“Loops” By Tess Lim Jurich

Sun was shining through large storefront window as Lily and Andrew were sipping their tea. The cafe had a quaint appearance, only five or so tables. They were seated at the table with in the window. By all accounts the two looked like a couple Lily had her brown, nearly black hair up in a ponytail, she was wearing light blue jeans and a frilly white top. Andrew on the other hand had his short black hair, he was in dark blue jeans and a white button down. His face was also taken up by those thick frame black glasses. As they talked, their conversation shifted to their situation. “I want to end this.” Lily knew she sounded like one of those rom-com female leads and to an observer it sounded like a break up.

Andrew knew what she was talking about, even though it didn’t involve love. “How selfish, she brought all of this on herself. To think she wants to stop, like she has a say.” His mind was screaming clouted by the demon. When he finally did open his mouth, the words were as sharp as a dagger, “You do understand you deserve this. You lead your father to my family and let them be killed.” Andrew’s eyes narrowed and he leaned in towards Lily. “I know, but you’re the one that made the deal with that devil, how many times has it been.” Pausing, it was clear she was calculating something, “23, 23 times including this one you have chased me. Every time you’re not satisfied with the outcome and then we go. Different time, different place, same motive. I am sick of it. I want to grow older than fourteen. I want to not have to fear waking up in a new era, I want my future back.”

Paying the bill and leaving. Lily’s mind has already began scheming. Plans were swirling in her head like sand in a dust storm. At first she thought she could reason with him now, it’s been 240 years since this whole thing started, but no, today showed Andrew was still posed by that demon. “I will end this.” She decided, she would end this even if he didn’t want her to.

Later that night Andrew awoke to the voice in his head, the one he got from the demon was screeching, “Wake up!” It was giving him a headache. “The girl, she’s at the balcony.” “What?” “The balcony, where you first met. She’s there!” Andrew’s headache mysteriously disappeared and he was running down the stair, and through the streets of London in the middle of the night.

He finally made it to the Addams’ ancient and grand house, the door was left unlocked and he raced up the three flights of stairs to the stone balcony. Opening the rusted door he saw Lily Addams, the girl whose lie got his family killed. The shadows from the city and moonlight concealed parts her face and she looked like she was about to jump off the balcony, “You said you wouldn’t end it. But if I disappear, will you just let me be? Please Andrew, for once make your own decision.”

Andrew didn’t understand why, but he felt a pang of guilt and remorse, things the demon usually kept him from feeling. The sudden wave of emotions forced him to agree, “Fine, but get out of my sight.” With a rueful smile she let herself disappeared out the third story balcony and for a second, he considered letting her go. Walk away, go live a real life. Let go of the demon that he let pose him, but the voice was back, “She decided her fate. Why does she have the right to?” The voice replenished his rage and all thoughts of living on departed, he took to the balcony, and jumped.

He did not feel the impact of the fall, instead he was somewhere else. The U.S, in what looked to be the 20’s, and there looking at him was a girl with brown hair that was cut in a bob and had green eyes. She looked slightly younger like time turned back a year for her. She was wearing the regular girl’s fashion for the time. “Lily” His voice was more of a breath than a whisper.  Snapping her head around, he saw her eyes filled with betrayal, disappointment, resentment, and exhaustion. “You promised.” She arraigned, then turned and ran. Dissolving into the sea of people.  

For some reason Andrew felt enervated, as he hesitated before moving to running after her.

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