Memories from a Different Future

By: David Pandolfe

(Jump When Ready, Book 2)


A Voice from the Other Side

Nights like these were one of the things Ian loved most about being in college, walking through the streets of Seattle with his friends and knowing that the future remained wide open. Limitless possibilities awaited while the present offered the comfort of what had now become familiar. Sure, there was the looming pressure of next week’s remaining finals but tonight had been about blowing off some steam, hitting a party and reveling in the fact that the winter break was just days away. The only downside was knowing Lisa would be flying off to Denver soon.

As if she read his thoughts, Lisa hooked her arm through Ian’s and drew him closer. “Okay, it’s cold,” she said.

Ian chuckled. “Isn’t it like twenty degrees colder in Colorado?”

Lisa shuddered and leaned into him. “Don’t remind me.”

Still, she was right. For Seattle, it was cold. Snow flurries drifted through the air when normally it would have been drizzling rain. Ian couldn’t help feel excited at the prospect of some snow accumulating on the ground. What could be better than that just as the holidays approached?

“Hey, love birds. Put it on hold,” Brent said, catching up to them. “You’re going to have to wait. You promised beer.”

Peter, a little more heavy and slow, huffed up alongside them. “You spoke of a magical twelve pack. I definitely heard it.”

“I think you’ve already passed the state of magical,” Brent said.

“I deserve magical,” Peter said. “I aced my freaking engineering exam. I plan to get even more magical!”

Ian laughed but felt like kicking himself for mentioning the twelver he’d managed to score. If he hadn’t divulged that information, Brent and Peter probably would have wandered off looking for another party—one where the keg hadn’t been tapped dry. So much for some time alone with Lisa. Still, even that couldn’t ruin his good mood as they continued to walk past the bars, closed shops and bookstores of the U District. Of the four of them, he was the only one actually from Seattle but he enjoyed living there just as much. Maybe more. Ian never quite understood why everyone else he knew seemed to have only disdain for their home town. He’d never once wanted to leave Seattle, at least not for good. The fact was, he’d always felt incredibly lucky to live in a city so culturally diverse and creative, with a family he felt deeply connected to. Sure it wasn’t typical but it wasn’t like Ian had any issues with being atypical, not if that resulted from being happy. He never apologized for that one.

What made this year even better was that now, in his third year, he’d finally managed to convince his parents he’d be okay living in an apartment rather than a dorm. They’d originally argued that he’d be safer on campus and, for the first year, Ian had taken comfort in being insulated within campus boundaries. In fact, he hadn’t really been particularly worried about it for the first half of the second year either. But it was kind of lame to still be squeezed into a dorm by year three and thankfully his parents had relented. After all, he’d remained living in the same city. They’d agreed that it was probably time for a little more freedom.

The apartment itself was fairly shabby, a small two-bedroom within an old, brick slab of a building, All the same, for Ian and Brent it was the first significant step into the adult world and they were proud of living there. They had made it their own by tacking up reproductions of vintage Arcade Fire and Muse posters alongside posters Brent nabbed each year after the UW Foreign Film Festival. Peter hung out there as often as possible on weekends since he didn’t like his roommates all that much. He was a good guy but Ian was glad that, during the week, Peter usually hunkered down at his own place to study. It was already difficult finding some time alone with Lisa. Two roommates would have made that pretty much impossible.

As soon as they were inside, the four of them peeled off coats and tossed them onto chairs in the kitchen while Brent grabbed beers from the fridge. He passed off cans to the others and turned to Ian. “So, Sharon was working the register at Safeway today?”

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