“Hey, Angel,” Levi giddily greeted his girlfriend through the phone. There were some muffled sounds on the other end of the line.
“Levi,” Angelica announced, in a surprised manner.
“I just wanted to let you know that I’m getting ready to get on the plane,” he placed his luggage on the small carousel, his hand still latched onto the phone.
“Oh, you’re coming here?”
“Yeah, I know it’s a little sooner than what we talked about, but I was thinking that we could spend the weekend together?” he asked more than stated until he realized the worry laced in her voice. “That’s okay, right?”
“Yeah, yeah” she immediately rushed in before she mumbled something incoherent, almost in a sharp whisper. “I was just surprised is all. Especially since my father is coming to visit me this weekend.”
“Yeah, I thought it would be nice to-” he stopped when what she said registered in his mind. “Wait, your father?” his voice became a little squeaky and his face started to heat up.
“Yeah,” she happily answered, “did I not tell you?”
“No, nope, I don’t remember that coming up,” he leaned against the nearest chair.
“Oh, my bad. It must have completely slipped my mind. If you don’t want to fly over here anymore, then I completely understand…”
“Um…no, I’ll come down, I just…um…I’ll be down there,” Levi finally managed.
“I gotta go,” Angelica hurried out before hanging up.
“Oh, okay,” are the only words that Levi could manage before the line cut him off, “bye.”
He stood up straight, searching his surroundings for a place to grab a drink. When his eyes landed on the vending machine, he slung his extra bag over his shoulder, making his way towards it. He inserted a dollar, punched a button on the keypad, and bent down to pull the water out of the bottom. Unfastening the cap, the rim met his lips as he began to tilt his head back, inhaling as water trickled onto his tongue. When the liquid made a path towards his throat, his head snapped forward from a tap on his shoulder.
His eyes directed him to the petite, young girl standing next to him as his mouth tried to keep the water from spilling out.
“You alright?” she asked, staring at him with an eyebrow raised.
When his drink was swallowed, he straightened his back, focusing his attention on her. “Yeah, I’m good.”
“You sure? You looked pretty scared a second ago,” she points out.
“I wasn’t scared, Marie,” he addresses his best friend, but she saw right through his facade. “Okay, fine,” he drops his shoulders in defiance, “you may have scared me a little.”
“Ha, I knew it” she announced, placing her hand on his shoulder. “I’m getting better at this scarring thing.”
“Is it really considered scary, though?” he contorted his face, “I mean, all you did was startle me a little. You didn’t really scare me.”
“You’re just jealous of my scaring ability,” Marie says smugly.
“Why are you here anyway?”
As if suddenly remembering someone dying, her facial features drooped, but she only allowed it to happen for a second before a smile took over her face, “I couldn’t let you leave without saying goodbye, now could I?”
“I’m not moving there,” Levi pointed out.
“Levi, I am well aware of your intentions,” she stated knowingly.
After carefully inspecting her, “Are you okay?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I don’t know, you just seem off,”
“Oh, enough with that nonsense. You’re going to miss your big surprise,” she linked her arm with his, guiding him outside.
“What surprise? Where are we going?”
“Marie,” they make their way to the exit, passing millions of people who were preparing to go through the metal detectors. “Marie,” Levi stopped halting Marie in her place.
“What are you doing? You’re going to miss the surprise,” she tried to pull out of place, but he stayed firm in his place.
“You’re going to make me miss my plane,” he chuckled. He checked his watch, “I only have like ten minutes and I still have to go through the detectors.” Levi started heading back.
“What about the surprise?” Marie asked, running in front of him.
“I really appreciate it, Marie, but I have to board that plane,” he grabbed her shoulders. When she looked up at him with puppy dog eyes, he dropped his hands, sighing. “Okay, what’s the surprise?”
“Come on,” she said gleefully, starting to drag him back out.
“I can’t leave,” he stopped her again. “Just tell me what it is.”
“It’s not something I tell you; it’s something you have to see, come on Levi.”
“Marie, I really do appreciate it, but I have to go.”
“Fine, it was just this grand gesture that I was trying to do.” she looks at the ground.
“Grand gesture? Isn’t that what they do in those sappy romance movies?”
“First off, they aren’t sappy. And secondly, those gestures are romantic, this one is not.”
“What’s the gesture then?”
“You have to come outside and find out.”
Levi checks his watch once more, hoping for the time to somehow have stopped. It didn’t, however, it just kept ticking away. “I can’t, I’m really sorry.”
“It’s fine,” her face began to droop, “You do what you want to do.”
“Thank you, Marie. I’ll meet you when I get back,” he quickly embraced her as she lazily patted his back, “I have to go.” He made his way through the detectors, Marie staring at his disappearing figure.
“Don’t say I didn’t try to stop you,” she mumbled to herself.
When Levi glanced back at her, waving his hand, she plastered on a smile and waved back. With him out of sight, Marie trudged her way out of the airport. Her plan to stop him failed, but she knew of a way to fix it. She knew what she had to do.
When Levi finally made it through the entire procedure, he looked for the gate to his flight. However, when his eyes landed on it, he saw a woman shutting the doors.
“Wait!” he shouted, but she didn’t hear. “Hang on,” he announced when he was in front of her, “I need to get on that plane.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but the plane is no longer boarding any more passengers.” Her apology was almost as fake as the blonde wig she had placed on her head. You could still see her natural hair laying underneath. “If you would like to wait for the next one-”
“I don’t want to wait for the next one,” he interrupted, “I need to get on this one.”
“Sir, as I previously said, ‘the plane is no longer boarding any more passengers.’ Now, you can either get on a different flight or leave.”
He watched the plane take off in the huge glass windows. “When’s the next flight?”
She checked the chart on her podium, “Tuesday afternoon.”
“Are you kidding me?” he asked sarcastically.
He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to think of a possible solution, but nothing came to mind. He turned to leave, forgetting about the flight attendant behind him. When he exited the airport, the reality of having no car caught up to him. Tugging his phone out of his pocket, he began to dial Marie’s number. However, when he called her, and the rings sounded out, no one picked up, leaving the number to automatically hang itself up since Marie had never set up her voicemail.
He slipped his phone back into his pocket, beginning the short walk to Marie’s grandfather’s clock shop. He knew that he should call Angelica, or ‘Angel’ as she preferred to be called. All he wanted to do, though, was to see Marie. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to yell at her for making him late or apologize for being rude about the surprise. It would more than likely end up being both
He slowly made his approach to the white cottage surrounded by trees. It had a door that was painted a mustard yellow, which had always brought a smile to Levi’s face. It reminded him of the yellow phase Marie had gone through from age seven to nine.
She was obsessed with the color yellow. She wore it, ate it, drank it, and even managed to make her words yellow. Her family had considered preparing an intervention, but her grandfather convinced them that it was just a phase. However, he painted the door and window frames of his shop, which is also his home, yellow, in order to keep this momentous childhood phase of Marie’s.
He approached the shop, nearly thirty minutes after exiting the airport, with his arm stretched outward to open the door. Entering the cluttered cottage, his eyes roamed over the shelves and walls covered with a variety of clocks.
“Marie?” a gravelly voice croaked as an elderly man made himself present by turning around the corner. “Oh, Levi,” the old man lightened his features with a smile, “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? I would have made some tea.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t really planning on coming here,” Levi answered.
The old man studied his face, “Come sit down, you look miserable.”
Levi followed behind him when he turned back toward the office in the back. “Hey, you aren’t looking so hot yourself either, Chester.”
“I would say that I’m looking quite handsome,” Chester chuckled. He seated himself in the chair at the desk, allowing Levi to take a seat on the battered chair in the corner. “Now, why do you look so troubled, son?”
“I missed my flight,” Levi admitted.
“Oh, well that isn’t so bad. You can just get on the next flight.”
“Yes, I can, but it’s not until Tuesday and I kind of had something special planned for this weekend,” Levi dropped his head to stare at the ground as he rested his elbows on his knees.
“What were you planning?”
“I, I was going to propose…” Levi lifted his head hesitantly.
“Oh, that’s a big move, don’t you think? I mean, I know you and Marie have known each other since you were young, but-”
“Wait, what?” Levi interrupted Chester.
“What?” Chester asked as if he had no clue.
“I wasn’t proposing to Marie. I was proposing to Angel,” Chester scrunched his eyebrows together, so Levi clarified, “my girlfriend.”
“You’re still with her?” Chester asked surprised.
“Huh, I wasn’t expecting that.” Chester shook his head. “Maybe this is a sign.”
“A sign for what?”
“Maybe you’re doing something wrong, so the universe prevented you from proposing.”
“What could I possibly be doing wrong?” Levi thought about any mistakes he might have made.
“I’m not sure. Is there an issue between you and…Amanda was it?”
“Angel,” Levi corrects.
“Right, Angel. Maybe there’s an issue there.”
“The only issue would be…” Levi suddenly remembered Angel’s father, the one who hated his guts. “Her father isn’t particularly fond of me.”
“Not quite where I was heading, but that makes sense. Maybe the universe is telling you that you must convince her father that you are a good guy.”
“If only it was that simple. Not only does he hate me, but he is on the flight to Florida right now.”
After a minute of consideration, Chester stood up, exiting the room. When he returned a minute later, he held a gold pocket watch out for Levi to see.
“This is your second chance, my son. You see, this isn’t an ordinary watch. If you reset it to the twelve, you can restart your day. However, you can only use it two times. The reason behind that, I have no idea, but I would make those few chances worth it.”
“Chester, is all of the dust getting to you? That’s just a watch, I doubt it has some magic ability.”
“Look, you can believe me or not, but I am going to give it to you either way,” Chester brought it closer to Levi, providing him with the ability to grab it.
Levi grabbed it hesitantly, “Thanks, um, I have to go.” He stood up, slipping the watch into his coat pocket.
“Where are you heading off to now?” Chester asked.
“I’m just ready to go home, is all.”
“Ah, okay. Well, if you happen to see Marie, let her know that I need her help in the store tomorrow.”
“Will do,” Levi started to head for the door, “Thanks again for the watch.”
“I feel like you need it more than me,” Chester stated as Levi made his way to the exit of the cottage.
When outside, he pulled the watch back out, searching it for anything special before shaking his head and cramming back into his pocket. “He’s crazy. Absolutely crazy.”
Instead of walking home, Levi decided to call a cab, hoping for him to get home quick. He thought it would be better to call Angel if he were home where you could hear cars passing by every second; that way, if things went sour, he can claim the signal got cut and end the call. It’s worked before, it should work again.
It’s not that he was scared of Angel, not in the least. He just had this constant need to make her happy, which made him fear his choices. He wasn’t scared of the girl, he was just scared of how she made him felt. He always felt like he had to be the best version of himself when he was around her glowing figure. He knew he was way out of her league, but it didn’t stop him from going for what he wanted. In his eyes, Angel was his best shot at happiness.
He finally arrived home, around half an hour later, exhaustion taking its toll on him. When he entered the small apartment, he threw his keys on the stand, listening to the whoosh of cars speeding by as he headed to the kitchen, so he could pull a water bottle out of the fridge. The one he bought earlier was too warm to drink. He took a big swig of it, downing nearly half of the bottle. When he drank what was left of it, he dropped the plastic bottle into the trash can, pulling his phone out of his pocket to call Angel.
Waiting for the ringing to end, his nerves began to kick in, especially when a voice sounded through the device. “Hello?”
“Hey,” Levi greeted.
“Who is this?”
“Levi,” he pulled the phone away from his ear, making sure he had the right number; when he found that he did, he placed it back to his ear.
“Oh, sorry, everything is just so hectic over here. I thought you were on a plane?”
“About that,” Levi started, “I missed the flight.”
“But I’m going to come down next weekend, I’m so sorry, Angel.”
“Don’t apologize, I completely understand.”
“Yeah, you missed your flight. It happens,” she sounded more relieved than disappointed.
“Oh, okay, then. Thanks, I guess?”
“Yeah, no problem. At least this way you don’t have to deal with my dad.”
“Yeah, do you think he actually hates me?”
“Definitely!” Angel said cheerfully.
“Good, I didn’t want a lie or anything. Being brutal is the best way, to be honest,” sarcasm rolled off of Levi’s tongue.
After some mumbling on the other end of the line, “Look, I have to go.”
“Alright, I guess we’ll talk later.”
“Yeah, sounds great, bye.”
The line went dead, leaving Levi alone in his apartment. He pulled the pocket watch he received earlier, out of his pocket, staring intently at the twelve. “Reset it to twelve,” Levi narrated as he did so, turning the dial on the side. When it clicked into place, he waited, expecting something to happen, but nothing did.
No special fireworks. No blinding light. No sick feelings. Just him in the dimly lit kitchen, a truck horn sounding out, and the non-ticking watch in his hand.
“I knew he was crazy,” Levi said to himself, as he set the watch on the counter, walking back to the fridge.
When he reached the handle, though, the entire setting switched. As if someone had snapped their fingers or flipped a switch. When he became conscious, everything was dark. There was no light illuminating from any source. He was no longer standing, he could tell from not feeling the weight on his feet. Instead, he felt the springy mattress underneath him.
Beep. Beep. Beep. An alarm started blaring next to his ear, startling him and causing sweat to form above his lip. He turned to his right as a source of light finally shone. It was still hard to see since it was only from his phone, but it gave him enough light to turn the alarm off.
After doing so, he sat up, switching the lamp next to him on, and placing his feet on the cold hardwood floor. He checked the time, confused on how he ended up in bed when he was getting food just a second ago. It was five in the morning; he must have passed out and forgot ever getting into bed.
He climbed back under the covers, rolling over to fall asleep. An hour or so later, he woke up from his phone ringing. He answered it without checking to see who it was. “Hello?”
“Where the heck are you, man?” a masculine voice shouted through the phone.
“Who is this?”
“Steve, who somehow managed to get here before you and the boss is not in the best mood. I suggest you get down here and fast.”
“What are you talking about, it’s Saturday.”
“I don’t know how many drinks you had last night, but you need to sober up. It’s Friday, and you have a meeting you have to be in within the next twenty minutes.”
“I don’t understand,”
“Neither do I. Get to the office now!”
The line went dead, leaving Levi alone to panic. His feet carried him to the bathroom for a shower, but his mind turned him back around, thinking there’s not enough time for a shower. He smelled his armpits, checking for any stench, when a waft of a terrible odor hit his nose.
“Definitely need deodorant,” he told himself out loud, “yeah, no way of avoiding that.”
When he smelled more pleasant, he slid his closet door open, pulling the closest suit out to throw on. It was a grey jacket, with a light blue shirt, grey pants to match. After slipping the clothing on, he rushed out of the apartment, snatching his bag off of the counter, and his keys off the hook.
He spent the walk to work, wondering how it was Friday again. It just isn’t possible. He already did this. He already gave the presentation for the new product. He was already a part of the meeting. The only difference is that he wasn’t late to work before. Especially not from drinking.
He grabbed the glass door to his office building at the last minute, saving him from having to shine his I.D. badge. He rushed inside, his feet slowing down the pace so he didn’t look like he just ran a marathon, even though he felt as if he did. He made it to the elevator, but the wait for the doors to open was too agonizing, leading him to take the stairwell, two stairs at a time, instead. When he finally made it to his level, he stops jogging, walking calmly instead.
He passed many coworkers, each of them greeting him with “did you sleep well?”, “pull an all nighter?”, or “you’re in so much trouble, Mitchell” as they gave him a knowing glare. He tried his best to ignore all of them, but he couldn’t keep his stomach from turning.
“It’s about time you showed up,” Steve met him with a cup of coffee in Levi’s office.
“I honestly didn’t realize what day it was,” Levi went to his desk, taking things out of his bag to collect his papers for the presentation.
“You must have gotten pretty hammered last night,” Steve was leaning against the doorframe.
“That’s the thing, I didn’t drink at all last night. At least not alcohol. And I already did the presentation.”
“You really don’t remember a thing, do you?”
“I remember everything. You’re the one who isn’t remembering.”
“Look, I don’t know what you’re saying, but you really need to sober up,” Steve’s attention directed to down the hall, “because the boss will be here in five, four, three, two..” he held up his index finger, indicating the number one as Levi watched their boss enter his office and Steve make a quick exit.
“Mitchell,” his boss greeted him with a from on his face.
“Mr. Morell, good morning,” Levi said sheepishly.
“I know, and I’m so sorry, I just had a really crazy morning and-”
“Don’t give me that crap. You knew today was the big meeting. You knew that we had to make that sale!” Mr. Morell’s voice rose, his face began to turn red.
“I know, sir. Just let me go in there and fix this,” Levi pleaded.
“The meeting’s over, Mitchell.”
“It can’t be, it’s only…” Levi checked his watch, noticing an hour had passed since the meeting was meant to start.
“You need to fix this or your fired!”
“Mr. Morell, I-”
“No excuses, Levi. I gave you this job under the assumption that you could handle all of its requirements. However, you’ve managed to do this exact thing before. In fact, this is your third time doing it! If you don’t get those clients, then you’re fired.” Mr. Morell exited Levi’s office, while Levi imagined a wave of steam rolling off of his boss’ back.
Levi braced his hands on the desk, trying to support himself after that terrible blow. The sound of laughter reached his ears, causing his head to jerk up and notice the group of guys standing outside his office, mocking him. He shut his door, and closed the blinds on his window, needing a minute to himself. Sitting down in his leather chair, he pinched the bridge of his nose.
Marie. The thought clouded his brain, forcing his hands to pick up the phone on his desk, his fingers dialing her number. He waited for her to pick up, and it happened on the third ring.
“Hello?” her familiar voice asked.
“Hey, it’s me, Levi,” Levi introduced himself.
“Levi,” she sounded more relieved than he was that he called her.
“I’m going insane and I need someone to tell me that I’m not.”
“What happened?” he could hear the concern laced through her words.
“You’re not going to believe me,” he rubbed the wrinkles on his forehead away.
“I think my day is repeating, but nothing from before is happening.” After a long silence, “Marie?”
“Crazier things have happened,” she sighed.
“What? You believe me?”
“Levi, if I didn’t believe you, I wouldn’t be your best friend. Now, why don’t I come down to your work for lunch and we can discuss this some more?”
They hung up after saying their parting words. Levi focused his attention on his work, trying to find a way that would bring back the client he lost, so he could keep his job. His eyes kept betraying him, though, as they glanced at the clock every so often to check the time.
He wanted Marie to be here now. He wanted to be able to get all of the crazy thoughts in his head out. He knew that he would never be able to concentrate on anything else until he figured out was going on.
When lunch time finally rolled around, he had a stack of crumpled paper balls in the corner of his office by the desk. Each piece contained a variety of scribbles. He stopped abruptly when his office door opened, though, propping himself up in the chair.
Mari was walking into his office with a bag of chinese food in her hand. She had a smile graced on her lips as she stared at the ground. At first, he thought it was for him, so he returned the gesture with his own smile and opened his mouth to speak, but no words escaped when he saw Steve escorting her inside.
She was laughing at a joke Steve made; not smiling for him. For some reason, this caused Levi to drop his smile and frown, watching the scene unfold in front of him.
“So, we’re on for tonight?” Steve asked Marie.
“Yes,” Marie agreed, moving her stare away from the floor and up to Steve.
“Great! I’ll pick you up at eight.”
Steve headed back out of the room, closing the door behind him, as Marie waved bye to him in the process. Marie shook her head, shaking the grin off of her face as she set the food on Levi’s desk.
“What was that about?” Levi asked, leaning back in his chair as she unpacked the steaming food.
“What? Steve?” Marie made eye contact with him for a second before focusing back on the task she was doing, “He asked me out.”
“And you said ‘yes’?”
“Yeah, what’s wrong with that?”
“You do realize we’re talking about Steve, right?”
“I’m pretty sure I know who he is, Levi,” Marie sat down in the seat across from him, opening the small container of rice.
“Then why are you going out with him?”
“Because he asked me out. I thought he was your friend. Aren’t you supposed to be talking him up to me?”
“You aren’t some girl at a bar.”
“And you aren’t my father. Why is this bothering you so much, anyway?” Marie began to pick through her food.
“It’s not,” Levi looked down at the food, trying to distract himself.
“Are you jealous?”
“You are,” Marie pointed her fork accusingly at Levi.
“I am not. I have a girlfriend, you know.”
“I know, but that doesn’t stop you from being attracted to other people.” After a moment of silence, Marie felt the need to say, “I probably won’t end up going.”
For some reason, that relaxed Levi, and Marie could tell. “Can we drop the subject, please?”
“As you wish. So, you said your day has repeated. Why do you think that happened?”
“I have no idea.”
“Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something,” Marie began to chow on the food in the container.
“What is with your family and telling me that?”
“What do you mean?”
“I saw your grandfather yesterday, or today, after my flight, and he…” that’s when Levi remembered Chester handing him the pocket watch. “The watch,” he mumbled.
“Levi? Are you okay?”
“I figured it out,” Levi stood up from his chair, “I’m so happy, I could kiss you right now.”
Those words caught them both off guard.
“I won’t, though. I mean, that would just be too awkward and I have a girlfriend, and…” he trailed off when Marie started to giggle, “I’m gonna go now.”
Levi started to head out the door when Marie turned in her chair, “Where are you going?”
“To fix this mess.”
When Levi made it back to his apartment, he dropped his keys on the stand, rushing towards the kitchen. He searched every surface for the watch, including underneath the stack of papers he had on the table.
With his hope slowly beginning to evaporate, he thought back to the last time he had it. His eyes shot towards the gold object on the top of the kitchen counter. The sunlight was reflecting off its shiny cover.
His body brought him to it, his hands lifting the object up to his view. “I never thought that I would be happy to see a pocket watch,” Levi admitted. He began to reset the watch, “Okay, reset it to twelve.”
After the click, which he originally thought meant that it was broken, but realized it was the sound of magic. He took a sharp intake of air, holding his breath for a minute as he waited to be lying back in bed.
When everything faded to black in an instant, he knew it worked. Wiping the sweat from above his upper lip, he let go of the breath he was miraculously still holding.
Beep. Beep. Beep. The signature alarm sounded out, causing Levi to smirk in satisfaction.
He jumped out of bed with a newfound burst of energy. After showering, he threw on the same suit he had on before, making sure he put some deodorant, even though he was squeaky clean. He exited his apartment, his bag and keys in his hands, excited for his do over.
He had more than enough time to get to work, allowing him to stroll down the street to work, instead of running. When his office building was in sight, he scanned his I.D. on the scanner, too early to catch the door he caught yesterday. His feet brought him to the elevator where he patiently waited, walking inside when the doors opened. He rode it to the tenth floor, thirty minutes early. The same coworkers who previously mocked him, now greeted him with small smiles.
He thought of how two faced a person can be. Especially someone who only seeks out the drama.
“You’re early,” Steve observed when he followed Levi into his office.
Levi checked his watch, “I’m actually right on time. I have enough time to prepare everything for the meeting ahead of time.”
“Way to be an overachiever.”
“I figured that it was about time I actually did my job,” Levi began to sort through a stack of papers.
“Good for you, man.”
“You can tell Janet that I don’t need her notes. I’ve got it covered.”
“Are you sure? She made a pretty good slideshow for the presentation.”
“Look, I’ve witnessed what screwing up feels like, so I’m going to do this one on my own.”
“Alright. Let me know if you change your mind.” Steve walked out of the room, leaving Levi with a pile of scattered papers to sort.
He had a plan for the product. An advertisement, technically, but he was too scared to pitch it. He’s relied on Janet to do all of the work for him, but after yesterday, he knew that he had to do this one on his own. He knew what would happen if he didn’t. Plus, it wasn’t fair to Janet.
After the meeting, he got a pat on the back from Mr. Morell for closing the deal with their big client. He managed to keep his job and it all happened by doing his job.
Next on his agenda was to make it to the airport, catching his plane this time. He went home after work to grab his luggage and change before heading out. When he arrived at the airport, he made the decision to get through the metal detectors before calling Angel. That way, he could avoid the plane leaving without him.
When he passed through all of the procedures, he found a chair by the window with twenty minutes to spare. He dialed Angel’s number, hoping for her to pick up on the first ring.
“Hey, Angel,” Levi started the same way he had before.
“Levi,” she answered, sounding disappointed, but he overlooked it.
“I wanted you to know that I’m getting ready to get on a plane to come see you.”
“Yeah, and I have some good news, and a surprise.”
“Yes, I do. I think you’re going to be pretty happy about it too.”
“Oh, um,” there was mumbling on the other end of the line.
“I know you’re busy with work, so I’ll let you go. I’ll see you when I get down there. I love you.”
He hung up the phone, not waiting for her response. He looked at his watch again; he still had fifteen minutes. I have just enough time for Marie’s surprise, he thought to himself, keeping an eye out for her.
His leg started to shake as he grew more anxious from the time counting down, with no Marie in sight. He wondered where she was. She should have been here by now. She should be here trying to drag him outside.
He checked his phone for any messages from her, but nothing was on the screen. He stood up, slinging his bag over his shoulder as he began his walk to his gate. The same woman from before, wig still not tightly glued to her scalp, was standing behind the podium, checking the passengers tickets.
“I like your hair,” Levi said when it was his turn.
She smiled shyly before moving onto the next person. Levi boarded the plane, taking the window seat in his row. He plugged some headphones into his ears, preparing for the long journey ahead of him.
He arrived in Florida about five hours later, the moon casting its light through the airport windows. He wanted to call Angel to come and pick him up, but he thought it would be better to surprise her. That is what led him to stand outside her apartment door, preparing his speech.
When believed he had it down, he knocked on the door, waiting for her to be standing in the doorway. However, when the door opened, a muscular guy who was taller than him and had a surfer look to him, stood half naked in front of him. The only think he was wearing, was a towel around his waist.
“Can I help you?” the guy asked nonchalantly.
“Um, I’m sorry, I must have the wrong place. Do you know what apartment-,” Levi stopped when he heard a familiar voice.
“Who is it, babe?” a blonde girl, with a rope tied around her torso, stepped into view.
Levi felt his heart drop, realizing what was going on, “Angelica?” it was the first time he called her by her real name since they met.
“Oh, Levi. I didn’t think you would be here so soon.” Angelica made her way to the door.
“This is Levi?” the muscular guy asked.
“Who are you?” Levi questioned, suddenly infuriated.
“This is Nico, my boyfriend,” Angelica introduced, stepping in front of Nico.
“You’ve been cheating on me?”
“I was going to break up with you, but I was taught to do it in person, and you don’t live down here.” It was a weak excuse, but Levi knew that she meant every twisted word.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, am I ruining your evening?” when no one spoke, he walked back down the hallway, someone shutting the door when he left.
He was upset about being cheated on, but he was more enraged that he didn’t feel as terrible as he felt he should have. He just saw his girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, and her ‘boyfriend’, yet he didn’t entirely care.
Instead he wanted to see Marie. To rant to her about what happened. To yell at her for not stopping him from getting on the plane. To see her. The last one is what he was aching to do.
It took a day before he could fly back home, but when he arrived, he headed straight for Chester’s store. He didn’t know what his plan was, but he knew he wanted to yell at someone. He felt like Chester’s clock shop was the safest place to do so.
When he made it to the familiar cottage, he walked inside, searching for Marie. He found her sitting behind the cash register, studying one of the many clocks her grandfather owned. She looked up when she sensed someone staring at her.
“Levi?” she questioned, surprised to see him. “What are you doing here?”
“Why weren’t you at the airport?” he asked, changing the subject.
“If I knew when you were coming back, I would have been.”
“No, when I left,” he clarified when Chester walked out of the back room.
“Oh good, you’re finally having the talk,” Chester observed before walking back into his office, and leaving Levi confused.
“I was at the airport, Levi. You had already left when I got there,” Marie answered.
He didn’t like the space between them, so he moved closer, standing on the other side of the counter. “Angelica was cheating on me.”
“I know,” Marie whispered.
“No, tell me how you knew, but didn’t bother to say a word.”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
After a moment of hesitation, “I accidentally traveled into the future with one of these clocks. I saw the scene play out where she broke up with you because she was in love with someone else.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I knew you wouldn’t believe me.”
“I believe you now,” he pointed out.
“Only because you’ve experienced it.”
“Why didn’t you stop me, Marie?”
“I tried to, but you insisted on getting on that plane. Then you repeated the day before I had a chance to and repeated it again. You used both chances, leaving me with none.”
“You knew about the watch?” he was even more confused now.
“I knew when you told me you remembered…because I did too. My grandfather gave me the other pocket watch, the twin to yours. They are connected, so you only have two chances to use them. You used both of those chances.”
“What were you going to use them for?”
Looking down, Marie sheepishly admitted, “to keep you from getting hurt.”
Those were the only words that Levi needed to hear. The only thing that he needed to cross that line he built between them when they were younger. He leaned over the counter, pulling her face to his, and finally kissed the girl.