Novella Excerpts: The Time Traveler’s Mission, Chapter Two 

My first day of stalking: I didn’t approve. I dunno how people stalk other people; it’s plain creepy. I mean really; what motivates stalkers? I had no idea. I still don’t. Anyway, from what I had…erm, let’s just say observed, Kathleen was a completely normal seventeen year old. No, not quite. She was way too nice for a seventeen year old girl. 

For the first two days, the things I noticed were consistent: she never styled her hair. She didn’t wear much makeup. She usually wore some variation of a dress along with a leather jacket. She was also really quiet. It was weird; back in middle school, she’d been one of the most outgoing people I knew. Now everything about her was quiet; her voice was quiet. The way she did things was quiet. Even her smile was quiet. It was a little eerie.

She clearly had friends without being outgoing though. She still chatted with about eight people in the halls between class. But in all honesty, I could not imagine what sort of trouble she could be in. She seemed to be the nice, classic girl who was sweet and amiable to everyone without being an extrovert. She scared me. Who was like that? I only thought they existed in books. 

Example: day one, she brought in sugar cookies for no apparent reason at all. Whenever she handed one out to someone, she would smile sweetly, and say something like, “I hope you have a good day!” I mean, gag me. That’s sweet enough to cause diabetes faster than those cookies. 

Heck, one day, when I was doing more observation, I tripped over my own untied shoelace. Right in front of her. She could’ve told me off; most would be suspicious, wouldn’t they? But no, she smiled at me, bent down, and helped me up. “Are you okay?” she asked gently.

“Uh, um, I’m okay,” I answered. But shouldn’t she be suspicious? 

But then, on the third day, something happened. Instead of going the way she usually went after school (for those wondering: no, I didn’t follow her back to her house. I may have observed her at school, but following someone home is totally criminal and immoral. Besides, if I did that, I would be a bona fide stalker, instead of a casual observer), she went in the opposite direction. What? I wondered. So I did the one thing I really didn’t want to do; I followed her outside of school.

For a while, she didn’t do anything notable; she checked her phone for texts, and just seemed to wander around aimlessly in downtown. Then, she walked into a coffee shop. Not a chain; it looked like a mom and pop place. So I grabbed a table outside, took a book out of my backpack, and waited.

For twenty minutes.

I checked my watch about fifty times. Okay, what gives? It doesn’t take someone twenty minutes to get a cup of joe… During my time, in order to make sure I was right, I observed some people coming in and out. One girl managed to get her coffee in six minutes. I was starting to get worried. What if she had realized she was being followed? What if she came here and left out the back? Oh no. Was this the sort of situation T.T was worried about? 

I tried to recollect the people who came out of the shop; an old man, a short middle aged woman, a teen in a leather jacket, a goth, a kid in the most hideous orange vest I had ever seen….

It hit me. The kid in the leather jacket. Just like Kathleen, their leather jacket had silver buttons underneath the collar.

“Damn!” I whispered out loud. I hadn’t realized… The teen had had a black cap to cover their hair, and had all black clothing. I glanced into the shop, and didn’t see anyone who resembled Kathleen. That meant that the leather jacket was Kathleen. I attempted to remember which way she had gone. Right, I thought. So I got up, and went right as fast as I could. 

I kept thinking to myself, where would I go? Kathleen had changed clothes so well I hadn’t recognized her. Where would she go where she needed to have a disguise? I ran into a few alleys, but didn’t see her. 

Suddenly, I got a weird vibe. A bad feeling. I glanced up to see two homeless guys offering something to another homeless guy. He shoved money into their hands, and they gave him a wallet. Something felt off. Those two guys… They didn’t have the hopeless feel that most homeless seem to have. But… What did that mean? Were they homeless? Were they not? Why would they pretend to be homeless? 

All I knew was that I had to leave. Now. I turned on my heel and ran, but then I noticed a black object in a tree. It was too big to be a squirrel. Besides, squirrels usually didn’t have cameras.

I’d found her. Somehow, I’d been able to find Kathleen. I managed to run off without a sound, and I hid behind a wall, where I could keep an eye on her. After five minutes, the two homeless guys left the other one alone and walked off. Kathleen didn’t leave for a while. Maybe ten minutes after they left, she jumped out of the tree and went on her way. I began to follow her again. But this time, it wasn’t just to protect her. No, now I was curious about what I had seen. I didn’t know if the homeless guys were actually homeless. I wanted to know what she knew. All I knew was that something was off, and it was probably bad. 

For a moment, she stopped walking, then resumed as if nothing had happened. I kept a good distance away; if I got any closer, I would probably creep myself out and quit. 

She kept her head down for a few minutes. Even so, I was able to notice some things she’d done to alter her appearance; put her hair in her cap, worn looser clothing, and put on a pair of rimless glasses. She was probably wearing makeup, too.

She suddenly took a sharp turn into an alley. Uh oh. What if I’m following her to her apartment or something? I hope not… This is awkward enough…

As she got into the alley, I paused for two minutes before following. 

I had been expecting to see garbage cans and fire escapes. 

I had not expected to see an elbow flying towards my face. Kathleen managed to catch me right in the nose.

 A weird thing happens when I get hurt; I notice the strangest things. It’s like the sudden pain sharpens my eyesight or something. The weird thing was, as I collapsed, I noticed that Kathleen’s eyes were sky blue. Not like the colored pencils, but literally sky blue. Like, if you took a photo of her and zoomed into her eyes and then looked at the sky outside, you wouldn’t see a difference.  

The moment I hit the ground, groaning and holding onto my gushing nose, Kathleen snarled, “Stop. Following. Me. Creep.” Then she turned on her heel and stomped away. 

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