“Did you have fun at the library today?”
That was the first thing her mother asked when Elly opened the front door and walked into the living room. It had been half past eleven by the time she got home.
“Mom, I came there to study, not to have fun.”
“That was your initial purpose, but I didn’t think Vera helped when she came over.”
Elly looked at her mother, who was trying to hide the amusement she was feeling from her face.
“You shouldn’t have told her where I was,” she said with a little displeasure in her tone.
“Now, now, it would be rude when she came all the way here and I didn’t give her the answer she wanted.”
“Beside,” Minerva didn’t look at her daughter anymore as the unbelievable expression was written all over the young girl’s face and she couldn’t help laughing, “you need to brighten up.”
“What do you mean, mom? I am totally fine.”
The woman didn’t turn back. She kept cleaning the floor without having to glance at the black-haired girl. It was obvious that her daughter was a reserved one, and she knew there were things her daughter would not tell her. Usually, she didn’t pry into her daughter’s secrets as long as the girl was safe and sound. Privacy was a must for teenagers, she was well aware of that. However, lately the little girl didn’t seem to be alright, and as a mother, she had a need to talk.
“You haven’t been in a good mood since yesterday, dear. Something is clearly troubling you.”
Elly smiled reassuringly, “Well, you see… I am going to high school soon and I’m nervous.”
“Sounds convincing,” Minerva’s attention was still on the floor.
The black-haired girl sighed. When her mother said something was convincing, it clearly wasn’t.
“Now,” Minerva pressed the stop button and put the vacuum cleaner aside, “Will you tell me what happened?”
Elly kept silent, but her mind was racing. No parents would believe their children when they said they possessed something that could control time. The least normal thing she could tell was her attempt in looking for her family. However, it would be unpleasant for her mother to know what, or whom she was seeking.
Minerva was crossing her arms when suddenly, there was a ring.
“I’ll pick it.”
The teenage rushed to the kitchen where the phone was placed, leaving her dumbfounded mother behind.
There was a brief moment of silence. Elly was about to think it was a prank when suddenly came a soft reply from the other side.
The voice unmistakably was Vera’s. The girl knew that voice too well, especially when they had just parted a short while ago. There was something different, though.
No answer apart from some small noises.
“Oh my, are you sobbing? What’s wrong?”
“Who is that?” Minerva had recovered from her flabbergasted state and strode into the kitchen.
The black-haired girl hung up the phone and looked at her mother, “Vera’s father had a car crash.”
It didn’t take long for Elly and her mother to go to the hospital. They quickly found Vera family sitting on a line of chairs outside an operation room. Vera’s mother was hiding her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking. Vera herself was a little better. However, there was a box next to her seat and from the number of tissues she counted, Elly could tell her best friend had also cried a lot. The only one who remained calm on the outside was Vera’s elder brother, but in his eyes was also a turmoil of unnamed feelings. He was the first to notice the arrival of Elly and her mother.
“How is Mr. Etton?” asked Minerva.
“We don’t know yet, Mrs. Quint. We are waiting for the doctor.” responded Vera’s brother.
Elly approached her best friend while her mother came to Mrs. Etton’s side. She gingerly sat down and asked sincerely, “How did that happen?”
“I don’t know,” answered Vera hoarsely. “I came home, mom told me the bad news and that was that.”
The dark-haired girl wrapped her arms around her friend in a soothing manner. The brunette looked like she could break down any moment. She clung on the other girl tightly and started sobbing but suddenly felt something sharp and cold. She let go of her best pal to see Elly’s beautiful silver-like earring, which had become a necklace, now hanging around the other girl’s neck. An idea flashed in her mind.
“Elly……..” she called.
The purple-eyed teenage was a little confused about her friend’s strange reactions “Yes?”
“I know how to fix this,” whispered Vera breathlessly. If Elly hadn’t listened close, she wouldn’t have made out what the brunette girl was saying.
Elly frowned, “What do you mean?”
Vera looked around. When she was sure nobody would pay any mind to them, she came back to her speechless friend, “Use the earring. It can reverse time, can’t it? I want to go back to the accident and help my dad.”
“But it hadn’t worked when I tried the second time.”
“Trust me,” said Vera, pressing every word. “It may help us when we really need it,” she sobbed a little, “If this can’t work then I’ll give up, but at least, give it a try.”
Elly carefully observed her friend. Vera was always determined, and from the look in her eyes, it would need the world to change her decision. The black-haired girl sighed, “I am not sure how to activate it, so I can’t be sure of anything. First, we need to find a good place. There’re too many people here at the moment.”
Vera stood up, pulling Elly’s hand, “Let’s go to the hospital rooftop.”
They entered the elevator and it didn’t take long for them to reach the highest floor of the building. Vera was right to choose it since there was nobody there at that moment.
Elly removed her necklace and gave it to her friend.
“What do I do now?” asked Vera.
“I don’t know. Last time I thought about the situation and went to sleep. You can try by thinking about the car accident and close our eyes.”
The brunette followed the instruction. Her eyes were tightly shut and she seemed to be in deep thoughts, but nothing happened.
“Think hard, recall your desperation. It may help,” encouraged the black-haired girl.
The brunette inhaled, exhaled, then focused.
“I guess nothing could be done,” said Vera. The girl’s arms were pendant and her eyes were filled with brimming tears.
“I’ll help you. It’s from my family, so perhaps it needs me to activate it,” Elly shared her idea with a weak smile. She knew too well that she didn’t even believe herself.
She came closer and the two girls held the earring in their palms. They both closed her eyes and concentrated.
“Please work, please!”
The cold metal suddenly heated up. The teens started to feel some warmth and opened their eyes in amazement. Light flashed, slowly enveloping them. It was a mixture of dark blue and purple, a magical combination of colors. There was sparkling dust scattering around, then their heels left the ground.
“Look, we are floating,” said Elly in admiration. She jerked her head up and looked at her friend to see what was in the brunette’s mind. Vera was gaping, but not in surprise, but in horror. The hazel eyes were gazing somewhere behind her back.
Elly turned around, glancing at the parking lot of the hospital and the last thing she could see before a bright white covered the whole world was a color of platinum blond.
Everything faded and their surroundings disappeared. The light became too piercing to bear. Elly and Vera had to have their eyes shut to prevent the light from attacking and in the brief moment of distraction, Elly’s hand slipped from her friend’s. Before they were able to reach each other, an unknown force had pulled them apart.
The black-haired girl couldn’t see, but she felt like being dragged violently at light speed as the sound of gusts was ripping her ears off. There was so much pressure that her senses were leaving her. Never in her life had she experienced such terrible force. At that moment, she felt no better than a ragged doll being torn apart by the naughty kids who were in a big fight for toys. The light became brighter and brighter. Even her fixed shut eyelids couldn’t help her anymore. That unbearable and painful light invaded and stabbed her eyes like thousands of needles.
Fears came to her. She hated herself for being weak, but she couldn’t help herself from being panicked. It was different from last time, very different. The girl tried to cover her eyes by hands, then she was met with a metal surface.
All of a sudden, the strong wind died down, the light stopped torturing her eyes and it felt as peaceful as a sunny day at home.
Elly closed her eyes for a few more minutes to make sure everything was truly alright, then she slowly opened her beautiful purple eyes.
It was dark, ver dark, and the only light in the dark space was her. She was lost. There were no directions. She was turning round and round when a familiar melody greeted her.
Beautiful. Soft. Happy. Magical.
Where did she hear this melody?
‘What a beautiful voice,’ she thought. It reminded her of a mother’s lullaby.
The sound was close enough to hear, yet also far. She couldn’t reach it. She wanted to follow the beautiful song, but it kept drifting further and further.
“That’s right! I heard it in my dream!” she exclaimed upon realization.
But, was it? It felt familiar, very familiar, so familiar that it made shiver run down her spine. She must have heard it a long time before, possibly many years ago, from the distant past. Who sang it? Who had such a beautiful voice? What was that song? She had no idea. She was totally clueless.
“Maybe the heaven is opening its door to me?” thought Elly in a sarcastic manner to herself.
After all, it might just have been an illusion, and she had never existed on the Earth. It all could have been a dream, and now she woke up to face reality. The song made her want to give up everything. Her body became tired. Her arms and legs went limb. How sleepy!
‘Wait, Elly! If you stop here, you may die!’ she tried to fight to get her senses back, but the melody was enticing. The black-haired girl nibbled her bottom lips to keep herself awake. She needed to find her friend. Where was Vera? Was she facing the same thing?
‘What are you struggling for? You don’t know where you came from nor where you will go. Your future is only a veil of mist. Why don’t you rest now? Don’t oppose the fate.’ No matter how much her mind objected, her body kept giving in to the song.
That melody echoed, echoed and echoed, swirling around her. It was so soothing…
The black-haired girl finally closed her eyes and dropped on her knees before falling into a peaceful slumber.