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I remember when she was so happy. Nothing could bring her down that night. The party was slammed with kegs and weed. I’d never been to a party like that. I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to be there in the first place, but Tiff was looking forward to it. Our parents said we weren’t aloud to go the night before but we snuck out and went anyway. We had to go to the “hottest party of the year.” Now as I sit in this machine waiting to go back to that awful night 35 years later I regret everything. I’m 51 years old and never had a family, kids, or anything. I gave up on school. The man in the front of the machine says we’re there. We were a mile away from the house and I didn’t really know what I was doing. All I knew was that I had to stop what was going to happen to my sister and I had an hour and three minutes until the exact time she died. The man said I had to be back in two hours or else I’m stuck here. He then gave me a watch to time myself. I stepped out onto the road as a cold chill of fear ran up my spine. I started to run, my old body could still kick it, but I stopped when I got to the front of the house.
I remember that night sitting on the couch with a beer in my hand but never drinking it. That same bottle was in my lap the whole night and no one seemed to notice. I think the only reason it was there was to make me not look like a total outcast. Before we got to the party that night, Tiff promised me she wouldn’t drink. As the night went on she drank more and more forgetting her promise obviously. Tiff had to have drank more than her body could handle because she wasn’t acting like herself anymore. A guy came up to me and asked if I wanted to dance but I was hesitant. My sister and I looked alike, thank alike, but we didn’t act alike. Tiff was more social and outgoing than I ever was. She was the star cheerleader and all that junk. Every guy wanted her and every girl wanted to be her. I focused more on school and what my life was going to be out of those four walls of hell. I decided to dance with him anyway. His name was Jim and he was really nice. I remember glancing at Tiff about ten times through out the song. She began to act weird and kept falling around everywhere. A pill called ecstasy was out at the time and I was afraid one of the guys she was with gave it to her. I know Tiff and she would’ve taken it just to fit in. I began to stop worrying so much the more I talked to Jim. I didn’t care so much about Tiffany. I was always her guide, her mentor, and the mom she never had. (Our mom died when we were 3.) Jim told me all about his life and what he wanted to do with it and soon I lost interest in everything but him. He wasn’t interested in my looks, my body, or any of that stuff. I remember stepping outside on the back porch and leaving my baby sister in there with those people. I never knew what happened to my sister. I never knew how it happened or who did it because Jim caught my attention. I didn’t blame him then, and I still don’t. I just blame myself. I blame myself everyday. I was there to protect my sister and I didn’t. I’ll never forgive myself unless this mission is accomplished, and I never will.
Stepping off of memory lane I walked up to the door. I had a job to do and my sister’s life meant more to me than mine did. I looked through the window again and saw me. I actually saw my 16-year old self. I was in the cutest outfit dancing with Jim. The biggest smile was spread across my face and I couldn’t help but hate myself more and more for stepping outside on the back porch with him at that moment. What was wrong with me? I could’ve saved her. Looking through the glass I saw her. She was so beautiful. Tears streamed down my face. I miss her so much. She was dancing, well falling really. The guy she was dancing with looked like he was having fun. He whispered something and then laughed about it. Tiff sort of laughed too but then looked around the room. I knew the person she was looking for was me. She wanted a way out and I wasn’t there to give it to her. The guys she was with then took her upstairs.-
I remember sitting outside with Jim having the best conversation I’ve ever had with a guy. After a while though I decided to leave and find Tiff. The party was getting to its highest point and I was worried about her. Before I could ever get up I heard screams. Jim and I ran in the house to find two girls running down stairs. They were two of my best friend, but we lost touch. They were crying and more scared than I’d ever saw anybody before. Something was wrong. Tiff was nowhere in sight, and no one was dancing anymore. There was a crowd on the stairs leading up. Running through them all I saw the image that stayed with me to this day. My sister, my 16-year-old beautiful sister, lying in a pool of blood. Never in my life did I hurt so badly. I remember sitting on that bed with her in my arms crying, rocking her like I did as a child. After that, I gave up on life. Tried killing myself many times. You probably don’t’ understand why and I don’t blame you. The feeling of an innocent young girl’s lifeless body in your arms is something I hope you haven’t experienced and as I write this, I pray you never do.
I glanced at my watch and saw that it was 12:57. I had six minutes to get in the house unnoticed and save my sister. I looked over and saw a ladder on the side of the porch. My heart was racing faster than it ever has in my whole life. This was my only chance to save her! I ran to the ladder and made my way up to the roof. I wasn’t sure what room she was in, but I didn’t really care. Five minutes left. I looked through a few windows and finally found her and the guys. She was on the bed barely conscious. All the guys were talking in a corner. One of them had a knife in his hand. I wanted so badly to break through the glass and get her out and on my way to kill all of them but I knew I couldn’t. I knew what was going to happen and this time I wasn’t going to let it. Three minutes left. I went down the ladder as fast as I could and ran to the back. I know I shouldn’t have done what I did but there really wasn’t any other way. I saw Jim and my self on the porch laughing and having a great time. Again I couldn’t help but hate myself even more.
“Stacy!” I yelled. My young face looked up startled. “Get up and go in the house. Up stairs you will find your sister. She is in major trouble. GO NOW!”
I said that all so fast I wasn’t sure if I going to understand. I didn’t take time to look. I looked down at my watch and saw a minute and thirty seconds left. I ran back around to the front of the house and back on the ladder. Rushing to the window, I saw myself holding my sister tightly and crying. I looked at my watch. It was 1:03 am. My sister would’ve died 35 years ago and now I know it never happened. Tiff’s clothes were torn off but she was fine. No blood, no screaming, and no death. A great happiness over whelmed my body. My heart seemed to come alive again. I felt love and warmth for the first time in so long. I felt complete. I looked in the glass and saw that I was starting at my self through the window. I seemed to be thanking me. A tear ran down my delicate young cheek as a smile spread across my face. I turned away. My life would now be different.
“I saved her.” I whispered as I made my way back to the time machine.