Tarrant Hightopp sat there at the tea table with his friends Mally and Thackery, his chin resting on his fist, pondering.
He was thinking about the girl he met just recently, the one with yellow hair. She said her name was… Alice.
"I know! I'm Alice."
A peculiar girl. She certainly had time all mixed up.
He thought he might've seen her long ago… when he was a boy, somewhere around the time he made his first hat and showed it to his father, only to see it thrown away. He never saw her again after that, until now… and she doesn't look a day older.
She seems to already have known him, albeit when he's gotten older, and she younger. That got him curious to know what he would be like in the future. Would he be a hatter? Would he do something that would make his father proud? Would he be… married, even?
Marriage was a laughable possibility for him. The women in Witzend often turned their faces away from the pale son of Zanik Hightopp. Everyone in Witzend had a normal skin complexion. It was him only that had the snow white skin and bright colors of his eyes, eye shadows, and mouth. His already-eccentric personality did not help in gaining acceptance among his own. You would think that since everything weird and out-of-the-ordinary happens in Underland, the humans living here would get used to it!
That is why Tarrant was so puzzled and confused when Alice turned him around and hugged him.
A hand was placed on his shoulder and he turned around out of instinct. He uncovered his face and was shocked to find a pretty girl in a pretty dress, who was giving him a bright smile. What…?
"It's you!" she exclaimed, then hugged him while saying, "You're you again!"
Never had he seen someone so glad to see him, much less hug him out of joy, and so glad that he was him.
The more he talked with her, the more he knew that she wasn't like any other aristocratic woman. For one thing, she wasn't repulsed by his face. She talked happily with him as if they were old friends. She also had an eccentric personality of her own, and was maybe a bit addled in the head, what with her talk of meeting him years from now when she's younger and he older.
"I realize it doesn't make much sense," she said, furrowing her brow.
After a few seconds of thinking it over critically, he concluded with a grin, "Makes perfect thenth to me!"
It really did. This was Underland; nothing and everything makes sense here!
He concluded to himself that she was a girl after his own heart. They were different and still alike in their personalities, and perhaps in their upbringing.
"Alice, you seem to have time all mixed up," he said, grinning.
"Oh, he's not mixed up at all. He's actually quite angry with me," she informed him seriously.
Tarrant looked at Alice strangely, then smiled again. "You're bonkers, aren't you?"
"That's what I've been told," she replied with a face that made you think she realized she really was bonkers.
"All the best people are!"
That's what he told himself, anyways, to make him feel better. But now he could say it when describing another.
Even after that humiliating scene at the coronation, he was surprised, and a little annoyed even, that he was followed by the strange girl.
Taken aback by what she's been calling him, he replied forlornly, "I'm no hatter."
"Of course you are, you're the hatter!" she replied with enthusiastic confidence. "Or you will be, at least, when I knew you."
She definitely is bonkers.
Tarrant chuckled, looking amused. "You should meet my friend, Thackery. He's nearly as mad as you."
He could not see himself as being a hatter anymore. He had no desire. After all, it would mean ending up like his father. It was funny and maddening to hear that apparently he's become one in the future.
Then she went on about how his family is in danger, Horunvendush Day, yada yada… He was baffled by it all, and he really wasn't in the mood to be warning them about something he wasn't sure was going to happen. He did not want to be humiliated again. Even the warnings that he would regret it did not deter him.
She finally parted with him, saying something about warning them herself. He let her go and reveal her own madness to his family. At least he wouldn't be part of it. At least he wasn't the only one in this town that's going mad.
He arrived at the tea party and was greeted by his friends. He felt more at home here, though he wasn't nearly as bonkers as them yet.
He sat there pondering and thinking over the most interesting conversations he's ever had in his life, and over the strange, yet interesting girl. She's off her rocker all right, but he couldn't help but feel some sort of familiarity and bond with her. Curious, persistent girl. Alice. Such a pretty name, too. He hoped to meet her again… and from what she said, he would.
He snapped out of his thoughts when he heard something like a thunderclap. He turned around and gasped when he saw a strange device falling out of the sky, damaging one of the windmill's blades, and crashing into the garden.
This certainly has become a most peculiar, strange day indeed.