"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
I can't ever open my eyes whenever I travel with Ari. The first time I traveled with her(It was to the 1950's because, no matter how many weird looks I got, I rocked that poodle skirt with my white hair), I opened my eyes while we were between times and I passed out from the pain that exploded in my eyes and in my mind.
Even now, with my eyes closed I almost fainted.
My ears were ringing and my head was pounding, but it was over within a few seconds and Ari told me that it was safe to open my eyes.
We were standing in the middle of what looked like a small market place, in the blistering Middle-Eastern heat, filled with many different booths, bustling with activity.
Also with a crowd forming around us, as we had just appeared in ancient Egypt out of nowhere.
"Hello," I said nervously.
A woman standing in the midst of the crowd bizarrely looked at me, taking in the sight of my natural white hair, my petite size, the clothes I was wearing from my own time period, my bright purple eyes(Almost everyone with gift looks a little. . . Eccentric). The woman, dressed in a white linen dress with dark, black kohl lining her eyes, turned to another woman standing next to her and said something to her in a language that I couldn't understand.
Ari narrowed her eyes at the two women. "She just called us deranged children and said that we needed to get back to our home to finish working."
Whenever Ari travels between times to a new place that has a whole different language or dialect, her gift allows her to understand and speak the language so she is able to interact with the new cultures she encounters.
My best friend walked up to the women and spoke to them for a minute and I was trying to decide if she was having an attitude or trying to say something useful to them that could help us out.
Ari came back, leading the two women towards Brent and I.
"Ariston," Brent addressed his sister cautiously.
"Relax," She rolled her eyes. "I told them that we had gotten lost trying to get back to our home, then they asked if we were children of Setka, and when I said yes--don't give me that look Brent, I had to improvise--when I said yes, they looked at me like I was far more superior than them. I'm guessing Setka is a fellow near the top of the hierarchy."
One of the woman tapped Ari on her shoulder and asked her something in their language. Ari nodded to them and they led us all over to a booth that I'm guessing they had managed.
"I thought they were going to lead us to our 'home'?" Brent asked his sister, crossing his arms over his chest.
"They are," She said. "But I also asked her if she would be able to provide us with some different clothes to help us blend in."
One of the women led me over to behind a wall of the booth and presented me with a linen dress--similar to hers--with a single blue and a single yellow stripe lining the bottom of the skirt.
"Uh, sure." I said hesitantly.
Now I didn't know if the Egyptians were keen on privacy or anything, but she just led me behind the wall where there was still a lot of opportunity for someone to see me change.
So I slipped off my Vans, my white skinny jeans, and pink tank top as quickly as I could without tripping over myself and slipped on the dress.
I had the dress on for maybe 10 seconds before the heat started to get to me and I started sweating.
But I sucked it up and picked up my clothes, adjusting the straps of my dress to hide the straps of my bra.
I walked back out to face my friends and nearly dropped all of my crap.
Oh, sweet baby Jesus.
Brent wasn't wearing a shirt. He was wearing this white linen skirt-looking thing, but he wasn't wearing a shirt.
I tried. . . I really tried so hard not to look at his shirtless self and his gorgeous abs. Already I could feel my cheeks start to heat up and forced myself to look literally anything else before I come off as a creep.
I mean. . . Who knew he could make that skirt look so handsome?
I raised my eyes towards his face and my face turned a darker shade of red. Because he was staring right at me staring at his abs.
Lord have mercy.
Ari, wearing an almost identical dress to mine, cleared her throat and redirected our attention to her and the two women who have decided to help us.
"They said that they're ready to take us to Setka now." Ari said, and the women motioned for us to follow them, away from the market place and towards these houses made of mud bricks.
"Ari," I said to her. "What's going to happen when we show up at Setka's house and he has no idea who we are--"
I sucked in a sharp breath as a tremor passed through my body, chilling me to the core.
"Tami?" I heard my voice plead with urgency. "Tami, please," I was about to start sobbing. I had sobbed maybe twice in my life; both times following the events of my parent's fateful end.
My older sister faded into my view. She furrowed her eyebrows together in confusion. "Who are you?"
"It's me, Tamsyn." My voice cracked. "It's Fate. Your baby sister."
She took a step back. "I--I'm sorry," She shook her head. "I don't know you,"
"But. . ." I trailed off. "How could you forget me? You were the second one to hold me when I was born--you cried when the nurse said you could come into the hospital room and meet me. How could you forget me, Tim-Tam?" I asked, hiccuping.
"Tim-Tam?" Her voice announced with a hint of recognition. "Tim-Tam. Where have I heard that before?"
I stepped forward so fast that she jumped backwards a few feet and bumped into the wall.
"I used to call you Tim-Tam, remember?" I said, wiping the tears from my eyes. "Nona gave you that nickname before she died."
She shook her head and scrunched her nose. "I'm sorry, I don't know any Nona's."
I stifled another sob. "How could you forget me, Tami?" I whispered. "You were all I had after Mom and Dad. . . Please. I can't lose you too."
Just as she was about to say something, a tall man with caramel colored skin entered the room and strided over to my sister. He wore a white linen skirt and an enormous extravagant crown with dark kohl lining his eyes.
He looked at me with dark chocolate brown eyes, opened his mouth, and said, "Fate. Say something. Open your eyes."
I gasped in as much air as I could as my vision shifted from being stuck in a dark, dusty room with my sister, to back to the blistering heat and boisterous sun.
I was laying down on a bed made of straw with one of the women, who had been guiding us, dabbing my forehead with a piece of wet cloth.
Trying to suppress the wave of vertigo that hit me, I turned to face Ari. "We have to hurry--before Tamsyn forgets everything."