“I need you to listen to me very carefully. You don’t know me, but I know you.”

The stranger had me by the shoulders, speaking low and urgently. Numbly, I felt myself nod.

“I’m going to drive you home. You have five minutes tops to pack anything you may need for a week. If you’re unsure, pack it anyway. Then I’ll get you out of here, okay?”

Again I felt myself nod.

“Stay with me, Chrys.”

I had no idea who the woman was, but her presence was oddly comforting.

We arrived at my house too quickly, my brain felt like it was wading through a fog. I packed what I thought I would need, my hands just picking up items and throwing them in a bag. The woman came in and out, taking my bags with her.

Then she told me my time was up, we had to go.

It was like I’d step into an alternate reality. I could have sworn that as we drove, the very particles of the land around us were being torn apart and pieced back together. Hills turned to mountains to valleys to plains back to hills again.

Slowly, my brain escaped the dense cloud it was trapped in and started processing.

My realizations went as follows.

1) I’d just about died only to be saved by a strange woman who I swore materialized out of thin air

2) she knew where I lived

3) I was now in a car with her, with no way of know where we were going

4) I didn’t know her

5) I just got in a car with a stranger

So why was I not panicking? Why was my heart rate still so calm, my hands still so steady, my throat still so clear?

She called me Chrys. Only friends and family ever call me Chrys.

I turned to look at her. Her hair was the same rich brown as mine, her eyes the same golden hue.

On the inside of her wrist was a semicolon tattoo. I’d been planning on getting one just like it.

She wore black leather pants, which showed off her curves way to well. Her top was a simple white undershirt.

From her ears hung what appeared to be red teardrop earrings, her choker sporting a matching charm.

The sound of metal hitting metal rang through the silence every time she moved, the amount of bracelets she wore unreal.

Finally, I found my voice.

“So… who are you?”

I felt like I was sixteen again, trying to figure out who the guy stopping me in the street again.

Tense, but not as frightened as I probably should have been.

I was graced with a smile, but no answer.

She reached over and pressed something on the dash and the screen said ‘reading disc 8: track 16’ for a moment.

I almost rolled my eyes. Avoiding questions. Great.

Then I realized what song was one.

“Stood on the cliffside screaming ‘give me a reason’ your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in.”

My soul left my body.

She, the woman, was ME!

Now, this is going to sound weird, but I’ve always had this idea that if I every figure out time travel, I’d go back and find myself. I didn’t know why, but I’d do it.

The problem was, how was I suppose to know it was me?

So silently, I told myself. Taylor Swift. Specifically, hoax from her album folklore.

I stared at her again, taking in everything.

Her hair was the color as mine because she was me.

Her eyes were the same shade of brown because she was me.

She had the very tattoo I wanted because she was me.

I’ll be honest, I think I blacked out for a bit after that.

I don’t remember anything for the next eighty or so miles.

What I do remember is the the shimmery mist that enveloped us as we made a turn down a dirt road to the right.

“I’m you.”

I barely heard her answer, but I know I jolted as she said it.

“And if we survive this, I promise I’ll tell you everything.”

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