Nora felt useless. She would never find how to get out of this mess if she was the only one. Who knew if Scott even lived in the same state as Nora. There was no one to tell, no one to confide in. She began to think that this was all in her head and that she had simply imagined the last 21 years. One night she tried to ask Jim about it.
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“Jim, are you awake?” Nora asked, clear as day, laying awake in their king sized bed.
Jim let out a dismissive grunt. “Uh huh.”
“Jim, do you ever have deja vu?”
“What?” Jim rolled over to his back.
“Do you ever feel like you lived something already?”
“Yeah, sure. Go back to sleep, Nora.”
“No, Jim,” Nora touched his chest with her hand firmly. “I’m not kidding around.”
“Me neither, honey.” Jim patted the top of Nora’s head.
“Like, sometimes I feel like I have already seen our future together. I’ve already seen Sydney grow up.” Nora’s lips trembled. Had she said too much?
“I know, sometimes I look at her and see what a great person she’ll become too,” Jim rolled over so his back was facing Nora.
Nora felt defeated. There was nothing left to say. He simply did not understand. Then again, how could he?
“Nora?” Jim asked, “are you okay?”
“Yes, Jim. Thank you.”
“Goodnight, love you baby,” Jim blindly reached over and patted Nora’s outer thigh.
“You too,” Nora whispered almost inaudibly.
For the next three years Nora spent her time primarily as a mother. Every anniversary of the plane crash she would wonder if somehow she would wake up back in the future, but it never happened. The faces of her coworkers, friends and children has blurred in her memory. It was as if her future was an old dream that never really happened. Sometimes an event would remind her of her past life, but other than that, it was almost foreign. Jim and Nora were happy. For the first year it was hard for her to let her guard down. Every time they were together images of Jim marrying a pregnant Eva flashed through her mind. She would never let on that she knew how they were going to end up. She knew this would strain what joyful years they had left. Was in inevitable that Jim would cheat or could it be stopped? Nora had more important things to think about. She had become pregnant four months ago. This worried Nora because the fetus was not Olivia. Olivia wouldn’t be conceived until 1992. Nora had tried to be very cautious with her birth control but since she had stopped taking it when she turned 43, Nora had basically forgotten to keep with it on a tight schedule. Nora laid awake every night, tossing and turning. What would this mean for the unborn child? Would it exist in 2009? Nora feared if she ever went back to normal time, the baby would purely not be there. Nora had not only altered her own future, she was responsible for the existence or nonexistence of another.
Most days Nora put this disturbing scenario out of her mind. She would focus on shallow tasks such as gardening or making dinner. Anything to take her mind off her predicament. Most days she was very successful. She actually convinced herself one night that she had never lived another life, but deep down, she knew the truth. As for Scott, Nora had given up. Every year when a new phone book was issued more Scott McKinleys would appear and other would vanish. Nothing substantial came from calling them. They never knew who she was and the time after making these phone calls, Nora would always fall into a depression. She missed Sydney, Olivia, and Ian desperately. Of course it was only time before she would meet them again as infants, but she missed having conversations with them. Sydney only talked in half sentences and whimsical noises most of the time. One aspect of Nora’s time travel was seeing her parents again. Both Nora’s parents had died in 2001. First her mother to cancer, then her father to a heart attack. It was nice to see them rejuvenated and in their prime again. The first moment she saw them in the past, she nearly wept. Nora also got to spend time with her old friends. In the future where Nora was 43, all of them had either moved away or stopped being friends with her. Nora cherished this time to spend with those whom she thought she would never see again.