She's stuck; she was dropped in an endless loop leaping through time periods as soon as she step foot in the time stream. He was stuck; obsessing over a girl he only saw once before. Jane stumbled into Adam's life once, she could do it again. This time, she accidentally brought him into the same predicament she's in- being stuck in the life of being a Time Traveler.
February 7, 2024
Yesterday was an interesting day, Adam told himself as he was drinking his cup of coffee. To be more specific, lunch and P.E. Jane, he had noticed, had made a habit of stopping by the school when she had a lunch break. She didn't do it so often, as she had only done that for two days, but it was a rising habit. Adam, being the slightly paranoid man he was, questioned if it was to get away from Madison, or she actually wanted to talk to him. He didn't press on that matter. He had other things to worry about that day; for example, keep an eye on Randy and his group at P.E.
The plan was to get himself injured enough to suffer while teaching and be intimidated by the kids. Adam, even though he did expect something to happen, he wasn't sure of what. Had Greg not miscalculated the ant hill, Adam would have suffered red ants crawling on him and nibbling on his skin. Thankfully, the hill was filled with black ants and black ants only. Some crawled on Adam, but he merely shrugged it off. Because of this, Greg earned a punch on the arm from Randy. Although, the two did get a laugh when Adam was dancing around to get the ants off.
"So, how does it feel like being a teacher?"
"I'm a substitute teacher."
"So? Aren't there places where administrators, that include the teachers, can go where students can?"
"Like the teacher's room?"
"Exactly! Have you ever gone in it?"
"Have you ever wondered what's in it?"
"Sort of. When I was a little kid, it's a really rare place for a student to go to. I still haven't seen it yet- but... what? Are you suggesting that I should go in there?"
"Okay then," Adam shrugged and started to walk away, only for Jane to pull him back.
"I still have five minutes before I have to go back. Can't you go while your kids are at P.E.?"
Adam shrugged. "You can have a head start."
Jane frowned and punched his arm. Adam winced and was about to say something before Jane reached over the fence and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "You're off the hook this time, Adam."
Adam walked slowly into the teacher's lounge and inspected the room carefully. It was rather small, a bit smaller than his classroom, but bigger than his brother's cubicle. Next to the door was a closet, probably filled with extra clothes for those who need them. In the corner was a fridge, and then there was the counter, coffee mugs, plates, and other things on it. Then there was the sink, filled with some cups and plates; after that were the teacher's lunches. On the right side of the room was a small window, surrounding it were white boards and bulletin boards, filled with papers and notes. In the middle of the room was a green couch, matching the walls, and in front of it was a white table, matching the floor. The closed curtains were black, matching the door.
He stood there in awe for a few moments before shutting the door close and went to pick up his class from lunch and back to the classroom. Time passed and it was time for them to go to PE, and Adam to go to the teacher's lounge, alone. In both his classroom and the teachers' lounge had a similar thing in common: solitude. Even though other teachers had the right to pop up any time, Adam wanted to spend some time in there. As far as he knew, he was the first person in his class to be in here for more than a minute. He had a silly little grin on his face, thinking about this as he sketched on a piece of blank paper.
Adam's head shot up as he heard the door knob jiggle a bit, only for it to creak open. Shit.
"Hey, who're you and why're you in here?" Double shit.
"Substitute," Adam replied as he folded up the piece of paper. "Should I leave?"
The man gave Adam a stern face and seemed like he was about to reprimand him, making Adam feel like shrinking into the corner, feeling like the little kid he was back then. But, the man laughed and patted Adam's shoulder and held out his hand for a handshake. "I'm just kidding bro. I'm Vincent Piers, fifth grade teacher. Who're you substituting for?"
Adam reluctantly shook his hand. "Ms. Peters, third grade."
"Ohh, I've seen her class. I'm surprised that Randy hasn't taken you out yet. You must be one hell of a fighter..."
"Eric Harris," Adam replied, Vincent nodding.
"Hats off to you, Mr. Harris," Vincent took off his hat and bowed down to Adam. Vincent had a buzz cut, hidden by his black hat, a t-shirt rolled up to his elbows, jeans, and sneakers. "So... you draw?"
Adam placed the paper in his pocket. "...No. I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Alright bro," Vincent threw his hands in the air defensively. "So, Ms. Peters, right? Weren't her kids supposed to go on this field trip?"
"Yeah, and they were so excited for it too," Vincent added as he opened a cabinet, grabbed a mug and poured hot coffee into it. "It's too sad that they don't have their teacher chaperone."
"Where is it?"
Vincent tore open a couple of sugar packets and poured the sugar into his coffee before he mixed it. "Some museum," He shrugged as he added the creamer and mixed again. Vincent took a sip before placing the mug on the table before getting his lunch bag, hidden on one of the higher cabinets. "It's a couple blocks down," He took out his sandwich and unwrapped it. "Want a bite?"
"No thanks," Adam declined. "But I can take the kids."
Even though Vincent's mouth was full, he took a gulp of coffee anyway. "You sure?"
"Yeah, I know someone who works there."
"A girlfriend maybe?" Vincent suggested.
"I don't even know."
Vincent laughed and nodded. "Okay cool, because I know one of the kids in your class, if you wanna know, it's Xavier. I'm his uncle."
Adam nodded, remembering Vincent now. He was the only teacher that Adam, Trudy, Jack, and Xavier found cool in any sort of level when they were kids. If their teacher prevented them by doing any activity, Vincent would always be slick about it and convince the teacher otherwise.
"Okay, so field trips are on Friday, the forms have already been filled out, and... yeah, that's pretty much it. Have a good day, Eric!"
Vincent closed the door shut and Adam told himself to just stay in the classroom.
The day had ended, and Adam had gone to pick up Jane, as usual, but this time, with a bouquet of flowers and a sandwich. When he was on his way to the museum, he had argued with himself to buy the flowers or not, although, the sandwich was a must. He kind of owed her. Then, Adam concluded that the flowers would be an apology for leaving earlier, even though she did encourage him to do so.
"Hello!" Adam jumped a bit when he heard the voice say that. The person had a cheery expression and popped out of nowhere a few seconds ago. This must be Madison.
He decided to reply, opening his mouth first, coughing right after. Madison was plain creepy to him right now. "Hey. Uh- have you seen J-" Adam shut his mouth and corrected himself. "Margaret?"
"Oh yes, I have! Right this way!" Okay, Adam nodded. Madison is creepy, smiling and all, but overall, she seemed nice. So far so good. "My name's Madison. How about yours?"
"May I ask you something?"
Adam remained silent for a few seconds. "...Sure."
"This may be a bit rude, but are you and Peggy," Adam took note that was Jane's, or rather, Margaret's nickname now. At least to Madison. "You know, dating?"
Everybody seemed to love asking them this question. Oh, is she your girlfriend? Are you guys dating? Adam wouldn't have mind answering them if he knew himself, to be honest. But seeing as the organization doesn't allow any relationships and neither one of the two have made any advances for the past few months, Adam wasn't really sure anymore.
"I don't know."
"On again, off again? Is that what the flowers are for?"
"No, it's more like, work is always first."
"Ah, I see, well, Peggy's in that kiosk over there, but I have to go. Nice meeting you, Eric!"
Adam nodded and went over to the kiosk, where Jane was gathering her things. As she was, Adam placed the sandwich in front of her, hoping that she would notice it. And she did. "Hey, Eric."
"Hello, Margaret," Adam scratched the back of his neck. "You know, I still can't get used to that. Anyways, I'm sorry for ditching you earlier."
"Mhmm..." Jane nodded as she took the plastic off of the sandwich. "Are those flowers?"
"Yeah, but I didn't know which were your favorites, so I just got roses."
"It's no problem, actually, - are my favorites."
"Really now? Why?"
"Because -," Jane explained. "So, I heard your class is gonna come here tomorrow."
"You got it," Adam nodded. "We're the first group to see the new exhibit on future technology."
"Okay, do you mind buying me some food?"
Jane smiled and went back to gathering her things. "Alright," She said as she adjusted her bag. "Let's go home, I'm tired."
The next day was field trip day. Adam took roll call, as usual, but the students are more hyper today. In the first hour of school, there were students who needed to get their lunch at the cafeteria, as they were eating in the museum. There was also Vincent's class running around, but they were calmer, as Vincent all offered them recess next week. After taking role again on the school bus, everything was seemingly calmer, but the bus was still loud, the students chattering away. There were a couple of parent chaperones attending, which Adam was thankful for his parents not coming to this one in particular. He remembered that he got a trip to New York in the summer as compensation plus, he worried what would happen if his parents saw him. Would they recognize him? Adam didn't even want to think about it.
On the bus, Vincent explained how the trip was going to go. They would walk about eight percent of the cycle for the museum, have a lunch break, see the new exhibit, and then the students can roam around in a group, accompanied by an adult, of course. While he was explaining this, Adam remembered something.
"Shit, I forgot something."
"What is it?"
"A sandwich," Adam answered. "For my friend."
"Oh," Vincent searched through his lunch bag and gave Adam a sandwich. "Here, I made an extra in case one of my kids stole my lunch again, but you need it more than I do."
When the bus had arrived at the museum, the kids were eager to get off of the bus, only to be stopped by the teachers and chaperones. "Now kids, you remember the museum rules right?"
They all nodded, and recited the rules. "And your rules?" They recited that too. "Okay, great. My class, get up seat by seat, in an orderly fashion. Line up by the plant on the right side. Harris' kids, do the same, but to the one at the right. Chaperones, make sure they don't get into any trouble, okay?"
The classes got ready in around ten minutes, and in a group, each class went over to their respective guides for the day. The cycle was going on until it became noon, the class then taking a tour of the garden before eating in there. While their class was eating, Adam went back in the museum to find Jane.
"It looks like none of your students got lost yet," She joked. "Though, the free exploration thing hasn't taken off yet, has it?"
"No, but you have your first customer," Adam pointed to the kid peering out on the other side.
"Right," Jane nodded. "Thanks for the sandwich, by the way."
"Excuse me, miss."
"Can you show me where the picnic area is? I forgot where it was," Adam looked over Jane's shoulder and noticed that it was himself, but younger.
"Sure," Jane took a pamphlet and handed it to little Adam. "If you get lost again, you can just use this if you like. Right this way..."
"Oh, hey Mr. Harris," Little Adam greeted to his older self.
Jane's eyes went wide and mouthed, 'Adam?'
"If you like, I can get you back there."
"Okay," He nodded. "Thank you anyways."
"No problem," Jane smiled as she went back to the desk. After the two Adams made their way back to the garden, the older looked back and saw Jane hitting her head lightly with her pen, laughed lightly, and opened the door to the garden.
"Alright class, in a few minutes, you will be the first ones to see the new exhibit!" Vincent announced. Randy was about to make a comment, but Vincent beaten him to it. "You know, except for the people who built it and the employees."
The new exhibit was filled with gadgets from the early ages to the more recent ones. At the end of the exhibit, it was filled with selected blue prints, plans, and concept designs of the technology that was being used today such as a flying car or utilities you use by your mind. There were even some that were interactive and the students were free to use them. At the near end of the exhibit, the class was told it was extra special.
"And this has been found not too far from here, but it certainly is something, nevertheless," Their guide said.
"What is it?" Xavier asked.
"So far, the museum concluded that it's a concept design for…" Adam blinked and everything the guide was explaining was all going through one ear and out the other after he heard what it was for. "Excuse me, but what it's for again?"
"Time travel, sir."