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A Second Chance: A Story of What We All Wish We Could Do Pt.1

Change the future before it comes a reality.

The author as a baby and her mom.

“BEEP. BEEP. BEEP” said the battery-powered blue flower she had gotten for her birthday several months earlier. One eye slowly opened and glared at the dumb flower; she tapped the snooze button. “Ugh what was that dream…” She thought to herself, an eight year old named Emma. It all came back. She sat up in bed, eyes wide, but tired. She knows EVERYTHING that’ll happen in her future. She has dreamed of a tragic timeline that she can barely comprehend. She has a migraine for the first time in her life. She gets up out of bed, still groggy. It’s Saturday morning. She goes to the bathroom, pees, then brushes her teeth. A minute in, she looks into the mirror into her blue-green eyes and screams. Which is more like a high-pitch gargle. She coughs and spits profusely. She had realized that something terrible was going to happen to her mom in five years. Her mom, Sarah, was going to die of stage 4 cancer. “What is cancer?? Is it like a gun or something?” She thought to her self. She stared at her reflection, her young mind trying to comprehend what she had just foreseen. 

She heard her worried mom rapping at the door, “Emma! I heard something, are you okay? Did you see a spider??” 

Emma grew a subtle, tired smile. “No, mom, I’m I just realized that…” she struggled to lie to her mom, though, she did find a truth to tell her, "that…I... I forgot to read something for school last night.” There was a moment of silence like Sarah knew that her daughter just fibbed, at least a little.

 “Oh, Okay, Em. Well, If you hurry up in there you might be able to get a head start on that before you go to school!” Emma let out a breath that she’d been holding in, smiled as she finished brushing her teeth. Though, she continued to ponder on what she had foreseen. Emma made up her mind that she only knew her future but also all seemingly irrelevant details about her future. Like who would win the Super Bowl in 4 years and what she’d get on a writing assignment in a college class in like 10 years, and what the color of a future boyfriend’s eyes in probably 6 years. She shook her head, trying not to become overwhelmed with all this new learned info about what could be. “Wait, why am I brushing my hair?” She thought, puzzled. “I never, willingly, brush my hair…” Emma was at that age when she associated brushing her hair as a chore because her hair is always tangled which would mean that it would hurt when she brushed it. She looked back in the mirror. Her eyes widened. “I’m using the positive habits from my future life.” She exclaimed to herself. “Wow, this is going to be weird to get used to if I keep doing good, smart things I wouldn’t normally do."

In the kitchen/dining room, the eastward morning sun was shining brightly, annoyingly in through the windowed double doors. Emma walked in all dressed, but still drowsy and feeling overwhelmed. She lays on the futon against the wall and drifts back to sleep until her mom is done making her breakfast. “Emma… It’s time to eat. Come on time to get up, I have to wake up your brother.” Sarah coaxed Emma to get up. She startled awake from a dream of herself four years ahead into the future, laying in bed late at night pointing a handgun to her forehead weeping hard but trying to stay quiet. She was crying because she missed her mom. Tears were in her eyes now racing down her face as she gazes up at her mom. Her body was frozen, but her heart was racing with grief and worry. “Emma! Em, what’s wrong baby? Why are you crying?” Sarah questioned her precious daughter for a moment then engulfed her in her arms, holding her lovingly tight. 

Emma finally took a breath, then started to babble out incoherent words. “Mama! you have to go to the doctor! Don’t die of cancer! What even is cancer??” 

Sarah, now confused and worried about her daughter’s mental state, pulls away from her and tells her, “Baby girl, I’m not going to die anytime soon.” She murmured, worried as to why she’d be thinking about death. 

“No mama, promise me! Promise me that you’re going to go to the doctor by the end of the month and they look at your tummy!” Emma blubbered. Sarah is now taken aback a little. This is very important to her daughter, and she’s so specific. She suspected this whole thing has to do with why she fibbed in the bathroom. “Okay, Okay. I promise, Emma. I’ll talk to your dad and when he’s home this next time he’ll take me to the doctor and I’ll take off work. Now go eat your cold eggs, okay?” Sarah negotiated quickly, knowing that this whole conversation has made Sarah late to get up her son, John. 

“Good,” Emma sniffled, then she scooted off the futon and shuffled over to the table to nibble on the cold eggs. She now regrets having that type of reaction to her dream, as she wished for a hot breakfast which was available several minutes ago. She suffered as an eight-year-old does.

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