Memories from a Different Future: Jump When Ready, Book 2

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Authors: David Pandolfe
herself that
Ian’s life remained a happy one.
    “How old do you think that kid was?” Henry said. “The one
with the gun.”
    There hadn’t been much time but Nikki wondered the same
thing. He’d looked young—maybe fifteen or sixteen. She wanted to hate him but
couldn’t forget the terror in his eyes. In that moment, he’d already known the
magnitude of his mistake. Still, he’d raised that gun. Why had he done it? The
instinct of a trapped animal, Nikki supposed. Fear and desperation.
    Henry started walking, without saying where he was going.
Nikki and Jamie fell into step alongside him. Before long, they walked that
familiar path they hadn’t been on since they’d been trying to figure out how to
save Bethany. So, they were going to Henry’s pond rather than whatever new
place he went to alone these days. It made sense to Nikki that Henry would
associate this place with the need to face a troubling issue. It was his place
to form a plan. It felt strange to think how much more mature Henry seemed than
when he’d first arrived, but what he’d been through had forced that to happen.
    A few minutes later, they stood gazing out at the water.
Henry picked up a stone and threw it. They watched as the stone splashed into
the water and ripples spread.
    “Maybe we should talk to Martha again,” Jamie said. “She
might have some ideas.”
    Nikki shook her head. “She’ll tell us to let it happen,
to accept what’s meant to be. I know she has our best interest in mind. She
really does want us to move on but…” Nikki let her words trail off, stopping
herself from adding how she felt. What was the point of moving on if it meant
you lived one life and died miserable at seventeen followed by another cut out
from under you when everything seemed perfect?
    “The problem is Martha’s probably right,” Henry said.
“She knew we barely had a chance last time. And we almost failed to stop them.
If it hadn’t been for that cop, Bethany probably would have died. Think how
much worse it would have been if we’d tried that hard and the same thing
    “Bethany!” Jamie said. “You could speak to her. I could
emerge. Obviously, she’d know we were telling the truth about what’s going to
    Henry didn’t react the way Jamie expected, or the way
Nikki expected either. He plucked another stone from the dirt and threw it into
the air, following the arc of its flight with his eyes. When the stone hit the
water, he said,  “Yeah, I thought about that. I’m just not sure.”
    Nikki thought back to that moment when Henry saw Bethany,
how his eyes had gone misty. Clearly, it really had been a long time since he’d
seen her. “Did you know she was teaching at the same school where Ian’s taking
classes? Did you even know she lived in Seattle?”
    Henry shook his head. “I haven’t crossed over since
Bethany got married. That was thirteen years ago for them. But Bethany’s
husband is from the Northwest.”
    “Why was that the last time?” Jamie said.
    A moment passed before Henry said, “Because she knew I
was there. She always knows somehow, even if I don’t speak to her. I guess the
link we established when she was abducted just stayed strong. But on her
wedding day, it wasn’t like that was a good thing. It took everything I had to
convince her to not tell everyone, that she should just enjoy her moment. In
the end, she did, but she was also sad and I felt really bad about doing that
to her. So, that was it.”
    No one spoke for a few moments.
    Finally, Jamie said, “Still, it can’t just be a
coincidence, her working at the same college. Right?”
    Henry turned to face them. “The strange thing is, I think
it is just a coincidence. I have a really strong feeling about it. To be
honest, if it wasn’t, I’d almost feel like someone was messing with us. With
me, definitely. And I don’t want to feel that way.”
    Nikki supposed it could just be a coincidence, after all.

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