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Chapter Three

I couldn't get Meira off of my mind.

I played around some with the Nerf ball Brian had left and I flickered through the channels until I started to feel dizzy from the flashing colors and lights, and then I laid there on my back, staring up at the ceiling, wondering about the mystery that was the crazy girl that kept saying this time and the strange feeling that I got every time she showed up... like I'd been waiting for her all along.

Well I pushed her out of my mind that day and everyday for another week. I tried to be more positive, just like Brian had asked me to do, but it was hard because everyday that passed I was getting more and more tired and my life was feeling more and more wasted just laying around in the hospital. There was a million and three things out there in the world that I could be doing to see myself out of this life with a bang and there I was - doing nothing and being content to wait. It felt like I was just waiting and hoping for a miracle that I didn't believe would ever come, and I wasn't even sure that I wanted anymore.

It was a week and one day after her last visit when Meira showed up in my room again. She tentatively poked her head around the door. I was staring out the window, and turned to look at her as she slid into the room. She was chewing the inside of her lower lip. "Hey," she said slowly.

I started to reach for the nurse call button.

"Please don't. Please. Let me talk to you. Okay? Please. I know you think I'm nuts and I haven't exactly been really good at making you think otherwise..." She had her hands held up. "So please. Just... gimme another chance."

I put the call button down. Mostly because I had questions that needed answering than because she'd asked.

"Thank you," she said. Meira came closer. "So um. How are you today?"

I stared up at her. "I'm just... great."

She licked her lips. "You're hurting, aren't you?"

I was. But I didn't wanna say that. So I shrugged.

"Look...it's January 18th. It's kind of going to be a big day for you. That's why I'm here."

"Oh? Is that right?"

Meira nodded.

"And how do you know this?"

"You told me. This was one of the dates we've tried in the past... the closest I ever came to succeeding was the time I met you on this date." She looked proud of herself. "At least, that's what you say, anyways."

I closed my eyes and rubbed the bridge of my nose. "Talking to you makes my head hurt," I said.


"Why? Because I have no fucking idea what you're talking about half the time and you don't really clarify what you're talking about when I ask and --" I shook my head, "You talk about me like I'm two different people."

She blinked at me in surprise. "Well of course you're two different people, Nick," she said like this should've been obvious, "There's future you and there's past you. You're past you. I'm talking about future you."

"How can I be past me if I'm here?" I said, "The past is... the past."

"Well you're the past," Meira replied matter-of-a-factly. "Future you and I are trying to stop past you from... making a mistake."

I raised my eyebrow skeptically. "What kind of mistake."

"The biggest mistake of your life," she replied.

"And what exactly makes you such an authority on all this?" I demanded.

"Because I'm in your future," she replied. "You sent me here."

I laughed because I didn't really know what else to do. "Are you now?" I said, chuckling, "And -- what? Future me sent you to come talk to Past me?" I snorted.

"Now you're getting it," she said excitedly, clearly not picking up on the fact that I was making fun of her.

I rolled my eyes and reached for the nurse's call button again but Meira reached across and grabbed my wrist. "You want proof?" she asked.

"This I gotta see," I laughed. "Yes. I want proof. Give me proof you're from my future and I'll listen to your crazy little message or whatever."

Meira stared at me for a long moment.

"Well?" I demanded. "I'm waiting."

"So am I," Meira said. "Because..." she looked at a watch on her wrist. "Because you're gonna want to get that phone before we continue this discussion." She looked up and just as the words faded from her lips, my cell phone started vibrating on the rolley table.

I looked at it. What the fuck were the odds of that? I thought and I reached for it.

"It's a number you don't know yet," she said, and I stared at it. She was right. It was an out of state area code. I looked up at her. "But it's okay. You should answer it anyway because it's gonna be Brian. And he's gonna tell you about his friend -- Chris or Chip or Clyde or something that starts with a C -- who is working on something.... you might just be interested in. Given your situation."

I picked up my cell phone slowly.

"He lost his cell phone," she added. "He's calling you from C's phone."

I slid my thumb across the screen. "Hello?" I said, my eyes never leaving Meira.

"Hey Nick! It's Brian. I'm glad you answered, I was starting to wonder... I know you're weird about numbers you don't know... I'm calling from my friend's phone -- his name is Carl. And man do I gotta tell you about this thing he's working on, you're gonna shit when you hear it... Seriously, man. You're not going to believe it."

Meira smiled.