Wednesday, June 18, 2014?
Weirded out by what she just saw, Mia got out of bed and pulled her regular clothes on like it was completely routine. She looked in the mirror and was startled when she saw her thirteen-year-old self staring back at her.
She cautiously opened the door to her bedroom and walked downstairs to the kitchen.
"Mom? Dad? What's going on?" She said slowly when she saw her parents sitting at the breakfast table with absolutely no movement.
"Hello? Earth to Graham!" Mia joked as she waved her hand in front of her father's face. When there was no response, she took a step back and shook her head rapidly. She opened the door leading outside and ran into her driveway.
"This is so weird. Nobody's out at all. Not even the creepy old guy with the ugly dog." Mia said to herself as she walked around the corner and down the street.
"This isn't right… why do I remember being older… but I'm not older..." Mia thought as she passed Olivia's old house. It was then that she saw her best friend. Instead of being in Maine, Olivia was sitting on the porch reading the paper with Harlow. As Mia got closer, she realized that Olivia was also just as young as her.
"You… are supposed to be in Maine… with that guy..." Mia said to the completely unresponsive people. It was then that the sound of squealing and a crash ran through her head, causing her to step back in pain. In that instant, she remembered everything. Growing up, going to California, coming back to Oregon, and finally pushing that girl out of the way of the moving car.
"I… I… I… died. Right?" Mia said to the seemingly nothing before her. She felt herself starting to cry as she realized that everything before he could not be. She took off running down the street for a block before she stopped.
"If I'm dead, then is this Heaven?" Mia wondered aloud as she wiped her eyes. She approached a building in the distance.
"Of course… this would be the old building." Mia muttered as she approached the Night Owl Cafe. As she got closer, she saw a young Kenton and Charmaine frozen in time as they washed the windows. As Mia approached them, she heard a lady's voice shout out "Lookin' good, girl!". Looking around, Mia saw nothing.
"Mrs. Hayes… I remember the first day of kindergarten. I was so scared when my parents dropped me off. But you, you held my hand and walked me to the classroom." Mia said, almost as if she was saying goodbye.
"I also remember that day at recess when we played tag with the first graders. I was tagged by the cutest boy and I fell in love with him. Then he moved on to middle school, and I guess I moved on as well. But I'm glad that boy was my best friend's boyfriend for a little while. I'm glad you're my friend, Kenton."
Mia smiled for the first time and walked down the street. Even though she didn't remember walking in that direction, she somehow ended up in front of another familiar house. She looked forward and saw Cameron outside of his house laughing while eating ice cream.
"Cameron… I'm so sorry for all of this. I love everything about you. Seeing you happy and smiling is something that I don't see often anymore. I miss this… you. If even we won't be seeing each other for a very long time, please don't forget about this wonderful and cute person that is inside of you."
She heard leaves rustling and a slow clap. She jumped back when she saw a face that she hadn't seen in three years. Unlike all of the others before her, this person was not frozen. He was very much there and very much moving. She scowled a bit and held up her hands defensively.
"It's you… William."
The fourteen-year old boy walked to her and stopped before her. Mia closed her eyes as she realized that she was in hell. For the first time, she saw some semblence of emotion from the boy as he looked down to the ground with a sad look on her face. Mia dropped her stance and stared William down, almost in pity.
"Why… did you do what you did?" she asked, trying to satisfy the curiosity that she held for the last few years.
"I didn't feel loved." William quietly said.
"...Really? That's your reason? Are you that ignorant to see that wasn't true?"
William had no response to that. Mia continued with her rant.
"Your brother loves you. He's always loved you. Even though you treated him like absolute garbage. You're not some abusive psychopath to him. You're his brother."
William's eyes widened in shock.
"I know that you were friends with Elias at one time. We could have all been friends. Things didn't have to turn out like this." Mia concluded.
William sighed and looked over at his brother, still frozen in time. He then looked down at the ground again to hide his eyes.
"My parents… as I'm sure Cameron has told you, are different in personality. They were good to us kids, but not to each other. Until they divorced, our household was full of hatred. When all was said and done, my father was still jaded by my mother's treatment of him. My world has been surrounded by hatred since then."
Mia's surprise was evident as everything started to make sense to her now.
"William… do you even know how to feel loved?"
"I did at one time. And when I met that woman, I thought I did. Now, I'm not so sure anymore. I guess the last time I felt any love was when we were younger. Me, my brother, and Elias. Who would still be alive if it weren't for my actions..."
Despite all of the misdeeds committed by the teenager, Mia knew very well that Butch Conner was the one who killed Elias, not William.
"William, you don't have to feel that way…"
"...but I do! Elias and I were so close, and I knew all about his dirtbag parents and what they did. All I had to do was tell somebody.And he would be alive today."
There was no hiding the tears running down William's face. Mia took a step forward and wrapped her arms around the boy.
"I am so sorry for everything that's happened." William quietly said.
"If Cameron forgives you… then I'll forgive you."
"Thanks… and when my brother can see past what I've done, that will be the day I know I'll be in Heaven."
It was then that Mia heard a beep, causing her to step back in shock. As she looked around, she noticed that the world was starting to get a little foggy.
"You have one more place to go." William said as he pointed down the road. Mia nodded and slowly walked into the haze. Eventually, a building came into view. As she got close, she realized that it was the local video store. And then she remembered a certain dream that she had almost exactly three years ago.