Disclaimer: The show Victorious, its characters and other associated copyrights are property of someone else and not me.
Second Chance, Second Choice…
Chapter 1 – Rewind.
Here we go, another story and yes it involves time travel. I've written on that subject before but I think you'll like it.
Time: The year 2048, 32 years from now.
I don't know why we stayed together as long as we did. Maybe we were both too afraid to be single or too afraid to change. Maybe we were so used to this mindless ritual of a dismal marriage that we simply didn't think of doing anything else. Those happy days when Jade and I were just out of college, struggling to pay the rent, Jade going on endless auditions, me working on my music, struggling but in love, now they seem like they took place in different life. Sometimes I wonder if it ever happened at all.
I rarely think about those days anymore. I'm 48 now and those days, those feelings are now in the distant past. There's no point in thinking about them anymore, none at all.
As I drive home, I looked to the greyish black clouds that are starting to roll in over the city. A thunderstorm is rolling in. Perfect, just fucking perfect. I call it hom,e but after today, no more. Actually I haven't lived there in 5 months, while certain legal matters, aka divorce proceedings wound its way through the court.
Regardless of the reason, we held on, long after our feelings died. Held on, pretending we still cared for each other. She pretended not to notice when I would suddenly be secretive about being on the phone and certain texts. I did the same with her. I cried the first time I cheated on her, but only the first time. It's amazing how easy it is to justify it.
I do find myself wondering if she cried the first time. Then I realize, she's got a stone for a heart, so no she didn't cry. She never cries. You have to be human to cry, you have to care to cry, you have to have feelings to cry, you have to have regrets to cry.
Jade never cries.
Unless it's a god damn kite. I'm not a kite, I'm a person. She cared more about that stupid thing than she ever did me.
I had no problem finding women, someone who wanted to be with a onetime pop star. It was thrill for them, it was a distraction for me. I'm not a pop star anymore, my musical career which included 2 hit albums screeched to a halt one sunny 4th of July when I was 32.
That's when the world fell out from under me. Not the world really but the stage; it collapsed. It was put together, not only by someone who had no idea what they were doing, but they used defective equipment. My former record company cutting corners again. I see the scar that runs across my neck every single day. I haven't been able to sing a note since, I can speak, but my voice is now a scratchy imitation of my old one.
As I said, it's all ancient history.
Pulling into the driveway, I see the first drops of rain, accompanied by the distant rumble of thunder. Thankfully I only have a few things to get and they'll fit in my minivan.
Though it's starting to rain, I can at least be thankful for one thing, I don't see Jade's Black Porsche in the driveway. I just want to get the last of my things and go, put this part of my life behind me forever. I had been dreading dealing with her at all. In fact we haven't had a conversation in 2 months that wasn't conducted without one or both of our lawyers present.
Even then they usually degraged into screaming matches.
Our home is on the beach in Malibu. It's a nice 3 story structure, with a deck overlooking the beach, 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. Jade got it in the divorce, she's the one that bought it anyway. I didn't' fight that. I have an tiny apartment, downtown.
Using my key I let myself in and quickly got to work, boxing up the last of my possessions as quick as I could. You never realize how much stuff you have, until you move it all.
So I twice I loaded up the van, drove to my apartment and unloaded; all my myself and all in the rain.
I had one more trip and I was just getting some few boxes that were stored in corner of the basement.
On with the first of the boxes, I got them upstairs and due to a shoulder cramp I had to put it down for a moment. As I did, the box came open.
On top of the assorted junk in the box was a framed photo.
It was a picture taken at Jade's 23rd birthday party at our apartment. The picture itself was nothing horribly dramatic. Just a shot of Jade and I talking and laughing with each other on the couch during the party. I remember Andre had snapped it without us looking.
I remember loving the picture as we were happy, holding hands, giggling and at that moment no one else mattered. We only had eyes for each other. It hung on our walls for a many years, until….I couldn't stand looking at it anymore.
I think it was about the time I started to cheat on Jade or maybe when she started to cheat on me.
I wasn't totally accurate; it's not that I couldn't stand to look at it as I hated it. It was just too painful.
Gazing at the picture on more time, I find myself suddenly cursing the happy pair in the photo.
"It's all just a lie, You two are just a lie, fuck you both."
I then, threw the photo into a nearby trash can where the I could hear the glass shatter.
Time to move on - time to move out.
I continued and was nearly done, until I came out of the basement, box in hand to find Jade walking the living room, hand in hand with some young Emo looking girl, with black hair. That style has come back in recently.
Pausing, in the doorway, Jade looked at me coldly. She then turned and gave the girl a rather passionate kiss. She's doing it to piss me off and it's working.
I slammed the box I was holding, down on a table to get her attention. "Your lawyer told me you were not going to be home. That is the only reason I came today."
Jade shrugged. "Well you must have been too slow. You always were, Tori."
"Jade I just want my stuff, so I can go. You had to show up with some girl just to toss in my face."
Jade's expression suddenly went dark. "Don't even go there. I wasn't the one that got fired from her job at the record company last month for sleeping with the 19 year old singer; you were supposed to be managing. I hear her mother is going to sue you. I wasn't the one fucking the girl at the health club. I wasn't the one fucking the girl….."
"Enough! You're hands are just as dirty as me. Slutting around with one Goth chick after another."
It was at this point, I could see the other girl slowly move to the side. She looked very uncomfortable.
"So what. At least I don't shit where I eat. You've been so fucking desperate to stay in the music business, you took that shitty job. Desperate to remain relevant. The problem is, you're a former pop star and that's all you'll ever be. I told you to not sign with that company. Did you listen to me? No, of course you didn't. They cut corners, hired shoddy contractors and best of all put you under a contract that gave you no rights to your own music. So don't blame me for your fucking problems."
"Shut the fuck up Jade."
My now ex-wife walked up and poked me in the chest. "You should be thanking me. I was the one that took that shitty family sitcom job to help cover the bills and the legal expenses. I played that stupid, goofy, man crazy, next door neighbor for 9 fucking years. I could have been making movies, decent movies, real parts not that shit job, so I could cover all our bills. You had to settle out of court, too with the other injured band members. I COVERED YOUR ASS!"
Too angry to speak, I glared at her, hoping that somehow, it would cause her head to explode. When it comes to Jade, I always wind up disappointed.
"So I play the part for 9 damn years, find myself typecast and can't a movie part to save my life and what thanks do I get. None what so fucking ever. You're still so god damn bitter about not being able to sing, even after all these years, you can't think straight."
She has to hold that over me. Can't we have one single argument where she doesn't throw that in my face? What a fucking bitch.
"Oh of course, I'm just the pissed off bitch of an ex-wife. I WANTED TO BE A MOTHER! But couldn't,thanks to you."
I was slapped across the face almost instantly, by a furious Jade.
"Don't you even, fucking go there!"
Looking horribly uncomfortable the girl, quietly slipped away and walked out the front door. I heard a car start a few moments later.
"Well I'm going there, what else do I have to lose."
"How about your front teeth. I told you I didn't want kids but you kept badgering me, over and fucking over and fucking over. I told you I'm sorry you couldn't have kids. So I felt bad for you, you couldn't sing and so I decided to let in, hoping it would make you less of a utter bitch. What happened, happened Tori."
"I TOLD YOU NOT TO WORK AS HARD. But you didn't listen and…."
"I lost the baby. Yes, don't remind me."
These were just a few of the issues that had built up between us. There were dozens of other things that had crept up since the accident and some even before. One after one, piled on top of the other and now the weight of all that bitterness, bad feelings and contempt threatened to crush the both of is. It all added up to one particular truth, we hated each other.
Jade turned around, made a fist and paced several steps away then came back. "You know what. I'm glad I lost the baby. I'm glad. Every fucking day I'm glad, cause it means once you leave my life, you're out of it. I'm sick of you, I'm sick of your attitude. I finally start getting some good parts and all can you for a second be supportive. No of course not. You're just fucking jealous."
"Fuck you Jade."
We've had lots of fights before, but this one was getting really ugly.
After a moment, Jade glared at me with utter contempt and hatred. "No Tori Fuck you. My only regret about getting divorced is that I even had to. This marriage, was a sham, our entire relationship was a sham. It was a mistake to ever date you. All you've done is pull me down. I wish that I had never gone out with you. I hate you, I hate the fact that I was ever with you. You're nothing but a giant fucking mistake. You're a worthless, weak, pathetic, untalented, weak minded, vain, excuse for a human being. And I used to think your sister is bad, well I hope you get cancer and die too She deserved it and so do you. So take your shit and get out of my life. You've ruined it enough. You have a message for me, talk to my lawyer. I don't want to see or hear from you ever again!"
Her vicious, devastating verbal attack, struck hard and struck deep. It's a miracle I didn't break down on the spot. She had never brought my sister into this and she knew how much that would hurt me.
"I HATE YOU!" I cursed, with all the bitterness and hatred I could muster.
Looking unimpressed, Jade turned on her heel and walked off.
Jade spent the rest of the time in her bedroom, while I put the last of my boxes in the van. I was fuming mad and as pulled out of the driveway, it started to rain harder.
However, as I pulled out I went left, hoping a drive up the coast would calm me down. I needed time to think I had lost my job and needed a new one. I wasn't having much luck; I only got tiny royalty checks from the record company. It was all Jade's fault. It is, I just know it.
So I drove, up the coast and when I reached one of the state forests, I decided to drive through, hoping the nature would clear my head.
I was still dwelling on all of it as I drove, though the rain. Running it all through my head, finding ways to pin the blame in Jade.
I soon found myself in a section of winding road, with a steep embankment on one side of the road and dense forest on the left. It was very scenic but none of it mattered. I was too focused on my pain, my loss, my bitterness, my hatred.
As I rounded a curve, I suddenly saw a blur of movement as a deer suddenly ran into the road, directly in front of me.
Instinctively I hit the brakes and swerved. Any other day I probably would have been able to stop, with the wet roads, I suddenly fishtailed.
Panic stricken I tried to steer out of it, but I realized a second later, I was headed right over the embankment.
I remember a jerking sensation as my van flew off the road and a feeling of terror.
No One's Pov
Tori heard a buzzing sound. It was annoying but oddly familiar. Her mind was cloudy at first, but as the fog of sleep slowly lifted, she realized it was the sound of an alarm clock radio.
"An alarm? What the?"
Remembering the crash, suddenly sat upright. Looking around in panic, she realized she was in a bed. But as her eyes, focused further she realized this was no hospital room.
The walls were purple with Katy Perry and Laga Gaga posters, a white dresser and a desk, with a vanity next to it.
She recognized the surroundings, but they made no sense.
Even odder she couldn't feel any pain any discomfort, only that normal feeling of shaking off sleep.
"I'm in my room?"
Tori looked around once again, then rubbed her eyes. She was in her bedroom, but not her bedroom now. This was the bedroom when she was a teenager. But that made no sense. Her parents had long since moved and that house had been torn down, after it was damaged in big earthquake of 2033.
But there it was, exactly as she remembered it.
Still half in a daze, Tori got out of bed and looked around. It was her old room, down to the last detail, even to the big tree outside her window. On her desk was her music theory book form one of her classes when she went to Hollywood Arts.
Suddenly the door burst open and Trina Vega barreled in.
Blinking in disbelief, she saw her sister make a beeline for her closet. She was borrowing clothes, something she used to do quite frequently.
After a moment of rummaging through the clothes, she pulled out an outfit. "I need something to wear to school today. So I'm borrowing you this blue and green outfit. Please and thank you."
If being in her old room was strange enough, seeing her sister was downright shocking. First of all her sister was alive, second she looked young again. In the present as she knew it, Trina was neither of those things.
Trina Vega had died of breast cancer at the age of 45.
"You're….You're…..Trina?!" Tori stammered, her brain unable to process what she was seeing.
Trina paused, her face taking on a puzzled and somewhat disappointed expression. "You're going to be late for school if you just keep standing there looking like a total space case. And try to look nice, maybe you'll attract someone who's not a total freak, like Jade. Are you really going out with her? Please say you won't? If it's a joke, you've taken it too far. Well no matter, it's your funeral."
Without another word, Trina left, slamming the door behind her.
It was only then did Tori see herself in the mirror. What she saw, was not her 48 year old self, with short greying hair, her normal weary expression and long jagged scar across her neck.
Instead the reflection was that of a young bright eyed Latina, with long brown hair and no scar on her neck or anywhere else. She looked young, youthful, full of life, full of hope, all things that Tori had long lost.
Tori touched her chin and the reflection did as well. Every move she made, her young reflection did as well. It was freaky, but all very real.
Suddenly having an idea. It was impossible idea, but this whole thing was impossible. Not expecting anything, Tori sang a line from an old song that happened to pop in her head.
"Though it's cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light
Ain't no doubt about it we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed."
But the words and lyrics came out crisp and clear. Simply, the ability to sing again was far too much.
Now very freaked out, Tori backed up and bumped her vanity causing her a cell phone to fall to the floor. It was one of the old smart phone models, big clunky and no holographic display.
Curious, Tori picked up and recognized it as the one she used to own.
Hitting a button she saw the screen come to life. It was the date and time that really hit her.
6:37 AM, Tuesday March 1st, 2016.
Looking back at her reflection Tori came to a startling conclusion.
"I'm back. I'm back, I'm 17 again."
Even more startling was the date. Thinking back, Tori remembered she had asked Jade out the previous Saturday.
And that meant.
"My first date with Jade. It's tomorrow night! I can do it all over again…."
Her face going serious for a moment, Tori said. "Or….not do it at all….."
Tori's in an interesting situation, one that many of us would like to be in. If you could go back, knowing what you know, what would you do differently?
This story is inspired by the 1986 movie, "Peggy Sue Got Married." With Kathleen Turner and Nicholas Cage.
Lyrics for "Paradise by the dashboard light" by Meatloaf are used without permission.
Some may compare this to my story, Across the years, and in a way, this story is the telling of that story in reverse. It's not about fixing what went wrong; it's about breaking what once went right. Read and see what happens.
I hope you like it. Please review and tell me what you think.
I almost forgot, thanks to Invader Johnny and SevReed.