Tick Tock

Emma Whitleigh has always had a dreamt of being a singer. When she auditioned for the X-Factor two years ago, she made it to the the beach house before she was told the unwanted news. Devastated, she did everything she could to get better, but she never got the courage to audition again. But when an unfathomable solution to her problem appears, she is quick to grab it. But will this solution be the best for everyone? Or will Emma be finding herself trying to locate someone who doesn't know their real talent? (Be warned, this is a fanfiction, but not as gushy mushy as most. It is still enjoyable!)

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4. Chapter 4

I stepped out of the machine carefully.

I was at home.            

Around me, nothing had changed. The dusty old picture frame on the mantel still stood there, my mom’s old rocking chair still sat alone in the parlor.  I sighed and moved to the living room. There, the morning news were clicked on, as my dad always did before he left for work.            

“Hello, Bristol and good morning! Today, it is May 25, 2010 . And it is 10:00am . Today for headlines…” The newscaster droned on.            

I froze. Did she just say, May 25, 2010 ? The time machine worked!  My heart did a little happy dance, just as I thought I heard footsteps coming down the stairs.            

“Dad?” A voice vaguely familiar to me called. Then it let out a sigh. “Good, he’s gone.”            

My heart started to beat faster. I needed to hide, I was from the future, they would notice…            

The voice turned the corner and was suddenly right in front of me.            

It was me.            

The girl, with braces and frizzy hair, glasses and zits, standing in front of me showed almost no signs of resemblance, but I recognized her immediately.            

She gaped at me, her hand flew to her mouth. “You’re... you’re...” She started, almost shaking.            

“Hey, calm down. Yes, I’m you. But I’m you from the future. It’s been three years.” I grabbed her shoulders to stop her from fainting. “Breathe.”            

Then she was jumping up and down. “I get pretty! I get my braces off! And my hair fixed! And contacts!” I nodded after every exclamation, secretly thanking my dad for putting up with me during these horror years. “Wait! Do you have a boyfriend? Did Joey Maloney ask you out?” Her voice turned into a whisper. “Did you make out with him?”            

I shoved her away playfully. “Gross. No, I do not have a boyfriend. And Joey Maloney is a dirt bag. Get over him now while you still can.”            

She nodded. “But then, why are you here?” She asked puzzled.            

“Listen, I know this is going to be hard for you, but I know you're going to audition for X-Factor today, and I need to stop you from going onstage.” I waited for her reaction.            

“Emma," She started, calmly. "This is my chance to show the world my voice and my talent. You can't honestly believe I'm going to let you perform for me."             

"But I am you. There's only a slight age difference. And I know everything that's going to happen today. You don't. Who has the better chance of succeeding?" I waited for her response.            

"No." She said firmly. "I was just going to meet Cassie at the mall today to pick out my outfit for the audition.” I opened my mouth to speak when she cut me off. "End of conversation."            

I sighed. “Come on, let’s go to the mall then.” Might as well let the events play out as they should, and then I’d step in where necessary.            

“But what if people ask who you are?” She messed with her uncontrollable hair.            

“Then we tell them I’m your cousin. I mean, there isn’t much resemblance between us. And people who don’t know us won’t be able to tell at all, so we could pull it off. We’ll just say I’m visiting for the weekend.” I shrugged and grabbed some money from the rainy day cookie jar, as it’s been for three years. I was about to walk out the door when I realized something. I was still in my pajamas. “Emma? Can I borrow something of yours until we get to the mall? Then I’ll pick something up, I just don’t want to go in my pajamas.”            

She nodded and ran upstairs. While she was gone, I looked around my house, as it was three years ago. My dad’s inventions cluttered the dining room table, all of them failures, my mother’s sewing left untouched on the sofa in the parlor. This was when Mom actually had time to do things other than travel to exotic countries and promote my father’s latest invention. I never saw her anymore.            

“Back!” Younger Emma called from the stairs. She threw me a sweatshirt. “Sweatshirts always go with pajama pants. Nice UGGS.” She said, pointing to my feet.              

I smiled. “Be back in a sec.”            

It took me two seconds to change. “Okay, let’s go to the mall.” I started to walk outside.            

“But, how are we getting there? We can’t drive.” Younger Emma pointed out.            

I pulled out my license from my pajama pocket. I had stuck it in their earlier to avoid having to take the bus now that I could drive. “I can.”            

“And what car are you going to drive?” She said, crossing her arms over her chest, and frowning at me.            

“Dad’s!” I said, and ran out to the garage. Sure enough, parked perfectly in the driveway was my dad’s silver mustang.

Younger Emma trailed behind me. “We’re gonna get in so much trouble.”            

“Correction: You’re going to get in so much trouble. I’m not really here, remember?” Her face turned a shade of white. “Oh don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen. Get in the car.”
Shakily, she obliged and I pulled out of the garage. At first we drove in silence, until Younger Emma opened her mouth to speak.            

“Do you have hovercrafts?” She asked, braiding her hair in a french braid in an attempt to control it.            

I laughed. “You would ask something like that. It’s only been three years! Did you watch black and white TV three years ago?”            

She processed that. “What about that boy down the street?” She paused. “What happens to him?”            

I racked my brain to remember. A boy... down the street... Then it hit me. Tristan Cullingham. He had been riding his bike while I was on the porch, and he waved to me. Then, in a blink of light, he was hit by an oncoming car, the woman had been texting someone, not paying any attention to a young biker. I had freaked out and ran inside to call 911. It had been May 23, 2010 . Only three days ago for her.            

I gulped. “Well, they took him to the hospital, and they took the woman too. Tristan was in a coma for a few months, and the woman was released in about two weeks, barely any bone fractures. Then one day, Tristan’s heart stopped. They couldn’t save him. He died.” I paused and watched Younger Emma’s eyes water.            

“It was all my fault.” She cried into her sweatshirt. “I waved to him. I distracted him. He was so smart, so much potential. Ruined.”            

I looked sympathetically at her, then quickly focused my gaze back on the road. “He’s still alive now.” I said, trying to be optimistic.“But not really alive. He’s not enjoying himself. He’s not going to school. He’s not hanging out with friends. He’s practically dead.” She sobbed. “Emma,” I said, pulling into the mall parking lot. Her sobs grew louder. “Hey, we can go visit him today, how does that sound?” She nodded and wiped her eyes. “Until then, let’s go and meet Cassie. Time to do some damage!”            

Younger Emma smiled at me. “Okay.” She said, sniffling, and then grabbing my hand as we walked into the doors of the mall. Together.  

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