“Why did it have to turn out this way, Kenta?”
Laylah’s eyes were red, her cheeks wet and black from her mascara. Her sandy hair seemed almost white in the full moon. I still couldn’t believe this wasn’t the first time I saw her in that white dress, with that magnolia flower in her hair, standing near the beach, crying. Whatever bizarre case of déjà vu I was having, she had it too. I think I was taking it much better than she was.
“Laylah, I…” I saw you die, I wanted to say. Years ago, but not even a minute ago here. What the hell is going on?
“To think that all this ended even before it even had a chance to start,” she said through clenched teeth. “Why does is hurt so much, being around you? Why do I remember things that didn’t happen?! Tell me!”
I couldn’t tell her about the time leaps and that I saw her die time and time again. I couldn’t tell her it was her, or some version of her, that taught me how to do it. It didn’t seem relevant. She seemed to be remembering something I only had a hunch about. I was madly in love with her but when exactly did that begin? Did the leaps mess with my memories or was it someone else?
She was walking away again. Again? Did she do that before? That’s when I saw a shadow move somewhere in the bushes and I knew what was going on. I shouted her name and she turned around with eyes wide with hope, but I was too late. Just as soon as I saw her eyes meet with mine, the life faded away from them. Again I saw her die. Again I screwed up. Again I wanted to just tear through the fabric of time and space and just keep her alive. I need her alive.
I didn’t even care to look at who did it. Now that I think about, I should have maybe checked out the place I saw the shadow. But at that moment, all that mattered was that Laylah was gone in that timeline. And I had no business in that kind of place. I closed my mind and leapt back. Back to where I started, back to the beginning of the semester. I didn’t care if I had to build all my friendships from scratch and study for all my exams again. Nothing mattered as long as Laylah stayed dead.