Heyo! I posted Part 1 like, ages ago, but I still have the rest of the story on my computer.. so I'm just gonna post it so I can move on with my life. :'D Feedback & constructive criticism appreciated!
A while later, we were sitting beneath a tree with
green leaves that had now turned an ashen, goldish brown. The world was still
frozen – my time powers didn’t tire that easily – and beneath the sepia undertones,
it was impossible to tell what season it was.
I took a bite out
of the apple that I’d stopped by my house to grab earlier. Lina wasn’t paying
attention, her gaze constantly wandering even though no one else was in the
I cleared my
throat. The silence was piling up.
“So!” I said with
enthusiasm. “How have you been, Lina?”
She finally looked
at me. “I’ve been alright,” Lina answered, sounding as if she should be sorry
“Oh… that’s good!”
I tried to raise my optimism to make up for her lack of it, but I failed.
Then I didn’t know
what to say.
Where to start?
How do I cram all
the lost time between us into words?
“Why didn’t you
call us all these years?” I asked finally, rolling the apple around on my palm.
I’d tried to dodge around that topic for a while – from fear of getting upset
or driving her away – but it slipped from me regardless. “And when did you find
out about your powers? Do you know why we have them? After all, mom and dad
don’t seem to have them…”
To my relief, Lina
didn’t seem annoyed by the question.
well, no, they don’t. I think we’re the only ones who do. As for why we have
them, I’m not sure either.” She paused. “Speaking of our parents, how are
“They’ve been alright,”
I replied. “On a business trip. They’ll be home in three weeks.”
“Oh.” She smiled,
but it was short-lived. “I remember they used to do that...”
I couldn’t read
her expression. Her gaze dipped to the grass, then back to me.
“If you happen
to call them,” she said carefully, “can you not tell them about me yet?”
“Huh? Why?” I
no guarantee that I’ll…” she trailed off. “That they’ll understand. I mean, I’d
like to surprise them.”
Lina stood up,
slinging on her purse. “Anyways, I have to go now. But I promise I’ll come see
you tomorrow, okay?”
leaving?!” She was already walking away. “Where are you even staying?” I tried
to get up and stop her, but she was adamant this time. With a final wave, Lina
disappeared into the streets.
The next morning, I woke up certain that Lina had
disappeared again. Or that the entire reunion was a dream. However, Lina kept
her promise and showed up that day – as well as almost every day after that.
Sometimes, I’d be
sitting alone in my school’s courtyard, musing, I’m sure Lina’s gone. She’d
vanished again, just like she did all those years ago. Yet right as the
desolation started to sink in, I’d soon findher waving from behind the
school’s chain-link fence. Or even waiting for me by the park, or leaving a
gift by my door.
I slowly began to
trust her again. Our conversations were awkward at first, since we’d been apart
for years, but at least we were trying to reconnect. At least I now dared to
hope that my sister cared about me.
Yet she still never gave me answers on what
she knew about our powers, or why she’d been away. She was always hiding
secrets. Once, frustrated, I’d tried a different approach.
“Why did you
choose to come back now, of all times?” I’d asked carefully.
For a moment, Lina had looked surprised and
unwilling to answer. Then her eyes took on an unreadable facade as she said, “I
had business to settle with someone.”
Over time, I learned about two other differences
between our powers:
Lina, she could slow down or speed up time, but her spell had a limited range. I
also never saw her speeding up time. Not even once.
some reason, whenever I saw Lina, it was only when time was frozen or slowed.
She never stopped using her time-slowing spell, unless I was already using my
Later, I would
find out it wasn’t of her own free will.
that the grand clock tower from all those years ago?”
sitting by the window of the café, her gaze on something in the distance. I sat
across from her, writing in my notebook.
looked up. All around us, the shadows of the café and the slow-moving people
were melted into a shade of gray. Only the sunlight shone a dreary orange as it
flowed through the window, carrying a sprinkle of dust motes. Lina had offered
to use her spell this time, in order to give me some respite.
at the clock tower in the distance, careful not to raise her hand too quickly.
“It’s been a
while since I’ve seen it,” she said wistfully. Then almost to herself, “I can’t
remember the last time I’ve heard those bells toll normally…”
I froze. “What do you mean?” There was a strange
sorrow lurking in her voice, one I couldn’t ignore.
time she heard the bells toll normally?
“As in, you haven’t heard it while moving
at its usual pace?” I whispered aloud. “Speaking of which, how come I never see
you outside of our time spells?”
snapped to me, almost in alarm.
“What? No, that’s not it,” she
insisted. “What I meant was that I haven’t been in France – that I haven’t
heard the clock tower at all.”
I stared at
her, doubts crowding in my head. “But then, what’s the reason you’re always
nothing. I just like it that way,” Lina said firmly. “It saves me more time as
I stiffened. That was definitely a lie.
sure?” I tried to sound less skeptical than I actually was. On the inside, I silently
wished she’d take the chance to answer honestly. “I feel like there’s something
bothering you. Can’t you tell me?” Please, you have to tell me.
But she just assured me with another comforting lie and smile
– she was quite good at those lately – and I realized that no, she didn’t have
to tell me.
Because if I
pressured her, she would probably just get up and leave. That was what she’d
always done from the start, wasn’t it?
No, calm down. I’m sure she has a
good reason to keep secrets.
Or at least that was what I wanted to
believe, except it was getting difficult to.
Is it because
she doesn’t trust me?
to go back to reading my journal, but inside, my mind was a tangle of restless
If that’s the
reason, then what do I do?
I wanted to
help Lina, yet I was certain that she’d walk away if I even tried.
After all, it wasn’t easy to repair a