I sank to the ground, not bothering to look around to see where I had jumped to or to even bother with my surroundings. Whoever was bothered by my figure in the dirt could go and jump off a cliff.
I buried my face in my arms as I curled into a ball; my head in the dirt and my clothes probably wildly out of place in this era.
I didn’t care.
It was a long time before I lifted my head and when I did, I realised that I was no longer on the ground. I was in a familiar bed- a familiar place.
“Didn’t think we’d ever see your face around here again,” A familiar voice- and I searched for them. A familiar face smiled at me and I sighed in relief.
Darren smiled down at me with brotherly love- true brotherly love, not the love that Michael had falsely given me for 15 years of my life. I smiled at Darren, my brain screaming at me to leave. I wasn’t supposed to be here- I knew that- but a part of me really wanted to stay and be the child I was meant to be; not the weapon my father and brother were turning me into.
“Michael freaked when you appeared on the ground in front of him, but I want you to know that he took care of you. He carried you in, sent his newest girlfriend home and sat near your bed for the two days you’ve been out.” Darren informed me softly.
“Two days?” I growled. Darren stared at me; shocked by my voice. Hesitantly, he grinned.
“I like the colour of your hair, Elly.”
I winced as he used the nickname that Calum always called me.
“Darren, I’m extremely grateful to you and Michael, but I can’t be here. As much as I want to stay, the fate of this entire world rests in my decisions and by staying here I’m choosing wrong.” I broke. I sat up and shuffled over to the side of my bed.
I was surprised that they had kept my room the same as I had kept it back when I lived here. It reminded me of home- although it was not my home anymore.
“Elodie, don’t be silly, this can be your home again. You have the freedom to choose.”
“You don’t understand, Darren, as much as I would like to stay here,” I repeated, “I can’t. You see, I wish that I had never found out about my true heritage. It has ruined me. I have murdered; Darren.”
Darren watched me warily. He was horrified, but he was trying not to show it.
“You’ve only been gone for a few days, Elly…”
“A few days?” I exclaimed, attempting to get out of bed. Darren pushed me back lightly.
“Someone is here who wants to see you. They said they came on your birthday but were urged away by a young man who they called Chester. She says she knew your mother.” Darren whispered. “Do you want to see her now?”
I nodded feverishly. Unfortunately, I had never met my mother, and barely knew the rest of my real family. What made me a bit anxious was the unknown. Was this lady a Time Jumper like my mother and father were or was she a Time Ender? Was she one of the Reserved? Did she have a fire knife? Was she dangerous? What if she comes in here and kills me? There were so many things that I didn’t know and so many possibilities that it made my heard whirl.
Darren got up and left, to bring back the lady. I sat up and smoothed down my unruly black hair. Suddenly I hated it. I knew that I inherited the colour and the curls on my head from Caspar. Did I inherit anything from my mother? Did I look like her? Was I like her in any way at all?
“Hi there, Elodie.” A soft, sweet voice called my name from the doorway. I stared at her in disappointment. For some reason- and I don’t know why, seeing as though she was dead- I expected to see my mother walk through those doors. “I’m Atlas.”
Atlas came in and sat on the end of my bed. She had coarse black hair and a sweet heart shaped face. She wasn’t all that young, but she wasn’t nearly as old as Caspar in looks. Somehow I knew that she was something otherworldly.
“You seem troubled.” She said quietly. I didn’t answer, just continued staring at her silently. “I am here to tell you of your birthright. You are not a Time Jumper, Elodie. You are not a Time Ender either. You are one of us. Just like your mother before you, you are one of the Dewin.”
“What is a Dewin?” I asked curiously.
“Magic runs through your veins. You are the only child ever to have choice. You can choose either path. Time Jumper, Time Ender or a magician, like me. You hold all the power here.” Atlas said.
“Why am I so angry all the time?” I whispered. Atlas took one of my hands and held it between her own.
“Elodie, it is unusual- maybe even unheard of- to have two different kinds of magic running through your veins. You are so powerful that it starts to explode inside of you. It is why they call you ‘the weapon’. Your father knew that this would happen Elodie. He wanted to build you up so you could control it and destroy the opposition.”
“And what do you want?” I asked, not liking what I was hearing at all.
“I want what your mother would have wanted. Let go of the Time Jumper gene. As a Dewin, I can help you do that. You’ll be at peace if you do that. Just let go of it and embrace your Dewin side. You don’t have to be involved if you let go. You will be able to stay here with your family forever. Cast enchantments to protect yourself and your friends from the Timers.”
I closed my eyes and pictured myself splitting into two versions. The first me was glitching all over the place, disappearing and then reappearing. It was unstable and seemed dangerous. The other me- the one that I still was; had a gold aura uncasing her. Suddenly she seemed to be linking arms with a long line of black haired beauties. Each had a different coloured aura protecting them.
It seemed so peaceful and I knew which I wanted to be. I threw myself at the peaceful me and basked in the sudden warmness in my soul. It was as if I had been lying in the sun for hours. I opened my eyes and felt Atlas’s hand clamp down on mine. She started muttering, again and again.
“You did it.” She said finally. “You are a Time Jumper no longer.” There were tears in her eyes and I wondered why she was so sad.
“But I’m stuck in the past now.” I only just realised. I started cursing in my head and almost screamed. Atlas only smiled and waited for me to calm down.
“This will give us time. The you from this time is currently at Caspar’s house. In a few hours you will have left for Northampton. You have a year of peace and learning before they come for you, and by that time, you will be more than ready. Elodie, you were always meant to be one of us, it’s just that Chester got there before us. We may be magicians, but we cannot jump through time. We tried to take you after you were born, but they have their own Dewin on their side who put protective enchantments on this place.”
“I still love him though.” I whispered, thinking about Calum. It punched a hole through my heart as I thought about him and the year we had had.
“Love is temporary, Elodie. We Dewin live forever. Humans live for only the blink of an eye. You may miss him now, but you will get over him. He is a temporary human crush. You are not human anymore Elodie. You are Dewin. You are me. I am you. All Dewin are connected.”
She sounded forceful, but I knew in my heart that what she said was the truth.
I took a deep breath, feeling so much better than I did before. Atlas stood and I opened my mouth, but she beat me to it, answering the question I hadn’t even asked.
“You may have Caspar’s hair, but you look just like your mother.” Atlas smiled gently. “I’ll be back tomorrow for your first lesson in Dewinism. You’ll find that you feel extraordinarily better, and will be back on your feet by this afternoon.”
I smiled back at her, thanked her for her help and threw my covers back with joy as she disappeared out the door. I stood, and she was right. I felt as good as new.
I ran out of my room and almost jumped with joy as I ran into Darren.
“She said I look like my mother!” I yelled gleefully, hugging him briefly. “I have some news.”
“I have news too.” Darren said. I couldn’t be sure whether or not he looked happy about it or not.
“Ok, I’ll go first. I get to stay here. In a year’s time, people might come looking for me, but I am in no apparent danger and I get to learn magic. How cool is that?” I said. Darren’s smile made me smile.
“The witches did something.” He said. My heart dropped. “Our parents don’t remember that you weren’t theirs. They believe that they are your biological mother and father. They didn’t do Michael because of his sudden appreciation and concern of you- and because I told them not to, and they didn’t do me because… I don’t know why actually.”
“So I don’t have to explain myself….That’s good. I can work with that.”
I hugged Darren again and checked the time on his watch.
“I can make it to the last three classes!” I scrambled to shower, put some decent clothes on- glad to not only be wearing black for once- and ran out the door, stealing Michael’s keys as I went.
“ELODIE YOU CAN’T LEGALLY DRIVE.” Darren shouted as I left.
“I CAN IN MY TIME.” I yelled back. I was right, I could, technically I was still 16, nobody else knew though.
“Elodie where the hell have you been?” I heard.
“Oh my golly gosh, your hair!”
“We’ve been so worried.”
“Where’s that Sam dude?”
“You look fitter…”
“You look like hell.”
“I’ve been dealing with some stuff, yeah I dyed my hair. It looks like my mothers’. Who the hell are you guys?” I set off answering the questions, and then started wondering who these extra girls were. I only had three friends. One of them was off being weird somewhere in London, the other two were standing here with four other girls who I had never seen before in my life.
I had been gone for about a week in this time, and obviously that was more than enough time for changes in a high school. I turned first to Riana, who had asked the first question.
Riana looked the same as ever, but I felt a stiffness as she hugged me. Isabelle on the other hand had obviously finally given in to Riana’s offer to give her a makeover. Her hair was soft and shiny and looked light as a feather. While she was still wearing glasses, they enhanced the makeup around her eyes instead of making her face look plain. Her lips were glossy and pouty.
While I didn’t feel overshadowed by this sudden transformation, I was kind of confused. The other four girls were generic blonde hair and blue-eyed types. They seemed to be a year or two younger than Isabelle and Riana.
“Hey, I’m Elodie. Where did you guys come from?”
“Omg is it true that you started dating a senior?”
“Is it true that you started dating the new guy and then skipped town with him?”
I wasn’t going to lie, that one was pretty close. The thing was that it poked a hole through the already freshly Calum shaped hole in my heart.
“Did you blow up your house?”
“No, I heard that you totally stole the dude your best friend liked, never said sorry, skipped town with him and then decided to come back and act like none of it happened.”
I turned to Riana, who had said the last one. The blondies stared at her, than at me, anticipating a bitch fight.
“Riana, if you’re talking about Calum, I can’t help that he liked me and didn’t like you. If it makes you feel better I don’t even like him.” I said, defending myself.
“Then why did I see you guys sitting together all the time? When I got off the bus, you were with him and you guys were having lunch together and then disappeared suddenly. Explain that.” Riana spat.
“Dude, are you serious? I’m sorry that he decided to sit with me. Maybe it’s because I don’t have an obsessive personality. Maybe it’s because I don’t act like I’m the bee’s knees just because I have a modelling contract and you don’t. Maybe it’s a choice of personalities. Or, maybe he just didn’t like you. You can’t have everyone in the world like you, Riana. You can only have one guy, and last I checked, it was Ryan Reynolds that you were stalking.”
There was a chorus of ‘Ooh, burns’ from behind me and I stared at Riana with a newfound hatred.
“It’s called a matter of respect, Elodie. You knew I was into him.”
“I don’t like him, ok?” I yelled.
“Then it’ll be easy to answer this question, won’t it?” Riana hissed. I gave her the bitchiest look that I could throw and waited for her question. After all I’d been through, I could handle a stupid question. “Did you kiss him or did he kiss you?”
I was wrong. There was no way I could get out of this. Although we hadn’t kissed yet in this time, I was from the future, and I had kissed Calum. I tried to choke some words out, but they never came. Tears were forming in Riana’s eyes as the answer dawned on her. She looked me up and down in disgust.
“I can’t believe you.” She shook her head and turned around. The others were going to follow their ‘leader’ but I called out Riana’s name and stopped her. “What, Elodie?”
I didn’t mean to say it, but it just flowed right out of my mouth.
“Next time I’ll video it for you, then you’ll be able to see for yourself.”
Riana whimpered and then fled, most likely into the girls’ bathroom. The four blonde girls; Clare, Sara, Molly and Shae crowded around me and I smiled at them fleetingly. Isabelle glared at me.
“What’s your problem?” I asked her.
“That was real low, Elodie.” Then she turned and followed my oldest friend into the bathroom.
“What was it like?” Shae asked in hushed tones.
“What was what like?” I asked back.
“You know…” She bit her lip and the other girls all braced themselves for a cute love story. I ran through it in my head so that I gave nothing away- I had to fit it all into a few days, take out all the Time Jumper and Ender parts and not mention anything about Caspar or Stone.
“I’d known him for a while before he came.” I lied. “I had no idea that Ri liked him, just that she seemed to find him attractive- but Ri finds every guy who wears skinny jeans attractive so I didn’t think anything of it. About a week ago, I had a dream that he told me that he was in love with me. I didn’t know how to react so I bolted.
“Then he was walking up to me, just like he was in my dream and when he was in front of me, I turned and pushed him against…shit.. It was actually Ri’s locker now that I think about it. Anyway, then I kissed him. He kissed me back, he told me he loved me, I didn’t say anything. He got angry, said that I obviously didn’t care about him and that I should just leave. I called him an idiot for not realising that I was in love with him, stormed out and now here I am.”
“Ohmigod, that’s so romantic.” Molly sighed.
“I wish I had a guy like that.” Sara said.
“Right,” Clare joined in.
“Did you guys hear anything I just said? He got angry with me and told me to leave because I kissed him.”
“No, he professed his love to you and expected you to do the same. After you didn’t he must have been feeling used and angry?”
“Right, and when you call a guy an idiot like that, you’re totally in love with him.”
“Yeah and then you actually did say that you loved him.”
“He’s probably looking for you right now.”
I froze. This bunch of 13 year olds got my love life better than I did. I looked up to the sky, wondering if the decision I made was really for the best.
“I’m sorry guys, I have to go.” I said abruptly. Shae, Clare, Molly and Sara sighed longingly. “It was nice meeting you though.”
“Will you be back later?” They yelled after me as I sprinted to Michael’s car.
I didn’t answer. I had to find the rest of the Dewin. They had to free me from the monster raging inside of me; constantly yearning for Calum. If I wanted to be free of the Timer War, they had to cage it deep inside of me, where I would never be able to unlock it again.