‘What have I done?’ Andrianne thought to herself alone in the dark. ‘Why must I tell him about dad, why must I tell mom about us.’ She whispered silently to her little broken heart. When he orbed out, she felt as if all her hopes and all her dreams were meaningless. She might have understood him in the future, because of what he had done, but now. What had Chris done to make him go away? What did she do?
A single tear fell on the pillow. Gradually soaking it with grief and anger. Quietly Chris came into the room and sat beside his sister as placed his caring hand softly on her shoulder. “I’m sorry.” He said quietly.
“It’s not your fault, Chris. I should have known better.” Andrianne replied. She turned and sat up a little to face her brother. “I just want to be alone, okay?” She requested softly. Chris just nodded and lazily he left her in the room.
A soft knock of pebbles showered Andrianne’s window made the smile reappear on Andrianne’s face. Without even having to open the curtain, she was certain of who it was. Andrianne just shook it off and stayed still in her bed. She does not need another being telling her he’s sorry for something that even they do not know of.
“Dy, come on. Pick up your phone. I’m sorry about the letter.” Andrianne heard Nadim whispered from outside of her house. “Dy, please.” He said a little louder. Andrianne quickly scrambled her purse to look for the piece of paper that she had totally forgotten about.
“Hey, one day, my brother is so going to catch you outside…” Andrianne said in a whispery tone as she opened the window. Andrianne opened her mouth to continue to speak when Chris appeared at the front door with his arms folded across his chest.
“Why can’t you just ring the bell or just knock?” Chris questioned the embarrassed young man in front of him. Nadim’s face went rosy pink to crimson flush in a second.
“Come on Chris,” Andrianne said looking at her brother from her room window. “Not like you haven’t done the same thing while you were with Bianca.” Andrianne whined. The tears she cried were dried on her face. Chris looked up at her and a small curve of a smile formed on his face. At least she was not crying anymore.
“Don’t make a habit out of this.” Chris said quietly hoping Andrianne did not hear him. Nadim was led to their living room and Andrianne was summoned. “Not too late.” Chris warned the both of them as he retreated to the room where he shared with his little sister. Andrianne just smiled as she nods once to her brother. Chris wanted to be protective of her but at the same time, he don’t want to be hovering over her.
Andrianne led Nadim to the backyard where it was airy and there was no one out there. Blanketed by the sky filled with stars, witnessed by the moon and accompanied by the cooling breeze of early October, Nadim and Andrianne choose the grass as their floor. They looked up in the sky as one little shooting star fell.
“Dream a wish and it shall come true.” Nadim said quietly. Andrianne smiled as she turned her head looking at Nadim’s sweet face. “Care to tell?” He asked.
“Well,” Andrianne started. “I can’t. If I do, it would not be true then. And a shooting star can only hear our secret wish. If I tell you it will no longer be a secret.” Andrianne said.
“Dy, I’m really sorry about the letter.” Nadim said suddenly as he turned his head towards the ground. “I’m really really sorry, Dy.”
“I am too.” Andrianne said as Nadim then turned his head slowly looking at her with questioning eyes. “Actually, I totally forgotten about the letter. It’s not even read yet.” Andrianne confessed. A sigh of relief escaped from Nadim’s mouth.
“I’m glad you did not. As much as I mean what I say in the letter, I don’t want to hurt you. That is why I here tonight. But it seems something else beat me to your tears.” Nadim spoke gently. “What happened Dy?”
“So many things happened, things that I wished it didn’t and things that I want it to be not real.” Andrianne answered vaguely. “What’s the content of the letter, Nadim?” Andrianne asked as she pulled out the piece of paper from her pocket.
Nadim took it gently as he opened and began to read it to Andrianne. “Dear Andy, I am truly sorry to do it this way to you. As long as we had known each other, I know I am no more as merely a close friend to you. The day outside of the nurse’s office, I heard you were talking to Ryder about a guy name Ryan. As I heard, he is and always will be your first love.“Nadim stopped. He felt a lump growing in his throat as he continued to speak.
“Nadim, oh god. You missed understood.” Andrianne said quietly as she touched the young man’s arm softly. “Ryan is, was my tutor. The one who thought me everything I know and want to know.” Andrianne explained. “I have a secret that I can tell no one apart from my brother.” Andrianne spoke. “I want to tell you everything about it and I want to share with you all I feel right now, but I can never do that. Just let me take whatever I have inside me to my grave.” She said so softly it strained Nadim to even hear her. “I had a feeling you wanted us to be over the day of the dance you all did for me.” Andrianne said quietly.
“And you were so close with Riley and Ryder, sometimes makes me wonder why you even say I’m your boyfriend.” Nadim said.
“Well, when I first come here, I thought I would not stay here long. I really thought having one or two friends would be fine. But when I saw you, you remind me greatly of someone I knew back in my place. Someone that helped me through my hardships. The thing is the man is almost twenty-five years older than I am. When I see you in Math for the first time, it really hit me that you were the man. Or at least going to be him.” Andrianne said as she stood up. “Nadim if I tell you something I need you to keep it to yourself and promise me not a single ear would hear of it ever.”
Nadim followed suit and inched nearer to her. He placed his palms on the little of Andrianne’s back. “I promise.” Nadim said seriously. His tone was low and convincing, but most importantly, it sounded sincere.
“This may sound crazy and even silly.” Andrianne said turning her head towards him. Nadim just stared into her eyes ever willingly to hear even the most incoherent thing he could even think of. “I’m not from out of town.” Andrianne started. “I’m from a different year.” She said, Nadim’s brow furrowed. “I’m from the future. I came back to correct what’s wrong.” Andrianne said. Her voice quivered with doubt suddenly.
Nadim turned his frown into a smile. He really thought Andrianne was just messing with him. “Dy, I know you are a good story teller but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time.” Nadim said smiling at the young girl.
Andrianne turned away from him a little disappointed in his disbelief. Of all the people she trusted, she thought he would be the one to understand and to believe in her like he did in the future. “I’m not telling lies, Nadim.” She said quietly. “When I came here and saw you and Riley were friends I was shocked. Because in my time you are rivals. I had no idea how close you are with each other. But the thing is, the rivalry was over something really silly.” She elaborated. “I cannot say much about the future, I can’t tell what is going to happen if I do and you change the course of the future and the future will have a different outcome. But I do hope you two will not be like you are in my future.” Andrianne said.
“You are serious.” Nadim questioning tone made Andrianne more angry with him by being a little too slow to pick up from her words.
“As a tumor.” Andrianne replied sarcastically.
Nadim shook his head at her sense of humor at that particular moment. “But that still doesn’t explain of Ryan.” He challenged.
“Ryan Ritter Smith.” Andrianne spoke the name one by one. Each carried a weight of chill that shoot through her bones as she say it.
“Mr. Smith has another son?” Nadim asked skeptically.
“Mr. Smith’s grandson. Ryder’s only son. My tutor, my savior and my best friend.” Andrianne answered. “I was born to a family of witches who still practices witchcraft and the world in the future is not all peace and utopic, it is far worse than that.” Andrianne said as her voice writhe in pain. “But believe me, Dim. If I could love you with all my heart without having the picture of you and your happy family when you are older, I would. But I can’t betray myself and getting involved into a steady relationship. Not when I’m ten and you are twelve. There are still many things to be explored and there are still many people we should get to know before settling for only one.”
“But you said by changing the past changes the future.” Nadim said. “I had or have, a happy family then because I never met or know you. How do you know you did not change that?” He questioned.
“Dim,” Andrianne sighed. “Just trust me. You love her so much, and I can’t take you from your destiny. And I am not supposed to be born for another twelve years.” Andrianne replied.
“But I will always remember you as my first crush and first love.” Nadim countered her. Andrianne smiled shyly at him.
“Do you really?” Andrianne asked. A nod suffice an answer for her. “Dim, you know that even if I could stay in this time, I still don’t know how long could I live.” Andrianne said as her eyes searched for his.
A loud crashing sound stopped their conversation entirely. Piper’s loud scream alarmed both Andrianne and Nadim as they ran inside to the commotion. The living room was practically a wreck with Chris throwing his father everywhere and Leo did nothing but being hit.
“Chris.” Andrianne yelled as she came in and saw Chris was pinning Leo down on the ground. Piper was right behind him trying to pull him away from his father. “Chris stop this.” Andrianne said nearing her brother but was stopped by Nadim. “Chris, that’s dad, you’re beating.” Andrianne advance as she snatched her hands away from Nadim.
“This, is what you called a father?” Chris voiced filled with wrath. “This meat, that does nothing but blamed us for what happened?” He said without even looking at Andrianne. With each line, another punch landed on Leo’s face. Still he did nothing to resist.
“He is still my father.” Andrianne said pulling at Chris’ arm. Chris flexed his arm and Andrianne fell around almost five feet from him. The thump of her fall made Chris realized what he did as Leo shove him to a side and Nadim, Piper as well as Leo rushed towards Andrianne.
“Rianne.” Leo said as he laid her head on his lap. Red liquid sipped into his golden robe he was wearing. A soft yellowish-orange glow escaped from his palm as the superficial wound on the back of Andrianne’s head began to disappear. Although the blood were not stopping.
“Dy?” Nadim spoke softly as he wiped the blood softly from Andrianne’s face. “Open your eyes.” He said. “Everyone’s here. Everyone’s looking at you pretty girl.” He whispered as he felt she was slipping away from her mother, from her brother, from her father and most importantly from him. “Andy, Chris hurting bad looking at you like this. Open your eyes.”
“Andy, I’m sorry.” Chris whispered silently from a far. He did not inch a move from where he stood beating up his father. Andrianne lids fluttered opened slowly at the ring of his voice.
“Chris.” A whisper escaped her mouth. “Stop it.” She continued.
“It’s over, honey.” Piper said softly. “It’s over.”
“Chris.” Andrianne called a little above a whisper. Struggling to even sit, Andrianne pushed herself anyway. “Don’t hurt dad, Chris.” She said quietly. Her eyes were empty but it was staring straight at Chris.
“Andrianne?” Chris spoke curiously nearing her. “She’s seizing.” Chris said quickly. “Mom?” Chris looked to Piper, his eyes pleading in vain. “I’m sorry.” He said apologetically. “I did this to her mom. I did this to her.” Chris said breaking down.
“Oh, Chris. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. Andrianne, would be very upset to see you like this.“Piper said holding Chris hand in one hand and Andrianne’s in another. “She’s not seizing. She’s just not awake.” Piper said questioning her son.
“It’s an absence seizure. I don’t know how to explain this. She sometimes get it for two or three minutes.” Chris explained. His hands were on Andrianne wrist feeling every beat of her pulse. Counting it.
Andrianne’s face turned into a frown, just as quickly she blinked. Sort of out from a daze or a spell, Andrianne was back to them, finally. “Chris?” Andrianne said suddenly. Chris smiled at his sister.
“Three and a half.” Chris said quietly to himself. “I’m here, darling.” He replied. A sigh of relief escaped from all four of them. “You gave your boyfriend a scare.” He teased. Nadim blushed shyly.
“I’m sorry for leaving.” Leo said quietly. Andrianne turned quiet shocked to see her father behind her. “Are you okay?”
“Dad.” Andrianne said in awe. She nodded.
“No she’s not.” Chris said harshly. His soft eyes instantly harden as he looked at Leo. “She’s not fine and she is not going to be.” He said.
“Chris. Enough already.” Andrianne pleaded. “He don’t need to know. He will eventually sooner or later.” She whispered quietly to her brother. “Just don’t hurt him. You are not him.” Andrianne said quietly. “Don’t be him.” She pleaded. “Please. Don’t ever be him.”
Piper looked questioningly at her children. Something terrible must have happened. There must be something bad that they witnessed to make her son hate his own father and Andrianne to feel the same at times. Piper sad eyes looked at Leo.
“I’m sorry, dad. But why are you here?” Andrianne asked.
“I wanted to apologize for the other day. Your mother told me about you, I was too shocked and I didn’t think.” Leo replied.
“Have you ever?” Chris said looking away.
“Dad, mom wants you to see me before I go.” Andrianne ignored her brother. Chris eyes moisten as helped her up and walked her to the couch in the living room. Nadim just trailed them and sat a little further than the family. “Dim, why so far?” Andrianne asked as she gestured for him to sit near by them.
“You’ve got a way to go back?” Leo questioned. Piper’s eyes instantly looked at Nadim. He just smiled at Piper. “I assumed he knows.” Leo lowered his head as he shook his head.
“I knew. She just told me.” Nadim said quietly.
“No dad.” Andrianne smiled. Leo looked at her questioningly. “I have a tumor in my brain. My days are counted.” She said quietly. Her voice posed that she had accepted her fate. She had gone over the fact that she was going to die.
“Dy, There are still hope.” Nadim cut her. Chris smiled at the boy. He had just read Chris’ mind.
“Hey, we’ll meet again one day. If time permits.” Andrianne said. As if it was a cue, a car honked marking the sign that Nadim’s time with Andrianne was up. “See you in school tomorrow.” Andrianne said as she rose from the chair.
“I’ll see my way out.” Nadim said, smiling. “See you.” He smiled. “Good night.” He said to all as he walked to wards the front door.
As Nadim went out and the car had gone, the family continued back their talk. “I’m really sorry.” Leo said again.
“Dad.” Andrianne spoke as her eyes fixed on her father. “I’ve forgiven you a long time ago. Just that, I really hope you will not turn out like you are in our future. I can’t say it but I hope you can know.” Andrianne said.
“Andrianne, I would if I can. If I know what I have to change. Help me.” Leo said. Chris just shook his head. “Chris, tell me what did I do to make you hate me this much.” Leo demanded.
“What didn’t you do?” Chris said raising his voice.
“Chris.” Andrianne said holding him back. “He’s our father. Remember what you are.” Andrianne said.
“Just tell me please.” Leo said.
“Chris, don’t say a word. Let me. I don’t want two to fight anymore. Please.” Andrianne pleaded at Chris. “Dad, you were never there for any of us. Not once. You left mom when you knew I was coming. You came and you hit Chris, worse than what he did. Only that he was sixteen. He covered for me. Since then we never saw you again.” Andrianne told as her eyes fixed on her hands. She could hear Chris’ labored breath.
“That was,” Leo spoke.
“Yes. That was the reason. I’m sorry dad. We never knew you. You never tried.” Andrianne said softly. “You never gave us the chance. But that this have not happened yet. I might not happen.” Chris breath stopped as he listen to his sister.
“Andy, what are you saying.” Chris demanded.
“Chris, mom’s carrying you right now. In twelve years time we don’t know what might happen.” Andrianne reasoned.
“Oh, little girl. I will try and try to get you. We will.” Leo said as he extended his hands.
“Dad, mom. I’m tired. I think I should go in my room.” Andrianne said as she motion for Chris to go in with her. Leo and Piper just nodded as the both of them rose and headed for their room.
“She’s different. We’re both hotheaded, she’s calm. Chris. He’s so much like you.” Piper said smiling at her husband. She hoped he will turn into a better person for the sake of their children. He hoped he will never make the same mistake that makes his children hated him so much.
“Mom!” Chris screamed from the room. His voice broken and in pain. She knew the day they had all dreaded had come for them. A little too soon for her and a little too much for Chris. Piper froze in her seat as tears streamed down her face. Leo sat beside her trying to comfort her with no success. Leo shed tears as well. His daughter. His only daughter. She waited for him.