What if you were offered a glimpse of your future, 6 months from now would you take it? Would you snatch the opportunity with both hands or be more cautious? Would you look forward to what was coming, face it head on...or would you try to stop or change it? Would you welcome your vision with open arms or would you dread it?
A mysterious global event causes everyone on the planet to black out simultaneously for precisely two minutes and seventeen seconds, and each person sees a glimpse of their lives six months from now. When they wake up where ever they landed, everyone is left wondering if what they saw will actually happen. Is it a fixed point in time, an illusion or in some cases, a warning that they can change their future?
It had been four days since the event that had either brought the world together or divided it. Four long days of introspection and reflection. For some it had been a momentous occasion full of joy, for others it was filled with a sense of trepidation, anxiety and depression. Yet life has to go on, life will go on. It's human nature. And in the way of human nature, within those four days, within hours, websites dedicated to the event had been set up. Stories swapped, visions shared. Fears discussed. Theories and conspiracies thrown around, social networking sites overloaded.
Emily Fitch lay on her bed; one arm flung over her eyes, the other lying over her stomach. She'd had a pissy last five months. Sighing she thought back to where it had all gone wrong.
That bloody holiday she'd had with her family the summer after she'd finally gotten together properly with Naomi.
That was when Naomi had taken the chance to let those fucking fears and dragons of hers loose and rampaging though her mind. She slept with Sophia in a futile attempt to prove she didn't desperately love Emily as much as Emily loved her. Sofia. The dead chick. Damn it. How had she missed it? Naomi literally drowning in the depth of their relationship, and then drowning in guilt at being the cause of Sofia's death. Sighing again, she stretched and winced as her injured leg made itself known.
Everyone had always thought that Naomi had been the cocky arrogant one in their relationship, but Emily knew the truth, knew she was the one who had really been arrogant. Naomi was the insecure one. Then of course, she'd gone off the deep end. And rightly so initially, everyone said so. Naomi had cheated. HER Naomi had cheated. They were special. They were forever. They had been so special. But, she'd carried on punishing her. And carried on, and on, and on. Going out at all times, flirting with other women, even kissing them in front of her. Ignoring Naomi's attempts to heal them, to 'do anything'. She'd pushed and pushed and pushed until the inevitable happened and she broke. Her brave, unflappable, aloof Naomi had broken like a China doll. And she was the one who had broken her. Had stayed with her after Naomi'd said she'd 'do anything' and then thrown every attempt to say sorry, explain or apologise back in her face.
She came home after partying all night with Mandy three months ago to find Naomi's personal things gone, the wardrobe doors left wide open and her side of the wardrobe completely empty. Two letters, one for her and one for Gina had been sitting in the middle of the kitchen table. Leaning up on one elbow, she reached for the private box under her bed, dragging it out and reaching inside for her letter. She looked at it. The small, precise writing on the envelope mocking her. Jesus, why was she going over this again now? Reading over something that had happened three months ago. Something that was fucked up. Broke. Unfixable. As her brother was always keen on saying, why why why? Emily knew why. That fucking blackout. Bringing everything back into sharp focus for her. The realisation of just how dark a streak she had in her personality, to treat a person she professed to love so fucking harshly.
She'd actually been lucky. She was slowing to a stop on her moped when the blackout had hit, just about to put her foot down to bring the bike to a rest. She'd suffered severe grazes and a twisted knee and ankle as the bike had ended up on top of her as she'd blacked out, but nothing more. Considering the reports coming out of other cities and countries, Emily and her family and friends were doing OK. (None of them were in an aeroplane for example.) Life in Bristol was chaotic, but in the grand scheme of things, they'd got off pretty lightly in a physical sense. Mentally? Who knew? They'd all had blackouts or flash-forwards as they were getting called by a bunch of conspiracy people on the internet. Six months into the future they'd all been told. Hundreds, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people reported having seen the same date during their flash-forwards Six months. They'd all seen their futures. Fucking hell. It was like some sort of sick twisted movie plot. Emily sat up; stretching her injured leg like the physiotherapist had told her. Christ it hurt like a bitch. Grimacing, she pushed herself back on her bed, reclining against the headboard and once again looked at the letter.
She slid the envelope open, the scent from the letter inside pure Naomi. Emily closed her eyes, breathing that bitter-sweet smell in. It was the only piece of her that she had left that still carried her scent, and that was why she'd not thrown it out. Naomi had left nothing behind. Well, Emily had thought she'd left nothing behind until she found Naomi's favourite green jumper on the washing line. She must have been in such a rush to leave that she'd left it. Katie had actually done the washing that day, trying to help out around the house and return Naomi's kindness in letting the Fitches stay. Unknowingly, she had taken away the one smell Emily craved. The moment she realised Naomi and everything of any value connected to her had gone was the moment she realised exactly what she'd done. Sitting in the little garden, clutching a damp baggy green jumper to her face and bawling her eyes out with a confused and apologetic Katie embracing her gently, Emily realised how extreme her behaviour had become. How fucking lonely she felt, and she'd had her friends on her side too. Naomi had... had... well, she'd had Cook. Cook, who had been devastated by love too, and although he was a borderline psycho at times with his womanising and drug taking, he'd understood her blondie better than she had. He'd protect her with his dying breath. He understood her fallibilities and forgave them. Something Emily hadn't been able to do and wasn't willing to do until it was too late
Emily sighed, lying back on the bed she picked up her mobile and clutched the letter to her chest. Finger poised over the phones menu button, she started when the front door slammed, her mum shouting that she was going out and that she had a visitor. Knowing what was coming she hastily stuffed the letter back in the box and returned the box to its place just as she heard footsteps moving up the stairs and onto the landing. Her bedroom door opened and sure enough, she wasn't surprised to see the large frame of Mandy standing there in her own awkward way.
"Hi" Mandy still stood looking awkward, obviously waiting for Emily to respond in kind. Emily managed a pained smile for the girl she knew had never really done anything wrong other than falling for her. She sighed as she realised how fucking arrogant she sounded. Poor Mandy. She didn't love her, she could never love her, even though she'd lied and replied to her that she did to keep her sweet. Another dark part of her personality she needed to change. "Your mum let me in. I thought I'd drop in on my way to work." She moved quickly and aimed a kiss for Emily's face, but Emily moved her head and she managed to kiss her ear instead.
Smiling brightly, even with being slighted by Emily, the tall brunette sat down on the side of the bed, talking inane chatter about her work and how people were discussing their flash-forwards and who saw what. The insane situation not lost on Emily that Mandy had never once asked about her flash-forward or even mentioned her own much. She'd questioned her about it in a round about way and Mandy had only ever replied that she was in the shower in hers and that was it. Subject changed pretty damned quick. Emily thought about it while Mandy droned on. (Which yes, she realised was an unfair way to think of her.) She'd always put it down to Mandy just having a boring life, but what if she was hiding something? What if her vision was just like Emily's? What if Mandy was hiding something too?
Remembering to listen to Mandy at just the right time, as she was saying her goodbyes, she smiled as the tall girl stood up and kissed her tenderly on the corner of the mouth. "I'll come back tonight...I... I love you Emily".
"Love you too" was Emily's automatic reply, cringing slightly as she saw the look on Mandy's face. Not ecstatic as such, more a pained grimace. She knew it, she was fucking hiding something. Letting her go to give her some space, she told the tall girl she'd call her later as she might be too tired for visitors and let her leave the house, ignoring the weird look of what looked like relief that crossed her face at the news.
"Love you too". The redhead mentally mocked herself for being on autopilot and saying it again . She'd felt sick as soon as the words had slipped from her mouth Closing her eyes she thought of the feelings that overwhelmed her, the images from her flash-forward flooding into her tired brain. Her future? Was that her future? If it was, it filled her with hope and love. If not, it was a cruel and cold trick for someone somewhere to play on people. Even if she felt she might deserve it after the way she treated Naomi and the way she was using Mandy.
Resting her head back on her pillow and covering her eyes with her hand, she briefly thought of grabbing her letter or phone again, but the bravery she'd felt earlier had left her again.
"What the hell is wrong with me?" She grumbled and promptly refused to think about it all. Which obviously meant the full on DVD replay in head started working again. Grousing at the world, she just let the thoughts and visions play out, enjoying that rush of emotions again without being interrupted by her well meaning and unwanted girlfriend.
Hearing the front door open, her twin radar told her Katie was on her way up. Sure enough, the door to their bedroom opened and her twin burst in, smiling. Dropping herself down on her bed opposite Emily's, she dragged a bunch of glossy magazines out of her oversized bag, throwing them on the floor between their beds.
"Here you go." She threw a couple of the chocolate bars she'd removed from bag at Emily, her aim landing them on her twin's stomach causing the redhead to "Oooof!" with surprise at her sisters aim.
"I even bought you Diva. The women at the till was so checking me out when she saw it." Emily just looked at her sister, genuinely smiling at her twin's antics. " I thought you could do with distracting from your giant of a false girlfriend and the self pitying shit you've got going on." Emily just stared at her, letting her fill the next half an hour with chitter chatter about what everyone was doing or had seen in their flashbacks. Remonstrating that she needed to reply to the texts and calls the gang had been sending her, while slowly demolishing her own stash of chocolate.
Emily let her twin lead, letting her revert back to being the dominant twin once again. Since the flashbacks had happened, Katie had tried several times to draw her injured twin out of her shell, had actually been trying since Naomi had left and left Emily devastated with the realisation of how over the top her actions had been. The redhead had slowly withdrawn into the Emily of old. Meek and just letting the world happen to her instead of being the confident woman her relationship with Naomi had changed her into. Katie wasn't going to let her get away with it today, she'd had enough, she'd make her stubborn twin open up to her. The last four days were evidence of fucked up things had gotten.
"So, you've not asked what I saw in MY flashback" Emily looked up at her twin, startled as she continued "or if I even HAD one." Emily's eyes went wide, shit she hadn't. Hadn't asked if her sister had had one, or been one of those who hadn't, which was widely acknowledged as meaning you were dead in six months time.
Covering for her shitiness, she stammered out "well, I figured you'd tell me when you were ready, and I'd know if you'd seen nothing. You'd have told me."
Katie smiled at her, bouncing off her bed and climbing onto Emily's, snuggling up next to her and pulling her into a warm embrace, mindful of her bruised body. "Yeah, you know it. Well, unlike poor Freddie, who is STILL freaking out, you need to talk to him babes. Sorry, yeah, unlike Freddie, I had one."
Emily had settled nicely into her sisters hold, relaxed finally. "Was it a good one?" She could feel Katie smile.
"Well, I don't know, I think I should be asking you that." Katie paused for a few seconds. "I saw you Ems. I saw you with Naomi."