My mind scrambled to figure out a number of things. One, how the hell did she get in my locker, Two, why the hell did she get in my locker, and three, have I done something?
I had no answers to any of three. So I decided to ask.
“How did you get in here?”
“Nope, not possible, not without either disabling the anchor or-“
“Setting the frequency to a high enough point that it overcomes the barrier, and adjusting the power scale to a balanced figure so you don’t disintegrate.” She finished for me.
That’s… not possible, I mean- it is possible, but not easily, yet…
And yet she figured it out.
And shit, she knows that I’ve probably figured it out too. I made myself appear to be smart, but even the freaking smartest of them all couldn’t figure this problem out. Why they couldn’t figure it out I had no idea. No, seriously, the problem isn’t that much of a problem at all.
The thing is, she didn’t look surprised, standing there, frozen. I had sped up my processing speed to think it out carefully, so the side effect was that everything else seemed to freeze in place, including me. I could also map out the various scenarios while in stand-still mode, but this wasn’t a fight, so that would hardly be necessary. Besides, I couldn’t map things out anyway, since I didn’t have enough data. And the data I already had wasn’t adding up.
So the only option was, to go through this cautiously, collecting data where I could and simultaneously holding back my own secrets.
I slowed myself down, back into a normal pace, but with a few ‘bystanders’ spliting off to observe things with different ideas of how this was going to play out.
“How do you know that?” I asked.
She grinned dangerously.
“Don’t you remember?” She asked. “You were the one that taught it to me.”
Oh. That’s who she was.
“Hannah?” I pronounced slowly.
“I know I’ve done a few changes on my face,” She said, “But I thought you would be smart enough to recognize your own girlfriend, ex or not.”
Time slowed down again.
So here’s a recap, in case I’ve missed something. I met Hannah when I was thirteen, I mean, when I was really thirteen. I had turned back the clock on myself so I could have this vacation. So I was actually twenty one years old. Anyway, we grew close in the next few months, and I told her about my abilities. I also made her promise not to tell anyone. Which she followed. So we grew closer and closer. But, I, at that time, had the idea of running away to become the architect, but, I was anchored to my life by her and my family. But that stopped being the case after she broke up with me, saying that I had all these abilities and I wasn’t doing anything with them. So I was left fucking heartbroken, and then, that was when I made the decision to become the Architect. I ran away and never heard of her since. Until… now.
I know that I taught her some of my tricks, but this still didn’t feel believable. Turning back the clock was easy, sure, but what wasn’t easy was making a new identity, and ending up in the same school as your presumably dead ex-boyfriend. I had forgotten the ‘dead’ part.
Time sped up again. Although she was oblivious, since I was the only one experiencing the stand-still.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I was about to ask you the same thing. Last time I remembered, you were supposed to be under three feet of dirt sleeping in a coffin, John.”
Her using of my name brought back old memories, and feeling.
I winced, also because if anyone was listening in, they’d be in for one hell of a surprise.
“Did you believe it?” I asked.
“Of course not. Well, maybe a little. But there was that small part of me that hoped that maybe you were alive and up to something else, but then there was also another part of me who told me that you were alive, but because you had gone back to your lazy self again.”
“I’m not lazy, you know that, so stop telling me I am.”
She glared at me, but went back to talking.
“Since you’re in this school, I’d say that first part of me was right, and you are up to something, so would you tell me what you’re up to?”
“I’m not sure if I can trust you.”
“What do you mean you’re not sure you can trust me? We were the closest two people in the entire world.”
She was right, actually, and old feelings bubbled up to the surface, burning a hole in my chest. I ignored it, and went through the next sentence.
“That’s the thing, we… ‘were’ the closest two people in the world. Plenty of things have happened since then, and… we’re both different people now. So, unless you give me a reason to, I’m not sure I can trust you.”
I could see a twitch in her facial muscles. This must be… hard for her as it was for me.
I was having hundreds of doubts. What if I really could trust her? What if I was making a mistake? I knew that I wanted to be with her so bad, but I wasn’t sure yet. I know that I took the most logical option, but it still felt bad. I felt anxiety, and other emotions.
“Fine.” She declared. “I’m going to show you, that you can trust me. I’m going to let you inside my head.”