22nd of December 1985
The world ended yesterday. Or, so we thought. As we trudged along what was supposed to be Main Street but now was unrecognizable because of the fallen buildings and dead bodies, we all silently thought about what happens to us now. And by us, I mean Kevin, Adam, Jessica, Megan, and I. How did we survive, you ask? Well, we don’t know either. We all just woke up one morning to see the only world we ever knew and lived in destroyed. We all lived and grew up in the same neighborhood all our lives so you could never imagine the relief we felt when we saw each other alive.
I guess I should introduce who we all are since we’re all going into that anyway. Kevin, the genius, has dark and curly hair and a pair of chocolate brown eyes. He has a fit body and a height that’s just right for a 15-year-old. Even though his parents had the money to get him a laser eye surgery unlike mine, he still insists on wearing his glasses because of some unknown reasons only he knows. He is the smartest among the five of us and a computer genius. Adam, the tallest and skinniest among us, has long, brown hair and eyes. He is incredibly friendly and outgoing, which makes me like him a lot. He loves telling jokes and puns, even though they’re sometimes a little bit corny. And he’s not only very friendly, he is also very talented. He can sing and play the violin, guitar and the drums. And not only he can do them, he is excellent at doing them too. Jessica, who has short, curly, red hair, green eyes, and freckles, is Adam’s stepsister. She is rather small for her age but is very cute. A lot of boys in school like her. She wears braces and constantly complains about her parents not getting Invisalign (braces that are clear with no metal wires) instead. She is super creative and resourceful and knows her way around machines. She loves attaching and detaching parts of old machines to make them useful again. Megan has eyes as blue as the deepest part of the ocean and long, blonde hair that is always in a ponytail. She is very fit and rather tall for her age. That’s because she is very athletic and active. She has a black belt in karate and does ballet, gymnastics, and acrobatics. She is also a great swimmer. And lastly, me, Sarah. I have dull, gray eyes, wavy, brown hair, glasses and a bit on the chubby side. I can’t say that I’m tall, but I’m not that short either. And what’s special about me is nothing. Absolutely nothing. I mean, I do love writing and drawing, but it isn’t really something I’m good at and can be proud of unlike the others. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me but I guess that’s just what I really am. Completely ordinary.
“What are we doing out here again?” Jessica asked, scrunching her face as she looked at the area where our favorite arcade once stood.
“I already told you, we’re looking for those who must’ve also survived.” Kevin said while pushing some buttons on his tablet. “Ugh, there is literally no signal in this place. How are we supposed to know anything?”
“Um… is anyone else hungry? Cause I kinda am.” Adam said, patting his rumbling stomach. I looked at him and thought, “How come is this guy so skinny? He eats like a lot more than normal”.
“We just ate. And besides, we’ll lose our supply if we keep on eating. We better save them for later when we’re really hungry.” Megan grumbled as she slung around her back the backpack that contains all the food we have scavenged.
We went on for days and days looking for possible survivors and necessities for our survival. But no such luck. It seems as though all the people had either vanished or perished from the disaster that ended the planet. Days turned to months which turned to years. We all did our best to survive and not kill each other. You know, if you’ve been stuck with the same set of people for a few years it could get pretty annoying. But we all had our fair share of good memories and friendship. Even though we annoy each other, we pretty much have created a strong bond of friendship and closeness.
24th of December 1990
I can’t believe it’s been five years. We’re alive and still surviving. We have built a nice and sturdy house that will keep any rain or snow from seeping in with the help of Jessica’s resourceful self and Kevin’s directions. Jessica also created a bunch of new stuff like a stove, microwave, coffee maker, mini-washer with dryer, mini-fridge, and a toaster. That way we can cook and manage the house easier. She also made Kevin a computer that enabled him to examine the entire planet and understand better what happened to it. So far, the two have been getting very close through the years and have been working on something—a device or machine, I guess—that neither two would tell. They said they’d tell us on Christmas Day.
Adam and Megan have gotten close too. In fact, I think they’ve been secretly dating for years now. They just don’t show it in fear of us finding out and making things awkward between all of us. But I know. Everyone knows. And I think we’re all just fine with that.
I, on the other hand, do my best to help in any way I can. I know I’m not as smart as Kevin, or as creative as Jessica, or as talented as Adam, or as strong and fit as Megan so I try to be helpful instead. I also kept track of our lives here in this planet for like, five years. Before the disaster happened, I have this journal that my mother gave to me for my 15th birthday and that’s where I wrote all the events that happened in my life. That included the end of the world. Eventually I ran out of pages to write on so I looked for scraps of paper and did my best to paste or stick them in my journal. Maybe I could use these stories someday, as a history book or something.
We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner that evening. We were all so full and warm that we only talked for a few minutes and went to bed. I fell asleep right away.
I suddenly sat up, confused on why I suddenly woke up. I lay down again and tried going back to sleep. But I can’t. I tossed and turned but I was still wide awake. I gave up all means of falling asleep and stared at the stack of papers that was my journal. I felt the urge to go through them and read them. So I did. I decided to open to a random page and found myself reading an entry from December 20, 1985. The day before the world’s end. I scanned the entry and found a passage that sent tingles down the back of my neck. It said:
“This world is cruel. I hate it. I hate everyone. I wish the world would end tomorrow and everyone in it. Everything would be destroyed until there’s nothing left. Well, except for me and my friends. We can all start over again. We can all be who we want to be. We can do whatever we want to do. And I can be whoever I wanna be. Maybe then I wouldn’t be ‘just ordinary’ anymore.”
I can’t believe I would write that! That’s just so… wrong. And weird. I forgot I even wrote it. But the more I read it, the more I felt it. The anger I felt while writing it. I was very angry that time. At my mom, my parents, my family, my teachers, my bullies. They all have hurt me in a way that it stuck in my mind and scarred me for life. So I guess that’s why I wrote it. To let it all out. My head started hurting after reading what I wrote so I laid in bed for a while until I fell into an uneasy sleep.
“Merry Christmas everybody!” Adam shouted. “Wake up you sleepyheads.”
One by one we all got out of our rooms and gathered in the living room. I can see presents placed at the foot of our Christmas tree and one oddly-shaped gift with no name.
“Who’s that for?” I asked, pointing at the weird gift.
“Oh, you’ll soon find out…after we give everyone their presents.” Jessica smiled and looked at Kevin.
And so, the gift-giving began. Each one of us received the same amount of presents. Four gifts from each one of us. The oddly-shaped gift was the only present left.
“Can we open it now?” Megan asked, unable to contain her excitement.
“Okay, fine.” Kevin said, retrieving the gift from the tree. “As you all know, Jessica and I have been working on this device for years. We didn’t tell you what it is because we want to make sure it works perfectly and correctly. But now, it is ready. We present to you…”
Kevin ripped apart the wrapper and revealed the device. It looked as weird as it was wrapped. Now I know I’m not much of a techy person so all I can describe the device is that it looks like a typewriter. It has many buttons and one big, red button at the side. Instead of that area where you place the paper is a screen that flashes the date today.
“…The Time Machine!” Jessica said, finishing Kevin’s sentence.
“That’s a time machine?” Megan asked.
“Yeah…why?” Jessica asked, confused.
“Oh, nothing. It’s just looks different from what I thought it looked.” Megan explained.
“Well, even though it doesn’t look the same as what you expected, it still works just like any other time machine.” Kevin said.
“Have you guys tried it?” Adam asked, still skeptical.
“Why, yes we have. We just didn’t tell you of course. We’ve tried it on short periods of time but not as far back as before the world ended. We wanted to do it with all of you guys.” Jessica said.
“So you really think we can undo the past?” I asked.
“We don’t think so. We know so. We just have to believe it.” Kevin told us.
“What are we waiting for, then? Let’s go!” Megan said, getting up.
“Not so fast.” Kevin said. “There’s just one problem.”
“What is it?” Adam asked.
“We don’t know what caused the end of the world. So, even if we can go back in time, we still don’t know how to stop it from ending.” Kevin sadly said.
“That’s what we haven’t figured out yet.” Jessica sighed.
“I-I think I know.” I said. They all turned to look at me. I took a deep breath. Maybe what happened last night wasn’t just a dream. Maybe it happened for a reason. Maybe I really have caused something in which I also regretted doing. I went to my room and grabbed my journal. Then I showed them the entry that I wrote the day before the world ended.
There was an uneasy silence as I waited for them to yell at me, get angry at me, or blame me for what I’ve done. I was ready to face whatever consequences that I was about to be given. But instead, they hugged me. They told me it was all going to be okay and held my hand. They told me we’re all in this together and we’re going to make it right. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said sorry to all of them. But they still forgave me. Then we all held hands together as Kevin activated the time machine.
As we travelled back through time, I realized many things. I realized that I had used this newly-found ability in a bad way. I promised to myself that after we got back, I would use it for what I think is right and good. I also realized that every single thing, whether they are big or small, could make a difference in this world. We just have to be very careful on the consequences it may bring. I never knew that my interest in writing could lead me into this. Maybe, all this time, I had something inside me. I just didn’t notice. Ever heard of the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword”? I have never thought of it as true until now.
Author Notes: This is my first time writing this kind of genre so please bear with me. This story was inspired by Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy".