Who: Emily Elwood What: Emily gets some good advice When: Tuesday, May 17th, night Where: Emily's room at the Elwood home Rating: Low Status: Complete/Solo
Emily came in her room after a full day of birthday activities. She was seventeen. It was crazy to think about, it felt like only yesterday she had that sweet sixteen from hell. With the pink cupcake dress and her bleached blonde hair. That time when she was thinking that the blonde hair would win Max back. She had been so stupid, hair didn’t matter, you loved someone for who they were inside. She knew he did love her, just not in the same way. She was like his little sister, even if years past and she was old enough they never would have worked out. Anyway her crush on him faded fast after she met Jacen Allen. Jacen…God, why was forgetting him so hard. Why couldn’t the feeling just fade like the ones for Max did. She knew she felt something for Sam so they should fade right? Someone can’t have feelings for two people at the same time…can they? Of course they can, the subject of some of the greatest novels had someone torn between two lovers, a love triangle of sorts. Well…sure she knew Jacen didn’t love her back and she still had not idea what Sam felt for her, if he even felt anything besides friendship. Also she wasn’t even sure if she could say she was in love with Sam, she liked him a lot, sure, but love…she didn’t know. She had been pretty certain she had been in love with Jacen and him choosing Annie had crushed her. And although she wished she could hate him, or hate her…she couldn’t, it wasn’t their fault. One can’t help who they fall in love with, just like she couldn’t help falling for Jacen and then developing feelings for Sam, both which happened when she didn’t want them to happen.
She took the rubber band from her hair and let her dark brown hair fall over her shoulders. After a quick shower she changed into her favorite pairs of pajamas. Her campout was in a couple of days and she couldn’t wait. Since it was still early she decided to look through some of her older poems, and had started a little tune to one of them a few days ago and she wanted to see if she could finish it up tonight.
Emily was very secretive about her poetry even though she had been putting some to music. But she only put music to those she wasn’t afraid to share also a few that were just for herself. Afraid that Bethany or Evan, when he still lived at home, might stumble upon them she had decided to put them in a locked drawer in her desk. The key she kept underneath the small bamboo plant she had on her desk. She opened the drawer and was surprised that sitting on top of her poetry notebooks was a cd case and an envelope that both said ‘Happy 17th Birthday Emily.’ That was strange…did Bethany find a way into her desk one day. No…no she wouldn’t do that. Bethany respected her privacy, especially when it came to her poetry. Also the handwriting didn’t look like Bethany’s it actually…looked like her’s. But she wouldn’t make a cd for herself or write herself a letter. Sure she knew sometimes people wrote letters or made videos with messages for their future selves, but Emily always found that somewhat silly. She shut the drawer now completely baffled by the strange gifts.
Emily made her way back to sit on her bed. She set the cd beside her as she decided to read the note first. Always read the card before the gift she always believed. She pulled the folded piece of paper out of the envelope and something fell out onto her lap. It was a photo. Emily picked up the photo and glanced at it. It was a woman probably a few years older than Evan. She had light brown hair and she was pointing at the camera with a soft smile. On her hip there was a young girl, probably two she guessed with bright blonde hair, much like her own had been when she was young. The woman seemed to be telling the child to look at the camera and the child was grinning brightly. Emily also noticed that the woman seemed to be just barely showing her pregnancy with another child. Why would someone send her a photo of this? She would guess it was her mother, but she knew what her mother looked like and that was not her. Also the woman was far too young. Just then she noticed something around the woman’s neck. It was a necklace with a circle charm with the letter E engraved on it. Emily went to her neck and felt the necklace Bethany had given her the other day. It was the same. She blinked as she stared. It couldn’t be….was that…her? Her as an adult…with a child….pregnant with a second. She noticed the ring on the woman’s finger. She was relieved that she was married. Wait….what was she thinking? That couldn’t be her? Time travel isn’t real, it was just a photo of someone who had the same necklace, someone that looked like an older version of herself. It wasn’t her…it just couldn’t be.
Emily then realized that reading the letter would probably answer everything for her. So she unfolded the piece of paper and it read:
Dear Emily, Wow…this is really weird. But I guess there is no way it wouldn’t be. First off I want to say, Happy Birthday. You’re seventeen. Only one more year and you’ll be eighteen, a legal adult. You can move out. Maybe officially move in with Evan or maybe the dorms at Hobbs whatever college you end up going to. Gonna tell you to go for the dorms since Evan might want to have alone time with Natalie or whatever girlfriend he is with right now…I seem to remember it was Natalie. Yeah…it was Natalie Evans. But no matter.
I am writing to you today because I know you’ve been on a crazy rollercoaster ride of a year and you’re trying to get off. Well, I’m here to tell you exactly how to get off. But before I continue on I know that you saw the photo and are freaking out about it. I remember clearly when I did the same. All I can say is…yes Emily, as hard as it may be for you to believe, that is you. That is you several years from now. That is you with your daughter Eva, yes you get your little Eva, and you are pregnant with a son. You and your husband are still arguing discussing the name, but don’t worry Paul has already been excluded from the mix. And you know what name you’re fighting for.
‘Conner,’ Emily thought to herself, ‘I always liked that name.’
Conner, right? I know you’re wondering how I know all of this, well. It’s because that woman in the photo, the one that is you, well…that woman in the photo is me, right now, in my present. Emily, I’m you, years in the future from now. Now I know what you’re thinking, remember, I’m you I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t possible, this isn’t true, Evan or Bethany wrote this just to mess with me. No…it is true Emily and I know you’re wondering how a letter from your future self ended up in your secret drawer. Well a few months from your right now Evan is going to visit me…your Evan, from your time. Yeah, Evan has a power like you, he can jump through time. He still is a little confused about it but don’t worry his trip here will help him learn everything about his power. He doesn’t think you know yet, he was still confused himself on your birthday. So when he finally tells you act surprised. But yes, I gave him this letter and told him to jump back to the day of your birthday and hide this. I told him where the key is hidden so you may want to find a new hiding place or move your journals somewhere else if you don’t want him to maybe want a peek at some of your more personal works. Don’t know what he’d think about ‘Just Tonight,’ am I right.
Emily flushed, Just Tonight was one of her most…suggestive…poems she would say. She didn’t remember what made her write it, but while it alluded to thinks of a darker nature it was one of her favorites. She’d absolutely die if Evan read that. But no, back to the subject…how was this even possible, why was she believing this. But this author knew every thought that was going through her mind. How would she know this unless she really was her and had gone through the same thing. And Evan can travel through time? No matter, she’d worry about that later.
But I should get back to point of me getting you off this rollercoaster. I know you’ve been getting better at your powers and congratulations on that. You should be proud of yourself and I know you are. But I know that you still are worried of that possibility of causing another hurricane. Emily…you have to stop blaming yourself for that. You didn’t know you could do that and you were hurt. Max was your first crush and he was with someone else, of course you’d be hurt. What happened could have happened to anyone else if they had your power. Haven’t you noticed ever since you found out that there have not been any violet storms, well except the snow storms this past winter, try not to force it next time. Emily…you have more control over your powers than you think, knowing is half the battle. Haven’t you noticed that you don’t have to try as hard anymore. You can think ‘sunshine’ and the sun comes out. I know you told yourself emotions control it, but it is more your thoughts. You know what you think when you cry ‘my tears are like the rain.’ That’s what Evan told us when we were little and would cry. Dad would yell at us and say that crying never solved anything. Evan would hold us and tell you that our tears were like the rain and it was good thing, it made the flowers grow. Then we’d smile and he’d say, ‘ah, and you see when you smile it shines like the sun.’ Those thoughts still run through your head when you cry or smile. You are thinking about rain or sunshine whether you realize it or not. All you have to do is separate them from each other and you have it. You can be sad on a sunny day, you don’t have to constantly worry about the weather of Frye Island. Let Mother Nature take some of the load. She had much more experience in this area.
Now for the next part to get you off. Your love life. Now I know you are thinking you’ve tried everything, listened to advice and nothing is helping you move on from Jacen. And I’m telling you that you haven’t gotten the right advice. The kind of advice you need. My advice. I went through this and I have to say this letter, saved me, it put me on the path that took me where I am now. Working as the poetry teacher at Moses Pearsons. Married to a wonderful man, with my beautiful daughter Eva and my son, Conner, on the way. (I don’t care what he says our son is going to be named Conner, I’m not gonna budge on that) So remember I’m doing this because you need it. Stop…just stop crying over it. Stop moping and whining about how your life is so hard and you’re cursed because you can control the weather. That you’ll never be happy and all that garbage. Just stop. Now I know this hurts, but you need some tough love. Everyone is so scared to upset you they’ve been handling you like you’re made of glass. You are tougher than that, I know you can handle this, and I know that you need this. That CD I made you has several songs on there that will help you through this. Play the first one on repeat for about a day. It got me through this and it will get you through this. Also listen to number four, it’s not really to get you through this, it’s just a good song. It was the song that was playing when I realized I was in love with the man who became my husband. If you think that what you felt for Jacen was love….you have no idea. I can’t really explain it. I mean I knew I liked him he was my boyfriend for goodness sake but it just hit me and…I don’t even know how to describe it, the feeling, it’s almost overwhelming. But it’s a good kind of overwhelming. I’m probably describing it horribly, but just trust me, you’ll know, when you truly feel it for the man you’re gonna marry, you’ll know. Sure you’ll feel love for someone else before him, but it won’t be nearly as powerful. It’s a good feeling. But now back on point.
Now that I’ve told you to get over it, I need to tell you why you need to just forget about Jacen. You’ve been so blinding by your pain and how much you feel for him you haven’t seen how wrong he is for you. Think about it. How did you feel when you were friends, it was good at first right? Then the whole Lexie drama happened and all that stuff with Josie. You wanted to be there and he pushed you away. You cried. Emily, don’t you see! He made you miserable, he wanted space, he didn’t want you there, you can’t do that. It’s not in our nature to see someone we care about hurt. We need to be there and comfort them. Listen, bring them ice cream or soup or hugs or whatever they need. Jacen didn’t want that. If you ended up with him it would be the same…you’d be miserable. There is a good saying and no one really remembers who said it but it’s true, “No boy is worth crying over and when you find one that is he won’t make you cry.” Now think about it you know I’m right.
Emily froze as she stared at the letter. Sure the initial remarks hurt but she was tough enough to handle it and she realized she did need that. But the last part about Jacen…she was right…she was right! Jacen made her miserable, every day she had been crying over his pain and how he wouldn’t let her help. Why would she want to be with someone who would push her away like that? She wouldn’t…and now she could finally see this. He wasn’t worth her tears. She could still be his friend, sure, give him space. It would be hard but if she wanted to be friends with him again she could do it. It was just the way he was. And she did miss his friendship. She missed their arguments over Dune and Paul being a douche bag. While several people thought she only read Dune because Jacen liked it, she actually enjoyed the book. Princess Irulan was the only reason she kept reading. She felt a connection to the girl, their experiences seemed sort of similar. Forced into a difficult situation, being in love with someone who didn’t love you back. It felt like Irulan could read her mind and she seemed to be one of the strongest women in the book. She went on, she never gave up, she went on even as her whole world fell down around her. She went on and raised the children of the man she loved and another woman. She was strong and that is why she gave her precious puppy her name. She was shaken back to reality with Irulan jumping up on her bed and settling on her lap looking up at her. Emily stroked her head gently then went back to reading more advice that her future self had for her.
Now I know what you just thought and I say, yes, be friends with Jacen again. You can handle a friendship with someone like that. You know there are things that Calvin and Katie do that irritate you but you deal with it because you care about them. You can do the same with Jacen, who else are you going to fight over if Paul is a douche bag or not? He is by the way, you still believe it to this day. While there is little more I need to say, there is someone I want to tack onto the end of the “why Jacen is wrong for you” paragraph. He was wrong because he made you cry. Now think Emily, who has never made you cry, who made you happy when you thought it was impossible, who made you laugh? Who did you only cry over because of your confusion?
‘Sam,’ Emily thought. But he was flirting with Mia that night at the party. She was perfect for him. The jock and the cheerleader, they fit, she and him…didn’t make sense.
Sam. He’s a good guy Em, and I know that what you’re feeling for him is causing you to be wary. And you’re right to be, you don’t know if what your feeling is real or if someone is messing with you again. What I can tell you now is…they’re real Em, they are very real. Now I’m not saying you two are meant for forever or anything. I’m not even saying you two will get together. But all I can say is…that is the kind of guy you need to go for. You need a guy who makes you happy, a guy who makes you laugh, a guy who can pull you out of that well of despair you were in before you met him. Someone who can make the whole world seem that much brighter. That is what you need Em. That is what is good for you. And that is what I found in my…or I guess our husband. He does all of that and more.
I’m not gonna say you’re love life will be smooth sailing from here on out, but…you’ll know how to navigate those treacherous areas. Also while you are off the horrible rollercoaster you can now get on the crazy one and all I can say is…enjoy the ride Em. These are the best years of your life. Don’t let anything bring you down, no matter what. Anytime you feel helpless or it will never get better. Look at the photo. That is what is waiting for you. A career, a family, children, a life of happiness.
Wishing you all the best, Emily
Emily folded up the letter and put it back in the envelope gently. Irulan moved from her spot as Emily put the envelope back into her desk. The photo she rested on the surface. She ran her fingers over it gently. Her future. She then remembered the CD and opened it up. ‘Listen to number one on repeat.’ Emily opened up her laptop and loaded the CD onto it. Track 1 came up and she set it to repeat as the song started to play.
She went back to lie on her bed as she listened to the lyrics. They were right, she couldn’t change what has happened before. The hurricane happened and her continuing to dwell on it won’t help. Then it got to the chorus. A little smile came to her face. Sure it seemed like all the stars, all of her hope for love was gone, but with that picture, with that letter, she knew she’d see them again. She’d find love, she’d get it one day, she’d be happy. Her destiny would keep her warm. Then when the song said get up she did. She stood up from her bed and she knew what she had to do. She stared at her bulletin board that was looking really bare. She had a few photos of her and Evan. Some with Calvin, some with Katie, and a few with Irulan. She opened up another drawer on her desk and inside were several pictures. Her and Jacen, her and Sam, her and Max. She took them our and slowly started pinning them back up. The smile never left her face as the song continued to play. The memory of the photos made her smile brighter. The blank places started to fill up until there was only one spot left in the direct middle. The photo drawer was empty, but she knew what photo would go there. She picked up the picture of her future self and pinned it up. Emily backed away and looked at the full bulletin board. She smiled as a few happy tears escaped her eyes as she though, ‘Thanks Emily.’