Chapter One: The Day That Vanished
Back to usual I see… Lea thought as she found herself back in front of school, but why would Mom and Dad be the only ones to disappear? But if I use the Hollow Pen… Wait a second—when exactly does the Pen start glowing, anyway? Can I not use it until it glows or what?
"Leaaa!" Vin yelled when he spotted her thinking alone while staring blankly at the school walls. She snapped herself out of it and watched as he appeared, noticing that Ben was also with him.
"Hey Lea! How did you like the present?"
She blinked but then remembered the antique clock they gave her, "Oh right! I put it in my room and everything."
"You mean it!"
"I'm glad you like it." Ben said, face a bit flushed.
"Did you hear that, Ben? And you're the one who picked it out!" Vin teased, nudging the poor embarrassed boy.
"You were with me too!"
Ashley soon arrived and Vin placed an arm on Ben's shoulder to support him. "Hey you two! What are you up too?"
"None of your business."
"We're talking about my present." Lea cut in, oblivious to the fact that Vin wanted to keep it a secret.
"Lea! Shh!" Vin said and placed a finger to her lips to shush her. Lea was a bit surprised at the close contact and stiffened.
"Oh that? Can't believe you two use all your money to buy you a present for Lea" Ashley replied, looking disgusted at the fact that his brother might like one of her best friends.
"Hey, it's our money—we can spend it on what we want." Vin responded coolly, not even fazed.
"Why don't you spend your money on a new cellphone, since you lost yours yesterday, Mr. Clumsy?"
"Huh? You mean you haven't found your phone yet?" Ben asked, surprised at the news.
"Yeah, not yet. Not that you need to keep bugging me about it, Sis." Vin answered as if it wasn't a big deal.
"Listen, Lea, if you see his phone, pick it up, will ya?" Ashley asked, "It's black and it has this giant music note hanging off of it."
"Hey, it's not a music note. It's a bat, obviously."
"It's a music note!"
"It's a bat. B-A-T bat."
"Vin…?" Ben asked nervously while Lea looked at them nervously.
Save the sibling squabbles for home, guys… But flashbacks rushed to her mind out of nowhere and she froze.
"Flashback so suddenly? What's going on?" Looking around, she saw that she was alone in front of the school. "Hey! Ashley! Where'd you go? Vin? Ben…? Guys...?"
Emily rushed up to her, looking dishevelled and worried.
"Why are you just standing around? We have to look for Vin, remember?"
"What! But he was just here a second ago…"
"What are you saying? He's nowhere to be found! He's been gone for two days. There's even a missing person report on him!" Emily sighed sadly before trying her best to cheer herself up, she started shaking Lea by her shoulders "C'mon, get to work! Leave no stone unturned, you hear me, Lea?"
"You got it!"
"I'll go check the station area. You cover the school. And if Olivia is still in one of the classrooms, get her to start looking, too."
"Roger." Emily dashed off so that she could continue looking around.
This reminds me of when Mom and Dad disappeared… Maybe... it's the same thing? What the heck is happening here?
Flashback one: The fire in her dream.
Flashback two: Lea and the two students who found the watch.
Flashback three: The garbage area at school.
Flashback four: A dog attached to a tree house.
Flashback five: Vin looking in a locker for something.
Flashback six: Vin and Ben got into an argument.
Flashback seven: Olivia and a female student with lavender hair.
Flashback two, verified and confirmed.
Flashback three, verified and confirmed.
"4-D: Vin Threet…"Lea said to herself once she got to the hall where the lockers were. This is the spot I saw in that flashback. He was looking in his locker... She noticed that the guy in the flashback was the same one in the hall with her at the moment, maybe he can help!
So she walked over and talked to him. "Excuse me!"
"What is it?"
"Do you know Vin Threet?"
"Vin's in my class, but he's been absent lately."
"Yesterday and today, right?"
"Yeah. He was his usual cool self before he stopped showing up…"
"When did you last see him?"
"It was after school… the day before yesterday. Something like 4:30. He was here, looking for something."
I wonder what it was…Maybe his lost phone? "Do you know what Vin was looking for?"
"I wouldn't know anything about that." But he looked a little awkward and asked, "Can I go now?"
Lea smiled in approval, "Yeah, sure. Thanks."
The boy soon left her alone in the hall to figure out what she could.
So I was right, Vin was looking for something here two days ago after class…
Soon remembering about Olivia, she started walking in the direction on the classroom but got stopped Mr. Twombly.
"Hello Lea? Did you forget something?"
"Then why don't you head on home? We teachers have an emergency meeting to get to."
"It's about that sophomore… Ashley's brother. You don't live far from them. Anything you should tell us?"
"No, sir, nothing… We're looking for her too."
"Ah, well… Regardless, it's time for you to go home, all right?"
"Uh… Yes, sir?"
"Ack—the meeting's about to start. I've gotta run."
Mr. Twombly speed-walked away to the meeting and Lea kept on walking, finally reaching the classroom doors but only to spot a note attached next to it.
"I have what fell out of the envelope." …Kori, eh? Hm… I don't know who it is... so I guess it's nothing worth investigating. Lea thought before entering the classroom and spotting Olivia. There's Olivia.
"Olivia, will you come help looking for—?" Lea asked but was cut off as soon as she stood in front of her.
"Ashley's brother, right? Just a sec—I'll be right there."
Lea looked around the classroom and saw that it looked exactly like in her flashback. A boy was sleeping on his desk and the mysterious looking student with the odd purple hair was staring at her intently.
"Hello?" Lea said while walking in her direction but the stranger stayed silent, stood up, brushed past her and left the room.
Okay, rude! But who was that?
"Can you wait a sec? I wanna look around too."
"Yeah thanks. So… who's that girl that sat behind you?"
"You mean Kori?"
Kori? I didn't know there was a Kori in her class…
The flashback suddenly appeared in her mind and she felt an odd feeling in her chest. I kinda feel like… I know her…
"Homework's finished! I'm ready to go!" Olivia chirped, happy that she done her homework but then her expression turned serious again. "I'll talk to the basketball team. I think Vin was a team member."
"I'll poke around inside the school, then."
"Sounds good to me. See ya."
Olivia got up from her desk, put away her homework in her bag and left in the direction of the basketball team, which is probably the gym.
Flashback seven, verified and confirmed.
Going back into the hall, Lea decided to check out the note again. "I have what fell out of the envelope." …Kori... This note wouldn't have been here if Kori weren't around. Very interesting. But it doesn't have anything to do with Vin. Lea thought before leaving the school completely. She went into the yard and saw two girls chatting.
Hey… These two girls are wearing red ribbons, so they must be sophomores like Vin! I should ask them some questions! "Excuse me!"
"Yes?" The first girl asked.
"Did you need something?" The second girl asked.
"Do you know Vin Threet?"
"We're in the same class. I don't really talk to him much."
"But, like, everyone knows he's been missing…" The second one cut it, looking away.
"Yeah, I heard that, too. The police are looking for him." The first continued.
"And, like, Ben is looking all over for Vin and stuff…"
"Oh? So Ben is, too?" Lea asked a bit surprised since she hadn't seen him ever since Vin and Ashley bickered in the morning.
"Really? But I saw Ben this morning." The first said.
"But not for long, right? 'Cause he left right away to look for Vin." The second cut in again.
"Ooooh, yeah that's right."
"Where was Ben headed?" Lea asked when the two calmed down a bit.
"I don't know where he went." The first answered.
"Me neither." The second added.
"Is Ben looking for Vin, too?"
"See? I told you." The second said, "There's this rumour that, like, Ben was with Vin before he went missing."
"Then I bet Ben knows something!" The first then said.
"I know, right? They seemed like such good friends and all…"
All of this getting spun into rumours…
"Um, we have to go now." The first said before the two of them started walking away.
"Yeah, thanks!" Lea yelled before they we're completely out of her vision.
Looks like I'll have to ask Ben some questions when I see him…
Soon Emily came running back and sighed, "Not a single lead. How about you, Lea?"
"Same here. Olivia said she'd check out the basketball team."
"I'll keep looking outside."
"Yeah, one more time wouldn't hurt… Just do whatever you can and we'll call it a day, okay?"
"Okay. I'll let you know if I find anything."
"Great. See you."
Ben and Lea both left the school grounds to look around the city some more. Lea decided to go look around for Ben to see if he knows anything about Vin. She started her search by going over to Vin's place. There, she found Ashley slouched over.
She looked up when Lea arrived.
"Hey... do the police know that he's missing?"
"Yeah. My parents called this morning. But I think it's too late. He's been gone too long."
Lea stayed silent, not really knowing how to console her friend. She sat down next to her and gave her a comforting hug.
"Lea... You gotta help me."
"...Yeah. I'm not gonna stop looking until we find him. I'll tell you if I find anything." Lea gave her a little squeeze before getting up and going on her way, only to have Ashley stop her.
I really have to find Vin—for Ashley's sake.
She kept on walking, looking through alleyways along the way, but she came short and arrived at her place. She spotted Sox looking down at her from the window and waved at him. He mewed and laid down, taking a nap. She sweat dropped at her lazy cat before walking into the next street, where she eventually found herself at Chronos. The place where her and her friends go to relax. She looked around but didn't spot anyone or anything special. She kept on walking around and got to the park, but there was still no sign of Vin.
She was starting to get a little depressed, thinking that she won't be able to find Vin, when she finally found Ben at the station.
There he is! I can finally ask him some questions!
"Ben! Are you looking for Vin?"
"Y-yes, I am. But how did you know my name..?"
"W-what do you mean?" Doesn't he remember me?
"You must have heard it from Vin when we were talking about your present. Isn't that right?"
"Oh! ...uh right! Something like that!"
Wait a minute... it's not that Ben doesn't remember our conversation. It's that our conversation never happened!
"It's my entire fault that Vin went missing."
"Huh? Why so?"
I should ask him about that flashback... Maybe they got into a fight and that's how he went missing... "Did something happen between the two of you?"
"Well, we were saving up for your present but when it came time to buy it, Vin said he didn't have the money. I'm sure she must really have lost it somewhere, like he said but I didn't believe him and called him every name in the book."
All the while remembering what the flashback showed, Lea asked, "And you punched him right?"
"How did you know that?"
"Uh, well, lucky guess?"
"Well you happen to be right. That's exactly what happened. Then Vin got angry and we started fighting. But then Chrono's owner came outside and we took off in opposite directions. Now I can't through to his cell phone... and I have no idea where he is!"
"Do you remember where you guys had your argument?"
"It was in front of Chronos, at the bike rack."
Chronos? I was just there! I should've looked more carefully!
"Do you know when the argument happened?"
"It was the day before yesterday... Around 7 at night, I think."
"Thanks a lot Ben! This really helps!"
If only he knew where Vin ran off too... Oh well! If the argument matches my flashback... then there's a chance I can fix this! Maybe with the Hollow Pen?
Flashback six, verified and confirmed.
Lea rushed over to the Chronos café, taking shortcuts along the way. She went over to the bike rack and examined the area.
So this is where they had their argument... and over my missing present money... Maybe I can do something to help...
But then the odd pen started glowing in her pocket and she took it out, only to realize she didn't know what to do to fix it. She returned the pen in her pocket even when it didn't stop glowing.
She thought over the possible place she went to search before going over to the library, the last place she checked. But even there she didn't find anything that could help her. She returned home, exhausted, before going up to her room and noticing that her gift from Ben and Vin was gone.
"Where did it go? Did you eat it Sox?"
But he only mewed and stared at her as if the answer should be obvious. She thought over the events that just happened and finally figured out why it was gone.
I never got the gift because they lost the money to buy it—which is why I didn't meet Ben yet! So does that mean... that since the past got changed, so did the future? Can my pen... change the past? Maybe I can do something if it were glowing.
She grunted in frustration before lying down in her bed. Sox was still lying down on the spot where there should be the antique clock and she tried thinking of other things that could've changed. That's when the flashback with the odd student in the classroom returned to haunt her.
She sat up straight in shock. Kori! She suddenly appeared in the class today! Maybe she knows something about this!
She ran over to the school to see if Kori might still be hanging around but instead found Olivia.
"Hey Olivia! Did you find anything?"
"Nothing. I'll go look around the school grounds."
Olivia ran over to the garbage's direction while Lea went inside, looking down the hall and classroom, only finding Kori's note against the wall as help. Her sudden appearance means that the past did change. I have to find her in case she knows something! Wait... her cell number's written on the note... I can call her!
She took out her phone and pressed the needed numbers before planting it to her ear. It rang on the other line a couple of times before someone picked up.
"Kori's phone, Ethan speaking."
Lea froze. Were her ears deceiving her? Was the Ethan in her dream the one on the other line? She shook off the shock, getting to Kori was more important than knowing this guy.
"Ethan? This is—"
"Lea, right? I recognize your voice."
My... voice? Lea gulped, I don't even know him and he claims he does! What is going on?
"Uh... yeah. This is L-lea Kairos."
"What do you want with Kori?" She heard a door open on the other line before a feminine voice yelled at Ethan before it picked up, "This is Kori. What is it?"
"This is Lea. I have questions about your note on the bulletin board."
"Oh, that. Are you still at school?"
"Yeah, I'm in front of the bulletin board."
"I'll be there in a sec."
She heard Ethan's voice mumble something but the phone hung up before she could make out words. She sighed and leaned against the wall. Ethan... is he... the same one in my dreams?
After a couple more minutes of waiting, Kori arrived and leaned next to Lea against the wall.
"So what about the memo?"
"Whatever "fell out", was that the day before yesterday?"
"Yeah, at lunch."
Just to be sure... "Do you know who dropped it?"
"A guy. Maybe a senior. I don't know his name. He bumped into me and dropped it. He was racing through the hall at the time."
That sounds like Vin... always rushing everywhere...
"Was there money inside the envelope?"
"Yeah, money. I didn't know what to do. I could've given it to him but I don't know where he went. So I posted my contact info here."
Yes. It's definitely Vin. Maybe if I find a way to give it back... "The envelope belongs to a friend of mine but he hasn't been to school lately..."
Kori looked a little confused at what she was getting at, "The guy everyone's been talking about? I heard he went missing or something."
"Yeah. Or something. Can I give him the envelope?"
She furrowed her eyebrows at Lea in suspicion, "Are you really his friend?"
"I really am."
She doesn't trust me... I have to prove it to her...
"What is it Lea? Did you find something?"
Ashley's taking this hard..."Not really..."
"...do you want to see something?"
"What is it?"
"It's a picture of Vin"
"Sure, let me take a look." Lea looked over the other girl's shoulder at the picture. Vin had Lea and Ben around his shoulders as Ashley was next to Lea looking angry at him.
This is the proof I need!
"...Do you mind if I borrow this picture for a little while?
"Thanks! I promise I'll bring it back!"
"I have a picture. That's Ben, Vin—the guy that went missing—, me, and his sister Ashley."
"Oh yeah, that's him alright. So he's Ashley's big brother, huh?"
"Mhmm, things are really hard for Ashley right now... So if I could get that envelope..."
"...Alright. I'll call if anything comes up. Can I reach you at this number?"
"Yeah, sure. Just give me a ring."
"So it'd be a good idea if she were to find this, right?"
Reluctantly Kori passed Lea the envelope.
Kori smirked and the shadow of her bangs suddenly covered her eyes, "The incident never happened. That is, it wouldn't have happened if I'd never showed up here."
Lea was surprised at the odd sentence, "What... do you mean?"
Kori stayed silent and turned away, walking away from her and leaving the building. She looked down at the envelope in her hands and tried thinking of a way to give it back to the Vin in the past.
Flashback five, verified and confirmed.
Her eyes snapped to her Hollow Pen before she took it out as the idea struck her. She rushed out of the building but stopped when the Pen started glowing when she reached the lockers. She thought about her flashback and knew she might have a chance to put the envelope in the locker he was looking inside.
"I know what to do now!" She said as her pen started glowing. She quickly drew a circle in the air in front of her where she hoped was the locker Vin was looking inside. She guessed right and slid the envelope inside the locker before closing the circle with a tap of the pen.
She looked quite proud of herself.
Great! I did it! I returned the envelope! All should be back to normal!
"Woa!" Lea suddenly felt an odd air wave before all went dark as her mind got decorated with Flashbacks. Once they cleared from her mind she found herself back into her room.
"How did I get back here? Wasn't I at school?"
She felt an odd wind moving her hair and hoped there wasn't a warp hole in her room. She looked over at the window and spotted her uncle's cat entering through the open window. "Mreow!"
She sighed and went over to close the window, "Hey Sox! If you're going to go outside, please close it—"
But her heart stopped when she spotted a familiar someone on the street waving up at her.
"Yo Lea! You doing anything?"
Lea felt her cheeks flush a little at the odd request. "Huh? Are you okay?"
"Oh I'm fine! Bored is all! I thought you and I could head over to Chronos—"
"What do you think you're doing?" Ashley's familiar voice yelled before she appeared down the road, "You haven't finished mom's shopping yet! Now get moving!"
"Get off my back. You're such a pain."
Ashley ran forward and tugged him by the ear, "What was that?"
"Okay, you win!" He flailed his arms, trying to get his sister to let him go, "Hey Lea! We'll hit Chronos another—OW! Don't pull my ear!"
Ashley started tugging her brother way before she waved at the dumbfounded Lea who watched the interaction with interest, "Hey Lea! I'll make sure you a better present from him next year, okay?"
Lea smiled and waved at them before they turned the corner. She leaned back into her room and finally closed the window.
Chipper as always, I see. But she couldn't fight the smile of her face. The idea of Vin being fine and didn't disappear made her forget all of her worries. Thank goodness! So... what was the present he got me that Ashley was disappointed in?
Lea looked over to the previous spot where she had placed the antique clock and found a small bag of cookies instead. Cookies...? But Vin doesn't cook...
Her heart warmed as she looked down at pink bag of cookies that looked just a smidge over cooked. She opened it and took a bite of one of the cookies... only to scrunch up her face in disgust at the bitter taste. But she looked over the bag and still couldn't help from smiling again, the thought of him doing that for her making her happy. She looked down at her breast pocket and took out her beautiful purple pen that changed one of the worst days to one of the best.
This is amazing! This Hollow Pen really helped me change the past! Maybe it can help me find my parents too! I just have to collect all of the clues and get the right flashbacks... then I'll be sure to get them back!
Flashback one: The fire in her dream.
Flashback two: A dog attached to a tree house.
Flashback three: Vin, holding the money envelop, and Ben laughing at the Chronos parking lot.
Flashback four: Ashley showing a flour-covered Vin and Ben how to cook to the cookies.
Flashback five: Lea at her locker with the bag of cookies in her hand as Vin, Ben and Ashley hung around her.
Flashback four, verified and confirmed.
Flashback five, verified and confirmed.
A/N: Thank you for my dear reviewers for reviewing!
Sorry iLoVeCaRDcApToRsAkuRa but you're guess is unfortunately wrong!
Thanks Smart Aleckette for your suggestion but even having a time rip's a good idea, it's not correcto.
Thanks to 741852AuthorNicolaStarlaLili for a vague but nice review.
Don't worry my dear readers, there is a reason why it's purple. Not just to entertain me while you throw ideas at me. It's really simple but the hints are not placed in the story so you can't really guess it right now.
But since you guys reviewed... HERE ARE YOUR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE-FILLED BASKET OF BAKED GOODS! Even if you didn't get it right ;)
Also sorry it took forever. ...Cuz I kinda forgot about it. Heh heh?
BUT ANYWAY! Before you kill me for forgetting, I'm already working on the next chapter!
And besides! Aren't you just happy that there's a happy ending?
Smell you guys later! (Okay... EWWWW! I think someone farted! It wasn't me! ...okay, so it was me. But still. EWWWWW!)
To be continued…