
“Don’t worry, I believe you.” Terry said and Von asked “So there’s two of you?”
“My real name is Mandy Ferrera. But for obvious reasons I would like to be called Erin. My other self is fourteen.”
Von said “I believe you, but answer this question.” He smiled, “Are there flying cars?”
I laughed and said “Not popular at all, but they kind of invented it. It can’t stay up for more than five minutes, though” We all laughed.
“So, to answer my first question.” Terry said “Are you coming to stay?”
I looked at both their faces and said “Fine, but on Monday.”
She made dinner, which was delicious.
We ended dinner and watched a hilarious movie.
I then refused the offer for Terry to drive me to the Inn, I need my exercise.
I said goodbye, and checked the time: 9:57.
Oh, it’s almost ten, I’m going to have a hard time waking up tomorrow.
I skipped to the Inn and went up to my room.
It was so good to let it all out, to let out my secret with adults.
I took a fast bath and went to bed, not having much trouble at all with sleeping.
I woke up tired, but got out of bed anyway.
I put on my clothes, got my last bag of cereal, went down the stairs, and…this is getting familiar right?
Let’s just skip to the part where I’m working at the library at lunchtime.
I worked like crazy and an unexpected thing happened, a couple of students from University came in, but that wasn’t unusual, it was the fact that Vicente was with them.
I ducked behind a bookshelf and didn’t go near that section of the library.
Why am I acting like this?
Well, mostly I don’t know, but I don’t want him to know I was working in a library, though I don’t know why this is bad.
I let Terry take care of them; when she came back she was smiling.
“Nice kids. Always come here to study on Thursdays. They look around your age, Erin.”
She then saw me hiding behind one of the shelves and put on a mischievous smile.
“You like one of them, don’t you? Which one?”
“I don’t like any of them.” I snapped “I just know one of them.”
“Really? From where?”
“Church. We sing in the choir together.”
“Ah. But doesn’t he know you when you were fourteen, not twenty-one?”
“We introduced me to him; I’m helping him and Carmen out.”
“By any chance, who is he?” She asked casually.
“The one in the far left with the curly dark hair talking to that German guy….wait, Terry!”
I cursed Terry silently as she went over to them, talked to him for a second, then came back.
“What was that all about?”
“I recognized him from the choir. Remember, I go to that Church too.”
“You almost gave me a heart attack.”
“You like him do you?” I shook my head.
“Only when I was thirteen up to when I was sixteen, when he left the Choir.”
“I’m thinking it’s happening again.”
“He’s seven years older!” I hissed at her.
“Technically, now no; you’re the same age as him.”
“When I go back to my time, what happens then? Plus, I’m not good with relationships.”
“So you like him, then?” Terry said smugly, finding success.
I glared at her “One word and you’re dead.”
“That’s no way to talk to your elder.”
“I don’t really like him. I just don’t feel like seeing him right now.”
“Are you saying time traveling is reality?”
“Fine, but I still don’t like him.”
“Fine, but you know you do.”
“I can’t believe this conversation has lasted this long.”
We went back to work but Terry kept giving me encouraging smiles which were so not encouraging.
I finally calmed down when they left at 3:30, now I can breathe.
Terry went to me and said “They left.”
“I know, I’m not blind.” I countered to her.
“When is the next time you’re going to see him?”
“Today at eight.” I answered mindlessly.
“Then tell him.” I turned to her.
“Are you crazy? First of all, I don’t like him. Second, even if I were to like him, to him I only met him two times, that’s not very encouraging.”
“Then tell him the truth.”
“The truth! The truth!” I sat down and took deep breaths.
“He won’t believe me. He’ll think I’m crazy. I’m loony. Even if he does believe me, that’s kind of creepy. Someone you know for a few years seven years younger than you suddenly come up to you, the same age as you, claims she’s from the future and she likes you. I’m already getting crept out.”
Terry rolled her eyes “Okay, wait a few weeks.”
“How about wait until forever? I don’t know when I’m going back to my time. He’ll be seven years older and I haven’t aged at all. This is getting complicated.”
“Love is complicated.” Terry whispered.
“So true.” I agreed and I continued to sort books out.
At six we went to Terry’s house and ate dinner.
After much debate, Terry took me to St. Dominic Church.
Though, it was early. I wondered if the church was open; it was.
So I opened it and saw that it was empty, but the lights were on. I went up to the piano and opened it.
I have to warm my fingers up.
I did so and played a piece.
I then heard the door open and I stopped playing abruptly, I looked at me watch: 7:48. It’s close to eight.
So I waited for that person to come in; it was Carmen, she was surprised to find me here already.
“I came here a little too early.” I shrugged.
“Have you seen Vicente?” Carmen asked me.
“Nope.” I answered.
“Strange, he’s always the one who comes here first.”
“Maybe he’s in the office.”
“So true, I’ll check there. Can you wait here a second?’
“Sure.” She hurried out the door.
People started coming I and I saw Mandy and Justin come in.
“Hi Mandy! Hi Justin!” I told them, they smiled and greeted me back.
Carmen and Vicente then came in.
“Sorry I’m late.” Vicente said.
“Hi Vicente.” Mandy said cheerfully.
“Hi Vicente.” I said, cheerful too.
We started our practice and Carmen and I were on a roll.
“Awesome you guys!” I high-fived them.
“You did good too, Erin.” Mandy said.
“Naw, not really, I just love to sing.”
We continued to practice and it was starting to shape up, I can seriously feel the Holy Spirit acting through us.
Mandy started to tell me that in two weeks they are going to get their Christmas tree.
I smiled; I loved decorating Christmas trees, its fun.
I was telling Mandy about Terry and what a nice lady she is, when Carmen said “Don’t you think something’s weird with Vicente?”
“What do you mean?” Piped Mandy.
“Well, for the obvious reason, he’s late, other reasons are more subtle. Like him not warming us up, have you notice that?”
We shook our heads.
“Plus, he’s in the bathroom., he rarely goes to the bathroom during practice. He stammers even more and-”
“Why do you think he’s doing this?”
“Either he’s nervous or he’s sick or in love.”
The three of us paused and then said together “He’s sick.”
I thought of what Carmen had said all throughout the walk to the Inn.
Hmm…then I stopped myself.
Stop thinking about him! You’re actually going to like him if you don’t be careful.
Then a voice in my head said, but you already do.
No, I told that voice, that’s so not possible.
Yes. No. Yeah. Nope. No? Y-No!
I can’t believe I’m having an argument in my head.
I think I am crazy.
“Yes, I know you’re getting your diploma, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be hyper.” It was the next day and we sorting through books at the Library.
“Sorry, Terry.” I said innocently and suddenly my phone rang.
I checked the number and I didn’t know it.
“Hello?” I asked uncertainly.
“Is this Erin Ferrera?”
“I’m Martin Gomez and were you interested in applying scholarships to the University of Miami?”
“Yes!” I said, excited, the guy’s dad called after all!
“Then meet me tomorrow at 3:30. Make sure you bring your diploma with you.”
“Yes, sir.” I said and he hung up.
Terry looked at me, curiosity in her eyes.
“An opportunity. I have to get my diploma today.” I told her about it and she smiled.
“You’re doing great in surviving in a time that’s not yours.”
“Let’s hope it’ll stay that way.”
“Yes!” I said as Jenny smiled.
“You’re a smart girl.”
“Thanks, but that would be because I graduated high school three years ago.”
“Even so, I have a good feeling about you.”
Why is everyone saying that to me? Is it normal when you go to the past people have a “good feeling about you”? Because no one has ever said that to me before.
I met Terry and we shouted and yelled happily; then we looked at the diploma and found out it is flawless.
“Now I can go to Mr. Gomez tomorrow!” I said happily, I can’t believe I’m so excited to go to school.
I told this to Terry and she laughed and said “This is probably because you miss it.”
“Yeah, the homework.” I said sarcastically and she giggled.
“We’ve got to celebrate, I’ll bake brownies.”
“Yes, I love brownies!” And I helped her bake brownies.
By the time Von came we were done.
“Mmm, what’s that wonderful aroma?”
“That would be the brownies.” I said gleefully.
We ate dinner and ate our brownies while playing Scramble.
Von won, but that’s because his mind’s a dictionary.
I then said my goodbyes and ran my way to the Inn.
I tucked my certificate safely in my bag and went to sleep, or at least tried to.
I lay awake there, tossing and turning, trying to find a spot to sleep.
Terry gave me the day off, but I visit her anyway.
I couldn’t help watching her work without me helping, so I said “Can I help you with those?”
“No. You, Erin, are having a break. Go read a book.”
From time to time I’ll have a break and watch Terry.
I’ll sometimes help her out (without her knowing it).
We then took a lunch break (alright, Terry did) and discussed my future.
“So, what will you be studying?”
“Same as I did before, I suppose. Journalism and Music.”
“You want to be a news reporter?”
“Actually, I want to be an Editor."
“Better work on your grammar.”
“Actually, it’s a common misconception that all Editors do that. There’s different kinds of editors that do specific kinds of jobs. Like what I want to be is an Acquisitions Editor, which basically makes the publisher book list.”
“Looks like you have a lot of practice saying that.”
“Yup, many people don’t know what an Acquisitions Editor is.”
“Well, I didn’t. You learn something new every day.” She then turned to me.
"What happens if you go back to the future? You will lose everything.”
“That’s true, but at least I have a family there. The only problem is I don’t have you, Terry.”
Terry smiled “Its fine.”
“When I go back to the future I’ll make sure I’ll find you, living or dead.”
“That’s kind of being e-“
“No, try not to move from here within seven years, okay? Try to stay in Miami.”
“Fine, but I don’t plan to retire from the Library until ten years from now.”
“Good, then I would be able to find you.” I said, satisfied.
“So, where are you going to meet this Mr. Gomez?”
“Oh my god, I actually forgot about him, what’s the time?”
“Relax, its 1:30, but you’ve got to get moving now.”
“Where is it?”
“In the campus.” I admitted “In one of the offices, at UM.”
“You’ll have to take the car. Do you know where UM is?”
“I’ve been there before, applying for universities.”
“Okay.” We discussed the plans and I finally got into the car around 2:30 and drove there.
There is a traffic jam; I tapped my fingers on the wheel with impatience as I got a red light for the third time in the row, really, where’s the justice when you need it?
When I finally reached to the campus it was 3:20.
I got to be in the office in less than ten minutes.
Great, the parking here stinks too (I think all universities have more or less the same parking), it took three minutes of my precious time.
I practically ran to the building and asked the security “Where’s Mr. Gomez?”
“In building 5.”
I went to the building(surprisingly I only came three minutes late) and
was greeted by a man around his fifties with dirty blonde hair with a few gray hairs, glasses, and a little mustache.
His gray eyes looked up at me and I smiled “Sorry I’m late.”
“No, you’re just on time. Your name is Erin Ferrera?”
“Yes, sir.” I answered.
“Do you have your high school diploma?”
“Yup.” I took it out.
“It says you just got it yesterday.”
“I lost it, that’s why. I actually graduated three years ago. I’ve been three years in the University of Washington.”
“Oh, okay, let’s see what your grades are for the past few years and discuss your options.”
I smiled “Of course.”
Thank god I’ve just been in the computer in the Library.
Being an expert on computers in the year 2016 means that computers in 2009 would be a piece of cake to hack, but I didn’t put false grades though, for people who think it’s illegal.
Okay, it’s illegal, but not in these ages…right?
Okay, okay, I’ll go to confession tomorrow.
“Hmm…you did good in your three years of university. Taking two degrees?”
“Yup, I just kind of messed up in my grade for math in my 1st year.”
“Don’t worry, a C isn’t that bad.”
“For me it is.”
He went to my high school grades and I did fine there too.
He then closed my grades and discussed my options.
I listened carefully and tried to catch and catches they had (like I had to pay for my textbooks or fifty extra hours of community service, which I already did).
We then agreed on one and I asked when I would start school.
“Until after New Year.” He said.
“I’ll call you is there’s any trouble or news.”
“How about my schedule?”
“Check the computer on Monday. If you have any problems with it, visit your advisor.”
“Is there any way I see my advisor now?” I asked politely.
He typed an email and then said “Yes, her name’s Mrs. Martin. She’s a couple of doors down from me, 6B.”
“Okay, thanks for everything.” I said.
“No problem.” He answered and I walked out of that office.
I found office 6B and knocked the door.
A high voice asked “Who’s there?”
I opened the door as I said “I’m Erin Ferrera, I want to talk about my schedule.”
“Ah, yes, Gomez emailed.” Her fingers were a blur as her experienced fingers typed.
“Come sit down.” She typed a few stuff.
“Erin Ferrera. You just applied now. Got the Scholarship B, and is starting UM on Jan. 4.
In these three past years had been attending the University of Washington studying music and journalism. 7th grade you slipped up though, but when you started high school you shaped up and got A’s and a few B’s.”
“I just want to-”
“Yes, I know, your schedule, I’m assuming you want the same courses?”
“Yes please, and if possible, day school.”
“Hmm…in journalism you can do that but music is full. You’ll have to take the night class.”
“Oh. What days?”
“Every Tuesday at eight .”
We discussed further more unto my schedule.
We finally made an agreement at around 5:30.
“Just check your computer when you get home; see if everything’s correct, call me if you have any problems.”
I left and got caught in rush hour, though I made it to Terry’s house before seven.
We ate dinner and I talked all that I accomplished in just a few hours.
I walked back to the Inn and to my bed, etc., etc., etc.
The next day was Sunday, so I went to mass and met Justin, Mandy, Vicente, and Carmen.
It was the same as ever, us singing, me having fun and finding peace.
I admit, I may like Vicente, but that would be because my past feelings are coming back…which is a crush.
Stupid hormones, didn’t you have your fun already? Why do you like to torture me like this (liking Vicente, for goodness sake!)?
I hate crushes, I’ve always have.
I always curse my hormones for this, but I’m an adult now; don’t hormones rest? Well, obviously they’re not stopping so I’ve got to deal with this the best way I can.
I should get over this as soon as possible. It’s ridiculous that you’re a twenty-one years old and you’re having a crush like a squealing teenage girl and to top it all off the guys way older…technically, but not currently (Does this even makes sense? Only in this situation)
Anyway, I was attempting to lock my feelings away when Mandy said “You feel it too, huh?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play that trick on me; I’m you for goodness sake. But you feel it too.” She gestured to Vicente.
“Of course not!”
“I can tell.”
“Is it that obvious?”
“Nope, but I know you and your techniques.”
“What do you mean ‘techniques’?” I hissed, she smiled.
“I love making you angry.”
“You like him too, don’t make fun.” She turned red and said “Well, I’ll get over it.”
“No, you don’t.” I realized “Look at me, obviously I haven’t.”
She looked down. “He’s your age.”
She stated quietly.
“What are you implying?” I asked, my eyebrows raised.
“Maybe you two can…” her voice trailed off.
“You know better than anyone else that he wouldn’t like me. Plus, there’s a deal with me from the future. I can pop to the future anytime.” She hung her head, ashamed.
“I know, I know, I was just hoping-”
“Yeah, I know.” And it was never mentioned again.
When we finished I said goodbye and skipped to the Inn.
I started packing all my stuff (not hard, since I only have a couple of things).
I looked at the room one last time; not believing that I only spent a week in this room.
I then went to the lobby to give them my key.
“Goodbye.” I said to the woman who I gave my key to.
“Bye.” She said quietly, but I barely heard her because I was already out the door, now I’m going to live with Terry.
I skipped as I went my way to her house.
When I reached there Terry opened the door and smiled.
“We were expecting you, Erin.” I grinned.
“Thanks for letting me come.”
She looked at the things I was holding.
“That’s all you own?” She asked me unbelievably.
“Hey, I just came from the future exactly a week ago.”
“Doesn’t matter, come in, I’ve got something for you.” I stepped in and she led me into a room.
It must be a guest room because it looked and felt like it, but when she opened the closet I found it half full with clothes.
“Yes, I’m guilty, I sew. Sue me, but I love it as a hobby.” She held up pretty shirts, skirts, pants, jacket, and dresses; it was all very beautiful.
“Oh, thank you!” I exclaimed and gave her a bear hug.
“There, there, it was nothing.” She told me “I always wished I had a daughter.” She left me to unpack my stuff.
I jumped to my bed, it’s nice, better than the Inn’s.
After a while I went to Terry and helped her cook dinner.
We ate and talked and laughed.
I love this; Terry and Von are like family, I’m so lucky to have them.
Basically, the same thing happened these next two weeks.
Let me draw attention to Dec. 24, the night of our concert.
Anyways, Terry and Von came with me and I helped Vicente and Carmen put the microphones and stands and stuff.
Mandy and Justin came about ten minutes later.
“Erin!” she almost yelled and ran over to hug me.
“Jeesh, Mandy you couldn’t just yell it out?” she blushed at that, though I understand her excitement.
I mean, come on, it’s Christmas Eve,
even I feel the warmth when I think about it.
I was jumping up and down and Carmen had to say “Calm yourself, Erin. Seriously, you’re acting like a little kid.” I grinned, I get that a lot.
We finally started and played “No Se Niño Hermoso”.
I was always smiling; this is one of the greatest times since I came over (to the past).
At the end, I stayed to put the stuff away and left with Carmen to her car.
“You like Vicente, right?” Carmen then asked randomly.
“Why would you think that?”
“Little things. You smile a lot especially when he’s around, your eyes kind of fall down when he leaves the room, you sneak glances as him a lot, and-”
“Okay, I see your point, Carmen, but he doesn’t like me.”
She smiled, then opened the door to her car “We’ll see. You guys make the perfect couple.” And she closed the door and drove off.
We so do not make a good couple, he’s seven years older than me.
Though, he doesn’t know that…I took a deep breath and walked out of the gates of the church.
Just forget this whole business, just forget…that’s what I’ve been telling myself for the past two weeks.
But it’s doing the opposite.
I’m thinking about him more and I swear my crush is growing.
Great, just what I want.
And what was Carmen implying? That he likes me? A plain girl like me?
I arrived Terry’s house and she greeted me by saying “You did great, Erin!”
“Thanks Terry.” She made me chocolate milk and cookies we ate them while we discussed the mass.
We basically went to sleep at three a.m, which Von wasn’t so enthusiastic of.
Ah, Christmas Day.
I spent it in my, well Terry’s, house. We had a huge feast I tell you!
Ham, corn, mashed potatoes, turkey, biscuits, cookies, rolls, wines, fruits, etc.; the table groaned under all those plates.
I don’t know how we managed it, but we ate most of it.
We sang Christmas Carols, watched Christmas classics, and opened our presents.
I gave Terry a purple shawl (her favorite color) and Von a watch he’s always wanted,they both loved it.
They gave me (besides their hospitality) the movie “Phantom of the Opera” (my all-time favorite) and a-
“Oh my gosh, you shouldn’t have.”
In the center of all the wrapping paper was a keyboard.
“Oh we just thought that you need to practice, so we-”
“Oh!” I leaped out and hugged them both.
“Thank you so much! I don’t know how to repay you!” Terry smiled and I looked out into the dark winter sky.
It may not be snowing, but I know this is a magical Christmas.
I gave Mandy her Christmas present (a sketchbook and drawing pencils, I know I needed them)
She gave me a book: the seventh book of Harry Potter.
“Oh my gosh, thank you, Mandy.”
“I know you need to feel right at home.”
“Yup, this definitely completes it.” We talked about our Christmases in between us singing.
Yes, we are doing the Sunday mass (and yes, Vicente is here, no biggie).
When we finished, Mandy invited Terry, Von, and me to the New Year party in her house.
“But disguise yourself somehow, or my family would-”
“I’m the friend you invited, right?”
“Yup, since technically you’re my best friend.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll disguise myself.”
“Thanks.” I was about to leave when Vicente asked to help him with some problematic mikes.
I agreed since I like to help (and I can’t refuse him).
We were trying to fix it when he invited me to the New Year party that’s for all his friends (I guess he considers me as a friend), I then realized I couldn't go.
“I’m sorry, Vicente, I have other plans.”
I felt really bad in “rejecting” him.
He then said it was fine and asked what school I went.
I answered “Oh. I’m going to UM in January 4th.” He then said that he went to the same university.
We talked about the programs, teachers, and basically random things.
I was about to leave when he asked “Then how about Thursday night, the day before New Year’s?”
I turned around and smiled “Okay.”
We then made arrangements that I’ll meet a couple of his friends at Starbucks.
I said goodbye and left, feeling very excited.
Okay, it wasn’t a date, and he only wants me to meet some of his friends, but that’s okay, right?
It doesn’t mean he likes me, the opposite of what my heart is trying to convince me.
Great, I’m like a middle-schooler now, being happy over this. At least I’ll know some people when I go to the school.
The week couldn’t have gone any slower.
Terry kept on trying to get it out on me until I told her on Thursday.
“Okay, I’ll be going with Vicente, but he’s letting me meet some of his friends.” She looked all happy and was about to say something when I said “No, Terry, it’s not a date. This doesn’t mean he likes me.”
“Erin, you’re so inexperienced.” She smiled “Being in a group in one of the first signs that he likes you. He’s just nervous and probably shy to tell you, so, his excuse is meeting some friends.” I looked at her wonderly.
“Tell me more, Terry, you seem to know everything.”
“Ah, Erin, you grow old, you get wise, that’s one of the only advantages of being old. I just can’t resist a fresh young love.”
“Terry, this isn’t going anywhere, I know what you’re thinking.”
“Yada, yada, you, Erin are making excuses. You can’t go through life if you’re making excuses.” I sighed, don’t ever try to reason with Terry.
“Fine, suppose he does like me. He’s seven years older! He-”
“What do you mean? He’s twenty-one, you’re twenty-one, you’re the same age. Take a chance while you still can.”
My cheeks burned and I continued to restack books.
I looked through my closet and thought I have no clue in fashion.
“Terry!” I called and popped her head through the doorway.
“What wrong?” she saw me at the closet and smiled “I’ll be right back.”
She came in with (since it’s chilly) a blouse with black, white and blue stripes, dark jeans, a black jacket and a silk scarf that’s very cute.
“My god, Terry, you’re a life-savior.”
“I know, I know.” I got dressed and brushed my hair, put some gel in my hair and looked at the mirror.
“You’re not going like that?” Terry asked me.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“At least put some mascara on, you look so plain!”
“Okay, okay, fine.” I muttered and Terry dragged me to her room and did Operation 101 on me.
“Terry, the blush is so unnecessary.” I said and she shrugged.
“You look beautiful.”
“You are.” She looked at me straight in the eye “Vicente doesn’t have a chance against you.”
I smiled, then set out to walk to Starbucks (thank god I had sense to put sneakers on).
I entered the shop around 8:25 and was greeted by the smell of coffee beans.
I don’t like coffee that much, I’m more of a cocoa fan, but I like the smell of coffee; it’s very soothing.
I saw Vicente talking to two guys and a girl, I recognized one of the guys that went with Vicente to the Library.
I walked over there and smiled “Hiya there.”
“Hi Erin, come and join us. This is Matt, Luis, and Kate.”
Matt is the one with dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. Luis is the one I’ve seen before in the Library and has brown hair, very tan skin, and brown eyes. Kate has auburn hair, tan skin, glasses, and the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.
I sat in between Vicente and Matt, introduced myself, and we talked about music.
Vicente is studying composing, Matt is studying vocal, Luis is studying to be a music teacher, and Kate wants to be a performer (she plays guitar, violin, harp, and organ, though she can’t sing).
We chatted a little while and Kate asked “Where are you from?” I smiled and answered.
“Well, I was born here. I then moved to Seattle when I was seventeen. I’m only here visiting.”
“Really?” Luis asked, interested.
“Yup, though I don’t know how long.” Vicente stayed especially quiet.
“So what made you come?” Kate asked, not noticing.
“Originally, I only planned to stay for the holidays but when I got here I’m like, what the heck, and applied for the University.” Matt looked at his watch.
“Whoa. It’s already 9:30, I’ve got to hit the road guys, I got a class at ten.”
“Wait.” Kate said, giving a sneaky glance at Vicente. “Erin, me and Matt; Luis and his girl Jane, are double dating; we’re going bowling. You and Vicente can pair up, you know, as friends.”
I looked at Vicente but he was expressionless.
“What do you say, Vicente? As friends?” He looked at me as if he just got back from Cloud 9 and said, “Sure, sounds cool.”
“We’ll meet you guys Saturday at five, Matt has some class at eight.” Kate and Matt then left and I was left alone with Luis and Vicente.
“You sure you’re fine going with them?” Vicente asked me, I shrugged.
“What the heck, I’ve bowled a few times.”
“Not the bowling part.”
“You don’t have to make a big deal of it. Friends, remember?”
Luis then said “You guys? Remember I’m still here.”
“Luis, how’s Jane?” Vicente asked.
“She couldn’t come because of this auditions she’s going to.”
“She’s an actress?” I asked, interested.
“Well, first she has to get a part.”
“Wish her luck for me.”
“Okay, I will.” He got up and said “I’ll have to go now, my roommate will kill me if I come in late again.”
“See ya. And don’t you dare ditch us!” I called as he left smirking.
“Well, I have to go too, lots of homework.” Vicente said.
“I was going to go too, though I have no homework.”
We left together and if we said anything else, I don’t remember because everything was a blur after that.
I recalled saying bye to Vicente and Terry asking how it was.
I gave some sort of vague answer and went to bed.
Last thing I remembered is noting to myself no more hot chocolate for you during “dates”.
I was asleep before I could even complete the thought.
“You’re going on a date.” Terry sing-songed and practically shouted.
In the Library.
“Sh!” I shushed her, as a few people was looking at this direction.
“Plus, it isn’t a date. We’re going as friends and only as friends!”
“Whatever you say, hon.”
“Really Terry. You actually think I have a chance?”
“Of course you do.”
“I’ll have to tell him eventually I’m Mandy and I’m from the future.”
“Well, you don’t have to tell him until things are really serious.”
“Terry! I don’t think it’ll go that far.” She shrugged.
“The bowling place, eh? Do you even know how to bowl?”
“Used to. Haven’t picked up a bowling ball since I was sixteen.”
“Hmm…dress style is casual.” Terry was already thinking on what I will wear.
I was scrambling through my closet.
“Terry! I need you!” I practically yelled.
“I’m here, jeesh, no need to shout.”
“I need something to wear in the New Year Party.” She smiled.
“Make-Over Time.” I looked at her curiously “What are you-”
She shrugged “You have to looked different, right?”
“Come over here.” And she dragged me to her room.
She told me to sit down and she went out of the room.
She came later with this pretty silver dress (a little higher than knee length).
I put it on and she started messing with my hair; she started putting this machine in my hair (which I strongly suspect is a hair curler).
After a while she was done and I was surprisingly different.
“Wow, Terry, you did great, thank-”
“I’m not done.” She snapped and brought out a familiar leather case.
“No make-up.” I said firmly, but in vain.
“Hello? Didn’t you hear me? I said-”
“You want to look different, right?” Terry asked.
“You never wear make-up, so now’s the best time to use it.” She got this powder out and starting dabbing over some blackheads I have on my nose.
Then, she pulled out what I recognized as blush and put it lightly on my cheeks, nose, and forehead.
Terry then got out eyeliner and told me not to blink as she drew a thin line at the top and bottom lid of my eye.
By now, I looked almost pretty and hardly recognizable, and Terry only put the basics.
She then put eye shadow and from then I didn’t know half the products she put on me.
When she was done, though, I looked older, like maybe my late twenty’s early thirty’s, much prettier, and, well, different.
I hope this is what Mandy meant when she said “different.”
I got up and put on matching shoes and was ready to go.
Terry then got herself ready. She was really beautiful, her wrinkles less pronounced, a pretty purple dress, contacts, and a really neat bun.
Von looked more elegant than usual, but that’s because his idea of dressing fancy is a t-shirt and jeans.
We went to Von’s car by 8:45 and reached there at about 9:05, and there were quite a few cars on the driveway.
I went up the familiar steps and knocked on the old wooden door. I briefly looked at our owl doorbell, remembering the history behind it and was sad that we had to take it off two years ago.
Someone opened the door…Justin!
“Hi Justin!” I said.
He looked at me uncertainly. “Who are you?”
“You don’t recognize me? I’m Erin.” Comprehension came to his face.
“Oh. Erin. Well, come in. Is that Terry and Von?”
“Yup.” I said, as I introduced them, Terry was very excited to meet my family (I could tell from the expression on her face).
I then was greeted by Mandy.
“Hiya Erin! How’s it going?”
“It’s cool. Listen, I’ve got to tell you something in private.”
“All righty, I lead you to my room!” We went into our room.
I recognized it as the room before I remolded it after high school.
The walls are a faded pink, which we hated since forever.
I have a little mini bookcase on top of my desk, filled up with some of my favorite books. My room, as I expected, is messy (It’s still messy, unless in various occasions my mom couldn’t take it much longer and make me clean my room)
Mandy closed the door and locked it, I sat on the bed and she sat beside me.
“What?” she asked, curious on what I had to say.
I told her what happened yesterday, every last detail and what was going to happen tomorrow.
When I finished, Mandy was grinning.
“What?” I asked her, self-conscious.
“Do you know what this means?” She asked excitedly.
“It’s not what you think. It’s-“
“I know that. I know how you think. You’re thinking it’s nothing. It’s not. This is the first step to romance.”
I rolled my eyes “You’ve been reading too much romance. What is it this time?”
She blushed but didn’t answer me.
“So, who’s coming to this party?”
“The usual. And my mom’s side of the family too.”
“Abuela’s coming?” I asked, then punished myself for my stupidness. Of course she’s coming, she’s healthy now.
“Why shouldn’t she?” She asked.
“No, nothing. I forgot that she came. How is she?”
Mandy could not be fooled easily. She narrowed her eyes.
“What happens to Abuela?” I sighed.
“She has…cancer and is very weak.” Her eyes widened and filled with grief.
“What…?” She asked softly.
“Yeah, but she’s still alive.”
“Is trying so hard not to cry…in front of her.”
She nodded; we recognized this scenario too much.
“Mandy! Where are you?” Mom’s screech brought us to reality and at the present.
“Coming!” She practically shouted and ran to open the door.
“Come on, Erin, let’s go.” And we went to the party.
“Did I told you I like your dress?” I grinned.
“Thanks, I like your outfit.” She was wearing a blood red turtleneck, black jeans, converse, and a silver see-through poncho.
“Thanks.” She answered, twirling around.
I laughed “Show off.”
“Hm.” She said as our mom came with the click of her heels.
“Where were you?” She asked.
I saw her and my heart ache. I haven’t seen her since forever, too long since I’ve been in her embrace.
I forced myself back to the conversation when I heard my name.
“…Erin, Erin meet my mom.” I smiled at our mom.
“Pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Ferrera.”
“Maria is just fine.” She told me.
This is going to feel weird calling mom “Maria”.
“So, where did you guys meet? How old are you, Erin?”
“We met in church.” I told her “And I’m twenty-one.”
“You look older.”
“I get that a lot.”
“So you’re in the choir?”
“Yup, have you seen my mother?”
We decided beforehand that Terry and Von are going to be my adoptive parents.
I asked this because Terry just came around the corner and I grabbed her.
Terry and my mom (sorry, Maria) started talking and Mandy and I made our escape.
“That was close.” Mandy said and I nodded.
We spotted a few cousins; Mandy looked like she wanted to say hi.
“Don’t worry, go. I’ll be at the snack bar and talk to a few people.”
“Okay, see ya.” She said went to the group of cousins.
I went to the snack table and started eating chips.
I saw Abuela come to the snack table and got a pastry (or a pastelito, as we call it).
She then looked at me and said (in Spanish) “Do I know you?” I answered in Spanish too.
“No, but I have that face.”
“Who are you, then?”
“A friend of Mandy.”
“Aren’t you too old for her?”
“I’m twenty-one, I know her from the choir. Plus, I didn’t know there was an age limit for friends.”
“True. What’s your name?”
“Erin, I’m Mandy’s grandmother.”
I was about to say, I know, but stopped myself in time.
She then left and a few couples around their forty’s came to the snack table.
I recognized these people as some uncles and aunts in my dad’s side.
They were talking of something of cutting the pines in Miami Springs; it didn’t sound interesting so I left before one of them recognized me.
I checked my watch: 10:42.
Time flies by.
I saw Susanna, my aunt, walking around, smiling.
She doesn’t have the worried and stress wrinkles. Oh right, I forgot, abuela isn’t sick.
I smiled at her when she passed by.
She looked at me and asked “Do I know you from somewhere?” I shrugged.
“I’m a friend of Mandy’s. Though, I believe we haven’t met before.” She smiled brightly.
“I’m Susanna, Mandy’s aunt.”
“Ah, the musical aunt.” She blushed a little.
“Mandy told you that?”
“Of course, I don’t read minds.” She laughed.
“That’s true. Well, I got to go, have to deliver these grapes to everyone.”
I looked at the container in her hands and before I could speak Terry came and asked her, “What’s with the grapes?”
“This is my mom.” I told Susanna and she answered “Pleased to meet you. We give twelve grapes to each person, for each month of the year, and at midnight is when you eat them as fast as you can. It’s suppose to give you luck; it’s a family tradition.”
Terry looked really curious.
“Really? Please tell me more about your traditions.” As they talked I got my bag of grapes and floated off.
Mandy then showed up and I asked “So how was it with the cousins?”
“Tiring.” She admitted and I grinned.
“Let’s watch that event on TV. You know, the one before-“
“-the ball goes up at Times Square?” I finished the sentence and nodded.
We went to the sofa and sat to watch one of the concerts.
To our disappointment, it was one of those teen wannabe bands, which we don’t like.
But thank god we came at the end, so next came some rock band whose name I didn’t catch.
They were good, I guess, I didn’t pay much attention to the TV.
Before I knew it, it’s become quiet and extremely crowded around the TV.
I looked up and saw the announcer talking while the ball is going up.
Where’s my grapes, where’s my grapes, crap, I lost it.
I scrambled up to get another bag when the countdown started.
I opened the bag, looked at the screen, and counted with my family members.
“…8…7…6….5….4…3…” Here goes nothing “….2…1.”
Everyone in the room started eating grapes and grinning. Someone gave me a glass of champagne and we clinked glasses with everyone.
I ate my grapes, hoping I would have luck this year (for once).
I hugged Mandy, Terry, and Von and said “Happy New Year!” to everyone.
It was fun, we talked, and people started to leave at around 1:30 a.m
“Well, see you on Sunday.” Mandy said. “And good luck tomorrow.”
I rolled my eyes “We’ll see.”
“Bye.” And Terry, Von, and I left.
I felt dead when I went to sleep, because normally I avoid going to sleep at around 3 in the morning.
“You are not wearing that.” I looked at my converse, jeans, and clean shirt.
“Yeah, I can.” I told her. “It’s presentable.”
She dragged me to her room and saw a blood red flowing short-sleeved blouse, a belt, and black jeans on her bed.
“Really, now you seem like my fashion advisor.” She winked at me.
I sighed “Fine, you win.” And put on the clothes (like I had a choice).
Less than half an hour later, I was in Bird Bowl, waiting for the others.
Around five minutes later Vicente showed up.
“Hiya, Vicente.” I said pleasantly.
“You know where the others are?”
“I don’t know.” He said with a troubled face.
I shrugged “I just hope they don’t ditch us.” A phone rang.
Vicente answered his cell phone.
“Hello? Kate, where are you?” She said something and his expression changed.
“Oh really?” She said something else.
“No, I totally forgive you.” He said in a sarcastic voice. Another pause.
“Of course not.” He kind of snapped at her.
What’s going on? Is Kate all right? Did someone died? (Okay, very unlikely, but still)
I was about to ask these questions to him when he hung up and said to me “Seems like they are ditching us.”
“What?” I practically yelled, I was only joking, not really wanting this for real.
“So what do we do?” I asked him.
“I guess bowl, since we’re already here.”
“True, but let me say I haven’t bowled in years.” He smiled.
“Don’t worry, I’m not so good either.”
I laughed “So then let’s go, I bet I’ll get my old skills back and beat you.”
“You really think so?” he said with a laugh.
“We’ll see.” I said and went up to the counter to rent a lane and shoes.
We tested out which bowling ball we will use, I ended up getting the pinkish-orange bowling ball, while Vicente ended with a lime green one.
I don’t know why people think all bowling balls are black, because I see that no one has one (due to it being so heavy).
We wrote our names down at the monitor and started to bowl.
It was rough at first because Vicente and I sucked (I kept hitting gutters) but I got the hang of it and started hitting spares, One time I even hit a strike.
Vicente got the advantage because I was hitting gutters since the beginning, so the first game he won by five points.
We took a break and ate in the snack bar at the bowling place.
I got some fries and coke and he got coke and pizza (he said he didn’t eat dinner).
“So what? I’ll beat you next game.” I said to him haughtily.
“Yeah?” he asked, eyebrow raised.
“Of course, this time I won’t throw any gutters.” I dipped the fry into some ketchup and plopped it into my mouth.
The second game was more successful for me.
I beat him by ten points.
“What did I say?” I told him smugly as we headed to the parking lot.
He smiled “You can stop gloating. Plus, I won the first game.”
“By five points. I beat you by ten points.”
“Of course, winning doesn’t matter.” I blushed, “I wasn’t saying that.” I said shyly.
Then it was silent; we were in front of my car.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” I told him.
I opened the car.
I looked at him and asked “What?”
Then, it was that moment.
Like the moment where a kiss would be the perfect thing to do.
“Remember to bring the music I gave you.” He said in a matter-of-fact voice.
That moment totally passed.
I felt humiliated to think that he would want to kiss me.
“Yeah, sure. Well, bye.” I said and climbed to the car.
“Bye.” He answered.
I started the engine and drove out.
What. The. Heck. Happened.
I feel…I don’t know…something’s wrong.
Well, of course stupid, a voice said in my head, you’re not suppose to be in this time.
I sighed; I’m totally messing up history.
Only the fact that I’m on my way to the university right now!
I can barely contain my excitement as I went to my first class (I printed out my schedule, so I know my classes and where they are).
I have my art class now, so I ran over there and was greeted by the teacher.
He has short curly black hair, liquid brown eyes, glasses, and a mustache that could challenge Hitler’s.
His name is-
“Hello!” he boomed, his voice is really loud, like thunder.
“You must be the new girl! Come, come, I’m Mr. Zander!”
I nodded then went to a seat he pointed at.
He told us the rules, assignment, and materials.
I copied them down and started on the assignment.
The class ended at 1:30, lunchtime for me.
I went through the cafeteria, bought some sandwich (I’m not sure what) and scanned around the room for someone I recognized (or at least someone who looked nice) then I saw someone.
I hurried over to her. “Kate!” I practically yelled.
She looked at me and her blue eyes widened “Erin!” She waved me over.
“I’m so sorry, Erin, about Saturday.” I shrugged.
“It was nothing. We just bowled. I ate fries and he ate pizza.” She looked like she was about to say something, but didn’t.
“What do you want to say?” I asked.
“Well, you know know…we had a reason for doing that.”
“I know, you wanted to have a laugh.”
“Not really, though, it was funny. We thought that this date will give you guys a…push.”
“A push?” I echoed, not understanding.
“Erin, what do you think about Vincent?”
“V-Vincent?” I stammered, not liking how this conversation is turning.
“Yes, him.” She calmly told me.
“He’s nice, and cool, and smart-“
“Do you like Vincent?” She pressed on.
I looked at my hands “Why do you want to know?”
“I’ve been friends with him forever and I know him.”
“So?” She took a deep breath.
“Vicente would be mad at me, but it won’t be the first time. Vicente likes you.”
There was a pause and my face was frozen.
No. Freakin’. Way.
I was about to tell her that she was pulling my leg when she said “I’m dead serious.”
She did look like it…
“I know Vicente. I’ve seen the signs. Ever since about two weeks ago did I see them. He then said to to us and that’s when we decided to meet you. Now, before Vicente breaks his heart, do you like him?”
I squirmed on my seat and said “I liked him even longer than him. It should be me who should be cautious of my heart.”
Satisfied, Kate grinned. “Yay! Hopefully Vicente gets the hint and asks you out soon!”
“Hmm.” I answered her, distracted.
The shock was over and now I’m excited, happy.
Oh my god, Vicente likes me! He likes me.
He actually likes me!
Oh my god, I’ve been waiting for this for seven years.
Finally, I can be with him.
Oh my god…
“Erin, are you okay?”
“What?” my head went out of my fantasies.
“Well, as I was trying to say, what do you have next?”
When the bell rang, I went to library form I could think and read a few stuff before my next class (in about forty-five minutes)
My first day of University was…interesting.
Though, my day hasn’t ended.
My music class is at 7:15, in the night.
I drove back to the university as it was getting dark and entered my music classroom finding that Kate, Vicente, and Luis was there.
Matt wasn’t, though; for some reason he has such wacky schedules.
I then saw the teacher.
My first impression of her was that she doesn’t like me.
Her hair used to be a chestnut color, but is now full of white streaks, her peculiar square glasses makes her look like an owl, lots of wrinkles on her face, her gray eyes narrowed at me, her nose looked like she smelled something queer, and a mouth that I had the impression rarely received a smile.
She looked at me in distaste and said in a firm, high, crackly voice “What do you want?” she said it quite nastily.
“I’m new here Mrs.-”
“Ms. Gentletwine. And don’t you forget it. No Ms. Gentle or Ms. Twine or Ms. G.” She peered at me over her glasses.
“Um, yes, Ms. Gentletwine.”
“Your seat is in…” she looked through her papers. I guess she does ABC order.
Though, I ended up next to Vicente (much to my delight, but I tried not to show it)and hastily moved to my seat.
Mrs. Gentletwine gave me the impression that she used to be a musician, but wasn’t “good” enough, so got stuck teaching music and doesn’t like it, so she wants the students to go down too (maybe I should be a Physiologist instead).
The whole class was filled with insults and complaints, don’t get me wrong, she’s an excellent musician and could be a great teacher if she wanted too.
The problem is her negative attitude.
Well, anyway, I couldn’t say more than “hi” to Vicente because Mrs. Gentletwine is watching me like a hawk.
When class finally ended (I found myself being relieved), I said hi to Kate and Luis.
“Erin, hi, isn’t Mrs. Gentletwine an old hag?” I smiled.
“Her heart isn’t on teaching.”
“Mrs. Gentle, sure.” Luis said in distaste and I said “I see the irony in there.”
I looked at my watch.
“Love to stay guys, but I have to study for a ‘pop’ quiz, a test, I have to read a few chapters in one of my text books, and a ton of more homework.” Kate smiled at me glumly.
“Oh well, see you tomorrow.”
“Bye Kate, bye Luis, bye…” I looked around. “Hey, where’s Vicente?”
Kate said casually “He left, he has a class at 8:45.”
“Oh.” I said. “Well, bye.” And I left.
My favorite place in the campus is the Library.
I love it, sue me, because I love to read.
I go to the library in between classes (expect from five to seven, that’s when I eat dinner)
If I’m not in the library I’m wondering around the campus, meeting interesting people.
For example, the other day, I met this albino who was looking very distressed.
So I asked her “What happened?”
She looked at me, surprised and said “Well, I don’t know why I’m telling you this but I will. I’ve just been back stabbed by my friend; I was fired at work, or as they put it ‘laid off’. My boyfriend wants to ‘take some time’ but I suspect he’s cheating on me, and now I’ve got a C in my test because I was concentrating on my other problems.”
Wow, she did have it bad. I patted her shoulder.
“It’s all right, life throws at you a lot of obstacles. Obviously that girl isn’t your friend, she’s a monster; in work, you can get a cool job. I know a few. As for your boyfriend, break up with him. Or at least talk to him about how you feel. If he doesn’t get it, then he doesn’t. He isn’t the one for you. You deserve better than that.”
She looked at me and smiled “Thanks, I needed that. My name’s Anabel, what’s yours?”
“E-“ I didn’t know what to say, I had a sudden impulse to say my real name.
“Nice to meet you, Mandy.”
“What are you studying to be?”
“An interior decorator.”
“Cool, I think I’ll you if my apartment needs some remolding.”
“Well, nice meeting you, bye.”
“Bye.” She left.
I kept thinking about Anabel.
She looks like a doll, how can anyone hurt her!
I want to strangle her “boyfriend”.
I calmed down and tried to concentrate on my next class, because I don’t want to be late.
I looked at my watch.
“I gotta go now, Terry. Music class in an hour.”
“Ah, to that nasty teacher again. Ms. Tumbleweed or something?”
“No, Ms. Gentletwine.” I laughed, barely saying those words.
“Sorry, I can’t remember any names.”
I just rolled my eyes, what Terry has is selective memory.
We said our goodbyes and I ran out of the house.
I never wanted to be late for music because, yeah, she scares me.
She’s like that seventh grade teacher I had, but Ms. Gentletwine is not fat. Or has a rumor of eating children.
I ran across the campus and went inside the classroom along with a couple of students.
“Late!” Screeched Ms. Gentletwine, though the bell rang right when we reached our seats.
I have a suspicion that maybe she’s deaf.
That would probably explain-
“Take out your pencils; we’re doing a pop quiz.” She sneered at us.
No one dared to groan out loud, but I’m betting we all are mentally.
I cautiously took out my pencil from my bag and waited for the packet to get to me.
We spent thirty minutes doing the quiz and then class continued.
I sneaked a smile and a “hi” at Vicente and a wave at Kate and Luis since they are across the room.
At the end of class, I tried to catch up with Vicente, but he’s always out in a flash whenever class ended.
I chatted with Kate and Luis for a while, then left.
I decided to go to the library since I have a project for journalism (I need a reference, no internet), so I skipped my way over there.
I looked through the shelves, going through aisles I haven’t been in before.
I skimmed my way through the titles until I decided to ask the librarian.
“Um…can you tell me where the books on journalism are?”
“This way, Erin.”
Mrs. Zindi is a pleasant woman around her fifties.
She has silky, long, raven hair that fall down her back and gray eyes that look at you with great intensity. Her pale face looks as if she never had sun (like she locked herself in this library all her life), small glasses that suit her perfectly, and some crests marked neatly and elegantly on her face, each like a story waiting to be told.
We walked to the West Wing of the library and she took me to the far end and pointed at five whole shelves.
“This is what we have.” Mrs. Zindi gave me a kind smile.
“Thanks, Mrs. Zindi.” I answered and she was gone.
This library actual has lots of good books on writing and publishing.
I got three just for me to read.
So when I got all my books, I decided to sit and read them and do some homework.
Not in this wing, though, it’s too noisy.
I got to go someplace quieter.
I went to the South wing and was relieved to fit it more deserted.
I looked at the category of books: adventure.
Of course, everyone’s too busy doing homework to read for fun, but I see a couple of students sneak in to get a few books.
I sat down on one of the tables.
Well, not before I tripped and the heavy books fell out of my grasp.
I watched in horror as it made a huge thump.
The din was so loud, I thought the whole campus heard it.
Of course, people who were in the mystery section heard it.
“Are you okay?” asked a familiar voice.
“I’m fine.” I said to the voice and saw Vicente there.
“W-what are you doing here?” I asked, shocked, my heart skipping two beats.
“I was going to ask you that. I come here every night.”
“Kate said that you go to a class.” I accused.
“It’s not my fault that Kate is a very nosy person. I want quiet time, so I can study, so I tell her I’m in class to be alone.”
“Clever.” I said. “But then why are in such a hurry to get out of class?”
He shrugged. “You’re too slow.”
“Hey!” I said as I started picking up my books (about five really fat ones).
Vicente got one and held it out for me; I took it.
“So, where are you camping out?” He smiled and pointed to a distant table.
“There, probably one person goes through there every day, and that’s saying something.”
I looked at the section, Children Rhymes.
“It only gets crowded in May, when the early childhood teachers have to do projects on rhymes. Then, I go to ‘foreign poems’, the least crowded place in the end of the term.”
“Ah.” I said. We walked to the table and I saw his table filled with papers, books, sheet music, a laptop with the screen on, and lots of pencils.
“It seems you got your hands full.” I told him.
“Don’t worry. If you’re here to study, I can make room.” He then made room for half the table and I thanked him.
“No problem.” He said as we both sat down.
I got out my books but couldn’t concentrate well, because, Vicente is less than five feet from me.
Believe me, for a girl with a crush it’s very distracting.
But I forced myself to read and to work on some of the project.
I peeked at Vicente and saw he was writing music right now and muttering under his breath.
At least I’m not the only crazy one.
I doodled unconsciously and I saw it was a sketch of Vicente. I turned red and covered it, embarrassed I’ll do something that weird not five feet from him.
I looked at the sketch again.
Not bad, just a few strokes there and-
“What are you doing?” I looked up and realized I was hunched over the paper nose to nose to it.
I turned red “Nothing.” I said in a guilty voice.
Darn my difficulty to lie in front of him!
“Are you drawing something?”
“J-just a doodle.”
I tried to stuff it away but he grabbed it from me.
“Wow, you draw great, is that me?” My face is growing hotter.
“Yeah, um, it's a project for art, I, um, have to do a portrait.” Close call.
“You can draw me all you want then.” He smiled.
I said “Don’t worry about it; I can draw from up here.” I pointed to my head.
I then glanced at my watch.
I jumped up. “Holey moley, its 9:30!” I started picking up my stuff.
He looked at his watch.
“I guess it is.”
“Yeah, well, thanks for the space and time, but I gotta go now.” I turned to leave when he said “Erin?”
I turned around “Yeah?”
“Tomorrow, do you want to go to this concert I’m in…?”
“Okay, sure.” I answered.
“Kate and Matt are coming too.” Vicente hurriedly added.
Oh well, not a date. Well, I can’t be with him anyway, he’s in the concert.
I said bye and went back to Terry’s house.
“You’re late.” Terry said, leaning against the threshold.
“You wouldn’t believe what just happened.” And I told her.
“Wow, a concert. He invited you on a date!” She cried happily.
“He invited me because I’m his friend.” I reminded her.
“Didn’t you said Kate said that Vicente said he likes you?”
I shook my head.
“That’s too many people involved. I want to know directly from the source.”
“Then you should take the first step, say you like him.”
“No way!” I screeched “Are you crazy?”
“Maybe I am, but that’s beside the point.”
I sighed “So, what should I wear?” I’ve learned that this topic made Terry distracted fast.
“I was thinking something casual yet elegant. I assume it’s classical music?”
I nodded “And I think Romantic and Barroco. Maybe some Latino.”
“Well, black and white will do, wait here.” She got ran out of the room.
She came in a few minutes and asked “How’s this?”
Terry knows my style exactly.
It is black pants, a white sleeveless vintage blouse, and a casual black jacket.
“My god, Terry! So pretty!” I purred.
“Thank you, thank you.” She said, as if accepting an award of some kind.
“You don’t have to sound so smug.” I said in an amused voice and she just winked at me.
That night I entered the theatre, clutching the ticket that Vicente gave me.
I scanned through the crowd to look for Kate and Matt and was relieved when I saw them waving at me madly to come join them.
I hurriedly went to them and said “How’s it going you guys?”
“The usual.” Shrugged Kate and I sat next to Kate. “They are getting ready for the concert.”
We then started talking about this choir and orchestra.
They are supposedly really good (they have to be in this theatre).
Kate and I talked, Matt occasionally joining, but as the lights dimmed, we stopped, and so did the rest of the crowd.
It was like a tomb, until an announcer told us to turn off our phones, etc.
Then, the curtain opened, and the first trill was played by the orchestra.
It was magnificent, the whole orchestra gloriously illuminated with Vicente right at the middle, back to us, and conducting the orchestra, standing from behind a stand and waving his hands to the music.
I was sucked into the music, feeling the peacefulness, the serenity, and then the excitement when the fast parts sunk in.
I let the music in greedily, always wanting more.
The first song finished and we burst into applause. Vicente turned around and when I saw him, my heart skipped a beat.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our concert”. We applauded and when we stopped he spoke again.
“I’m Vicente Cordova, the director and conductor of this Orchestra and Choir; we are very honored in playing for you tonight. I hope you enjoy it.” And we clapped again, this time being cut by the drums and percussion.
Oh, it’s starting again.
This was how it was for half an hour, then the intermission was announced and everyone started chatting.
“Let’s go see Vicente!” Kate exclaimed and jumped from her seat.
“Are you sure we can-“
“Yes! Come on, onward!” She practically dragged me to the back to the stage.
I saw the musicians were spread around, talking, drinking, and being excited.
The air was felt with tension, and it reminded me back in the day when I used to be in drama, the first show was like this.
I spotted Vicente talking some people.
“I don’t know, Kate, he seems awfully busy.”
“Quit stalling. He’ll be happy to see you.” She just beamed at me.
Too late, he looked at our direction, no going back now.
He said something to the group and came to us.
“You guys came!”
“Of course we did!” Kate said, offended, but we know she’s kidding.
“Hi, Vicente. It is really neat, the concert.”
“I’m just glad you came.”
“It’s nothing.” I shrugged “What else can you do on a Saturday night?”
We talked a little about the pieces and the songs until the announcer said the break was over.
Kate and I wished him luck and went back to our seats.
The curtains opened and it revealed the orchestra and choir.
The choir sang like angels, so peaceful, exquisite, serene, magical…heavenly, I wish I can sing that well.
The orchestra continued captivating me.
But, as all good things, it had to end.
With its final chords and closing words, I soon realized that everyone was hurrying about, picking up, or leaving.
What a shame.
I followed Matt and Kate backstage.
Matt greeted Vicente and we helped Vicente pick up so he can be free.
We walked into the parking lot, talking.
“…stupidest movie I’ve ever seen.” Huffed Kate, at some movie she and Matt saw earlier today.
“How come?” I asked curiously.
“Well, the guy, is first of all, is an idiot. The girl is too, but she actually has common sense. They both met at a club and then she found out she was preg, I’ll skip the details. He didn’t know how to deal with it, so he broke up with her and moved to Sitka. Then she was raped and killed, along with the baby. But, they made it seem so ridiculous that it wasn’t that sad. I cried, though.”
I looked at Matt “Seriously, this does sound like a stupid movie.”
“Don’t look at me. It was the only movie available at that time and I heard it was good.”
“From a heartless pervert.” Muttered Vicente and we laughed.
We then had to leave because it was midnight and the only one there, so we left.
Before Vicente left, he looked as if he wanted to tell me something, but thought better of it.
I went home, as it seems always these days, confused.
“I wish I was there.” Mandy said enviously.
“Don’t worry, you will.” I said as I winked at her.
She smiled. “So, how was it with you-know-who?” She asked in a whisper.
“Mandy!” I said “Why would you think that?”
“Because I’m very hopeful?” I laughed.
“You’re too honest.” She shook her head.
“Only with you.”
“What are you guys giggling about?” Vicente asked with one eyebrow raised.
“Nothing.” Mandy said guiltily.
We looked at each other and laughed.
“Just keep it down.” Vicente told us and we were more careful.
After mass, I said goodbye to Mandy and was picking up when Vicente asked me, “So, how did you like the concert?”
“Yeah, it was awesome.” I told him.
“Thanks. Um…do you want to meet me at Starbucks tomorrow?”
“Sure, with Kate and Matthew and Luis, right?” I asked him, yum, hot chocolate again!
“No, um, you know like a-“
“A date?” I asked; my heart should get a ticket for speeding.
Oh my gosh, Vicente is actually blushing!
“Sure.” I said and smiled, he smiled and said “Great.”
We made details and I left with Carmen.
“So he asked you out?” Carmen asked me.
“How did you know?”
“I was right there. I couldn’t help but listen.”
“Oh.” Carmen smiled.
“He finally got the courage, I knew he likes you.”
“I don’t think it’s that kind of date. Maybe it’s-“
“Erin, will you stop making excuses, you’re like Mandy, no wonder you’re family.”
“Well, hope it works out with you two. You guys make the perfect couple.”
“Thanks.” I responded uncertainly and we said goodbye to each other.
I practically ran to the house and yelled at Terry “Oh my gosh, you can’t believe what just happened.”
“Vicente confessed his undying love for you?”
“He kissed you passionately?”
“He composed a masterpiece, dedicated just for you, his one true love?”
By now she was half-joking and I was laughing.
“No way. He asked me out.” Terry squealed like a little fan girl, then asked “Tell me exactly all that he said.” I told her.
“Definitely a date.” Terry said as her eyes went out of focused, and I just knew she was thinking of my outfit.
“Although, it won’t be a date until I, you know, kiss him.” I told her.
“That’s a different kind of date.” Terry said to me. “We’re talking about the first level; the little crush game, though personally I think you’re too old for that.”
I rolled my eyes, then said “Well, I’ve got a ton of work to do for tomorrow.”
Terry’s face fell.
“You’re not giving this date a second chance.”
“What’s that suppose to mean, I-?”
“This is probably you’re first date, right?” She interrupted.
“Not really, but on that third date, that time with Jake didn’t really count since it was only an hour.”
“His ex showed up.”
“Typical. How about your first kiss?”
“I’m still holding on. Kindergarten doesn’t count, right?” I asked her.
“Spill.” She ordered.
“There was this kid who kissed me during Spanish class in kinder, though I didn’t like him or kissed him back. Please don’t tell me my first kiss was wasted on my fifth year of life by what I later realized was a jerk.” Terry laughed.
“Okay, I’ll give it to you, you still have it.”
“Phew.” I said, pretending to wipe imaginary sweat from my forehead.
“Aren’t you suppose to do your homework?”
“Right, thanks, I’ll get on to that.” I went to my room and started with this painful amount of homework.
The smell of hot chocolate is irresistible.
The rich taste, the chocolate goodness, the-
“Does it taste good?” Vicente asked me, I merely smiled at him and answered “Of course.”
It was a cold night, so the heat of the hot chocolate alone was comforting, not to mention the chocolate itself.
“So, what will you wish for if you got a chance?” I looked up and looked into his dark eyes (it reminds me of dark chocolate).
I realized that my wish has come true.
I always wanted adventure, something that no one did, and how many people time traveled?
This is an adventure as I speak (or think, because technically I’m not speaking)
Vicente was waiting for an answer so I responded “I dunno…adventure, I guess.”
“Yeah, I know I’m being stupid, but like a book adventure. You know, things that don’t really happen in reality.” Oh, but they do, I thought, time traveling exists!
“Hmm..” His mind got distracted, so I let him get distracted as I sipped my hot chocolate.
“You wouldn’t wish for any material stuff?” I shrugged.
“Not really, I’m fine just the way I am, is that weird?”
“No, it’s the right choice.”
“I only try to make the right choice.” I smiled as I drank another sip of hot chocolate as it began to get cooler.
“Erin.” Vicente said.
“Yeah?” I asked.
“Do you like me?” My heart fluttered inside my chest, but all I could think of is, oh my gosh, he asked the question!
I opened my mouth once or twice, trying to find my voice.
“Um…it depends what kind of like.” I answered “I really like you as a friend, you’re a great guy. I also like you…as in like you.” I looked at my hands, my heart thumping at full speed.
There was a paused for a few seconds (it felt like hours) and he said, “Like me as in…?”
“As I heart you.” I said in a matter-of-fact voice and I could help but laugh.
“What?” He asked.
“I sound like a middle schooler ‘I heart you’, what is that? Ten years of English and vocabulary and that’s all I’ve got? I feel ridiculous.” We laughed at that.
“And you?” I asked Vicente.
He paused for a moment and said “It seems like I’ve known you before.”
Duh, I’m Mandy, I felt like telling him, but I bit my tongue and let him continue.
“…But I like you very much.”
“Like ‘I heart you’?” I asked, half joking, half not.
“Yeah.” We sat in a moment of silence as I thought the big question ‘Now what?’
I sighed and Vicente said “Well, we got that over with.”
“Yeah. Now we can resume to normal conversation.” I joked and the night went on like that wasn’t mentioned until I asked him when we were about to say good-bye:
“So does this mean we’re dating?”
He looked at me a grinned, I love that smile, that care-free smile.
“Only if you want to.”
“Then, sure, we’re dating.”
My heart gave a leap and I practically jumped into the car.
When the door was closed and no one was in hearing range, I practically screamed “Yes!”
I’m so happy; I’m finally dating someone who actually likes me.
Yes, going to the past is the best thing I ever did.
I texted Mandy about the news and told Terry when I reached home.
She practically screamed and we started celebrating when Von came in to the room and asked “Hey, what’s going on here? Did Erin got married or something?”
Terry and I laughed, the irony.
We started to tell him but he said “Girl stuff? I’m out.” And indeed he did went out of the room.
We celebrated with chocolate chip cookies and Life (the board game).
We let Von play Life with us and eat a cookie, but he blocked out all the teasing Terry was giving me.
But, we realized there was school and work tomorrow so we had to pick up at around 10:30.
All I can think about is Vicente. My gosh, this isn’t possible, all the smiled, the laughs, the hugs…I can’t get enough of it.
Terry says its love but I don’t believe so; love comes over time, not a month.
Yeah, we’ve been dating for around a month and it has been fun.
School is being hard on both of us, so we can’t see each other as often as we’ll like, but we always see each other on Sundays; Mandy is especially thrilled.
She told me about school and stuff and I always helped her if she couldn’t figure something out.
She’s such a sweetheart (though, she is me).
Terry is like a second mom to me.
She’s always taking care of me, always the first one to celebrate.
Let me draw attention to one night during a date with Vicente.
It was on February 27, 2010. We were out bowling (yeah, coincidence, but this isn’t Bird Bowl)
I beat him, as usual.
It was when we were walking towards the parking lot when it happened.
“Ha! I beat you again.” I taunted and Vicente rolled his eyes as if he was talking to some little kid.
“Doesn’t loser have to listen to the winner?” I asked him.
“Since when? That isn’t a condition when we bowl.”
“Then can we apply that rule now?” Vicente rolled his eyes again, like a teenager.
“Fine, but for the next time we bowl.” I put a puppy pout face and he sighed.
“What do you want?” We standing in the middle of the deserted parking lot by now and I smiled as I whispered, almost afraid in saying the words to loud “Can you kiss me?”
Vicente looked and me and asked “To kiss you?” Like it was something alien.
I nodded, he laughed.
“Then you should have said so! You didn’t have to say all the ‘winner, loser’ stuff.”
“You’re stalling.” I accused and he wrapped his arm around my waist as if to hug me.
He leaned towards me, I leaned towards him and tilted my head right (not complicated math: nose + nose = bump!).
Our lips met.
It was nothing like I imagined a kiss would be ˗˗it was better.
I know it sounds corny, but I wanted to be like this forever, for it to never stop, to tell him I love him…wait…love him…yeah, now I realized the meaning of those three simple words.
You’re probably thinking, how can a simple kiss make you realize that you love him?
Honestly, I don’t really know, it’s just…a sudden realization.
I don’t know who ended it, but we were separated once again.
We smiled at each other, lost for words, his arm never left my waist; I rested my head against his shoulder and we were like that for a moment.
I don’t know what happened next, but next thing I knew I was in my car driving into the house.
For all I knew, it could have been a dream.
A sweet pleasant dream, and it did felt like it.
No, the touch of his lips were still fresh on my lips, his nice smell, his hand on my waist.
I felt alive, I couldn’t be more gleeful that I was at that moment.
My first kiss, the best one ever.
Everything was mellow for the next few months.
What can I say?
Oh yeah, Vicente, Kate, Luis, Matt, and I graduated and passed all our classes.
Mandy graduated middle school and will be a freshman in high school in the fall (let’s see how that looks up)
And Vicente and I?
We’re the same, boyfriend and girlfriend, fresh in love, new to the game.
I don’t know how this story will end, but I hope it’s happily.
I’m still helping Terry at the library every day this summer, though I’m looking for a job.
I’m having an interview later this week for some publishing company in downtown.
I look back at my old life and say, what the heck, I’ll stay here, there’s so much more going for me here than back there.
Though, I know that someday I’ll have to tell Vicente that I’m Mandy (though, not yet).
Things started getting…funky when mid-fall rolled in.
Everywhere I go, strange notes keep popping up.
They all say “Go back to your time”, and it’s freaking me out.
I know it’s not written by anyone I know because it’ll show up in places like beneath the covers of my bed, inside a book I’m about to read, next to the contacts I’ve just forgot; I know that whatever magical force brought me back in time wants me back.
But I don’t want to, this is my home, not back in the future where Vicente sees me as merely a girl who sings at the choir and talks too much.
I want to be Vicente’s girlfriend, I want to be the person he wants most, I love him.
I don’t want that life, that life without him in my heart.
I told Terry these thoughts and she replied “Erin, I know this seems tough, but this isn’t your time. You’re wrecking time by being here. This paper is obviously telling you so. Can’t you time travel? Well, come back as soon as you can and visit, I’ll bake you cookies.”
“But Terry, what about Vicente?” She sighed.
“He’s not for you, honey. He’s seven years older, much more mature physically and mentally. Plus, he has a life planned out for him, you’re ruining it by entering his life.” Streams of tears left trails down my cheeks as I realized this was true.
Why does it have to be like this? Why do I have to be born in 1995? Why do I have to be born at all? I wish I was never born…
I sobbed and Terry was my comforter that night.
When morning came, I had made my decision and left everything prepared.
I told Terry what to do; I called Mandy and told her my decision and what to do.
I only took my messenger bag with my old driver’s license, my stuff, and a wallet-sized picture of Terry and Von.
I seized the last scrap of paper that appeared this morning, it said: youi sho pricenti.
A tear formed in the corner of my right eye as I spoke to Terry.
“Thanks Terry, for everything. I love you. I’ll meet you as soon as possible, okay?”
“Alright Erin, I mean Mandy.” She said to me sadly “See you in seven years.”
I smiled at her, though another tear was forming in my other eye.
I whispered, or more like croaked, the dreadful words “Youi sho pricenti.”
The last thing I saw was Terry’s sad face as I spun around and the world was a confused form.
I saw a vague image of the bathroom of the church, it became clearer as I tumbled unto the year 2017.
I am now back to being Mandy Ferrera, the official loser who came to Miami on the holidays and goes to school in Seattle.
I sighed as I brushed the last tear off my cheek, no crying here.
I stopped for a second to think why I was in the bathroom, then I remembered.
Oh, I have to meet Vicente to fix that PowerPoint.
My heart sank…Vicente.
My legs felt like lead as I walked unto the office to find Vicente looking at the computer screen, my heart gave a squeeze.
“Hey, Vicente, I’m back.” He jumped, as if startled.
“Oh, you’re here, well, here’s the PowerPoint.” We continued to discuss PowerPoints.
On the outside, I was very intent on the PowerPoint, inside I was screaming “Hello! It’s me, Erin, don’t you know me? Do you remember me?”
It felt so weird to say goodbye to him and not give him a kiss or a hug or him not looking at me with adorning eyes.
His eyes just reflected tiredness.
Disappointed, I went to my car and drove to my house. Terry will have to wait until morning, it was already eleven.
I laid down on my bed, thinking, don’t think about him, just get on with your life.
Get on with your life…I feel like I’ve been doing that all my life.
I waited patiently and a woman opened the door.
We stared at each other for a moment then we smiled as we exclaimed:
She rushed me inside and made me cookies.
She looks older, much older.
Her hair is entirely gray now and she wears it in a different hairstyle, bangs really suite her.
Her face has more wrinkles, but she still has her bright smile, her twinkling eyes, and good humor.
“Mandy! You look not a day older from seven years ago.”
“Well to me, I just saw you last night. How are you?”
Her smile wavered a little and the twinkle in her eyes burned down.
“What happened?” I asked with a frown.
“I don’t need to worry you, especially when you just came-“
“Terry.” I said in a warning voice.
She hung her head as she said in a monotone “Von is dead.”
“Von is…Von…what?” I asked in shock, almost dropping my cookie.
“Died.” She said quietly, a few tears coming from her eyes, but she wiped then quick.
“That was years ago, though. About three years ago.”
“I’m so sorry Terry. You must have been very lonely.”
“Not really. I have Minow.” She motioned at a puppy who was on my feet, trying to jump on me and wagging her tail.
“And now I have you, Mandy. You don’t know how much strength you gave me, Mandy. I haven’t baked since the funeral.”
I hugged her and all was silent for a few minutes.
Then she cleared her throat and said “Enough about me. What about you, Erin? What happened? How was it with-“
“Bad.” I said bitterly, breaking away from the hug. “Vicente practically doesn’t know I exist. He probably think I’m just some little brat whom he has to sing and play with.”
“What? What happened?”
“Nothing, that’s what happened! He gave me no acknowledgement, he was entirely all business-like, it was like I never went back in time. It was all a dream and this is a slap in the face.”
“Oh, Erin, don’t say that, it wasn’t a dream. I was there. I saw you, encourage you, talked to you, you were there Mandy. He must be out of his mind. Of course…” Her eyes zoned out as she was thinking.
“…he probably still thinks Mandy and Erin are two different people. He thinks that you just look freakishly like Erin.” I sighed and she continued.
“You’ve got to tell him.”
“No. No way, he’ll never believe me, what if-“
“Give him a chance to believe.” Terry cut in. “How can you say that before you say anything?”
I opened my mouth, then closed it.
“Fine.” I said “I will.”
Then we talked about much lighter stuff and never mentioned Von or Vicente.
I’ll tell him, I’ll tell him, I thought to myself as I walked towards him in church, then Justin spoke to me.
“Hey Mandy, what do you think of this?” He strummed a bit on his guitar, then did this tricky bridge he’s been working on forever.
I applauded “Bravo! He finally did it!” He grinned ear to ear and we talked for a little while, I got so distracted that I forgot about Vicente.
Carmen then talked to me and when mass finally started I remembered I had to tell him, but it’s too late, mass had started and we were singing the entrance song.
I looked at Vicente throughout the mass and thought, it’s a crush, it’s a crush, you got over it once, get over it again.
But I knew that this time it wasn’t a crush.
Mass ended and Vicente called for a meeting like good old times.
He smiled and said “I’ve got a very important announcement today. Sunny and I are going to get married.”
I raised my hand calmly and asked “Who’s Sunny?”
“Oh, I forgot you haven’t been here for some time. She was my girlfriend, now my fiancé.”
I swallowed a big lump in my throat and my acting paid off as I managed to say “Oh, that’s very nice! Hope you have a nice wedding.” Everyone started to say congrats to Vicente and I felt so devastated and depressed.
I want someone to shot me now, I want someone-
“You guys are all invited to the wedding, don’t worry.” He assured some people (including Carmen).
I fled refuge for the bathroom before I break.
Locked in a stall, I poured all my guts out.
I’ve never been so dismayed in my life.
Why did I have to go back in time? Why did I fall in love with a guy who I knew was unavailable, why did they pick me, whoever they are, why not the next girl. Why couldn’t she go back in time and have her little affair? It’s not fair, it’s not fair.
And who’s this Sunny? What a stupid name, she’s probably an airhead. Though, I know deep down inside she isn’t because Vicente wouldn’t marry an airhead.
I took a few deep breaths and regain control of my thoughts.
If Vicente is happy, then, I’m happy.
If he really likes this Sunny, fine, as Terry said, he isn’t the one for me.
I thought this through then burst into another round of tears because I know this is all lies, lies, lies. I love him no matter what.
I’m still his Erin, can’t he see? I’m not some stupid Mandy… I tried to calm myself, again, you’re going crazy.
Yes, that’s my solution, send me to an asylum.
At least there I won’t see Sunny or Vicente or that stupid wedding.
I can think of the Golden Days when he twisted my hair in his fingers, laughing, the sweet kisses he gave me and the hugs that’ll tell me there’s nothing to worry about.
When I was presentable again, everyone was leaving and I hurried to catch up with Justin and my family.
I went to Terry’s house later and told her everything.
Terry listened with compassion then she said “Fight back."
“Excuse me?” I asked, shocked.
“Well, obviously you love him, and he used to love you. You both have advantages and disadvantages. If was in your case, I’ll first study the girl. Then, I’ll go back in time and fix things up.”
“What are you saying, Terry? That I ruin the future, sabotage them and get the guy? Terry, I’m not that kind of person.”
“Jeesh, I didn’t mean it that way. Don’t be evil. But at least be there when he meets her and say the truth about yourself. Let him decide between you two and your fate.”
I thought about this.
“Not that bad. What would I do without you?”
“Probably living in the streets seven years ago.”
“That’s how the world goes around.”
We looked up Sunny Viscolven (I know the last name because Carmen mentioned it) on Google first.
We were amazed that there were quite a few articles about her.
“Oh my god, she’s gorgeous.” I gasped as I saw her picture. “How can I compete with that?”
She has blonde hair with bouncy curls, shoulder length, is tan, has twinkling blue eyes, and the best smile I’ve ever seen; she’s just the definition of her name.
The articles say that she’s a cello prodigy and is in various orchestras and symphonies, she’s in her last year in the University of Miami and is 26.
Two years younger than Vicente, but at least better than seven.
I hacked the computer, found out where she lives, where she goes to church, the last item she bought in eBay (a CD of classical music from Chopin), her schedule at the University, and the dates of her performance.
“Look.” I said, pointing at the blinding screen, “Its tonight.”
“That’s groovy, now you can see her tonight; he’ll probably be there.”
“Of course.” I said, my fingers gliding through the keys “He’s the one conducting it.”
I bought two tickets for that show (very difficult, since it’s a famous orchestra and tickets sell out quick)
Terry was complaining “Why me too?”
“You’re the one who suggested the idea. Plus, it’s less suspicious that two women are seeing a concert then one girl barely twenty-two.”
After much more discussion, she reluctantly gave in.
We decided to go in disguise (we couldn’t resist).
Terry did my hair and I texted Justin that I’ll be out with an old friend until eleven.
If I’m later that means I’m sleeping over.
Terry was done with my “transformation.”
My hair is super curly with deep tones of red (“It washes off.” Terry said) that doesn’t look dyed, my bangs were put in the side and it made me look different.
But that’s not all.
Terry did such an excellent work on make-up that I wondered why she isn’t a make-up stylist and if I’m really Mandy Ferrera.
She gave me this nice dark green dress to wear and did her disguise.
Make-up made her face look younger and she has less wrinkles, She made her hair into a French braid and finished off with an elegant purple evening dress.
When we came out of the house, it’ll take a very rare person to recognize us.
“Are you nervous?” Terry asked me.
“Of course. I have to see the fiancée of the person I love, and then compete with her. It’s enough to shake anyone up.” Terry nodded.
“But I don’t think we should talk to them, okay? Not yet. If they go anywhere else, we follow them, but conspicuously, ok?”
“You’ve done this before, haven’t you?” She blushed.
“Only in my earlier years.”
“Ever stalked Von?”
“That was how I discovered I loved him.”
“Was it a one-sided love?”
“At first, until I had the courage to speak to him. Don’t worry, Mandy, everything will come out the way it should be.”
The problem is, will that way be good or bad for me?
After a few more minutes, we reached the concert hall.
It was not much different from any other concert hall; in fact, this place has a feeling of de ja vu.
I thought what could it be when it hit me.
Of course, this was the concert hall that held the first concert that Vicente invited me to with Kate and Matt.
I remembered all the smiles, laughs, inside jokes, and conversations Vicente and I exchanged here and my heart sank.
Why this place of all places? Is it fate?
I looked at the closed curtain, yearning for it to open for I could see Vicente in his glory again.
Though, this time I wouldn’t be able to give him a good luck kiss.
No, that’s Sunny’s job now.
Terry and I waited patiently until I listened with a trill in my heart Vicente’s voice saying to turn off cells, beepers (wait…those doesn’t exist anymore), etc.
Then, the first notes came to the strings as the curtains opened.
I saw the back of Vicente and my heart leaped out, but got stomped back down when I saw Sunny.
She looked so elegant, so beautiful, she moved the bow with such grace that I had to blink.
This is not fair, me competing with such a girl, sure I can play the piano and sing, but it’s nothing compared to what that girl can do with that cello.
She flashed a small smile at the audience and I almost rose the white flag.
She has the perfect teeth of a celebrity! Her smile is so sweet, so innocent, and a radiance of happiness surrounds her.
No wonder she’s called Sunny.
But I looked at Vicente again and cried, no, I would not admit defeat.
Sure he’s planning on marrying her and (probably) loves her with all his heart, but I’ve got time in my side, and you can never beat time.
Plus, I love him too much to admit defeat just yet.
The white flag needs to be stuffed back into its box, this is war.
When the concert ended (magnificent) it was so crowded that we had to wait for Vicente and Sunny outside, much to Terry’s disappointment(“We don’t know what they’re doing in there!”).
We waited in the car, they were one of the last to leave, and they were laughing when they were coming outside, a slap in the face for me.
They mounted into Vicente’s car and went out of the parking lot, with us casually following them.
After a few minutes of “stalking” them, we got stuck on red and they went on.
“Rats, we lost them” Terry said, dismayed.
“Not yet.” I answered and said my suspicion of where they went.
Five minutes later, we pulled up at Starbucks and they were already ordering their coffees.
I ordered hot chocolate and Terry ordered one of those exotic coffees.
Sunny and Vicente were talking about the concert.
“…did miss those few notes you know. And forgot to play legato in the 56th measure.”
“You did perfect, Sunny.” Vicente reassured her.
“Okay, if you say so. You know, I was thinking about that new contract. It sounds great, but it’s all the way in New York City.”
“Don’t worry, Sunny, we’ll go there if we have to, I can always get a job in one the orchestras.”
“Oh, thanks, Vicente, but don’t worry, I’m not such a big fan of New York.”
They started talking about New York (more like debating) with each other.
Sunny won (but I think Vicente let her win) and she turned the conversation to the wedding.
I felt too sick to listen, because I was thinking over and over, they could have easily moved to New York. Then what would happen? You’ll never see him again.
I gulped, not wanting to think about that.
I wanted to hate Sunny, I’m supposed to, she’s my enemy, my rival, she stole my love.
But, she’s such a nice person, I had a feeling if I met her in any other circumstance, we would be best friends.
I felt a lump in my throat and Terry looked worriedly at me.
“Are you okay?” I tried to swallow and looked at her.
“Yeah, I’m fine, but I think I’ve seen enough.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
We finished our drinks and went out of Starbucks.
Once outside, I looked back at the green sign with the mermaid.
I felt a wave of despair when I recalled the memories I had in this place.
It was the same Starbucks Vicente and I went to.
I woke up and it took several seconds for reality to sink in.
I sunk back unto my covers and groaned, I had rather hoped it was a dream.
“Breakfast time!” Terry smiled at me as she entered the room. I groaned yet again.
“I know you feel down in the bottoms right now, but at least eat breakfast.” She advised me.
I unwillingly got up from the comforts of my bed and dragged my legs to the kitchen.
Terry served me one of my favorite breakfast: bagels with cream cheese and sprinkles on top.
I smiled a small smile as I hurriedly sat at the table, did a quick blessing, and ate the heavenly bagel.
“I know you’ll like it.” Terry said and gave me a sad smile “You’ve got to return home.”
I nodded. “So true; my mom doesn’t approve much of sleepovers, but I’ll try to persuade her some.”
I am currently being given the evil glare of my mother.
“Where were you last night?”
“Last night, a friend and I went to a concert and afterwards Starbucks. I texted Justin if I was later than eleven, I’ll sleep over the house, it was 11:30, so I slept at my friend’s house.”
“What’s her name?”
“Where does she live?”
Oh, the integration process.
I suddenly had a great idea.
“Oh, you want to meet her?” I asked gleefully.
“Shouldn’t I talk to her mom-“
“Mom, I don’t know about Terry’s mom because she’s old, mom. She’s probably older than you.” Mom looked skeptic, so I called Terry and we arranged for Terry to come over our house for dinner.
“Who’s Terry?” Justin asked me.
“Remember seven years ago when I went back in time? Well, that was on Friday. Terry was the one who took care of me.”
“Oh.” Justin replied. “That woman who’s a librarian and-“
“Is obsessed with purple? Yeah, that’s her.” And he remembered.
The doorbell rang at about 6:00 on Friday; and Terry was carrying some of her killer chocolate chip cookies.
My mom was kind of surprised by how old she was and whispered where did I met Terry.
“The library, she’s a librarian. She also goes to our church.” My mom talked a lot with Terry and learned a lot of recipes.
We had peccadillo (it’s kind of like ground beef) and spaghetti, which is actually my favorite dish my mom makes.
Justin and my dad liked Terry’s good humor and knowledge of classic rock music.
When they realized she’s a widow, they invited her for dinner again, but Terry refused.
Instead, she wanted to make them dinner.
So, on Sunday it was arranged that we’ll come over.
We then watched a movie while eating the famous cookies with milk.
I don’t really remember the movie, just me laughing so much everyone stared at me.
The few moments Terry and I had alone, Terry asked me if I was alright.
“Peachy.” I would tell her, but she’ll see right through me.
She always does, she’s one of the few people that could.
The last time she asked me the million dollar question was right before she left.
We were at my porch and we were saying our goodbyes.
After I answered my usual reply “Fine.” She said:
“You’re not fine. You’re depressed, I can see if in your eyes.”
“No, I’m fine. I’m already getting over him.”
She gave me a piercing glare and said “No, you’re not.” I sighed.
“I’m trying, Terry. Truly I am.”
“I know, sweetie, and you’re going to die if you keep trying. You’re going to end up killing yourself.”
I looked into those deep gray eyes of hers and said “What do you want me to do, Terry? I don’t remember the words to go back in time and there isn’t any more papers.” Terry smiled at me.
“Tell him the truth.”
“Yes. The next time you see him, and let him judge you. You are clearly at a disadvantage because you aren’t engaged to him. I suggest-“
“Terry.” I told her sternly.
She looked at me with alarm; she’s never seen me like this.
Personally, I’ve never seen me like this.
“I’m not going to tell him. Let him be happy. I’ll be happy if he is. Sure, I won’t ever stop loving him, but doesn’t mean I have to drag him down with me and make him feel guilty. No, I’ll just be a hermit in their lives or something.”
Then, it was Terry who did a surprising thing; she smacked me in the head.
“Ow! What was that for?”
“For being too generous. Do you seriously think you’ll be happy by just looking at them be happy together? You’re going to feel more depressed. Stop reading those trashy romance books that say that the girl is happy by just ‘seeing him happy’. Boloney. Yeah, you’re happy when he’s happy, but that’s when you’re with him. You think the girl is truly happy by seeing another girl with her man? That’s crap, those romance books.”
“Terry, I’m surprised you actually know curse words.”
“Yeah, and in the mood I’m in, I’ll give you a whole alphabet.”
“Sorry, Terry, it’s just-“I thought for a moment “I know, I’ll move back to Seattle. There’ll be no memories of him, so it’ll be easier to forget about him. I’ll go on with my life.” Terry looked at me with big watery eyes.
“I’ve got to.”
“I’ll go with you.” Terry said determined.
Surprise quickly followed by happiness overcame me.
“I’ve got nothing going for me here. Plus, you’re my only family.”
“So true.” That’s when we did the “real” goodbye and Terry left.
I stood there, digesting everything.
A tear rolled down my cheek because I just said a lie to Terry.
I would never forget Vicente.
“I want you to meet my fiancée, Sunny.” I looked helplessly as Vicente introduced her to us (the Choir) on Sunday.
Everyone started crowding around them, talking happily and being all gay.
I hung at the outskirts of the crowd; I could practically feel the rays of happiness shooting out from Sunny.
Carmen was with me, waiting for the crowd to thin out for she can talk with Sunny.
I didn’t felt like talking to Sunny, but I think it’s rude if I didn’t.
I’m so glad I’ve took acting lessons.
Carmen narrowed her eyes and whispered to me “How’s your cousin?”
“Great, she’s in Seattle; I’m living in her house while I’m staying there.”
“Carmen, I’m thinking about moving there permanently.”
Carmen looked downcast, but said no further on the matter.
Then she said “I don’t like Sunny for Vicente. They’re not a good match.”
“How do you know?” I asked, acting casual but inside I was quite the opposite.
My heart was running, my insides were gleeful, and I was thinking, she understands!
“I know who’s perfect for him. Are you sure you can’t convince her to come down here?”
“I don’t think so, but how come you think that Erin is better than Sunny?”
How can she? Sunny is super perfect in every way.
“Well, I’ve seen how Vicente is with both women. With Sunny, he’s normal. Yeah, he’s in love, but not that deeply. Erin makes his whole face light up. He takes up a different personality, his true personality. He’s just happy to be living with her. Now that was the girl he loved.”
Loved? Loved? What do you mean? I wanted to ask her that but I held my tongue.
“So you don’t want them to get married?”
“No, that’s not it.” My heart sank.
“It’s just, he will always love Erin deep inside.”
My heart pounded furiously at that.
The crowd started clearing up and we got a clear view of Vicente and Sunny.
I put up a nice big small in my face and said, “Hiya, Vicente. Hi, are you Sunny?”
I turned to Sunny and acted as if I haven’t followed them (I so do know your face).
She beamed at me. “Yup, that’s my name, though, that’s not my real name; people just call me Sunny because I smile too much, whatever. My real name is actually Jackie, but I like Sunny better.”
“Oh, well hi Sunny. I’m Mandy and I just sing here in the choir.”
“For how long?”
“Let me see…for about twelve years.”
“Wow, so you know the ropes real well.”
“Yup. Do you play any instruments?”
“Yes I do! I play the cello.”
“Ah, the cello, a magnificent instrument.”
We talked for a while about the cello while Carmen talked to Vicente; I didn’t really hear what was being said.
I felt guilty for hating Sunny after I finished talking to her because she’s such a nice girl, and is perfect for Vicente.
Unlike me, they deserve each other.
I tuned into the conversation when Sunny was answering Carmen’s question.
“…yeah, we met in a concert about two or three years ago. Vicente was conducting and I played the cello. We then met again at a friend’s party. He didn’t have a dance partner so I invited him to dance with me. That’s when I started liking him. At first, he was kind of stubborn and didn’t want to go out, but I persuaded him to. It took us about a few months to actually kiss. Then, he actually proposed to me about a few weeks ago, I was so happy! I was wondering when he’ll get the guts to ask me...”
My mind was racing as she said their story.
They met in a concert…typical.
And then at a friend’s party.
How strange, Vicente normally doesn’t go to parties (these are the things that make me believe fate is true).
He was kind of stubborn?
What on earth is that?
Why would he refuse to go out with Sunny in the beginning, she’s…everything!
Cute, smart, talented, awesome, perfect…what more can you want?
A teeny tiny voice said to me, he was still in love with you, that’s why! He didn’t want to go out with another girl because that would be like cheating.
I’m not that important.
I shook that thought out of my mind until it flew out of my ear.
Carmen and Sunny are still talking, so I said goodbye to them and Vicente.
I was walking out of the church when I noticed a scrap of paper on the floor.
I desperately picked it up and it read: Genis Maxi fowaid.
This wasn’t how the other one sounded.
I was disappointed, but still read the words out loud.
Again, I felt the sensation for the third time of my insides is going to come out.
I tumbled somewhere in time and the first thing I noticed was I was within a crowd of people; they didn’t noticed I came.
Everyone was wearing black or a dark color; a depressing mood was present and I felt a shiver up my spine.
Where on earth am I?
There is grass beneath my feet so I know I’m outside.
I pushed to the front and realized I was in a funeral.
I looked around, puzzled that I’m here, and saw a lot of familiar faces.
Everyone looked extremely sad, and I noticed Terry and was startled by how aged she looked.
Okay...I’m in the future.
Let’s review the facts: 1) I read strange letters 2) I’m at a funeral 3) It’s filled with people I know.
I recognized my mom, abuela, Susanna, and even Vicente and Sunny.
This person must be someone I know well.
Judged by how everyone looked, it seems like only a few years from my time.
Where’s my future self? Why isn’t she here to answer my questions?
I decided to go to the next best thing: Terry.
I approached her cautiously, being careful not to be seem by my family members.
I went through the crowd, catching a whispered conversation between two ladies.
“…was so young. Such a stupid girl.”
“I heard she didn’t come out from her room for a long time and ate minimal food and drink.”
“She killed herself.” Whispered a third woman.
I gulped, a suicidal girl’s funeral; I wonder who do I know that is emo or suicidal…?
“…anyway, I heard she was depressed.”
“There were rumors that she fell in love with this guy and he rejected her. Stupid girl, there’s so many guys out there.”
“Maybe she wasn’t aiming to kill herself?” Suggested another and that led to another series of comments.
I looked and saw that Terry’s jaw was clenched hard, and I knew she really dislikes these women, and she looked so pained.
I reached out to rest my hand on her shoulder (to calm her down) when she snapped and whisked around to face those women.
“You don’t know her! Mandy was the greatest girl you’ll ever know.” And she broke into a sob.
This fact nearly knocked me off my feet.
My funeral? How? So soon?
I then remembered the women’s conversation and I shook my head, no, I won’t do that. Yeah, I love Vicente, but I’m not that stupid…
Terry looked like she was about to cause a funeral herself, so I stepped in between Terry and the women and said “Terry, don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
Terry looked at me, speechless and I seriously thought she was going to faint.
She finally recovered she squeaked “Erin? You made it?” a little bit too loudly, making a few heads turn.
“I didn’t know Mandy had a twin.” One of the gossiping women said and I blushed.
“N-no, I’m just her c-cousin.” I told them. Cautious that Vicente was staring at me.
Crap, crap, double crap.
The women gave me suspicious glares, but left me alone.
Terry saw that Vicente was showing the urge in coming towards here and whispered to me “Plan # 324, activated.”
I rolled my eyes and let out a cry of exasperation.
“Not now, Terry.” I was panicking because Vicente was now talking to Sunny and they were sneaking peeks over here.
Great, just what I need.
“I mean, make a run for it in the car, but casually.” Terry whispered to me.
I gave a slight nod and slipped past the crowd, Terry following me and we did some cool maneuvers to lose track of Vicente.
We eventually rushed to the car and locked the doors behind us, thankful for tinted windows.
I saw as Vicente looked frantically around, with a frown on his face.
“It was dangerous to come here, Mandy.”
“It wasn’t my fault; I read sacred words and ended up here.”
“Mandy, don’t do it.”
“You lost the will to live. After Vicente got married. You were so weak, when you caught the common cold, you died.”
Quite a memorable way to die: caught a bad case of the common cold.
I gulped then said “But I’m not losing the will to live.”
Terry sharply laid her gray eyes at my brown and said “I do not want to go to another funeral of yours, Mandy. Do you know how many tears I’ve shed because of you?”
I looked down, ashamed of the choice I made before I even did it.
“Okay, Terry. So how’s everyone?” I asked casually, but we both know who we’re talking about.
“Well, Vicente and Sunny came from their honeymoon three months ago.”
“Yuck.” I said, and made a face.
Terry laughed and said “Well, you practically freaked out when you realized they were going to move to Italy. I can practically recite your speech (which you said many times). Heart-broken, you realized you had to go to Seattle. We were planning on going to Seattle next week. I-I still have the plane ticket.” Then she started sobbing.
I tried to comfort her as she said “Y-you broke y-your p-promise.” Then she was babbling such nonsense that I decided not to hear.
“It’s okay, I’m here, Terry, I’m here.”
“I know!” She sobbed.
She looked at me straight in the eye “Don’t do this to me again.”
“Alright, don’t worry, I’ll go to Seattle. I like Seattle better than Italy anyway (though I never been to Italy before).”
It took a few minutes before she calmed down and got us some chocolate icecream (because my funeral just had to be in a hot day. Coincidence? I think not).
“When are they moving to Italy?” I asked.
“The same day we were going to Seattle.” I bowed my head.
“Is that coincidence, or-“
“You wanted to be with him as much as possible, but you don’t want to be a day here without him.”
“I see.” At least I had “logical” thinking.
“You don’t think it’s safe to go up to Vicente now.” I joked, but she glared at me.
“We went through that escape for a reason. You’re dead, so he thinks you’re Erin, and that isn’t good since he’s married and everything.”
“Don’t remind me.” I moaned.
I picked up the pile of books and sorted them out by author.
Yes, Terry still works in the library and I’m still helping her.
We changed to more cheerful clothes and decided to do something to kill time (yeah, we’re such book geeks).
I don’t know when I’m going back to my time, but I hope it’s soon.
I sorted some books and a scrap of paper came out.
Excitedly, I got it and read it.
My heart sank; it said: [word that is still being censored, for the time being, we sorry for the inconvenience] you.
Someone must be stuffing papers in the books again.
I sighed as I crumbled the paper and looked at the cover in which it fell from.
The Time Machine.
I stared at the front cover until Terry asked “Are you okay?”
“Yeah I’m fine.” I said, the trance ending.
I placed it on its place in the shelf and stroked its spine. A time machine…
I snapped back to reality and after a few minutes, we closed at seven and went back to Terry’s house.
I can’t believe it, my last day at this library.
I smiled at the worn building; I’m going to miss you.
Since her house did went up for sale, we decided to go after all.
We can live in that three bedroom apartment I have in Seattle (and still paying).
Most of the furniture is already over there, so we had to pack a just few things that night.
Terry’s ticket showed the date to be tomorrow, so we bought mine at the last minute.
Although it was cheaper, our seats were far away from each other.
The time was early in the morning, so we got up early and was at the Miami International Airport at 5:00 a.m.
The flight is at six, and they started boarding at 5:30, and then all we had to do was wait for six hours.
Terry and I were separated by three rows, I know, I counted.
I sighed as I sipped my can of coke.
We’ve been on this accursed plane for three hours and I already wanted to kill myself.
I was reading this boring magazine when I turned the page and the next page was blank expect for a few words.
Big bold letters that said: Malcro Sivi forez.
I looked at the back of Terry’s snowy head.
I closed my eyes and thought, don’t worry, Terry, I would change the future. I would make everything right.
I opened my eyes and muttered the sacred words, hoping no one in the plane will miss me.
I opened my eyes, a major headache was forming that was making it hard for me to think.
Looking around I realized I was in a concert hall and also noted that I was in a killer royal blue evening gown; I wondered how I get such cool outfits when I travel through time.
I took a seat and glimpsed Kate at the front.
I wanted to shout to Kate, but wondered if it was appropriate.
I then thought, no, if I wanted to change the future I have to do it now.
I walked to Kate and took a deep breath.
“Oh my god, it’s Erin!” I guess Kate was one step ahead of me.
“Hi Kate, didn’t expect for you do be here.”
“Of course I’m here. Vicente is doing his first concert with this orchestra. Speaking of Vicente.” Her eyes blazed and I knew I had a lot of explaining to do.
“How can you have the gall to show your face here?” I really wanted to tell her, I really do.
I closed my eyes, making my decision.
“You might find this impossible, and would think I’m crazy. Heck, I still find it hard to believe.” I opened my eyes and stared directly at her royal blue eyes.
“I’m from the future.” She looked at me in astonishment.
She opened her mouth to speak several times, but couldn’t find her voice.
“Erin…I-I don’t know what you mean.”
“What year is it?”
“2014.” She whispered to me.
“Yeah, I’m from 2017.” She stared at me, her eyes unnaturally wide.
“I-I don’t believe this.” She stammered.
“Let me explain the story. I already had known him; he was the director of the choir of our church. I left for Seattle to go to Washington University. I came to Miami for the holidays, Christmas you know, I read these words from a paper and-“
“You read words from a paper?” She asked, voice turning ice cold.
“Yeah and I came seven years back. We (me and my younger self) introduced me as her cousin, Erin, from Seattle.
But it got complicated when Vicente and I started going out. Kate, I don’t know how to explain this, but when time tells you to go, you have to go. I wish I could have stayed in the past forever. I really do love Vicente.” Kate looked at me and that’s when the announcer said to turn off your phones, yada, yada.
“Kate.” I begged.
She looked at me sternly then said “I have no idea what to make of it.” Then the curtains opened and my heart leaped when I saw Vicente at the front, signaling for the first notes.
I heard the strings and looked at the strings section, enjoying the melody.
My heart stopped cold when I saw who was there.
I looked at Vicente and Sunny, they don’t seem to be looking at each other, smiling.
Vicente concentrated on conducting and Sunny had her face screwed up so that she looks like she’s remembering the notes with her dear life.
Kate mentioned that this is Vicente’s first time with this orchestra.
That would mean…oh gosh, this is the concert.
The concert where they meet.
I closed my eyes when I remembered that in a week from now it’s when they’ll be dancing together and blossoming their relationship.
I know this is definitely a sin, but I’m going to stop it.
I’ll go to confession afterwards.
I clenched my fists and looked at Sunny.
Girl, you’ve got competition, and this time, I have the upper hand.
The concert was exquisite; I kept my mind off of Sunny and only on Vicente.
Vicente, where my heart truly lies—I enjoy his music so much.
The intermission started and Kate asked me “In the future, your time, wouldn’t Vicente be happy to see you? He loves you, so wouldn’t that work out?” I smiled sadly.
“It would, if he stayed single.”
“Yes. Today is his first meeting with her.”
“Who is it?” She gasped.
“Do you remember the cellist who seems to-“
“Radiate happiness? Yeah, that girl? Her with Vicente? How did that happen?”
And I told her.
I told her about the party a week from now and how she convinced him to dance with her. She then insisted on them going out and he eventually did.
She looked thunder-struck as she said weakly at me “That party, where everything started, a week from now…I-I think it’s mine.”
“What?” I asked.
“Yeah. To celebrate Vicente’s accomplishments in entering this orchestra.” She told me.
“I invited Vicente, our friends, and the whole orchestra.”
I looked at her in disbelief.
It was in Kate’s party that they hooked up?
Wow, was this getting weirder.
But before we can say anything else, a voice said it was the end of the intermission, but she whispered to me “Should I cancel the party?”
“No, of course not. That would be rude and very suspicious.”
“Then I’ll invite you.”
As the curtains opened Kate whispered to me “I may not believe entirely on you time traveling, but I can see that you love Vicente, and that’s probably the only explanation that fits.”
By now the music was starting.
But after a moment of “silence” I whispered “Thank you.”
I went back into seeing Vicente conduct heartbreaking music.
When they finished the concert Kate said “Come on, let’s see Vicente.”
My stomach felt queer and I didn’t know if I could actually do this.
“Do I have to?” I asked her.
“Come on.” She answered as she dragged me to the front.
“You know, Kate, it would be easier if I just meet him at the party.” I said and Kate smirked.
“You don’t think you can get off the hook that easily.”
“He won’t accept it, he won’t believe me.” I gasped. “You barely did.”
Kate stopped and looked at me with stern eyes. “I believe you.” She said in a hard voice.
“And Vicente would too, because he loves you. Though, he may be mad at first.”
I flinched, Vicente being mad at me is unbearable, I’ll rather die.
We continued to walk and butterflies somehow got into my stomach.
I’m super nervous, and it didn’t help that my heart went 400 mph when my eyes laid on Vicente.
I stayed a little back as Kate went to say hi and congratulate him.
Then, she said “Look do we have here.” And he looked at me, the direction she was looking at.
His face froze and his eyes were wide, his lips parted slightly.
“Hi Vicente.” I said shyly, because what else can I say?
“Erin?” He asked in this weird voice.
“No, that’s not my real name. I’m sorry I have deceived you for so long, but can we go to a place more suitable for talking?”
I’ve noticed Sunny at the other side of the room packing her cello, and didn’t feel comfortable telling the story when she’s in line of vision.
“O-okay but let me pick up first.”
“Of course, I’ll help.”
“Me too.” Piped Kate and we helped.
By the time we finished, Sunny and most of the people had already gone.
We agreed to go to Starbucks, for old time sake.
I ordered my hot chocolate and told Vicente the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
“My name is Mandy Ferrera and I was born in 1995.” Vicente almost spilled his coffee.
“M-Mandy? How? 1995…then you’re eighteen.”
I smiled sadly at him.
“No, I’m twenty-two.”
“Twenty-two? How can that--?”
“I’ll explain. The whole thing. You may not believe it, but the opinion is yours. Please keep an open mind about it but…I’m from the future.”
Now he was lucky he was sitting down because he looked a bit faint.
“Yes. It’s 2017, according to me. I read this special language that brings me through time. I went back seven years. Do you remember our first encounter?”
He still looked paler than usual, but he nodded and I continued.
“My former self helped me. We decided we were cousins and that I was Erin. We would have never thought we will bring you this.” I looked at him sadly “Nor did I expect to fall deeply in love with you.”
To my surprise, he jumped up and looked at me with cold eyes.
“Do you think I’ll believe you? You’re just making excuses, excuses to why you just left for Seattle in such a hurry. Without even a goodbye.”I stood up quickly.
“I’m not making excuses, Vicente. I haven’t been in Seattle for years.”
“Lies.” He snapped and I was becomming mad at him.
“Why don’t you believe me? I’m telling the truth.” He laughed a shallow laugh.
“Truth? What kind of truth is this? Only a coward will make such low lies.”
Tears started to make little rivers down my cheeks as I said “I’m not a coward. How dare you say that about me.”
“Because you do not love me. You do not lie to someone you’re in love with.”
“I am not lying.” I cried out and started sobbing.
“Why do you keep haunting me? What have I done to deserve this?”
“You’re always on my conscious, haunting me. I want to be loose from your bonds.”
“Don’t say my name.” He snapped.
“Please.” I begged. “Just listen to the rest of my-“
“Story?” He said without mercy. “Why did you even bother to come back?”
I continued to sob as I said “I don’t know, I just don’t know.”
“Well, it seems like my business here is done. Good day, Miss Ferrera.”
He turned around and headed for the door.
“Vicente.” I moaned and he slammed the door behind him, never looking back.
I sat back down and I cried my heart out, Kate was patting my back and trying to calm me.
“Why didn’t you help me?” I asked her.
“This is a matter you guys must settle alone.” Answered Kate, solemn for once, and I sobbed again.
“It’s over. No wonder Vicente and Sunny hook up.”
“That’s not true.” Kate said, but I sobbed some more.
Thank god this Starbucks is mostly empty, because then we would have cause such a scene.
We left with Kate apologizing to the manager and went to her car.
“Do you have a place to stay?” She asked shyly.
“Yes.” And I gave her the directions to Terry’s house.
This is getting confusing, visiting Terry at different years in what seems like weeks.
Sometimes, I forget what year I’m in.
“We’re here.” Kate said and I looked at Terry all too familiar house.
“Thanks Kate, for everything.”
“I’m going to invite you to my party.” I shook my head.
“No need. I’m finished. I don’t want to see him dance with some other girl.”
“Then let it be you.”
“After what happened back there? I’ll be surprised if we can both be in the same room.”
Kate rolled her eyes.
“You know Vicente. He barely gets mad, but when he does, he gets all fiery at the moment, but the next day he’ll beg and grovel for forgiveness. Don’t take what he’s said to heart.”
Oh, but I do! I do! I wanted to cry out.
“Come on, at least do it for the 80’s music I’m playing.”
“80’s music?” My ears perked up, this didn’t sound so bad. “Where is it?”
“I’ll text you the address of my house. Still have the same phone number?”
“Cool. Well, bye. Better see you in my party!”
I got out of the car and she drove out into the night.
I knocked on Terry’s door and it reminded me terribly of de ja vu.
I waited and a very depressed Terry opened the door.
“Who are you to be calling at this time?” She was saying.
When she saw me, she did a double take and said “Dear Lord, it’s Erin. You came unexpectedly early, come in.”
We went inside as I responded “Actually, I’ve been time traveling here and there. After 2010 I went to 2017, then I went to 2020, and I’m back here.”
“Wow, so we’ve met two times more in the future.”
“How did it go with-“I then sighed.
“Why?” She asked, concerned.
“He got a fiancée. Well, in 2017 he gets a fiancée. Her name’s Sunny.” I said bitterly.
“Oh.” She looked shocked and I continued.
“Then I went to the future and I realized I was in a funeral, it turned out to mine. That was 2020. I made a promise to you that I won’t kill myself after their honeymoon.”
“Now, I’m here, at the same night when Vicente and Sunny first met. I then explain everything to him (even the time traveling) and he doesn’t believe me. Now he’s angry at me.” I finished my speech and gulped the glass of coke Terry put in front of me.
“Wow that is unfortunate.” She said quietly.
“Yeah, so my life basically sucks. What happened to yours? Is it any better than mine?”
A single tear came from her eye and she said “Von died.”
“Von died? When?”
“L-last month.” She sobbed and I went to her, trying to comfort her.
“I can’t believe I’m so stupid. I’m complaining to you about all my problems.” She smiled a tearful smile.
“I like listening to your problems; it distracts me from my own.” I smiled.
“You sometimes amaze me.”
After a moment of pause she wiped out all of her tears and said “Enough with the moping. Von is well, he’s in heaven now. Better than he was here, I’ll join him someday.” She looked so optimistic that I didn’t felt like saying that this couldn’t be for at least seven years.
I told her about the party Kate was hosting and that it’s here where Sunny and Vicente will start the road of love.
She kept on arguing me about whether I should go for this whole week.
“But I can’t.” I wailed. No way, I never liked parties.
“Come on, Vicente and Kate would be there. Didn’t you say 80’s music? Lucky!”
Okay, she got me there.
“Fine.” I said, defeated. Terry beamed and started going around my closet.
“No.” I said firmly, as she brought out sparkly and shiny stuff.
“But in a disco, you wear this.”
“Newsflash: we’re not in the 70’s, Terry. I’ll be a laughing stock for centuries.”
Terry rolled her eyes, but put away the horrid things.
We decided on this classic fitting black shirt (yes, it has an 80’s feel, because the sleeves hung from my shoulders), black jeans, a red belt, a little red scarf, and red converse (because heels are no good for dancing)
Terry did my hair into a high ponytail and put some bright red lipstick and other make-up.
When we were done, I looked like I came from “Grease”, I really love it.
“Oh my gosh, Terry, it’s so cool. Though, I told you no 80’s.”
Terry shrugged and said “I’m your senior, you should listen to me.”
“Yeah, yeah, grandma.”
“That’s not funny.”
“Whatever you say, abuela.”
“Watch it, or your ‘abuela’ would kick you out.”
“I’m leaving already, so ha.” Terry rolled her eyes yet again and wished me luck.
“Thanks, I’m going to need it.” And I left.
I drove to the directions Kate gave me in twenty minutes (I could have done it in ten, but I got lost).
The place was already crowded when I got there.
I immediately spotted Sunny (she’s so noticeable) talking to some friends.
“Talking in your sleep” was on, but I decided against dancing and finding Kate first.
Soon after the thought finished my head, I saw her mingling with people.
I went there and waved at Kate.
“Hi Eri—I mean Mandy. Man, this is getting so confusing.” I smiled apologetically at her and then she said:
“I’m so glad you came! I really believe you now because Sunny keeps looking at Vicente.” I looked and saw she was right, dang. I sighed.
“Now I have to take some action.”
“Right you are.” She replied.
I then smiled and got her hand and started dragging her.
“What are you doing?”
“You, Kate, are doing the honor in dancing with me.” She then smiled.
“Okay, fine, but I don’t see how this has to do with anything.” I shrugged.
“I don’t either, but all this music makes me want to dance.”
And we danced.
“Come on, Eileen” is on now; seriously, I recognize 95% of these songs (5% being slow songs. Kate and I humor ourselves and dance the slow songs mockingly).
While the song “We didn’t start the fire” was ending, Vicente came up to me and said “We have to talk.”
I stopped dancing and looked at him.
“Okay, fine, let’s talk.”
“Alone.”He pressed and we both looked at Kate.
She stopped and looked at us.
“Okay, fine, but why do I have to miss the action?”
“Kate.” Vicente and I said at the same time, startled, we looked at each other.
“Okay, bye.” Kate said, and went to find Matt.
I was the first one to speak. “So, what do you want to talk about?”
He took a deep breath “I’m so sorry about last week. That was out of the line. I should have just listened to your explanation. Will you ever forgive me?” I smiled.
“I love you, of course I forgive you.” I gave him a tight hug and noticed the song that just came up just now.
What a coincidence.
“Just promise me one thing.” I whispered in his ear.
“You’ll dance with me.”
He let go and rolled his eyes “Fine. Let’s go shall we.”
I smiled as I danced with him. Ha, Sunny.
You won’t get a chance with Vicente now.
How wrong I was.
“Hi, mind if I joined you guys?” I saw to my horror that Sunny was there, smiling.
Vicente and I joined Kate and Matt, so we were a group.
Kate and I eyed each other, but Vicente said “Sure.”
He’s so naïve.
We danced, but I wasn’t as happy as before.
It felt awkward, like an outsider coming in (come to think of it, there is).
A slow song then was on.
Vicente turned to me but Sunny stood in front of him and said “You want to dance?” but she was already dragging him to the middle of the dance floor.
Talk about being the boss of the relationship.
Vicente looked at me apologetically and danced, I glared.
“Don’t worry, this won’t start anything. I hope.” Kate said to me.
I shook my head. “She just raised a flag for war, and I’m not putting the white flag anytime soon.”
Kate and Matt continued to dance and I danced with this random person (seriously, I forgot what he looked like)and finally it ended (it seemed like centuries).
Vicente and Sunny danced their way back to us.
“I believe we haven’t met.” I said to Sunny.
“Oh. Hi, I’m Sunny. What’s up?” She smiled brightly.
“Well, what’s down?” She looked puzzled and I smiled “Hi, I’m Mandy.”
Sunny smiled sweetly and said “Well, hello to you, Mandy.”
I narrowed my eyes, why does Sunny’s smile look fake or forced?
It must be the light.
Kate and Sunny talked about strings and orchestra and Vicente asked me:
“Everything.” I cried, exasperated. “I’m in a time I don’t belong and I know how this is going to turn out.”
I looked straight into his brown eyes “In about two or three years you’ll be engaged to Sunny and in three or four years I commit suicide. I feel like I don’t have a life at all, or what my life is going to turn out or how destiny even works!”
I saw him looking at me strangely; he said “You commit suicide?”
“Yeah, after you and Sunny came from your honeymoon. I saw my funeral.”
We were silent and the song ended.
A slow song started and before Sunny got him, he got my hand and smiled at me “You want to dance with me?” I looked at those brown eyes and said “Of course.”
I closed my eyes as we held each other body and soul (wait…did I just said that? How corny).
My heart is fluttering like a hummingbird’s wings, but I took no notice of that.
Just the man I love (yes, more corniness).
“I love you.” I whispered to him, and a tear came out from my eye.
“I love you, too.” He murmured.
And even when the song ended, we still held each other for the whole night.
Everything is back to normal again.
Vicente and I are dating, he didn’t proposed yet, but I’m thinking he will soon.
I’ve been in this time for a month and still counting.
Terry is the same as always: perky, annoying, but motherly.
Vicente and I are going to perform a duet in the piano tomorrow, I’m very excited.
“I’m going to the church to practice!” I called to Terry, hoping she’ll hear me.
“Alright.” Terry answered me, to my relief. “I’ll have chocolate chip cookies ready for you when you come back.”
“Yay!” I exclaimed as I left the house to the church and saw that Vicente was running a little late.
I looked at my watch when Vicente arrived, he was thirteen minutes late.
“What happened?” I asked as he opened the church.
He gave me peck and answered “Practice was running late, sorry love.”
We walked to the piano.
“This is okay.” I said as I looked at the sheet music of what we have to play. “It looks like fun.” Vicente smiled.
“It is.” He replied.
We positioned ourselves and started to play.
Of course, you can never underestimate a piece; it was actually quite challenging, though not too hard.
When either made a mistake, we practiced that part again.
Vicente was patient with me, as I with him.
“Let’s take it from the top.” I said, breathless (if you don’t think playing the piano doesn’t require a lot energy I want to see you try it).
Vicente looked at me in the eye and said “Mandy, I—“
“Yes?” I answered.
“Nothing, let’s take it from the top.” Skeptical, I did, and wondered whatever did he mean.
Boys, they’re so complicated.
We finished, we kissed goodbye and left.
Tonight’s the night of the concert and my heart gave a trill when I realized this was my first duet with Vicente.
I saw Terry and Kate in the crowd and waved at them.
“Are you nervous?”
I turned to Vicente and said “Excited, yes, but not nervous, not with you. Plus, I’m an actress.” He rolled his eyes.
“And you?” I asked.
He wrapped his arms around me and whispered in my ear “Not when I’m with you.”
We heard the announcer call our names and we got into our positions.
That’s when I saw the scrap of paper.
I read the notes and saw it was to go home.
Man do they have bad timing.
I looked at Vicente, my love.
No, not now, at least until after the concert.
I beamed at Vicente and he nodded; I played the first notes and he followed, the curtain opened and I closed my eyes, feeling the music in my bones, this music.
I’m playing this from my soul.
I smiled, as I predicted, this song is fun.
We ended that song and the audience burst with applause.
Vicente caught my eye and I counted one…two...three…we started at the same time.
This song was like a waltz and very romantic.
I closed my eyes and remembered the times me and Vicente had together.
These sweet golden times…
The concert continued and by the last song, I had five scraps of paper.
I smiled sadly at Vicente.
Hopefully, he can wait three years.
When we finally hit the last notes, we received the applause.
As the curtains closed I rushed to Vicente.
“Mandy, we did it!” He gave me a peck and I said “Listen, Vicente, I—“
“What happened? You don’t feel sick, do you?”
“No.” I answered. “I have to go.”
“Back to my time, look.” I showed him the papers and he turned to me.
“You can’t go.”
“Don’t worry; you’ll see me in three years.”
“But Mandy, I can’t—“
“Tell Terry and Kate, they know.”
“—go without you. I lost you once, I can’t lose you again.”
I gave him a sad smiled “I have to. Don’t worry, you’ll never lose me.” And I leaned forward and my lips meet his.
This was actually a passionate kiss, not really much of a goodbye kiss.
My right hand was on his hair, fingers entwining his hair, my other hand on his neck.
One of his arms was wrapped around my waist, while the other hand was on my cheek, stroking it softly.
My mind was blank, only thinking of him, my other half, my soul mate (hey, I was in a daze, so don’t harp on me talking corny).
We were like this, soul touching soul, for a few minutes, but I had to break out, he let me unwillingly.
He looked at me with pleading eyes.
I closed my eyes and got his hand.
“Remember, it’s only for three years. For me, it’s only a second. Remember, I love you.”
I opened my eyes and looked into the face I love so much.
I looked at the paper and said those words.
As soon as I did, the world spun and I felt my hand that had the warmth of Vicente’s hand, pressed against the cool air.
In seconds, I realized I was in St. Dominic again, where this all had started.
I saw it was empty, but I found Vicente sitting at the piano bench, staring off into space.
I crept up to him and flung my arms around him, saying “I love you so much!”
He jumped and turned around, his face lit right up.
“Mandy!” and we kissed passionately again.
“I thought I’ll never see you.” He whispered.
“I told you I’ll come.” I whispered back. “And I’ve never broken a promise yet.”
“Then promise me this.” Vicente told me, staring right into my eyes “Never ever leave my side, will you marry me?” I smiled and leaned into his ear “Of course.” I said and smiled.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and we kissed yet again.
My parents looked between Vicente, me, and my ring.
My mother blinked “You’re getting married?”
Vicente squeezed my hand as I said “Yes, mom, I love Vicente very much.”
They continued to stare at us as my mother tried to form words, we waited.
“Honey, are you…you know…kind of…rushing it?”
I looked at Vicente and we laughed.
“Not at all.” I said.
If only she knew; she gave me a worried glance “How long have you been dating?”
“I don’t know, around a year.”
“Mandy, your father and I have known each other for three years before we ever thought of getting married!”
I gave her a pleading glance.
“Mrs. Ferrera.” Vicente spoke up.
“I really do want to marry your daughter, she’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve waited forever for this moment.”
My father then spoke. “Vicente, would you take care of her?” Vicente nodded.
“Under any circumstance." My dad then closed his eyes and nodded.
“You can marry Mandy.”
I saw my mom give my dad a stern look and Vicente brought me unto a tight hug.
My dad “whispered” something to my mom, but we could hear it.
“Look at them, they’re in love. Plus, we can have her out of the house.”
I stuck my tongue out at him and we all laughed.
Vicent thanked my mom and dad and my mom whispered to me (for real this time)
“He’s a nice choice.”
“The best ever.”
And time would never bring us down.
I looked at the paper that just arrived this morning, and smiled, because I have time in my hands.
Time is Priceless.