Second Chance
I walk outside. The cold, crisp December air nips at my cheeks. It’s New Year’s Eve, a time when everyone is reflecting on the best parts of their past year.
But I’m not.
I can’t remember anything worth celebrating. Instead, all I can think of is everything I’ve messed up on.
When I forgot my knee pads at the volleyball game...
When I got tongue tied during my report in English class...
When I fell in the pool at the swim meet...
My mind kept swirling through all these thoughts and more. Discouraged, I lay down on the cold grass, closing my eyes.
“Hello,” someone says. My eyes fly open and I jump, surprised. It’s a boy, around my age, with blond hair and soft blue eyes. I would have thought he was cute, if it wasn’t nearly midnight and I wasn’t sure if he was a murderer or not.
“Who are you?” I ask timidly.
“You’ve been chosen,” he replies.
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“You have a chance to go back in time and redo a past moment.”
“What?”
“You don’t have much time. Think of a moment you want to change.”
I am extremely confused at this point, but all I can do is trust him. What is there to lose, anyways? I search through all the memories in my head, trying to find the one I want to redo the most. Finally I decide on one—falling in the pool, at the swim meet, with my sister’s camera. I had always felt bad about that, and I never really knew if she had ever fixed the camera or not. Plus, I got a pretty bad bruise on my leg. As I focus on that moment, the air starts to swirl around me in pastel galaxy colors. Then everything goes dark. I feel as if I am weightless, like I am in outer space with no gravity. Finally, the scene flashes before my eyes. Walking. Slipping. Falling. Hurting my leg. Panicking about the camera falling in. Crying out of embarrassment while changing into dry clothes.
Then I am at the pool. The camera is hanging around my neck from the black scratchy strap. This time, I am sure to stay far from the edge of the pool.
More galaxy colors. More darkness. And I’m back.
That’s it?
The blond haired boy has disappeared, and I decide to call my best friend, Milan, and tell him what happened. I can’t keep all this bottled up inside...I mean, I just time traveled.
ring...ring...
“Hello?”
“Milan I just time traveled!” I gush quickly, excitement filling my voice.
“Who is this?” he asks.
“Marcelle, your best friend...” I trail off.
“Um...”
“We’ve known each other for years,” I say quietly.
“I’ve never even spoken to you until now!”
Suddenly realization kicks in, and I remember how I met Milan.
At the pool.
When I fell in.
And he helped me up.
“I...uh, never mind,” I say slowly, pressing down on the end call button. I sigh. I just lost my best friend. Tears fill my eyes. We’d had so much fun together throughout the years, and there was so much more to come. But now I’d lost him forever.
My best friend is not my best friend anymore.
More of the pastel galaxy colors start swirling around me, and I’d never been happier to see them. More of that now-familiar blackness and I’m back to real life—laying on the grass outside on New Year’s Eve. It turns out there was a lot to be thankful for this year. I had scored the winning point at my last volleyball game, I had gotten an A+ on my report in English class, I had won the high point award on the swim team. There were so many good things that had happened this year. I just hadn’t realized it.
I turn on my phone and look at the time. 11:53 PM it glares back at me.
ring...ring...
“Hello?”
“Happy New Year.”
“Happy New Year to you too Marcelle! How are you?”
I smile. “Never been better, Milan. Never been better.”

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