Introduction: Leap Day

Let me begin my tale by going back in timeā€¦

My name is Corinne Sara Hill. I am 16 years old as of today, February 29th. Yes, I was born on the day that doesn't always exist. I live in a small town outside of Boston, Massachusetts. In school, I am a bit of an outcast. I don't have a "best friend," and most of my friends are geeks. I don't consider myself one of them. I have brown hair that comes down to my shoulders and bangs that come to just above my eyes. I'm not very tall, only about 5'5", and I have light brown eyes. A pretty normal appearance I would say, and I have a pretty normal life...

February 29, 2008 Friday 6:30 am

I anxiously waited for the bus, hoping I hadn't missed it. My parents had already gone off to work, wishing me a happy 16th birthday, and promising a big present. I already knew it wasn't going to be a car, my parents weren't superficial like that. My parent's were scientists, time travel scientists. I waited for a few more minutes before I spotted the bus down my street. I stepped back it pulled up to my driveway.

"Good morning," said the bus driver as I climbed the large steps. I mumbled a reply and sat down in my usual seat. The school was ten minutes from my house by bus, so I took a book out of my backpack to pass the time. The book was called Leap Day by Wendy Mass. My mother had bought it for me on my 12th birthday because she thought it would be interesting for me to read about a girl who had been born on my special birthday. That was what my mother called it, special and unique; I called my birthday a nuisance. Who wants a birthday that only really happens every four years?

7:25 am

"Corinne Hill?"

"Here," I replied quietly and raised my hand for the substitute teacher. I wonder where my history teacher is? We were supposed to be discussing what the future would be like, and I had been really looking forward to it.

As soon as the substitute finished taking attendance, he got up from the teacher's chair and spoke. "Hello everybody, my name is Mr. Adams." The class mumbled a 'hello'. "I was a history major in college before I decided to be a substitute teacher. Your teacher left today's class assignment for me, and although I don't know what it has to do with history," he paused, but nobody laughed. Mr. Adams cleared his throat, "We are supposed to have a class discussion on what it might be like one thousand years into the future. Who would like to start the discussion?" A few people raised their hands and Mr. Adam called on a boy named Jesse.

"I believe that a thousand years from now there will be no people and computers will rule the world," Jesse said. Ugh, I thought, a typical boy comment. I raised my hand, and Mr. Adams called on me.

"That is a completely stupid statement," I said. "If there were no people how would the computers be controlled?"

A bunch of people raised their hands to put in their own thoughts about the future. I just sat back and listened. Some said that the world would end before then, and some said that they thought that everyone was going to be obese. I thought that they all sounded ridiculous. The only thing I could think of the whole time was that if my parents could ever figure out time travel we might actually know the answer to this stuff. But until then, no one would ever know.

9:00 am

Algebra III: My least favorite class. Who knew a teacher could be so mean?

10:30 am

Chemistry: Nothing eventful, I found it a rather enjoyable class.

12:00 pm

Lunch: I sat with a group of my "friends." They talked about pointless nonsense, like if our Algebra teacher had gotten a nose job. I almost choked on my salad when Hailey said that she had a crush on Jesse, the moron from history class. Why on earth would you like a moron?

1:40 pm

My last class of the day was Latin, and I had already sat there for over an hour waiting to go home. We only had ten minutes left, and the whole class had already packed up. They were excitedly talking about their weekend or their date for tonight's dance.

Then the loud speaker went off. "Please excuse the interruption for the afternoon announcements. Tonight at 7 pm is the dance to celebrate the leap year. I hope everybody has bought their tickets!" I laughed to myself about the announcer's false excitement. "On Monday there will be a short meeting concerning the trip to Canada. All students planning to attend this trip must meet in room 224 after school on Monday. And will the following students please report to the office: Aaron Smith, and Corinne Hill. Have a good weekend, and drivers drive safe, it's a little slippery outside."

I grabbed my bag and starting walking down the hallway toward the stairs. Why was I going to the office? When I opened the door to the small-enclosed room, I saw my mother. What is my mother doing here?

"Hi Mom," I said with surprise in my voice. "Did someone die?" I added. My mom never came to pick me up unless something had happened.

"No silly goose," my mother laughed, but I didn't. I still didn't know why she was here. "I'm taking you to part one of your birthday presents." She put her hands on my shoulders and directed me out into the parking lot.

"Dinner?" I asked, trying to guess where she was taking me. "At 2:00? Isn't it a little early?"

"No, not dinner. Your father and I have a surprise for you. Just something we thought you'd be interested in." My mom climbed into the driver's seat of our car. I sat down in the passenger seat.

"Something at the lab?" I jumped with excitement.

"You'll see," my mother smiled. We stayed silent until we reached our destination, and I had been right: we were at the lab. My mother quickly got out of the car and began rushing towards the building. "Hurry Corinne, we have to get inside before the doors close." I jogged to catch up to her.

"Why would they lock the doors?" I asked.

"It's a big experiment, really risky. They don't want any outsiders. It took a lot of persuasion to convince them to let me bring you." She said as we walked into the big building. "We had a major breakthrough with time travel."

"YOU DID!?" My heart and brain leapt with joy, "No way!"

"There may be a chance that it won't work, so don't get your hopes up," my mother said calmly.

"I don't care, this is so exciting!" My heart rate increased as we raced through the halls to get to the time lab. "DAD!" I yelled as he came towards us.

"Good, you made it. We're just about to start, Corinne stay here." My dad went back to his station, and my mother went to hers. I stayed where I was and examined the room. There was a large archway in the middle of the room; it reminded me of a movie I had seen.

"Whoa," I breathed.

"Everyone stand behind the white line!" ordered my father. He was the head scientist in this operation. I stepped back, so that I was behind the line. "For our test on time travel, we will be using that mouse." He pointed to a few scientists placing a mouse in a cage underneath the archway. The scientists moved away from the arch and stood right in front of me. I inched to the side and stepped forward to get a better view. "We are going to send the mouse 10 minutes into the future after the count of one." He looked around to make sure that everyone was ready.

"Five, four, three, two, ONE!" The whole room lit up with blue light, but when the light dimmed the mouse was still in place and the whole room sighed. "It's all right people!" My father said through all the murmurs. "Maybe with some more research and our own 'flux capacitor' we will be able to accomplish this someday. We'll see everybody on Monday and thank you for all your hard work." My father walked towards me, "Sorry kiddo, no time travel today." He put his arm around my shoulders.

"That's okay, it's still been a pretty decent birthday." I smiled warmly.

"Good. Let's open presents and then go to dinner."