You’re outside cutting your grass when you come across a large hole in the ground. You’ve never noticed the hole before, but it looks to be some sort of tunnel to another world. You decide to peek through and see where it leads, only it leads you to a pivotal moment in your past—and it’s giving you an opportunity to change it. Write this scene.
“Holy smokes, what’s that?” I said out loud as I ripped out my ear-buds out and tossed my sunglasses to the ground. I got off the lawn mower and stared down into a giant gaping hole, smearing mud and grass all over my face. That was definitely not in the middle of my perfectly manicured front yard yesterday – seriously, I’m a stickler for lawn care, I would have noticed. I looked around to see if anyone else was watching me. Crotchety Bob Drinkwater from across the street was busy tending to his rose bushes and Mrs. Lyles was chatting away on her porch, while examining her nails; I was definitely in the clear.
I got on my hands and knees and peered a little farther in to the hole. It looked like parts of a setting from a previous day in my life. New Years Eve 2007 to be exact. I pulled myself away from the hole and rubbed my eyes. There was no way in hell that I was actually seeing what I was seeing. Right? I mean you can’t just be cutting the grass one minute and the next minute stumble across a hole in your lawn that just so happens to contain a moment from nearly thirty years ago. I looked around a bit more, noticing how empty the front lawns of the neighborhood were, and decided to go for it. I took off my gardening gloves and put the lawn mower in the garage. I also walked back in the house for a glass of water and to freshen up a bit – if I was going back to 2007 I didn’t need to look like I hadn’t brushed my hair for three decades.
Half expecting the hole to be gone, I walked back outside for further inspection. There it was, shining like the sun, begging for me to come in. I got down on the ground again and crawled my way through the decades, passing up pictures on a crazy wall of:: me after my divorce, a few pictures from my wedding, college, etc. I finally crawled through the giant hole’s mouth and found normal footing in the backyard at the New Years Eve party I attended in 2007 (going in to 2008) – dressed in the same clothes and everything…so strange. I looked around the busy room to find the friends I remember going with. Miranda and Ricky were by the beer pong table, waiting for me to return from the bathroom just as they had the night all of this went down – except tonight I was coming back from 2037. Jesus, I’m old.
I took this opportunity to go to the bathroom and have a look in Allen’s house. I was aware I’d actually stepped back in time, but my gosh, what a sight. Allen and I had only been friends, but there was a picture of us on the wall from my freshman homecoming – including my horrible braces and bright red lipstick, which did nothing for me at all. I let out a giggle and quickly hushed myself. I knew everyone could see me but I still felt invisible, like the Ghost of Parties Past.
I remembered exactly where the bathroom was in his house – weird and comforting – and locked myself in. I took a moment to assess my nineteen year-old self in the mirror.
OH. MY. GOD. My boobs. Look how perky they are! how did I ever insult them? And I was so skinny. Everything was so….tight; lifted and in the right place. Nineteen year-old body, why did I ever take you for granted? I’m so sorry. I vowed right then and there in Allen’s bathroom to do more yoga and eat healthier once I was back in the right decade…assuming I could find my way.
After internally high-fiving myself for a solid ten minutes on an effortless killer bod that I never appreciated, I decided to venture back to the party.
I knew the scene well, I’d replayed it in my mind for decades. Tonight was the night my best friend Ricky was going to spill his guts. I could clearly recall how drunk he was and understood how drunk I wasn’t – unfortunately travelling back 30 years didn’t come with a free buzz. I was happy to have my wits about me; shit was about to get real.
I walked through the door and was immediately confronted by Gary, an ex-boyfriend that was always impossible to escape. He was with his new girlfriend, who I absolutely adored for normally pulling his reigns in a bit. And by pull in the reigns I mean not bitchslap me when he tried to kiss me in front of everyone (because that’s exactly what he did). I let this happen as it did on that night so many years ago because I was able to avoid it then and I knew I’d be able to do that now…and also because I was afraid any other measures may put me back 30 years forever.
As planned, Gary goes in for the kill and Ricky makes his way to me, almost in a flash and pulls me in to his chest in attempt to, “save me from myself.” – he was never really convinced that I was over Gary even though I didn’t give him a second look any time I ran in to him, which wasn’t often.
“Thanks,” I breathed. I knew tonight was going to be different with Ricky and I was thrilled. Thirty years later, I finally get a chance to set it right. The memory, atleast.
“Miranda is all over some guy, want me to bring you home or what? Party is getting pretty lame and it’s almost 2. Your mom will kill me if I keep you out past three.” I shook my head yes, smiled and said, “why don’t you let me drive?” I knew what was coming and I wanted to be in control.
We rode in silence for a minute before he turned the radio on and plugged in his iPod. “I’m real in to this shit right now, they’re soooooooo good,” he said, referring to Of Montreal. “I don’t know who this is, but I like it.” I patted myself on the back for being such a great actress, of course I knew who they were now.
After the twenty-something minute drive from Allen’s house to Ricky’s, he finally spoke again. “Look so…listen. I’ve got some things I want to say. Can you stay for a minute? I know your mom’s gonna be mad but-”
“Yeahgoahead,” I replied, too quickly.
“Okay so. I want you to know that I think Gary is a real shithead and I’m sorry for all he ever put you through; you deserve so much better and I. Well, I’d like to be the one to try to do that. I know we’ve only ever been friends, like best friends – THE best of friends – and I know this will probably change everything, but I at least want a shot. If it crashes and burns at least we’ll know right?”
I knew I had to give myself a few moments before responding – it was typical of my behavior at the time. I was an extremely fickle girl when I was nineteen and I thoroughly enjoyed being vague and I played it like a game. I took a deep breath to reply and before I knew it, Ricky was kissing me. This hadn’t happened the first time, I wasn’t prepared for this. It sent me reeling and I couldn’t stop myself from kissing back. The rabbit hole had impaired my judgement!
Once I’d finally regained some sort of composure, I pulled away from his kiss and smiled and said, “I think that’s a great idea.” I knew I didn’t have to say anymore. Ricky walked me over to my car, which was parked in front of his house and kissed me again. “I’ll see you later babe.” “Okay,” I said, smiling like an idiot.
I smiled alllllllll the way back to Allen’s and the entire time I crawled through the hole, which was magically still there. I wondered, as I slid around on my belly, if this subconsciously changed Ricky’s memory. Would he now think of this night and remembering kissing me? Or would he remember the original ending? As wonderful and changing as the night was, I was happy to be on my way back to my single-girl shoe closet. Far less emotion to sort out in there.
I crawled on to my front-yard and the sun was beginning to set; as though only a few hours had passed, instead of decades. I took a few glances around my neighborhood and noticed that once again, thank heavens, no-one was in their yard or on their porch to notice the bizarre happenings in mine. I took a shower, somehow feeling dirty even though there was no dirt in the miraculous hole I’d just spent the afternoon crawling through. “I think I shall go to the grocery store and cook a full-fledged supper. What do you think, Fitz?” I spoke to my cat, Fitz, often; he was my only companion at the present time.
I slid on my favorite jeans from my twenties (much better years, by the way) and favorite hoodie, threw my hair in a big, blonde messy bun and headed to Whole Foods. I’d just finished loading my hand-held, organic, recycled, completely green basket when I decided I’d pit-stop in the wine section and really treat myself.
Perusing the French wine aisle, I was greeted, and instantly stunned, by a familiar face. Ricky Richardson stood before me, for the first time in nearly fifteen years, with a basket full of similar items and a bottle of some Italian wine that I couldn’t pronounce. I stood speechless for a moment; awkward and unable to move.
“It’s been too long, let’s do dinner?” he asked, smiling wide, taking the basket from my hand and leading me through the bakery.
Six months later, I could do nothing but thank my lucky stars that I changed that night in 2007 for the rest of forever.
a trip down the rabbit hole. who knew.
this is extremely rough, but I had a blast writing it. of course all the names are changed, and the memory has been modified a bit, but wow! what a fun idea. I’d like to play around with this prompt on a completely different level; perhaps a book? Hmmm……what wonders words can work.