School had finished before Elly could realize. It wasn’t a day out of ordinary and she was still trying to be a shadow in this new school. Although she seemed oblivious to her surroundings, she still paid attention to what some people talked about her.
“Elly, on your left there is a group… No, don’t look at their direction!”
Elly gave a tired sigh as she let her gaze fall on her friend.
“You’ve been gaining unwanted attention, you know?” Vera tried to look annoyed while in fact she was sort of worried. “It somewhat reminds me of your first time coming to the class. You were… I guess the word is strange?”
“Of course, we had just met each other for the first time back then,” Elly scoffed.
“Not that kind of strange! I mean… you strangely stand out, yet when you want to fade in the background, nobody will notice you. Your appearance is just…”
“Just what?” asked Elly while raising her brow.
“You know pretty well what I want to say. You are beautiful, and I am not saying that because I’m your friend, but your beauty isn’t really fitting.”
Elly didn’t bother to ask about the meaning behind her friend’s odd way of phrasing. She had heard Vera’s opinion more than once. It always ended up with her appearance being out of this world. According to Vera’s explanation, people might not notice her, but once they do, it would be hard to erase her out of their mind. She was beautiful indeed, but it wasn’t overwhelming. On another hand, she could make a deep impression on everyone if she wanted to. She was charming in a way that nobody would be able to describe.
“Basically, you’re just strange,” concluded Vera on their way back from school one day.
They finally parted when Elly arrived at her house’s door steps.
“Mom, dad, I’m home.”
Elly moved to the kitchen as soon as she knew her mother was there.
“Welcome back sweetheart. How was your day?” Minerva turned to see her daughter while still holding a pan in her right hand.
“It was pleasant for me,” Elly smiled softly. “Dad hasn’t got home yet?”
“He’s having a late meeting today and will come home at 8. You can have dinner earlier if you don’t want to wait.”
“That’s fine, mom. I will take a bath first.”
Pouring the hot soup in a glass bowl, Minerva called after her daughter.
“Wait, I have something for you.”
Elly was half way on the stairs when she heard her mother. Curiousity slowly rose inside her and she came back to the kitchen.
“What is it, mom?”
Minerva washed and then dried her hands slowly while trying to word what she wanted to say.
“Elly dear, you know you were adopted, don’t you?”
The girl nodded. She, in some way, had figured out what her mother was hinting at. She only hoped it wasn’t some bad news.
Despite having just known her daughter for a short time, Minerva was well aware of Elly’s intelligence. After seeing the wariness carefully hidden behind the black-haired youth’s thick lashes, she soothed her.
“Don’t worry. I really love you as my daughter and I don’t plan to make you leave my side as long as I live.”
The young girl let out a sigh internally, “Is the thing you want to give me important, mom?”
Minerva smiled nervously, “Since I don’t know your past, I can’t really tell, but I think I have the responsible to show it to you,” She stood up and gestured towards her bedroom.
Elly rose from her seat to follow her mother. When they had gotten inside, Minerva opened a drawer in her dressing table and pulled out a small box. She then handed it to her daughter, who was waiting curiously.
“When your dad and I found you, all you wore were rags and this. It was beautifully made, but we weren’t able to tell the original material. We thought it might be a clue to lead you to your real family.”
“Didn’t you say it ended in vain, mom?”
“And it was the truth. However, I guess if I give this to you, you may have more luck in finding your…”
“No, mom,” said Elly shaking her head.
“What do you mean, dear?”
“I don’t need it. Yes, I am having amnesia and I am clueless about my past. Despite my curiousity, I don’t want to find my… relatives. You and dad are my one and only family.”
“Elly, you don’t need to worry about hurting us. We understand-“
“I meant it. I really did.”
Minerva suddenly felt warmth running in her chest.
“Are you sure about your decision?” she asked for the last time.
Minerva couldn’t hold herself. She pulled the girl in her arms and embraced her tightly.
“At least you should open the box to see what it is,” she said after releasing her little daughter. “Ah, I need to finish my cooking. You should take a bath. I’ve kept you long enough.”
When her mother had gone, Elly sat down at the edge of her parents’ bed, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths. Saying that she didn’t have a single regret would be a lie. Part of her wanted to see her real parents again, but she wasn’t sure if they would treat her well. ‘After all, I was left alone in the middle of a field only wearing rags. Perhaps they just abandoned me,’ she thoughts bitterly.
She still opened the small box, though. What she found amazed her. It was an earring which seemed to be silver, but when she took a close look she realized it wasn’t. It was simple yet very appealing to the eyes. She felt as if it was pulling her close. It was a circle with foreign characters inside. She wondered what language it was. Another fact that caught her in thought was the missing of the other earring, but soon she put the questions aside and went to have a bath.
‘I will research it later,’ she decided.
Having finished dinner, Elly came back to her room. Because of the little homework she had, she finished everything quickly and spent time admiring the earring from early evening. She took out some books to check what it could be made from. Since she wasn’t specialised in foreign languages, especially ones which didn’t use Latin characters, she didn’t have necessary documents at home. Besides, they might only have been for decoration purpose, so she settled for checking the material.
After pages and pages with no useful information, Elly reluctantly put the books away. Then she heard her dad’s voice from downstairs.
“You look exhausted, Andy,” said Minerva while hanging her husband’s coat on the rack.
“Yeah, my boss was very angry at me for having lost some important files. I don’t know why they disappeared, I was sure to save them before going home and today when I opened the computer, they had been gone!”
“That’s terrible! Someone may have deleted them accidentally.”
“Or on purpose. We never know people nowadays, Min. Before this, some of my colleagues also had problems with their work.”
Elly was on the second floor gazing down at her parents. She decided not to interrupt them and get back to her room. She didn’t want to hear more. It made her uncomfortable to think that she couldn’t help her father at all.
She tiredly put the earring back into the box, but after rethinking she found a string. With the earring, she made it her necklace. Although the past was the past, she still wanted something from her old life with her and it would be funny to only have one earring on her ear. She went to bed early that night with all the events fresh in her mind, but above all was the strong wish to solve her father’s distress.
Elly had already woken up before the alarm clock rang. She didn’t actually need one, but she always set the time to make sure. She pulled the curtain with her pale hands to see the weak sunlight. It was early, as always.
The black-haired teen took out the earring, now necklace which she had worn from the night before. She brushed it lightly with the tip of her fingers and felt the coldness of the unknown metal.
‘How odd… It’s supposed to be warm for its contact with my body after the last few hours,’ thought Elly to herself.
Shaking her head to get rid of unnecessary wonders, she approached the desk to get her homework, only to find that it was gone. She was sure the homework was still on the desk last night before she went to sleep. After having calmed herself down, she decided to redo everything. It was hours till school time and the assignment was not long.
When she was done, she heard some door clicking sound downstairs which she knew was from her parents’ room.
“Honey, what would you like for breakfast?”
“Just the usual, Minerva.”
Elly walked into the kitchen to see her dad in his vest, his briefcase and laptop on the table and her mom busy cooking.
“Why are you up so soon, mom, dad?” she asked, although she thought she knew the reason as the sight before her was really familiar.
Minerva smiled at her daughter, “Your dad has a meeting this morning and he wants to prepare everything carefully.”
Elly found her mother’s smile not really fitting as her father had just got some problems with his work the day before, but she decided to ignore that.
“You seem to have a lot of meetings lately, dad.”
Andy was still typing, not looking at his adopted daughter, “My company hasn’t held a meeting since last month.”
“But you just had one…”
Minerva walked back and forth to get dishes and put them on the table, “What are you talking about, sweetheart?”
“Something isn’t right,” thought Elly before she replied her mother. “Yesterday dad had a late meeting and came home late…”
Both her parents stopped what they were doing to look at her, their eyes narrowing.
“Are you alright, sweetheart?” Minerva asked after a short while of awkward silence.
“I’m fine, mom… I think…” Elly fell deep in thoughts as she replied.
“If you feel ill, you should tell us,” Minerva patted her daughter’s hands and then pushed a plate of pancakes in front of the young girl. “Do you have free time later this morning, Elly?”
“I have to go to school, mom, but is there anything you need?”
Minerva was approaching the kitchen counter when she heard the black-haired girl and spun around.
“Honey, you don’t have to go to school until next week.”
Elly stared at her mother in shock.
“Don’t give me that look. It’s only August 28th,” Minerva laughed when she realized something. “Don’t you tell me summer vacation made you lose track of time, honey.”
This time Elly couldn’t say anything. Her eyes flashed some doubts but she carefully hid her surprise in a moment.
“I guess so, mom.”
She rushed to the living where she saw the calendar. She tensed when the number appeared in front of her was exactly the twenty-eighth.
“Welcome to my humble home, beauty.”
“Stop it. The last thing I need today is a sarcasm.”
“You deserve a lot more for waking me up this early.”
It was later that morning and Elly was standing in front of her best friend’s house after delivering some stuff to her grandmother’s house, yes, that was her mother’s task. Vera, clearly displeased, let her in after a lot of complaints and whines. She had to open the front door as nobody was home.
“You do realize it’s already 9 am, don’t you?” said Elly nonchalantly.
“I don’t have the precious habit to get up from the night before like you, perfectionist,” spat Vera.
“I will appreciate it if you just stop and hear what I have to say.”
They had arrived in Vera’s room. She huffed but then sat down without any more words of annoyance.
Elly settled on Vera’s bed edge, which was opposite to where her friend was sitting now. She closed her eyes tiredly.
“I’ve had a strange morning.”
“As if you weren’t strange yourself,” Vera snorted, “What happened?”
“Vera, what’s the date is today?” Elly opened her eyes and looked at her friend abruptly.
Vera narrowed her eyes at the odd question but still answered, “August 28th. Is there something wrong?”
“More than wrong. Yesterday it was September, today I got up to see it is August. Last time I checked, time doesn’t go backwards.”
Vera raised her eye brow. Everything sounded weird, but her friend’s reaction was pretty calm. She seriously considered if it was a joke.
“I recalled having finished my homework last evening and it was gone when I got up this morning. I am sure I didn’t dream because I still remember exactly what I wrote,” added Elly, “Although we haven’t learned the lesson, I can tell you everything about what the teacher would teach at class.”
Vera sat quietly in her chair, waiting for her friend.
“When I came into the kitchen, I saw a familiar sight. At first I didn’t give it a single thought, but now I can be sure it was the second time I had seen it. My dad was busy preparing for his unexpected meeting that his boss had just told him yesterday, and mom was busy cooking. I remember it happening on August 28th once.”
After giving the girl before her time to consume all the information, Elly continued, “If those weren’t enough for proof, then this must be a perfect one that you can’t deny. In… my time, my September 2nd, my mom gave me an earring which she said was found with me a few years ago. This morning, when I asked her about it, she was shocked and clearly didn’t know why I knew about it,” Elly slightly frowned, “She said she had always kept it in her drawer, waiting for the right time. Then she went to check it to find it was gone. Funny enough, it’s been with me since the night before, the night which my mom was sure she didn’t give me anything.”
“So….” Vera trailed off, not knowing what to say.
“Believe me. I’m not insane, and you know I don’t have any senses of humour.”
“Of course you aren’t, and I do know that, thank you. I think I’m the insane one, though. Basically what you’re trying to tell is that the time has been reversed?”
“What else can you call it?” Elly scoffed, but she wasn’t displeased. If there was one reason she accepted Vera as her best friend, that was because of her hidden intelligence which she never bothered to show and the way she viewed life was different from other people.
“If that’s the case then aren’t you being too indifferent?” Vera quirked an eye brow. The sleepy and tired look had long gone on her face be replaced by amusement.
“What can I do? I personally don’t like the idea of panicking and convincing the whole world that today is not… today. Besides, you’re welcoming the truth pretty easily as well.”
“If the news was from someone else, I wouldn’t believe it,” Vera snorted, “However, I don’t think it’s the main point here. You’re clearly seeking for help, aren’t you?”
“Except you don’t want to…” Elly smiled. Although Vera was acting as if it wasn’t a big thing, she knew her friend would need some time to think over what she had just revealed.
“Tell me how it started.”
“I told you everything,” said the purple-eyed girl, letting out a defeated sigh. “My mom gave me an earring. After I had dinner, I did my homework and went to sleep. The next morning everything turned up side down.”
Vera looked at her friend again to make sure all those things weren’t made up. She totally didn’t fancy the idea of being woken up early in the morning, although it was 9, to have tons of unbelievable information shoved into her face. But then again, Elly had never been a cheerful girl as she was, and she wouldn’t waste time doing unnecessary things. Above all, she believed her friend, for no particular reason. Maybe it was because of their friendship, she thought inwardly.
“As far as I know, dinner and homework aren’t magical. So that left your earring,” Vera mused aloud.
“Tell me something I hadn’t known already,” said Elly impatiently.
“You want to research about it?”
Elly shrugged uncertainly, “I am not very sure. Perhaps I can just ignore it, but if somehow time manages to reverse again… I don’t think messing with nature is a good idea. On the other hand, I told my mom that I would be fine without looking for my real family.”
“But aren’t you curious?” asked Vera with a concerned look, “If we aren’t mistaken and that earring truly has something to do with time reversion, your family can’t be a normal one, and you yourself is a huge mystery to solve.”
Elly didn’t like the way she was referred to a kind of thing being studied and researched by others, but Vera had exactly read her mind. She was thinking about her real identity, too.
“Perhaps we should try to mess with time once more,” suggested Vera with a sly grin.
The black-haired beautiful girl looked at her friend in disbelief. She had just said she didn’t want to mess with natural forces, but everything just came into one ear and got out from the other ear of the girl sitting opposite.
“What do you think?” asked the hazel-eyed teen.
“Fine,” scowled Elly, “But not going back in time, please.”
“Sure, sure, it would waste more time of yours to explain everything to the past ‘me’ again. That means you’re going to the future?”
“I don’t know if that’s a possibility, but it’s worth trying. I am well aware of the events in a few days time so we can skip time there,” said the purple-eyed girl thoughtfully.
“We? Am I allowed to go as well?”
It was Elly who smiled impishly now.
“As I said, every possibility is worth trying despite there being a lot of risks.”
“Will we go now?” Vera smiled brightly.
“There’s still a question lingering in my mind,” the black-haired teen fell into thoughts again, “I am wondering about our bodies in different times.”
The hazel-eyed girl knew exactly what her best friend was indicating, “You came back to the past, but there’s only you and there isn’t a second Elly.”
“That’s true. And I don’t know if the same thing happens to you if you ever travels to the future or past.”
“Do you think your past self has been exchanged for yourself now?”
“If that was the case then the time would be terribly messed up.”
Vera didn’t say anything else. Both she and her friend were thinking about the connection of different timelines. Now that they thought about it, the universe might eventually collapse if people from the past came to the future and vice versa. The consequence was unpredictable. But then again, man kind had wanted to control time not once and none had succeeded. It wasn’t usual if a teenage girl suddenly possessed an accessory which provided that power. Assuming the maker knew about the earring’s magic, why would they give it to an ordinary child? Wouldn’t it be too dangerous?
Vera looked at her friend. She had always secretly admired the black-haired girl. The teen was beautiful, intelligent and mysterious, but there was something she couldn’t describe about her best pal. It was a kind of atmosphere coming from her that made the hazel-eyed girl feel weird. However, she really hoped nothing extraordinary would happen to her friend as she felt it would be a tough path for Elly.
Shaking her head slightly, Vera decided to break the silence, “It’s not like we can choose. We have to try to see how it works. It’ll be catastrophic if that accessory gets out of control.”
Elly became serious, “For our first test, I will do it alone. There’s no guarantee that it’ll work the second time, although it would be better that way.”
“I also think there must be conditions for it to work. What did you think to trigger it… er… last night?” asked Vera.
“I wished I could solve dad’s problem,” suddenly it dawned in on her, “Oh my… It was today that dad started working on the document his boss assigned him.”
“What happened?” Vera couldn’t hide her curiosity.
“His computer data was lost. I must warn him when I get home.”
“I suppose it’ll activate when you have a strong wish then.”
Elly nodded in agreement.
“Then we need to find something to give you strong will in a few days because we don’t want to go too far in the future. We may miss important events.”
“It would be difficult…”
“Oh! I know!” cried Vera in exciment, “You want to help your father, don’t you? You should try to warn your father about things that may happen…”
Elly’s eyes brightened, “And I’ll go to the future to see the result. It is related to my want to help dad before, so it’ll work.”
“If we’re lucky, but I count on you.”
The girls smiled at each other happily. Though they weren’t sure if their decisions were the best ones, they wouldn’t back out now. They would never let the fog of mystery swirl around them, especially Elly. She was determined to do as planned, she hoped things would go smoothly, and she would make it so.