Alyson (The Time Travelling Weirdo)

I've had this published as a freebie for a while now and have had mixed reviews... I think the problem was that even though I'd specifically categorised it as having adult content some distributors thought it was a book for kids.... so I've taken it off the shelves and you'll still be able to read it right here on the blog...
Alyson the Time Travelling Weirdo...

First Published by Heather Mar-Gerrison at Smashwords
Copyright 2011 Heather Mar-Gerrison
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For my sisters, who are always there for me.
I walked into the bathroom. The sight that greeted me was not unusual. Clothes scattered around the washing basket and all over the rest of the floor.
“Hmm, I guess Josh couldn’t find his PE kit again.” I murmured half amused half exasperated. I love my kids to bits, but honestly, on days like this I could cheerfully murder them – particularly Josh – who doesn’t seem to think he has to do anything for himself and can leave a mess like this for me to clear up as if I have nothing better to do with my time!
Josh’s saving grace is that he is totally gorgeous. Thankfully nothing like their father, both he and his twin sister have very dark hair and beautiful brown eyes that I can only assume to be a throwback from a previous generation, as both mine and their father’s eyes were blue.
 “Ah well,” I sighed, “It won’t be for long if they get the grades they want for Uni. Then I’ll be rattling around here all by myself.” I swallowed, the lump in my throat threatening to erupt into tears, so near the surface these days. Leaning over to put all of the clothes back in the basket, I jumped violently as the shrill ringing of the phone broke into my reverie. I stood up quite suddenly and felt my head collide heavily with the bathroom shelf. I remember trying to stand briefly, but then everything went black and that was the last I knew...
Chapter 1
I woke up feeling decidedly disorientated. Looking around me I wondered where I was. Then I remembered with clarity exactly where I was. How the hell I had got there was another matter entirely. It was my bedsit from 1988. The hideous grey walls with red borders that I thought were so cool. There was my huge poster of Duran Duran on the wall that I had brought with me from home – even ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger’ had been and gone five years before. I’d been totally in love with Simon Le Bon and never thought any man could match up to him. Thinking about it – no man ever has! I closed my eyes again. “Count to ten and start again,” I chanted in my head. I chanced another peek. Oh. My. God. What the hell had happened to me?
I sat up. My head was pounding. I was no longer sure if it was because of the bang I’d received (or had I? I wasn’t sure which bit was real and which wasn’t now) or the panic that was building up inside me. I remembered the phone was ringing and then everything went black. “Okay, okay...just think about this logically. I’m forty years old, not twenty-one. I’m not at university anymore; I’m a single parent, struggling to make ends meet.” I looked across the room at the rather battered looking wardrobe. My reflection made my blood run cold. “Oh My God, I am so twenty one. I have no kids. I’m back here for a reason...”
Chapter 2
I turned on the radio and was shocked to hear Daniel Smyth, the local radio DJ of the time spinning the old tunes I used to love dancing to. Taylor Dane, “Tell it to my Heart,” followed by Whitney Houston, “I wanna dance with somebody.” This was surreal. What was I supposed to do with this – and how on Earth was I supposed to get back? The kids would be home soon, wondering where the hell I was. Or would they find my body? Was I dead? Oh God, I hadn’t thought of that one. My blood ran cold again, What if I was dead? What about them. I knew how awful it was to lose your mother. I lost mine in 1990...
Another thought suddenly hit me. Maybe this was my chance to change the future. Oh wow, could I really take this awful situation and make a better future for myself and the kids? Could I possibly even warn my mum of what was to happen to her? Would she believe me? Could I stand to call her and hear her beautiful voice again? Could I tell her that she was going to die on the M25? “Oh, God. What am I going to do?”
Well, first things first. I had to get through the rest of the day and the evening. I looked around me. There was a stack of magazines on the side. I picked up the top one and knew it would be the latest issue. I’m still the same now. I have my little stack and the top one is always the latest issue. The date on it was 19th August 1988 and it said “Every Tuesday” I’d heard the radio. I was pretty certain that it was Saturday today, which meant it was Saturday, 23rd August 1988. How bizarre. The day I met Marcus Hancock, absent father...Maybe I’d been sent back to this particular time for a reason. It just had to be.
Excitement flooded through me. Oh my God. I remember it well. I’ve replayed the day through my head so many times, just wondering what would have happened if John had turned up like he was supposed to. It all started with my best friend Wanda setting up a blind date...
“Oh, go on, Alyson. It’s not as if they’re breaking your door down to ask you out.”
“Thank you,” I replied drily. Tact was not one of Wanda’s strong points and I was quite used to her unwittingly offensive remarks.
“Oh, you know what I mean,” she laughed. “John is gorgeous. He was in my law class last term and he’s one of the best students. He’s bound to get honours – he’s cool though,” she added, noticing my grimace.
“Sure he is. Like Tom was cool. Ooh, not to mention Andy.” I shuddered. Tom was about as interesting as watching paint dry and Andy was only actually interested in Andy and was therefore the most boring person I had ever encountered. “The answer is no, Wanda. Tell him thanks, but no thanks.”
“No,” She stared at me defiantly. I was a bit taken aback.
“What?” My eyebrows shot up in surprise.
“No. You need a night out with a nice bloke – and John is a nice bloke. Not only that. He’s a nice bloke that’s really intelligent. He’s really good looking and really interesting company.”
I was getting suspicious. “Okay. You’ve sold him to me. I’ll go.” My eyes narrowed. “But, what’s in it for you?”
Wanda grinned. “Seamus. His best mate.” I rolled my eyes. Wanda was irrepressible.
So there I was. Dressed up to the nines, supposed to be meeting John and he didn’t turn up. Unfortunately for me (you see I have the benefit of hindsight now) I got chatting to another very attractive young man. His name was Marcus. Marcus who charmed me with his cheesy lines and easy smile and in all honesty, I don’t know if John had just been late or had never showed, as Marcus offered me a lift home and I took it. Marcus was lovely to begin with. He just went AWOL when I got pregnant...
I last saw Marcus on the day I told him I was pregnant. We’d only been going out for three months, so it was a bit of a shock for me as well. I hadn’t planned on getting pregnant. I’d not even got my degree yet. Marcus was unemployed. He was on the dole. He kept talking about moving abroad and I kept thinking that he wasn’t serious and would find a job. He’ll get the next one he goes for...the next one...the next one...He never did get a job while we were together. Then of course I dropped my bombshell. I didn’t think he’d be over the moon – of course I didn’t – I wasn’t either, but I never thought he’d hit me – or leave and never come back.
So this is the day I made the wrong choice. Okay, time to decide here. Shall I make the same mistake twice, or shall I take a chance on the blind date?
I knew that John was a really nice guy – good looking too. Wanda had already told me that. She said later that he was gutted that he’d been late and he wished like anything he’d been on time. Well, that’s what she said anyway...I didn’t really believe her, but then I saw him after the failed blind date at a party. I’d been going out with a Marcus for a few weeks and we’d been invited together. John had gone along with some friends and he had come over to me while I was getting some more wine out of the fridge. He didn’t try to hit on me or anything like that. He just apologized for not turning up on time and said it had been entirely his loss. He wished me luck with Marcus and said he wished he had been on time.
I remember thinking afterwards (rather guiltily) that I wished he had been too. He was gorgeous with a capital G and his eyes were the sort you could drown in – brown with black eyelashes. He had really dark spiky hair too and he was taller than Marcus. He was – truth be told – everything that Marcus wasn’t. But I was young and foolish. Marcus was quite exciting to be around and at twenty one, I’d been a bit of a late developer where boys were concerned and I hadn’t had any previous serious relationships. I thought he was The One. I thought he was wonderful with his tanned skin and blond hair and piercing blue eyes. He had both ears pierced, which may be the norm these days, but back in eighty-eight that was strictly for pop stars!
Chapter 3
So here I am standing on a precipice. Do I take the plunge and go on that date and make different choices, or do I not go at all? Or do I relive the same life entirely? I have to make a choice, because I’ve definitely been sent back here to do something.
I opened the wardrobe door and cringed at what I might find inside. I always knew my taste in clothes was a little bit on the outlandish side, so you can imagine my horror to be forty in my head, looking totally twenty-one on the outside and staring at ripped jeans, loads of black leggings, black tee shirts, the odd bit of lime green and not much else to choose from. “Ahh,” I found myself saying. “I always liked those,” and I reached for the black pencil skirt with hooks and eyes all down the back and the most indecent black tee shirt known to man...
Feeling every bit as much like Madonna as I always had, I pushed open the door to “The Grove” pub. It was a fun pub and it was packed solid on Friday evenings with young people wanting to have a good time. They always had a DJ on a Friday, but Saturday evenings were always quieter somehow. Particularly at this time. I glanced at my watch. It gave me a funny feeling looking at it. I knew I’d lost this watch in 1995 and I had cried buckets over it. My mum and dad had bought it for me, for my eighteenth birthday and I loved it. With my mum dying I felt like another piece of her had been taken away. I made a mental note to be really careful with it this time...
I glanced at the bar. Choking slightly on the smoky air, I wondered how people managed to work in such an atmosphere and I felt suddenly very glad that things are no longer the same for my kids. A jolt of fear shot through me again as I thought about them. What if my actions today mean that I completely change the future and I no longer have children? But then I reasoned with myself that I was ultimately meant to have children, just not necessarily with Marcus. Maybe my children were meant to have a wonderful father that doted on them and allowed them luxuries that I haven't ever been able to afford. Pushing feelings of selfishness away – after all – Marcus had been absolutely awful and it wasn’t being selfish to wish for better things for them, surely? I looked around. Marcus would have to be here somewhere, as he turned up within fifteen minutes of my arrival last time.
Chapter 4
I deliberately sat at the other end of the bar away from the seat I had chosen nineteen years ago and I picked up a stray newspaper that had been left on the bar. 23rd August 1988. Saturday night. I caught sight of myself in the mirror, and there was my twenty one year old self staring back. I grinned at her and mentally wished her luck.
I picked up my taboo and lemonade and took a sip. This had been so much harder last time. I was nervous, but not as nervous as I remembered. But then, last time I didn’t have the luxury of knowing what the future held. I checked my watch again. John would not be arriving for at least another ten minutes if he was as late as he said he was the first time around. I looked towards the bar and felt a jolt of shock as my eyes met with Marcus. He smiled that slow easy smile he had when we first met. He was definitely good looking. I smiled back but turned my attention back to the newspaper almost immediately. I didn’t want to encourage him after all. Come on, John, I thought. You should be arriving in the next couple of minutes. My palms were starting to sweat. What if he didn’t come? What if I was destined to end up exactly the same way? What if Marcus came over? Oh, hell. Why did I decide to try to change my life? I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
My eyes snapped open again. I was looking into the most beautiful eyes. I smiled nervously.
“Hello,” I managed to squeak. Honestly, what happened to the cool confident forty year old I knew I was in my head? Good looking guys, that’s what – guaranteed to turn you to mush no matter how old you get!
“Hi. I’m so sorry I’m late. Great first impression, huh?”
“It’s fine, really.” I didn’t quite know what to say next. How was I supposed to explain my day? Hi there. I woke up this morning in the year 2007 and I was forty with two teenage kids. Then I knocked myself out and woke up twenty one again, so here I am changing the future... No, I didn’t think he would stick around either.
My heart was hammering in my chest. I noticed with a smile to myself that Marcus was looking over a little enviously. Serves him right!
“So, can I get you a drink?” John looked down at my empty glass.
“Oh, sure. Can I have a Coke?”
“Coke? Yeah, no problem, stay there, I’ll be right back,”
I watched him go over to the bar. He was standing right next to Marcus. This was so weird.
Marcus looked back over his shoulder and caught my eye. He raised his eyebrows at me and winked. Then he got up and left the bar. I’d done it then. I’d changed the future. I swallowed down the nerves that were threatening to engulf me. What had I just done?
John came back over. “I had to get you Pepsi, is that okay?” He looked worried. My heart melted. Was this guy for real? Marcus had never even cared enough to be bothered about whether it was the real thing or not. “That’s absolutely fine. Thanks,” I smiled.
We talked all evening about what we wanted to do with our lives. Of course, I was thinking about how I would have done things differently, but I had to remind myself that I loved my kids and I still wanted them to remain in the future. They were who I lived for and they had brought joy into my life that couldn’t be matched by anything else.
John walked me home and came back in for coffee. I couldn’t remember if Marcus had come back on the first date, but that didn’t matter. John was much better company and very much more of a gentleman. There was no pressure to have sex with John. He kissed me goodnight and was on his way before midnight. We planned to meet again in the SU bar on Monday evening. I went to bed wondering if I was going to wake up back in 2007, or stay in 1988.
Chapter 5
As it turned out, I stayed. It was weird, I kind of knew what was going to happen on a daily basis, although not clearly. It was as if I was seeing it with fresh eyes and things were turning out differently than they had before, only better. I could avoid all the pitfalls. I could vaguely remember all the awful stuff – embarrassing things tend to stay with you forever don’t they? And I knew when they were going to come up, so I steered clear.
We started seeing each other regularly. I often saw Marcus too. He was older than me by two years and he had already left university. He was struggling to find a job. I knew that this was the start of his problems and wondered if maybe he just needed a push in the right direction. I decided to talk to him.
“Hi, it’s Marcus isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he looked up at me through his floppy fringe and looked just adorable. I remembered feeling really proud to be his girlfriend once. It’s funny what you think is so cool when you’re young that you realise is so unimportant when you grow up.
“I heard you were really struggling to find work.” Crossing my fingers behind my back I planted the seed in his mind that I knew would make him decide to leave. “I heard that backpackers in Australia were being offered jobs over there and some people are staying out there permanently. Have you thought about something like that? You know – like, taking a year out or something?”
He looked at me a little warily. “I was thinking about that,” he murmured. “Who have you been talking to?”
“Oh,” I panicked slightly. His friends were never really mine, even back when we were together. They all disliked the girl that took him away from them. “Buffalo and Jen were on the next table to me the other day. I wasn’t eavesdropping – honest!” I grinned at him. He grinned back and stretched his legs out in front of him and put his hands behind his head. He obviously thought I fancied him – in a strange way he was right – I did the first time around. Not this time though. This time I had hindsight – a very valuable tool.
“Anyway. I thought I’d just let you know. I know things are tough at the moment for engineers.”
He nodded thoughtfully and then looked at me – really looked at me. “You know, Alyson. I thought we might have gone out together. That night a few months back when you came in the pub on your own. I would have asked you out, but then John turned up.”
I nodded. I knew he would have asked, of course I did. He had asked me out in another time and place. I felt a bit awkward suddenly.
Maybe he sensed it, because he said. “Ah, well. Probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway.”
 I smiled at him. “Probably not,” I agreed.
He got up and grabbed his bag. “I think I’ll go and check out that back-packing thing, see you around huh?”
“Yeah, see ya,” I watched him go. I knew he would go to Australia. I also knew that he would not return. The only thing that niggled me was that the reason he went the first time, was entirely down to the fact that I told him I was pregnant. He wasn’t ready to be a father. He wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment. I wasn’t either, truth be known, but I didn’t have the luxury of running away.
I recalled the dates precisely. I told him I was pregnant in November 1988. He left almost immediately – after giving me a black eye – therefore if I was to keep my kids in the future, I would be finding out I was pregnant pretty damn soon – only thing was, John and I hadn’t got past the kissing and hand-holding stage yet. I wasn’t desperate to move things along either – don’t get me wrong – I was just curious as to how this was going to pan out if I was to ever get back home in my “real life”. Trouble was my “real life” was becoming a distant memory and my new life was pretty damn real.
“I’ve got us tickets to go and see a concert for Human Rights – Bruce Springsteen’s on. It’s at Wembley Stadium. Will you come?” John was looking at me all hopefully, his big brown eyes staring into mine and turning me to mush.
“Sure, that sounds great!” To be fair, Bruce Springsteen was the only act on that I liked, but hell, a weekend at Wembley sounded absolutely fantastic and I was definitely up for it. “When is it?”
“Oh, next weekend. Actually it’s on Friday, so we’ll have to cut classes – do you mind?”
“Hell, no – great in fact – I can’t stand Dr Jones anyway!” I laughed. Dr Jones was really bad. He had no sense of humour at all and always thought he was right. In hindsight, I wish I had dropped his class altogether, but being me, I saw it out to the bitter end. Maybe I wouldn’t twice!
“What are you doing tonight?” John slung his arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him.
 I breathed in the wonderfully heady smell of him. “Um, I was just going round to see Wanda. She got the Rocky Horror show out on video. You can come too if you like.”
John made a face at me. “Rocky horror? I don’t really think so. Not exactly my thing.”
“We’ll have beer,” I cajoled, trying to look all appealing.
“Mm-mm,” he shook his head and grinned at me, “I think I’ll just go out with the lads and I’ll see you tomorrow.” He kissed me lightly on the lips and hugged me.
I hugged him back. I felt a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. I realised with wonder that I was actually falling in love with John.
Chapter 6
“BORN IN THE USA!” John sang at the top of his voice as we staggered back to our B&B. It was a dreadful place really. We didn’t even get an en-suite. I had to remind myself that of course we wouldn’t, we were in the eighties! I wasn’t really thinking about that at the moment, though. I was high on the mood of the concert, and the few cans of beer we’d been drinking. Not to mention the feeling of being in love with a great guy who really seemed to love me back with just as much enthusiasm. He had his arm slung over my shoulder and we were weaving merrily along the street back to our own little room in the eaves of the B&B.
“Shhh,” I whispered loudly as we approached the front door and I struggled to find the keyhole with the key.
“Shhh,” answered John and held his finger to his lips like a small child does.
I collapsed into silent giggles and held the key out to him. “I can’t do it!” I yelped, “You’ll have to.”
“’Kay.” He took the key off me and swaying slightly, held the key up to the door.
With precision he placed the key into the lock and turned it. The door swung open. I cheered silently, and then dissolved into more giggles as he bowed so low that he fell head first into the porch.
I helped him up and we half dragged, half pushed each other up the stairs and back into our room.
It had felt a little bit awkward when we in there earlier, dumping our overnight bags.
Neither of us wanted to really acknowledge that there was only the one bed. It was glossed over really and we left the room pretty much as soon as we were shown to it. Now though, with all the alcohol coursing through our veins, things seemed much more relaxed. I excused myself to use the bathroom and by the time I had staggered back across the landing, John was undressing, having gotten rid of all the bags off the bed.
I watched him from the doorway for a moment, mesmerised. He was so beautiful. The muscles in his back were toned and I watched the way they moved as he took off his tee shirt.
He was barefoot, I noticed and he was left with just his jeans on now.
He turned and smiled as he saw me there. “I’ll just go and use the bathroom,” he said and as he passed me, he planted a little kiss on the end of my nose.
I giggled again. I’d brought with me my nightshirt. Actually, it wasn’t really a nightshirt as such; it was a Madonna tee shirt that I had got from a concert a few years before. I loved it so much it had holes in it from excessive wear. Whatever – I was going to wear it. I stripped off my jeans, shirt and bra and was wriggling into my nightshirt when John came back in.
“Whoa, stop right there,” he called from the doorway.
I froze. Oh My God, did he see my boobs? I thought. This was new to me, remember. I hadn’t experienced this the first time round! My experience had been with Marcus, which had not set the world alight thanks very much.
“What?” I asked.
“You look perfect.”
“Oh, stop it,” I said, embarrassed. Perfect? Yeah right! I thought to myself. Okay, so I look better than I remembered feeling I looked. But still, no one’s that good.
“You do. You’re beautiful.”
“How much did you have to drink tonight?” I tried to make a joke, but John had crossed over the room to me and had gathered me to him. He started kissing me and I kissed him back just as enthusiastically.
I forgot everything except the feel of his skin against mine. I was being swept away on a wave of passion and there was no going back...
Chapter 7
I woke up the next morning with a crick in my neck and the mother of all hangovers. I glanced across to John, who was still sleeping. His eyelashes were resting on his cheeks, long and black. His tanned skin looked like shimmering gold in the light coming in through the curtains.
I sighed. God he was beautiful. What was I going to do when I returned to 2007 and he wasn’t there? I’d fallen headlong in love with him, with no regard for my future happiness. I had a horrible feeling that it was all going to end badly. Things always seemed to for me.
I was so lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t noticed that he had woken up and was now looking at me intently.
“Penny for them?” He asked softly.
“They’re not worth that,” I tried to scoff lightly.
John looked at me concerned. “Um, Alyson?”
I looked up at him. He’d sat up and the sheets had fallen away, exposing his broad chest again. I felt a surge of desire as I looked at him. “Yeah?” I asked a little breathless.
“Is everything okay? Since...last night?” He looked a little bit scared. As if we’d ruined something special.
“Everything is fine,” I smiled. “It’s just...” I couldn’t tell him how I felt, could I? I’d sound completely bonkers.
“Tell me, Alyson. Please.”
“Okay,” I sighed. “I’ll try...”
Chapter 8
I got up. ‘Oh, God. I think I’m going to be sick,’ I thought as the room swayed. It was the last day of term. Wanda was staying over with me and she was sleeping on the floor. I took deep breaths, waiting to see if the nausea was going to pass or not.
I bolted for the door, leaping over Wanda as I went. She woke up as I flew over her.
“What?” she shrieked, sitting up.
“Just puking,” I yelled back as I made it to the bathroom.
She lay down again. “Right,” she said. Wanda was used to the puking by now. It had been going on for a couple of weeks.
John was too, but he wasn’t there that day. He’d gone home early to see his parents, since it was half term.
I hadn’t gone with him this time. We’d decided to let them know together that we were having a baby. They didn’t need to know yet and as for my parents. Well, I knew how that one had gone down and I was in no hurry to relive it. Don’t get me wrong, my parents loved the babies once they’d arrived and they supported me both emotionally and financially. I was able to leave the babies with them to finish my degree, and this enabled me to get a better job, buy my own home and provide a decent living for me and the kids.
I have no idea how John’s life had turned out after university as I never saw him again, so this part of it was all new territory.
John was wonderful. Obviously, you can see how things happened. Both got a little drunk, a little careless and hey presto, me and my fertile uterus got us into trouble. I decided that in for a penny and all that, I would tell John as soon as I knew that I was pregnant, to give him the best chance of either staying or going. I knew it was a big ask.
Marcus hadn’t stuck around and with my bad experience of men; I didn’t really expect John to either. I was gobsmacked when a small smile crossed his face when I told him.
“Are you serious?” He asked.
I fought the urge to roll my eyes. As if I would joke about such a thing. “Yes, John. I’m deadly serious and I’m scared.” My lip wobbled. I know it turned out okay in the long run, but life was bloody hard there a few times. The idea of doing it all again was frankly terrifying.
His smiled broadened. “Okay, the timing isn’t great, but actually, that’s fantastic!”
My jaw dropped open.
He laughed. “I was told when I was ten years old, that I would probably never father children.”
Taking in my blank look he added. “Mumps.”
“Ahh,” Light suddenly dawned on me. “So, what are we going to do?”
“Well. I suppose that’s more up to you, Alyson. I can’t tell you what to do with your body.”
“I know, but...” I wanted to hear him say that everything would be alright and that he loved me anyway and that he would support me whatever. He hadn’t so far. He scratched his head and looked at me thoughtfully.
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. It’s complicated.”
John closed his eyes for a moment. “Is this about that weird dream you had about the future?”
I’d forgotten I’d told him about that the other week. Oops.
“Um, well...No, not really...Well, maybe.”
He looked at me, trying to hide a smile, and then he put his hands on my shoulders and looked me right in the eye.
“Alyson, I love you. I can see that this isn’t the best time. Hell, we’re only seven months off finishing our degrees, and it’ll be hard enough trying to get jobs after that, without this too, but. Well, we’re not exactly kids are we?”
“Aren’t we?” I asked. I sure felt like one leaning on my parents last time for everything.
“No. I’ll be working soon enough and we can ask out parents for help. I’m sure they won’t be thrilled at the timing either, but everyone likes babies and my mother with be over the moon, I promise you!”
I started to smile. Then I started to laugh. This was brilliant. There was nothing to be afraid of. It was all going to turn out fine after all.
“Well, I’ve got an ultrasound scan in three weeks, will you come with me?”
“Just try keeping me away!”
Chapter 9
We had to tell the university and they were completely cool with me continuing my studies.
I would be able to leave just slightly earlier than the end of term and would miss graduation, as I would be in labour by then, but that was just the way things went. I already knew all of this, of course, having done it all before. And I knew that I would be having twins too, although I knew I would only find this out when I went into labour. For some weird reason, Joshua was hiding behind his sister all the way through the pregnancy and only decided to show himself at the last minute. Of course John found it highly amusing that in my “dream” I had twin grown up kids and was quite convinced that I had just had a nightmare. I didn’t mention it again.
My mother was quite jovial about the whole affair the second time around. Maybe that was because I was so radiant, with an attentive boyfriend who, it was quite apparent to all, loved me.
She said that as she only worked part-time, she would easily be able to help out once I’d had enough time after the birth to adjust to my new life. My dad was a little more reserved about John. He thought we should be married immediately and didn’t like the fact that I didn’t even have an engagement ring. Better than when I returned home single and pregnant though, I reminded myself.
The day arrived finally that I went into labour. It wasn’t so bad really. I had kind of hoped that I would go to sleep and wake up again in 2007 more than a few times during the pregnancy. Even though I was totally loving being with John, I was really missing the kids and I was frankly terrified that I would wake up and have nothing. What if I died in childbirth this time? What if I was really forty and had a heart attack or something from the strain? I knew I was being ridiculous but all these thoughts really did go through my head.
Chapter 10
Anyway, I didn’t get transported back in my sleep, so I knew I had to go through it, and it was every bit as bad as I had remembered it.
“Come on, Alyson, one more push and we’ll have the baby out.”
“I can’t do anymore!” I gasped. “It’s too hard, I can’t.”
“Come on baby, you’re doing really well. Come on.” John was brilliant. He was even doing the breathing exercises with me.
I gave it everything I’d got and suddenly I felt the baby gushing out of me. “Oh, My God!”
The midwife took the baby away immediately and then, just like the first time, I felt another wave of pain. “Oh, God.” I gasped.
John stared at me and then back at the midwife who was looking in alarm at me.
“What’s going on?” The panic in his voice was apparent.
“Twins,” I managed to squeak.
He stared at me aghast. “You’ve got to be kidding!”
“I think she may be right,” the midwife said and sure enough, there was the baby I knew we were going to name Jemma entering the world. John was dumbfounded. All he could say was “Unbelievable...”
We held the babies all night. I had Jemma and John held Josh.
“Mm?” I was exhausted and not really wanting to have a full on discussion about my so called dream, which I kind of knew he was going to mention.
“Do you really believe you’ve time travelled?”
“I don’t know, John. “It was probably just a nightmare, like you said.”
He didn’t look convinced by my answer and I thought he was going to say more, but then he just looked down at his son and said. “Well, whatever, I think I’d like to call him Joshua.”
“Can we call his sister Jemima?”
“I don’t know, it reminds me of Play School.”
I laughed. It reminded me of that too. “What about Jemma?”
“Jemma’s perfect. Alyson?”
I looked up at him in the half light. “Yes?”
“Thank you. I can’t tell you how happy you have made me. I love you.”
My heart leapt. “I love you too, John.” I said sleepily. “I love you too.”
Chapter 11
A month later we decided the babies were old enough to travel home to show my parents. I had decided that even if she thought I had completely lost the plot, I was going to tell my mum to avoid the M25 on 1st April 1990. She had been travelling to a conference with work and had only been going as a fill-in for the manager. I couldn’t give her specifics, but I knew that much. I had to save her. She was my mother and I loved her.
All throughout the day I tried to get her on her own for five minutes to warn her about it, but it never seemed to happen.
By the time we were leaving I was feeling a little bit frantic. John had strapped the babies into the back of the car and we were going to be leaving any minute and I still hadn’t told her. It didn’t cross my mind that there would be plenty of other opportunities to tell her before April 1990. I was just very conscious that I had to tell her right then.
“I’ll be right back, John.” I said just as he started the engine. “I just forgot to tell Mum something.” I unbuckled my seat belt and hopped out of the car.
I checked left and right and crossed back over the road. I rang the bell.
Mum answered. “Hello love, have you forgotten something?”
I threw myself into her arms, sobbing uncontrollably. “I need to tell you...M25...1st April 1990...huge accident...don’t go Mummy! Don’t go...”
Whether my mum really got the message, I don’t know. She was a little bit perturbed by my outburst and told me to visit the doctor when I got back home as I seemed a little bit overwrought.
I dried my face and turned back to the car. Waving to John to say I was coming I stepped into the road again. I vaguely heard the screeching of brakes before I felt the bumper of the car hit me in the side of my right thigh. I was tossed up in the air, I remember hitting the front windscreen and then hitting the road, faced down. I vividly remember thinking that I had never felt pain like it in my life, but then I lost consciousness and I remembered no more...
Chapter 12
“Mummy, please wake up...”
“Alyson.” I felt my hand being patted.
I could smell a wonderfully heady smell. I hadn’t smelt that for twenty years. I opened my eyes. Three pairs of dark brown eyes were looking back at me. I tried to move, but the pounding in my head was unbelievably painful. I closed my eyes again.
“Honey, are you okay?”
I realised with a jolt that I knew that voice. I opened my eyes again. The kids were looking at the man who owned the voice in concern.
“Dad?” I heard Josh say. “Did you call an ambulance?”
“No. No...I’m fine. Honestly. I just had the weirdest dream.”
“Honey. You were out cold. We just came back home and found you on the bathroom floor!”
“I remember the phone ringing,” I managed. “I was picking up the clothes and...Ooooh,” I groaned as the memory came back full force, “I banged my head on that blasted shelf!”
“I think she’s getting better,” John joked. “Can you stand, darling?” He bent over me and took my arm.
“I think so.” I staggered to my feet, feeling decidedly weird.
“Weren’t dreaming about being a parallel universe were you?” He murmured in my ear.
I started.“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You have weird dreams, Alyson. The first time we...well, I remember a time you telling me all about...Oh My God!” John stared at me.
He was clearly figuring out the day in his mind.
As I looked at him it hit me just what I’d been trying to do before I came round. “Did I get to tell my mother?”
“Tell her what?” Josh asked, while John and I just stared at each other.
I wrenched my eyes away from John’s and looked at Josh in horror.
“Did she stay home; did I get to warn her?”
“Of course she didn’t stay at home, what are you talking about?” Jemma was looking at me as if I were mad.
“I had to warn her.” I looked at all three of them, staring back at me with a mixture of emotions on each face.
John suddenly smiled at me, “Well warn her now, she’s downstairs, I called her straight after the paramedics. You know she doesn’t ever want to miss out on any action!”
I grinned at him then. So you can remember everything I told you then that day?”
“Yeah I can. You time travelling weirdo. That was when I knew I was totally hooked on you – I fell instantly in love!”
The End