Thanks to everyone who read and voted on the third part of this short story. You all chose for Meredith to fold the page and put it into her back pocket. Enjoy this final part!
Meredith didn’t know what to think about this notebook or the new Paige. She thought that if she got rid of the paper, it would get rid of the new Paige. But what if it didn’t? She sighed, folding the page and sliding it into her back pocket. She was already late to her first class, so she figured she might as well go visit her dear old professor.
“Come in, come in,”
Meredith pushed the doors open to his office. Professor Hobbs had the day off today, but he lived at the college. He always made time for his students.
“Good morning, Professor.” Meredith greeted politely. She wanted to get the formalities out of the way.
“Hello, my dear. What brings you in today? No classes?” he asked.
Meredith shook her head. It was easier to pretend she didn’t have any plans that day. She walked across the room over to where Professor Hobbs sat behind his desk. The place was a mess and his desk was covered with papers.
“I had a question for you about…” Meredith swallowed a dry lump, “well, about the notebook.”
The Professor titled his head to one side looking confused. “What did you do…?” he asked ominously.
Meredith snapped her head to look up at him. She narrowed her eyes. “Did you know I was going to mess things up?”
“No, no… I expected you to do great things with this notebook. Still, curiosity gets to the better of us. What did you unleash into the school?” he drummed his fingers together with a wicked grin.
Meredith continued to stare at the one teacher she looked up to the most. Now she was having second thoughts. She held up the notebook. “What were you expecting me to do, exactly?”
Professor Hobbs continued to stare at her, waiting.
She sighed. “I changed Paige. I tried writing a story about me and her and she woke up this morning an entirely different person.”
“Excellent!” Professor Hobbs threw his head back and laughed.
“No!” Meredith snapped. “It’s not excellent at all! We have to get the real Paige back.”
The room went silent as the Professor looked Meredith in the eyes once more. He frowned and then shrugged his shoulders. “Well, I apologize to say that we cannot get the real Paige back. You’ve rewritten her future.”
“I wrote two paragraphs…” Meredith breathed.
The Professor didn’t respond.
“What exactly did you want me to do with this notebook?” she asked. “If it changes things that can’t be changed back… What did you expect me to do?”
Professor Hobbs shifted his gaze away as he stroked his stubbly chin. Then he turned his back on her and began to rummage through a filing cabinet behind his desk. “You will figure it out. The paper is special and you are special. You’ll learn how to use it wisely. All you need to do is get to know it a little better. Start small and then you can create big things within the stained lines of the parchment.”
Parchment? Meredith raised an eyebrow. She was beginning to realize that Professor Hobbs may be a bit off his rocker. She slowly back away towards the door.
“Okay, Professor. I’ll figure it out.”
“Don’t tell anyone about Paige!” he whipped around waving a finger in the air.
“I promise,” she nodded. Then she slipped out the door.
Meredith closed it and was alone in the hallway. She bit her lower lip trying to process everything, but nothing was making sense in her head. She looked down into her tote bag, now empty.
What Professor Hobbs didn’t realize was that she had buried the notebook underneath all the paperwork on his desk while he rambled on and on with his back turned.
She didn’t know why she was the special one to carry that notebook, but it was too heavy a burden to carry. So now, Meredith would never know.
Once again, thanks to everyone who voted on the various parts of this story! I had fun writing it and I hope you had fun reading and participating in it.
Let me know your thoughts on the story in the comments below. For example, what do you think Professor Hobbs was trying to accomplish? I have further ideas for this story and I’m curious of what you all think. Let’s chat in the comments!