How Did I Get Here?
Jocelyn tapped the side of her cocktail glass and watched a drop of water slide down the side. Bitterness Beamed from her eyes as she listened to the music and chatter of the pub. Jocelyn went back in time and thought about the journey that had led her here. Like so many others before her, Jocelyn had caught the travel bug in college and studied abroad in Ireland. Smitten with the local college boys’ accents, it did not take much for Conner to win her heart. Four of her six months in Ireland were spent with Conner venturing around Ireland and other parts of Europe, Easy Jet regulars. When her time in Ireland was up, the two English majors had a teary airport goodbye. But, Conner promised that if Jocelyn returned after college, he would ensure she never had to leave again, and they could be together forever.
An aspiring author, Jocelyn’s imagination ran wild during her final year of college, and she managed to plan her graduation celebration in Dublin. She had planned to be there for 2 weeks: week one with friends and week 2 alone with Conner. It was everything she had imagined, and she could not fathom leaving.
On the eight day, Jocelyn’s entire body melted as Conner’s lips pressed into hers in the quite of his apartment living room. Their love bubbled up each day, and, on that Friday, Conner took Jocelyn to Shanely’s Piano Bar. Their beer glasses clanked together spilling a bit on either side.
“What’s the point of visas anyway,” Jocelyn laughed. “I should be able to stay without any visa, this is 2015.”
Conner smiled. “I have forgotten about my promise, you know. I have a plan, a request.” Conner watched her reaction from over the rim of his glass.
“What plan?” Jocelyn asked rolling her eyes.
“You’ll see. Why don’t you get ready to head out, and we can go for a walk to talk it through?”
Jocelyn tossed back the rest of her beer and held back a burp. “Ok,” she said, scooting her chair out to go to the bathroom. Walking through the crowded pub, Jocelyn felt as though the people here take time to have fun. They work to live, not live to work. Oh American culture and it’s work ethic. A long sigh was heavy on Jocelyn’s chest as she pushed the door to the bathroom open. Rushing to get back to Conner, she washed her hands quickly barely drying them on the paper towel. Each tick of the clock brought her closer to Sunday’s dreaded flight now, and she tried to ignore the knot in her stomach.
Trying to clear her mind and focus on the present, Jocelyn pushed the bathroom door open, her eyelids closing momentarily to calm her thoughts. When she opened her eyes, she was startled to see the sun shining and 10 round lunch tables in the front of the restaurant.
Conner was not any of them.
The knot in her stomach grew as the smell of freshly baked bread crawled under her nose. Looking around, it was clear that she was now in a bakery.
“What would you like today, love? the man behind the counter asked drying a plate.
Jocelyn stepped back and ran to the front door without saying a word. Long dresses and skirts scuffed around the road she had just walked down with Conner, and none of the buildings looked the same.
“This can not be real.” Jocelyn said coming to grips with the fact that she had stepped into the bathroom and out into the 1800’s.
The reality of Jocelyn’s situation took hold of her quickly as she searched for Conner without any success and fear overcame. As time passed, Jocelyn was able to think clearly and define her goal: find a way to get back to 2015. Thank God for her imagine and all the fiction she had read! This allowed her to get creative as she searched someone who could help. She crossed paths with odd individuals, including several self-proclaimed witches. This was not the safe side of town by any means. She knew that it wasn’t wise to stray far from the bakery, which she tried endless to wish back to the pub she first entered.
Now, three years later, Jocelyn closed her eyes as tears welled up in her eyes at the thought of that day. She had gone to the bakery with everything the witch had instructed: cabbage, beans, tea leaves, beer, and muffins. Twirling her spoon around the edge of the bowl, Jocelyn’s stomach turned at the thought of consuming the contents, half assuming it would fail as all the others had. Coughing the ingredients down, she grabbed the rest of the beer and chugged it to get rid of the test and sense of failure. Jocelyn slammed the mug down and glared at the people staring at her. Wasn’t it enough she had to wear this hot dress to fit in?
Sliding out of her chair, Jocelyn walked to the bathroom loathing that hallway every time she had to take it. Three years of failed attempts had left her numb and disheveled. She stared through the wall of the bathroom and back into Conner’s eyes yet again trying to understand. If only she could get back to 2015, back to the pub.
Pushing the door back open, Jocelyn lifted the hem of her dress up so she didn’t trip. Halfway down the hall, the sound of laughing paralyzed her. Music danced through the hall way causing her hear to race. Hope brought life back into her, and she rushed back into the restaurant. Emotional flooded all of her senses! Where was Conner? The band was back in place, the bar was back in place of the counter; it was night once more; but, the table her and Conner had sat at three years ago was empty.
Frantic, Jocelyn went up to the bartender to inquire, but he did not know Conner, nor did anyone else she asked. With this, she became aware of the fact that everyone around her was staring at her awkward dress, which no longer was helping her fit into the crowd.
And now, here she sat gripping her drink with tears streaming down her cheeks. Finally, it ocured to her. “What year is it?” she asked grabbing the person’s arm next to her.
“How much have you had to drink, my dear?” the woman laughed. “It’s 2018, of course!”
“Of course,” Jocelyn responded with a smile filed with everything but amusement. Taking a long sip of her drink, she watched the bartender pour drinks and decided that she was going to need a new plan.