Something strange lurked in Ethan's mind, but he couldn't quite place it. A girl, one with long, purple-ish hair, always haunted his dreams and thoughts. 'I swear I remember her.. We've met, but... who is she?' he would always think to himself. Sometimes, instead of believing what he had told himself, he began to trust more and more the fact that he was only going crazy. Still, to keep anyone from worrying about him, he kept it well hidden.
He woke up early on the rainy, Monday morning. He heard his mother calling him for breakfast as normal. Once downstairs, he saw his father, who was aged compared to his mother, sitting down in his seat with a newspaper in his hands like normal. He dipped his spoon into the bowl of corn cereal in front of him then added milk. He stirred it before he would eat it. His parents payed little mind to him as they generally would when it seemed everything was okay.
After he put his bowl in the sink and grabbed his bag, he ran to school-he was coming close to being late. To his mistake, he allowed his attention to waver from his trail, which led him to bump into someone; he ran into a girl who looked much like the one he had been seeing in his thoughts for weeks. He shook himself out of a daze and bowed slightly. "Oh! Sorry.. Um, are you alright?" he asked her, his shock-filled eyes never leaving her face.
She nodded simply and turned away from him to continue on her way. She stopped long enough to look at him again and whisper, "Long time... no see." She turned back and walked away.
He tilted his head a bit, his mind unable to place her. 'Who was that?' he asked himself. He stood there a long time before he heard his watch beeping. "Shoot! It's eight already!" He gritted his teeth and took off running again.
He tapped his pencil on the desk throughout Mr. Twombly's class; for some reason, he couldn't focus. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that he saw that odd girl earlier? He didn't know, but he did know that something strange was going on with him and around him. He didn't appear to notice Mr. Twombly calling his name. "Kairos! Can you hear me?"
His sudden voice made Ethan jump. "Huh! Oh.. sorry," he replied shakily.
The entire class laughed. Mr. Twombly shook his head in disappointment. "Please, pay attention. Now, we shall read a poem. O' Captain, My Captain..."
To Ethan, his voice soon slipped away from his ears. His mind had other things, more important things, occupying it. He finally closed his eyes. In his mind he saw himself with the girl and they were talking together on what looked to be a park bench. They were smiling brightly. Beside her he could see what looked to be a baby stroller. The baby, when he got a more detailed view, looked like a mix of both of them.
In the middle of his daydream, he jerked awake with the sound of the bell. He sighed deeply and collected his things before heading towards his locker. Once there, he opened it to find a slip of paper inside. He put his stuff away and lifted the note tenderly into his hands. It was crumpled up like it had been left in a hurry.
"Come to the park, the place where we would always stay."
It said nothing more and nothing less. He wondered who could have sent it, but no names in particular came to mind. Instead of simply wondering about it, he decided to head there and check it out for himself.
It seemed that, no matter how much it bothered him to know so little, he couldn't keep his mind away from it. Who was it? Did he really know that girl? He finally pushed it back and decided to focus on who would be waiting.
He noticed a lone figure sitting on the swings, her feet dragging along the dirt beneath. He approached her cautiously, one slow, lingering step at a time. He flinched at each crunching sound below his feet. She didn't move. He held his breath. She finally turned to look at him, a cold, yet gentle smile spread across her pale full lips. "Hello, Ethan," she said warmly.
He released his breath and tried to ease, but all he could manage was a twitch of the lips. "Um... sorry, but... do I know you?" he asked sheepishly.
She put the back of one hand barely away from her mouth and giggled. "You never change, do you? Ethan, I'm Kori. Don't you remember?" she asked him, her head tilting slightly to one side.
He thrust his upper half forward, his face burying in his hands and he groaned with pain. "Ah.. K-K-Kori..." His body trembled as the memories with her flooded back to him in waves.
"Good, so you remember me now. Ethan... I have something to tell you," she said shyly. She shifted on her perch before she pushed herself onto her feet.
Since Ethan stood next to her, she found a perfect opportunity to get closer to the shivering boy. She put her arms around his neck tenderly and pulled him close to her, which made him blush brightly. He raised his face to look at her own. Before he could speak, however, he felt her warm lips rest against his. His eyes widened, but soon faded with the loss of his mind.
They kissed for a long time until she broke it for breath and a long, loving gaze in his eyes. "Ethan... I don't want Derek... I want you, and I did from the time I met you! Please, take me... Please, Ethan..." she pleaded with not only her words, but her gaze and her movements.
He couldn't think. Had he just heard that? Too unbelievable for him, but it somehow felt real, like it was truly his to decide. It took a moment to gather himself from the shock. "Kori, what about the future? What about uncle Derek? He kills himself for you; Irving 'erases' mom and dad because his mom kills herself," he stated with worry in his voice.
She shook her head and answered, "I've taken care of it, okay? Please, just let me be with you."
"But, how did you take care of it?" he asked. How could she? The Hollow Pen could only change things in the past and she was part of that past.
She smiled devilishly. "Don't worry about that, but I do know that you'll have a new aunt in the present, Ethan. Not only that, but I can grow older with you," she answered happily.
He didn't know why, but his heart raced beneath his chest, skipping beats then making them up ten-fold. He took her delicate hands in his. "Kori... if that's truly the case, then would you be mine?" he asked confidently.
Her cheeks flushed. She leaned forward and whispered, "Of course, you silly boy."