Hi. My name is Victoria, and as of yesterday, I was able to remember my past. Today, I woke up, and couldn’t remember anything. All I know is the things in my future. I know I have a mother I affectionately call Maimi. I see no father in my future, only a man I call Elcnu. I was confused at first, but I soon realized that ‘Elcnu’ is only ‘uncle’ spelled backwards. I’m not sure if he was my actual uncle, or if he was just a good family friend. I see that I have a twin sister I am close to (at least we are close in the future. For all I know, we are really enemies now). I have no idea exactly how old I am now, because I can see myself as many different ages. When I woke up, I looked like I was about 14. That’s all I knew about my current life. My family and my approximate age.
I didn’t know the layout of this house, as I knew we would move in six months, and I didn’t have any memories of my future self in those few months. I stumbled from door to door, looking for the bathroom. I opened Rose’s door by accident, and she yelled, “Nike!” as the light shot into her room. Nike? I thought. I decided I might as well use the tools I had. I looked to my future memories to see if I would know why she called me Nike when my name was Victoria. I zoomed in on a memory that had Rose introducing me to a pretty girl our age named Callie. She had brown hair and blue eyes. All three of us were about the age we are now and standing in front of our house. I guess we were neighbors, or something. My hair (and Rose's, too, I guess) was red, and I had blue eyes. My sister said to Callie (Should I say that my sister will say to Callie?), “This is Victoria, but everyone calls her Nike. You know, like the Greek goddess of Victory? Victoria means victory in Latin. I think that Victoria is also the Roman name for Nike. Like Nike shoes. I was the one to come up with the nickname-”
“Nike. Just call me Nike,” I interrupted. “Or Victoria. Whatever you prefer; I don’t really care. Rose is a mythology freak. She will know anything about mythology.” Great. Because my rambling was so much better and less awkward than Rose’s mythology geek statement. I cringed, both in the memory and in recollection of the memory (Should I even call it a memory if it happened in the future?). Thankfully, to the relief of myself and the future me, Callie laughed.
Rose asked her, “Are you going to Clifton High? That’s where we go.”
Callie replied, “Yes, I am.”
I said, “Cool! You can walk with us! What classes are you taking? I'm in Biology, English I, Geometry, Beginner Piano, Spanish, and History Honors.” (I think it is really cruel that I was in History Honors, given my current predicament).
Callie told me, “I am in Bio too! I decided to take German, though, because I already speak Spanish. My parents are from Puerto Rico.”
I was interrupted from the memory when a golden retriever came bounding up the steps in the house and ran into me. I knew from my experiences- I have to call them experiences, because the technical part of me won't let me say memories- that the dog’s name was Cece. In the future experiences she is (or is it she will be? I can't do this anymore) about 4 years old, so I can assume this puppy I see is probably about two years old.
“Hello, Cece! How’s my girl?” Rose said from behind me. I spun around and laughed. The dog ran over to Rose and jumped on her, knocking her down. The dog finished the act by sitting on Rose’s lap. Yes, a full-grown golden retriever sat on a teenager's lap. Cece did not fit, to say the least. Her front paws were on the floor, while her rump was on my sister’s lap. Rose attempted to shove the huge canine from her. “Cece! You are too big! Golden retrievers are NOT lap dogs! I’m sure even Cerberus wasn’t this large... Get off!”
Future me has experienced a Greek mythology class, taught by a certain sister. (Guess how many students there were, other than me. Yep, that’s right. Zero). Cerberus was the canine guardian of the Underworld. He had three heads. Hercules once had to bring him to the world above for one of his labors. Rose loves/will love mythology in the future, and in the present! I smiled, triumphant in knowing something significant about my twin. (This whole grammar tenses thing is making me go insane. Future me is pretty good at grammar, but enough is enough).
Rose turned her attention from Cece, who hasn’t budged an inch, to me. “Nike!” Rose said, sounding exasperated. “What are we going to do with her? Help me get her off. Get her rope or something. I think it's in my room, for some unknown reason.” I walk into Rose’s room, grab the rope, and bring it into the hallway. As soon as Cece saw the toy, she ran towards it. I could quickly see my situation and Rose’s becoming reversed, so I threw the rope down the stairway, and Cece followed.
“Thanks,” Rose said when I helped her up.
Rose looked at me strangely. “Are you okay, Nike? What's wrong? Oh, did your radio break? We can listen to Taylor Swift on mine tonight, if you want.”
A million thoughts ran through my head at once. Why would my radio break? At least I knew 14-year-old me had good music taste. How could I possibly explain that I could no longer recall anything about my past? I don’t know anything about this Rose. Will she believe me? Or laugh at me? Who could I tell? How do I fix this? Can I even fix it?
“Nike? Niiiikeeeeee? Hello! I’m talking to you...” Rose snapped her fingers and waved her hand in my face. “Earth to Victoria! There’s been an alien invasion...”
“I’m sorry, what? I missed what you said.”
Rose muttered under her breath. I’m pretty sure I caught the words, “No, duh,” somewhere in her string of words. “I don’t think you are okay. How old am I? What day of the week is it?”
The funny thing was, I actually had no idea what the answers to those questions were. “I don’t know if you would believe me if I told you.”
“You know me, I will try for you.”
“See, that’s the problem. I don’t know you. I don’t remember anything. I only know my future. You ask what day it is, and how old we are, and I can't tell you. I have no idea. I think we are about 14, because we are going into high school, and I know that our birthday is in January, because I can vividly recall our 18th birthday.”
“That’s so cool! Do I get a job as a Latin teacher? Or am I a doctor? I don’t care which.”
“Rose, I think you are missing the point. I honestly don’t know you.”
“Oh. I guess I thought you were kidding. Can you predict the future? Are you like the Oracle of Delphi, giving prophecies?” I gave her a Look. “I’m sorry, I'm just trying to put it into terms I understand.”
“I guess it's like remembering your past, but you just remember your future.”
Rose looked like she finally grasped the concept. “Oh! That makes more sense. So what do you know about school? Should I help you around today? It's the first day. It’s a good thing I memorized the school map and your schedule!”
I was happy Rose wasn’t laughing at me and was trying to help instead. “That would be great. Do I just wear normal clothes to school?”
Maimi called up the stairs, “Girls! We leave in ten minutes, and you still need to eat! I made bacon and eggs!” Eating breakfast was usually not a priority for me (in the future, at least), unless it was bacon. Bacon was always worth the extra minutes. Rose and I got ready and managed to leave the house without having Maimi suspect anything. We met Callie on the way, like I knew we would. Rose took me to my first class, English, and she told me she’d take me to science when the bell rang.
During English, I realized how fun this could be. What if I tried to find a memory from the near future and tried to change it? Is that possible? Can I change the future? While I am stuck in this nightmare, I might as well try to advance science. I looked for a memory in the future, and I actually found one that might have happened today! I was wearing the same clothes, at least.
This experience happened in science, which I had next. I watched the experience. “Good morning, Victoria,” Ms. Jacobs said as I walked in. “Good morning,” I replied as I took my seat in the front row. To my surprise, Callie came in and sat next to me. We exchanged greetings and went through the class. Once it was time to leave, I noticed that Callie had sat on some chewed gum, and it stuck to her skirt! I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t say something, because then someone would hear. I decided to follow her super closely out of the classroom. I whispered in her ear, “Go to the bathroom, trust me. Let me stay right behind you.” (Looking back- or was it looking forward? - on it now, I can only imagine what Callie had first thought when I said that). Once we got in the bathroom, I told her about what had happened, and we tried to get the gum off. We used water, paper towels, even soap, but the gum refused to come off. The bell for math rang. Rose texted, wondering where I was, and I told her what happened. Two minutes later, Rose showed up to help. Eventually, I had to make a run to the lost and found to grab Callie something to change into. The only thing that might fit her was a pair of ugly brown pants. I also saw a sweatshirt, so I grabbed that, too. I took the items back to Callie, who make a face at the pants (“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Rose said. Callie glared at her). She grabbed the sweatshirt and tied it around her waist, hiding the gum. “¿Qué piensas?” Callie asked. I understood her, thanks to my experience with Spanish as a senior. She asked, “What do you think?” “It’ll do,” I told her, and Rose nodded. Our trio walked out, really late for third period. Callie thanked me and my twin for letting her know and helping her, and we all went our separate ways.
What if I prevented Callie from sitting on the chair in the first place? Would it change the outcome? I thought it would. I mean, cause and effect. Callie sat on gum; Callie has gum on skirt. Callie doesn’t sit on gum; Callie has no gum on skirt. Simple. I just had to get er to not sit on the chair. I wondered what Rose would think, and while Dr. Johnson wasn’t looking, I sent her a text. What if we tried to change the outcome of a memory? Rose responded immediately. I like the idea, but what if we ruin history? I considered that. But we don’t know if that will happen. I say we try it. Rose gave me a thumbs up. The memory happened during Science, which I have next. I’ll tell you when to come. Rose gave me another thumbs up. I guess she trusted me more than I thought.
Throughout the rest of English, I waited for Science, so I could try my essential experiment. I decided that I would try to warn Callie before she sat down. However, I couldn’t just say, “Callie, there’s gum on your chair,” because then it would look like I put the gum there. I considered taking the gum off the chair before she came in. Yes, that was the best plan. Finally, science came, and I went into the classroom. Ms. Jacobs and I had the same conversation I remember having, which was a good sign what would happen today. I sat in the front, like in my memory, and no one corrected me. Glancing over to Callie’s chair, I saw the gum, and it was too stuck to the seat to pry off. Makes one wonder how it stuck to her skirt so well. What do I do now? I sat, waiting for Callie to come in, and when she came in, I greeted her in the same way I did in my experience. I had to warn her- what to say? "Look before you leap,” I told her on a whim. She gave me an odd look and sat directly on the gum. I mentally slapped myself. What kind of advice was Look before you leap? Who says that when their friend was about to sit on gum? Science passed and I could not say anything about the gum. I used the same process as in my experience to get Callie to the bathroom undetected. We looked at the gum, tried the same tactics as in my experience, the gum stuck. I texted Rose, filling her in on what was happening. I went to the lost and found and grabbed the sweatshirt and pants. She accepted the sweatshirt, made a look at the pants like I knew she would, and went to our next class, still late, like in the experience.
So, all that effort and I couldn’t even change anything. That kind of stinks. I was about to tell Rose the whole story when I heard banging, and someone calling my name.
I woke up to banging on my door. Rose shouted, “Nike! You need to wake up! We have school in half an hour!” I realized that it was Monday, and I remembered I had school today. Wait. I remembered I have school today. That means... that I can remember my past! That means that I dreamed the whole experience! I can’t believe it! “Woohoo!” I shouted.
Rose called from the hallway, “Nike, it’s Monday. Why are you cheering for waking up on a Monday?” Rose entered my room. I glanced out my window, towards Callie’s house.
Rose followed my line of vision, and said, “Poor Callie. Why do people leave gum on chairs? That’s so gross.” I looked at Rose, confused. She hurriedly continued, “Oh sorry. I had a dream last night where Callie sat on gum and you couldn’t remember anything from your past, and we tried to get the gum off her skirt in the bathroom but-”
“It wouldn’t come off and I had to get the brown pants and sweatshirt,” I finished for her. “She didn’t like the pants, so we had to tie the sweatshirt around her waist to hide the gum.” We stared at each other in amazement. In the excitement, Rose knocked over my basket of tennis balls that I use when I play, but neither of us moved to pick them up.
“Did we really have the same dream? I think we should keep this a secret. Just a weird, once in a lifetime experience. You can remember your past, right?”
“Of course. It is Monday, the first day of school, and we are 14 years old. We like Taylor Swift, and we have a dog named Cece. We gave her a bath yesterday.”
“Okay, the bath wasn’t in the dream. You really do remember. I guess we are back to normal; nothing ever happened.”
“I wonder if Callie had this dream, too. I wonder if that dream was predicting the future. Will Callie actually sit on gum today?”
“I’m not sure. Right now, in the dream, we were meeting Callie. Look, her mom is driving her to school. She walked with us in the dream.”
I remembered the dog. “And Cece would have already sat on you, so I guess the dream’s not true.”
Rose, forever the brainiac, said, “I have heard of people dreaming the same dream. It doesn’t mean anything, just that people have shared experiences in real life. This is more common between twins and family members.”
Just then, Cece came bounding into the room. She saw the tennis balls all over, and in her excitement to get them, made both me and Rose fall over. Once Cece decided on the toy she wanted, she came and sat on my lap. Rose and I looked at each other and laughed.
Rose said, “Well, now you can experience it for yourself.”
Rose and I laughed some more. Even Cece got into the spirit, barking.
“What’s happening up there?” Elcnu called from downstairs.
“Just an experience!” Rose and I called back as one.