A/N: Te Amo Emmett: Well, this is it. Thank you so much for following me all the way through; you're seriously the reason I bothered updating this. Much love and cookies. You make my day when you review. Hope you enjoy this last chapter.
Note: Like I mentioned confusingly in the last chapter: this chapter originally takes place after chapter 5. You know, before I went crazy and added extra chapters.
Disclaimer: I do not own Elsewhere, where all credit of plot and characters go to Gabrielle Zevin. However, I do own the reborn Elizabeth and Owen, for they are MY fictional characters.
April 3, 4:56 am
Yesterday I turned seventeen. I honestly don't feel much of a difference. But that's probably because my brain's gone numb from all of the SAT taking I've done. For my birthday, Trent got me a green balloon, because green's my favorite color. I would've preferred shoes, but I guess it's okay, since Trent wouldn't be seen dead inside any mall. I think it's impressive enough he managed to step inside a super market to find something for me.
After I received the balloon, Trent was late for Tai Kwon Do class and had to leave, so I walked home by myself like I usually do on Wednesday afternoons. Then, a grown man in a suit and tie, probably in his late thirties or so, stopped me before I could cross the street. He didn't call out my name or even tap my shoulder politely. Nope. He grasped me by the shoulders, shook me a little, stared me in the eyes, then drew me into a tight hug and started crying into my shoulder.
What does one do when in such a situation?
I thought so.
It wasn't that he was rude, or stared at me strangely, or even that some creepy old guy had just hugged me. It was the fact that this grown man was crying. Silently, in a manly way, but still crying. No girly sniffles, just silent tears.
Now that I think about it, I could have at least pat the guy on the back, comfort him a little, or ease up his crying in the slightest by doing something. But of course I didn't, and decided to stand frozen in his arms, feeling very foolish, and all the while grasping onto my green balloon for dear life because there was nothing else to cling on to.
After a good hour or so (probably two minutes), he stopped and pulled back to look at me properly. Eyes a little red and nose a little ruddy, he blinked at me and said "Lizzie, you're back. I knew you'd come back. How was it, wherever you were? You were happy, right? Of course you were. You told me at Zooey's wedding at the fountain, remember? Did you know I'm married now? I have a kid, too; she's a girl… I mean, I have a daughter. I named her Elizabeth, after you, of course. And…" The man paused to take a deep breath. "Of course you don't know a word I'm saying. Would you mind telling me your name?"
While the smart thing to do would probably be to scream as loud as I could, I felt that for once the right thing might be wrong, so before I could stupidly say "mommy told me not to talk to strangers", I said "Bethel, I was named after my grandmother."
The man simply smiled, then let go of my shoulders and wiped his nose on his nice clean sleeve. "My grandmother's name was Betty." He held out his other arm. "I'm Alvin, by the way. Alvin Hall."
Still stunned, I shook his hand anyway. "Nice to meet you," I mumbled quietly. It was weird, to be completely honest.
Alvin Hall nodded. "Sorry for the trouble. You look a lot like my sister used…" He blinked a few more times and took another deep breath. "You look a lot like my sister." After staring out into the distance for a little while, he looked at me and smiled happily as a grown man who just cried into a seventeen-year-old girl's shoulder could. "It was nice meeting you." We shook hands again, and he left.
Last night, I had a dream where Trent and I sat in a garden. For some strange reason, I thought of Alvin's grandmother, Betty. I wore a pink tutu, and Trent a paper crown. I was four, and he was six.
It was a very strange dream, because I never knew Trent when I was four. Also, Trent is two years younger than me, not older than me. A very strange dream indeed.
This might have nothing to do with anything, but recently, whenever I wash my hands or take a shower, I think I can hear voices. Then, I think I hear the name "Elizabeth" over and over again, but then it disappears. It's haunting, sad, yet comforting at the same time.
Or, maybe I've been watching one too many horror movies alone at night.
Or, maybe I should go to bed now, and dream of a place elsewhere.