Dec 8: Back In Time

Saturday, December 21, 2021
It had been years since I had had an epiphany like that. I had laser like focus, I could see my mission clearly. Pete and Sofie were Jennifer and me back in the 1980s, and if nothing pushed them off the course they (we) were on, they’d end up being friends, then losing touch due to distance between and then they’d spend the rest of their lives wondering what might’ve been. 

I’d have to go back in time. Again. And I’d play the part of Cyrano. 

But this time, I’d have to be very, very careful so that I wouldn’t interfere with the original 1980s and mess up the space-time continuum. 

In other words, Jennifer and Sara couldn’t know about my mission. Nor could Sami, but I didn’t think keeping things from him was going to be a problem. And then there were Pete and Sofie, who would also have to be kept in the dark. It was in their own best interest. 

The original timeline went like this:

I met Jennifer on my way to the barber’s and we started to chat. Then we did the art project together when the air-raid signal went off. That was followed by long walks and talks and WarGames and Supergirl and the kiss at the dance.

I realized Einstein and I were outside Atlas, so I walked in so I could write my plan down. I had to make some modifications, naturally, I couldn’t make Pete take a haircut nor did I want to have him ride his bike around town in the rain. 

Even before I had the plan, I knew I needed to create those serendipitous meetings between Pete and Sofie and I already had an idea on how to do that. I was going to offer Pete a job at Atlas. Not that Sara and I needed any help, really, and Pete wasn’t ever going to replace Rexi in the projection room, but he could be an usher or something. Or dress up as an elf, as long as he was there, under my control. 

I picked up the phone and called Jennifer right away. She was a little surprised when I told her I wanted to talk to Pete. 

“Oh, why?” she asked me. 

“I was so impressed with his performance in the play that I thought he could work at Atlas. We’re having a special run of Christmas movies, and we’re in a bit of hurry,” I replied. 

Pete was excited to hear my offer and he accepted right away. 

“Great! I need you to come to the office today at noon, so I can go through some things with you. How’s noon?”

“Perfect. I can get on my bike right away, if you’d like,” he said. 

“Noon’s fine, see you then,” I said and hung up. 

Pete had a bike, I thought. That was good to know. 

I quickly drafted a four-point plan for going back to Back to the Future as Cyrano. 

1. Hire Pete, then Sofie
2. Arrange serendipitous meetings between the two
3. Have them watch a great movie together (Back to the Future? Too obvious? Supergirl? Too much?)
4. Make sure there’s a dance and a kiss. 

I was so happy that when I walked to the foyer to see what Einstein as up to I raised my fist in the air just like Judd Nelson’s bad boy character John Bender in the freeze-frame ending of The Breakfast Club. 

The hand came quickly down when I saw Einstein balancing on three legs next to tree, with his right hind leg in the air. I turned around to get the mop from the closet. 

➡️ More on Someday Jennifer (HarperCollins Canada 2019)

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