"Are you getting it now, Donna? You should be grateful that Eric is in your life, whether as a boyfriend or just a best friend. Just because you broke up doesn't mean you have to forget all of the great times you've had together." Lizzy and I stood in my bedroom as she tried to convince me.
"I know, I get it." I flatly said. I'd seen extraordinary things that night, but I still wasn't over Eric breaking up with me.
"I don't think you do." Lizzy sighed and stared at her watch. I never noticed it before then, but the watch wasn't a normal one. There was a picture of a heart in the center and around the outside were the numbers 1960, 1961, 1962 and so on, stopping at 1980. When she caught me looking she hid her hand behind her back. "I think we have time to visit one last memory," she told me, reaching out for my hand. With a snap of her fingers we wound up at the end of the Forman's driveway.
The first thing that came to mind was being shown the breakup all over again. I forced myself to look at what was happening in front of me. I was sitting on the Vista Cruiser, except I had blond hair. I looked like I was in deep in thought and not really paying attention. It was then that I saw Eric standing next to the car, my blond self not noticing him. He looked older, more mature, and- was it possible? -I found myself more in love with him than I'd ever been before. I could tell something major was going to happen and I tried to concentrate on it. I played with the edges of my pajamas, even though I knew this other Eric wouldn't be able to see me, I somehow hoped he would notice me and not the blond me.
"Happy New Year," Eric said. His voice was a little deeper. Maybe this is going to happen this year, I thought.
I got off of the car. I seemed stunned to see him. "Eric!"
"I'm sorry I'm late." Eric stepped closer to me and set his backpack down. "I caught the last flight out." Flight! Where did he go on a plane?
We both stood there nervously, smiling.
"So, uh… awkward." We both laughed. "How are you?"
I laughed once more. "Good." I got more serious: "I start college next week." College! I'm still in 11th grade!
"Oh… that's awesome." Eric sounded less than thrilled.
"Yeah." There was silence. "So, what, you just came back here for New Year's Eve?" I looked like I was about to cry
Eric took a few steps forward.
"Look, Donna… when I left I was so positive that I was doing the right thing." Maybe we're getting back together. "But now I've been gone so long-"
"Eric, things are a lot different now." They sure are.
Eric nodded and smiled a bit. "I know. It's just that, Donna, I thought about you like everyday."
Where the hell did he go? I turned to Lizzy, but she motioned for me to be quiet.
I nodded also. Tears were forming in my eyes.
"And you know what it turns out that, um, Red was right. I am a dumbass."
I laughed, all the tears that had been forming had now disappeared.
"Donna, I'm sorry."
I sniffed, wrapped my arms around Eric's neck, and pulled him into a long kiss. When it was finished we leaned our foreheads up against each other, me then backing up. I laughed at the funny face he made.
Eric pulled himself up onto the Vista Cruiser, leaving room so I could sit down next to him. "So, uh, sounds like there's a party going on in there."
"Yeah, there is," I responded. "Your mom's, like, really drunk." We laughed.
"I know, yeah." Eric sighed. "I don't know if I'm ready for all that. I wish there was just someway to take the edge off."
The scene around Lizzy and I disappeared and turned back into my bedroom.
"I hope you learned your lesson, Donna." Lizzy started to fade into the background.
"Wait!" I screamed, trying to pull Lizzy back. "You need to tell me when that took place! You need to tell me where Eric went! You need to tell me if we get back together!" I fell onto my bed and sobbed.
"You'll find out in two years," a voice whispered in my ear.
I looked up, but no one was there. I got myself into bed, still crying. I tried to recollect all that happened that day, even the events of the past hour were hard to understand. I thought back to what Lizzy had told me earlier: Just because you broke up doesn't mean you have to forget all of the great times you've had together. She was right: Eric and I had been through way to much to go back now.
I lifted my head and found Lizzy's watch on the edge of my bed. I picked it up and stared at it for a long time. Like I said before, it wasn't a normal watch. The only hand didn't tick, but was stopped at 1978; it was the year we were in. I looked in closer, so close the watch was almost up to my face, and you could see a picture of Eric and me in each year. From babies, to toddlers, to teens, to adults, there they were. The watch seemed to tell our love story and for a moment, just a moment, I started to believe once more.