This story is by Agata Sim and was part of our 2017 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Sixteen year old Emma made her daily, half an hour walk to school. The welcomed autumn breeze felt brisk as it brushed her face. A fresh colorful waterfall of leaves rained down and crunched beneath her feet.
Her mind wandered to yesterday’s event in her school. A new student was seated behind her. When she turned around, and locked eyes with him, time stood still. It sounded corny, I know, to say that it was love at first sight. She did not even believe in previous lifetime or reincarnation, and yet…she had a vision of the two of them in period drama clothes, playfully chasing each other in a park, and laughing.
As the vision faded away, she blinked and rubbed her eyes. The boy was looking at her intently, smiled and introduced himself. “Hi! My name is Chris, the new transfer student!”.
Emma smiled at the memory. A red leaf floated down in front of her face, she caught it and arranged the fallen leaves into a giant heart-shaped picture on the ground.
When she saw Chris was waiting for her outside of History class, she blushed and her heartbeat sped up. He sat beside her, and whispered, “Hey, do you want to eat lunch together later?”. She nodded shyly.
At lunch time, they sat at a corner table to chat.
“I feel like I’ve known you before. Have we met?”, Emma asked.
“I don’t think we’ve ever crossed path before. And yet, you feel familiar”, wondered Chris, while looking at her intently.
“Don’t laugh. I had a déjà vu vision of us as a couple a long time ago”.
“Yes. We were wearing olden time clothes, playing in a garden and laughing”.
“Interesting! I didn’t see that vision myself, but I believe you”, Chris said and paused, “Hey can I walk you home later? What is your next class?”, as they cleared away their tray.
“I have English class. What about you?”.
“Too bad, I have Biology class later. Let’s meet at the school gate at 3 pm”.
When classes finished, she dreamily floated her way to the school gate. Her face lighted up as she noticed him waiting for her. They walked in comfortable silence, and she kept taking sideways glances at him. They chatted about the school and small town.
Emma brought Chris to her favorite garden near her house, where they laid down on their backs and did some cloud watching. Mischievous Chris, playfully buried her feet in dry leaves, and then threw some leaves to her face. This ensued in a chase around the trees and bushes. Emma had another déjà vu vision of themselves as teenagers in 1890s clothes, also playfully chasing each other in a park. Emma smiled, thinking Chris is The One for her.
For the next few weeks, they were inseparable. Emma would pack lunch boxes to school to share with him, as they studied outdoors in campus, or went to their special garden. The school campus and houses have started to put up Halloween decorations. Chris asked, “Emma, would you like to go to the school’s Halloween party with me?”. Emma replied, “Of course, I’d love to!”. They happily discussed about ideas for costumes until they reached Emma’s house.
The sky mirrored the autumn leaves colors as Chris walked home. Emma ran off after him, to return a book that she accidentally took. She saw a little boy ran out to the road to catch his ball. From a distance, she saw with growing horror, a truck came in high speed around the bend, and Chris ran to scoop the little boy off the road, to safety. The truck blasted its horn but could not stop in time. It collided into Chris, and sped off. She rushed to the middle of the road, and held him in her arms, “Help! Someone call the ambulance! Hold on, Chris, help is coming!”. The little boy’s parents rushed off to make the call.
Chris gripped her hands and said “I’m sorry, my dear, but it looked like I couldn’t take you to the Halloween party”.
“Don’t say that! You will recover”.
“Wait. I have to tell you something. I love you! Even though we’ve only met a month ago, I’ve fallen in love with you”.
“I love you too, Chris! You WILL recover and go to the party with me”.
The ambulance arrived. Emma went along, held his hands and kept encouraging him.
“Emma, I kept having flashback of our brief but wondrous time together. Now I saw that vision you told me about. Dashing suit and hat, I was wearing. You were wearing a blue and brown dress with a trail; and long gloves”.
“You saw that?!”, she replied with alarm, as he looked paler with glazed eyesight.
“I would love us to wear that 1890s costumes to a Halloween party, but I ran out of time. I will come back and find you again, Emma“.
Chris slipped away before they reached the hospital.
How could her déjà vu vision be so off the mark?! Instead of a happy ending with many decades together, it all ended in a month!
She was in a daze, and did not remember how she got home. She ran to her special garden. She tripped, lie faced down and cried. After a while, there was a voice saying, “Emma, please don’t cry”, as a hand caressed her hair, “Let me give you a hand”. Emma startled, saw a ghostly hand reached down towards her. She looked up, and saw Chris…but he was wearing olden time’s clothes – a gray coat and waistcoat, dark trousers, white turnover shirt collar, and a floppy bow tie.
Emma gasped! “Chris? Is that you?”, Emma reached out a hand to touch Chris’s hand, and briefly felt a pressure.
Chris smiled, “I guess this was how you saw me in your vision?”.
“How did I look in this 3-piece suit?”.
Emma smiled wobbly, “Very dashing. Too bad you couldn’t wear it to the Halloween party”.
Chris kissed Emma on the forehead. “I’m sorry. Be strong, Emma. I will find a way to come back to you again. Trust me”.
Chris paused, and then kissed Emma on the lips, “I love you”. He stood up, walked away a few steps and disappeared.
The next few months were filled with agony for Emma, as she mourned for Chris. Her grandma thought it was imperative that Emma had a change of scenery, and moved with her to the big city.
Six years had passed, she had graduated from university, and worked in the university’s library. It was another Fall season, when Emma arranged some books on the shelves just before the library closed. Her friends had invited her to a Halloween costume party that night, which she was reluctant to go to because of memory of Chris.
Emma went to the party as an 1890s heiress, and refused to look gloomy. She was having a great time chatting with friends, and wandered off to get some refreshment. A young man greeted her, “Hello! We have a matching costume from the same time zone. My name is William. What is yours?”. Emma looked up, startled because he looked a lot like Chris, but had different colorings. Behind William, Emma saw a see-through Chris’s eyes twinkling, “I kept my promise. We are in a Halloween party that I should have brought you to, six years ago”. And the vision disappeared.
Emma blinked in surprise.
“Shall we dance?” William asked, “I feel like I have known you before”.
“You do? Did you have a vision of us before today?”.
“As a matter of fact, I did. I had a dream of us wearing this costume. That’s why I searched high and low for this exact costume, and went to search for a young woman wearing the matching outfit”.
Could this be the continuation of my déjà vu love story? “You look very familiar to me too”, Emma answered. I am eager to explore where this leads to. “Let’s go for a walk, William”.