You have landed 5 years into the future.
Stella unbuckled her seatbelt, and crawled out of her seat. The time machine was small, and she was not enjoying it.
She kicked the door, and after a few tries, it swung open.
She tumbled out, hitting cold concrete. She groaned, and sat up. She looked around, confused. The science lab was...empty? But that couldn't be possible. They said they would be waiting. Nobody was there.
She stood, streached her legs, and looked around. There was nothing in the room except some broken parts of random things and some dust.
Stella walked to where her desk was. Nothing's there.
She looked in the window at her reflection. She had light brown skin, and frizzy hair pulled into ponytail. She was still in her white jumpsuit.
Suddenly, she heard a gasp behind her.
She whipped around, fist up, but dropped them when she saw who it was.
"Charlie?" She asked.
He walked to her, studying her face. "Stell? What? How is this even possible?"
Charlie was her best friend. He had shaggy brown hair, light skin, and rectangular glasses. He usually looked calm, or bored, but now he looked concerned.
"What? What happened? I - I came back like I was supposed to, right? Five years ago I left, right? Right?" Something was wrong. She could tell. Charlie looked older.
Charlie ran a hand through his hair. "Stell, everyone thought you were dead. Everybody shunned the scientist, and they put the blame on you. We all lost our jobs."
"But why?" Stella asked.
Charlie bit his lip. " You've been gone for almost ten years."
"I still can't believe this." Stella told Charlie.
They had gone to a coffee shop, where Charlie told Stella everything she missed. She had changed out of the jumpsuit into a t-shirt and jeans.
Charlie nodded in agreement. "Neither can I."
"Why were you there, anyway?" Stella asked him.
He sipped his coffee before answering. "I go there alot. Waiting for you, I guess."
"I'm glad you did. I would've been lost if I couldn't find someone I knew."
"I'm really glad you came back. I've had nobody to talk to." He said.
She rose an eyebrow. "How? You haven't had anyone to talk to in the ten years I've been gone?"
"Lots of people blamed me for your dissapperance, since I tried to convince them to keep trying." He told her.
She frowned. "Nobody?"
"Well, except people who have to, but my face was all over the news, and everyone decided to stop talking to me. I haven't been able to hold a job."
She shook her head. "That's so stupid. How would it be your fault?"
"I don't know." He said.
She sighed, and took bite of her blueberry muffin.
They finished in silence. Charlie payed, after pointing out to Stella, who protested, that she had no money.
They walked to Charlie's car, and once they are inside, Stella remembered something.
"Wait a minute. I just traveled through time, right?" She countined, not waiting for an answer. "So shouldn't we go tell somebody? I literatlly did the impossible."
Charlie nodded. "If you want."
She looked at him. He seemed reluctant.
"What's wrong?" She asked softly.
He shrugged. "I just don't want you to get put in jail, or anything."
"Wait, what? Why would I get put in jail?"
He sighed. "When you didn't come back after five years, people started faking your return. They disguised themselves as you, but were all found out. Any fake to try now, would have to be really dumb."
"Seriousy? People did that? Nevermind, of course they did." She said.
"You go, if that's what you want. I won't go with you, though. They'll think I'm trying to trick them." Charlie told her.
She nodded. "Okay. Okay, do you know where Mr. Sanchez is?"
He was thier boss who was always grumpy.
Charlie nodded, and started the car. "Yeah. He got a new job. But I don't know how happy he'll be to see you."
Turns out, Mr. Sanchez ended up being a teacher. Stella felt bad for his students. Charlie waited for her in the parking lot.
He worked at a middle school as an eighth grade science teacher. Stella was let inside, and, after getting directions, she went to his classroom.
The bell rang as she reached the door. She stepped to the side as kids poured into the hallway. She was about to go in, when she heard him talking to someone.
Not wanting to eavesdrop, she stepped back, but then she heard her name. Curious, she kept listening.
"Yeah, I did my report on Stella Mandrove." A voice said. She assumed it was one of the students.
A gruff voice asked, "What did I say about that?"
"Um, I don't know? There was a rule?"
She hears a chair scrape on the floor, then paper rustling.
"Here," Mr. Sanchez said. "Read this."
The student cleared their throat. "Rule fifteen of Mr. Sanchez class: You are not to talk about or write about Stella Mangrove. Wait, why?"
"Because she is a the reason for the firing of the scientist five years ago. I lost my job, and had to come to this nasty place. I don't want to hear here name again."
Stella backed away, her eyes swimming with tears.
She rushed down the hallway, and out the door, to Charlie's car, not crying until she shut the door.
"Whoa, what happened, Stell?" He asked.
She dropped her head in her hands. "You were right. He doesn't ever want to see me again."
"Did he tell you that?" He said.
She shook her head, and told Charlie what happened.
After she was done, Charlie sighed. "What do you want to do?"
"Sleep." She said after a moment. "Do you know where I can go?"
"Yeah," He replied, starting the car. "I'm renting your old apartment. All of your stuff is still there."
She nodded. "Let's go."