We Will Go


I hate wearing these clothes. There's too many layers, it's restricting, and just overall stupid. I don't know why it took ages for these people to grow out of it, but it did. Unfortunately, I can't just waltz in wearing skinny jeans and my bomber jacket or else someone somewhere (i.e. Reverend Johnson) will have a heart attack.

The bonnet is the last piece and I strap it onto my head before looking at myself in the mirror and cringing. I thank every deity in the universe that no one will be able to see me like this. Well, unless my landlord decides to barge in at this very moment.

I take a step back and close my eyes, taking a deep breath. It takes a few seconds but I can feel myself moving and when I open them, I'm no longer in my messy bedroom with all of my clothes strewn on the ground. I'm in a small house and I can hear chatter in another room. I smile to myself and look around for a tiny human, but she's nowhere to be seen. So, I make my way into the other room.


"Hello, Mother. Hello, Father," I say, smiling and giving my parents a hug. Father is sitting at the table writing something on parchment while Mother is washing clothes in a bucket by the door. I always get a shock when I travel here, mainly because it's so different from 2015. There's no electricity or washing machines or basically anything. I want to bring them a stove or something to make things a million times easier, but I know it will screw something up in the future. So 1626 unfortunately has to stay 1626.

"How is...um, what year do you live in right now?" Father asks me.

"2015," I reply. "It's okay, but there's a man named Donald Trump who's running for president and he's basically the worst human being on the planet."

"President of what?"

I mentally slap myself. A democracy hasn't been adopted here yet.

"Nothing," I reply, curtly. "Where's little me? I can't remember where I am at this current moment."

"You are at Sunday school with Reverend Johnson," Mother replies. Oh, right.

"So, uh, how are you guys doing? What's been going on?" I ask, smiling at my parents.

"It's alright," Father shrugs. "It's about to get cold again and we need to start preparing for the winter so what happened last year doesn't happen again."

Last year, the harsh winter wiped out nearly a third of the Pilgrims living here. It was devastating because nobody was prepared. I remember that winter vividly–even though I was very young then–and it was horrible. I make a mental note to bring blankets and other things to help prepare the next time I come.

I place a hand on Father's and he smiles at me.

"I still can't believe this is how you look now," he says, whispering. "Everyday, I see you as a little girl and now as an adult and I'm blown away by how beautiful you are."

I grin and say, "Father, please..."

"It's true," he shrugs.

I squeeze his hand and take it back when Mother stands up to go outside to place the now-wet clothes on the clothesline.

"Do you think I'd be able to see Mathias through the window?" I say, suddenly, standing up and walking over to the window. Our neighbors, Colin and Patricia, have an identical clothesline in their yard with clothes hanging on them too. I remember my friends and I would pretend to hide behind them as a game. I see Colin and Patricia inside their home, but I don't see Mathias. He's probably at Sunday school too.

"Don't do that, Penelope," Mother scolds, giving me a look. "What if he'll see you?"

"He's not there anyway," I say, shrugging and turning away. "Maybe it's best I don't see him now. I think I'd be a little weirded out seeing my future–past?–husband like that."

Mother rolls her eyes. I chuckle and walk around the kitchen a little bit. It's very small, as all houses here in the 1600s, but I remember every nook and cranny. It's not because I come back here all the time, it's because little me was always such an explorer. When we built these houses, I made it my mission to know every detail about it.

It's probably why the universe made me a time traveler, because it knew that little Penelope Carver was always going to be an explorer.

I wander into my bedroom and smile at the little wooden toys that Father made me that are neatly aligned on the table. I sit down on my bed, making a creak, and look around at the rather empty room. My room in 2015 is incredibly different in comparison but it was mostly due to the fact that posters and messiness weren't a thing here in 1626. I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes and quickly wipe them away.

"Why the hell am I crying?" I ask myself, chuckling. I come here very often so this makes no sense.

I wish I can scoop my parents up and transport us all to 2015, where everything is significantly better. I know it's impossible to take non-travelers to an era they don't belong in, but a girl can dream. I admit that I've tried once, just to show them what it's like four centuries later, but when I landed in New York City in 2010, no one was with me. So, they're stuck here.

The worst thing about being a time traveler, is knowing everything that's going to happen and not being able to do something about it.

No matter what, my parents are going to die in a year. No matter what, I'm going to marry Mathias in eleven years. No matter what, I'm going to end up embracing my time traveling capabilities. There's nothing I can really do about anything that's going to happen and I have to live with that. But I mean, who else can say they can travel back in time to see their dead parents before they've died? No one that I know of.


"Yes, Mother?"

I come out of my bedroom and join my parents in the kitchen.

"You're going to come home soon," she says, referring to my younger self about to come back from Sunday school.

"Oh," I say, trying to hide the sadness in my voice. "Well, then I guess I should go."

I stride over to Mother and give her a hug. She squeezes me tight and lets go, beaming at me. I walk over to Father and give him a hug too and he tells me to come back soon. I give them both smiles and go back into their bedroom to travel back to 2015.

I close my eyes and feel myself moving. A second later, I open them and I'm back in my messy bedroom in LA.

At least I don't have to wear these stupid clothes anymore. I practically rip them off me, stuff them into the back of my closet, and change into some sweatpants and a ratty old t-shirt. I make my way to the living room and plop down on the couch before pulling out my phone and dialing. I'm starving, which is no unfamiliar side effect to time travel.

It rings a few times and I turn the Apple TV on. I click on the Netflix app and scroll through a bit.

"Mr. Chang's, how can I help you?"

"Hi, can I order takeout with a number seven, a number eight, and...crab wontons?" I say, venturing into the TV section.

"Sure. Is that all?"


The woman on the other line tells me my food will arrive in fifteen minutes–as if I didn't already know that–and hangs up the phone. I click on Friends and it starts playing the first episode and I continue to watch for the rest of night, after my takeout arrives, and end up falling asleep on the couch.

It's a typical day.
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I don't know how I feel about this chapter but I like the differences in Zev and Penelope. This is gonna be a fun ride!