Chapter 27

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I took a step into the dust-filled room, heart thumping violently against my chest. There were pictures of me that I never knew existed hung up on the walls and on a wooden desk. I picked it up with my trembling hands.

"What the hell." I let out, my breath shaky as I stared at the picture. I flipped it and noticed something scribbled onto the back of it.

My Love

02 09 1931

I read the name and I felt my body go numb, my mind in a state of surging perplexity. My chest heaved with every breath I took, struggling to catch a breath. I staggered backwards, feeling my head spin.

How was there a picture of me dated back in the 30s? 

I placed the photo back down and picked up another one.

"Archer?" I stared at my form wrapped around him in the picture. The both of us were standing in front of a cabin. It looked familiar, and then it struck me, it was the cabin I was standing in.

I flipped it over.

ARK & Elreda

08 10 1931

Cabin in the woods. 

And then on the bottom right hand corner, 'I hope you like it, love. It took me a year to build.'

I fell onto the hard ground, trying to take in everything. "Vintage Love?" I tried making sense of everything but couldn't. The cabin, the key, Archer, it was all connected.

Was the accident connected to it because why else would he have the newspaper article? 

I dug through my bag, trying to find the book. Everything somehow led back to it, there had to be something in there that explained all of this.

I flipped through it and then everything started making sense. The seesaw theory. There weren't any plot holes in the book. It was simply unfinished.

I gulped as I looked at the book with a completely different meaning. The second life was still being lived, wasn't it? By Archer and me? I couldn't even begin to understand how all of this was possible.

I also couldn't believe I hadn't seen this earlier. Throughout the book, Archer was referred to as Ark and his lover as his rose. I never thought much about it but now I think back to the poem Archer had left me, where the lover was equated to a red rose.

Was that a subtle hint he tried leaving for me? Were there more hints he left me that I was just oblivious to? 

I laid on the ground, knees on the cold wood as I tried finishing the book with a blank mind.

• • • 


Jace started panicking on the other end of the line, "The sculpture isn't there, you and Lina will be fine." I calmed him down. He starts rambling but I don't have time.

"I think she's there right now. I have to get to her." I said, hanging up the phone. 

I fell onto my seat, feeling a little lightheaded. The moment she goes into that room, she'll want to find answers. Answers that lie in the book. But I can't let her read the ending, it could mean the end for us. 

I still haven't found a way to balance it out yet. If she reads it, the book's fate becomes hers and I can't let that happen.

All those years ago, I've been damned by that key that started all of this. If she reads it, the seesaw tips towards the more recent side. The present. 

I screwed up by letting her read about the memorial. I can't have her read the last chapter.

I took out the book from the first drawer, flipping it to the last page. 

His rose laid limp in the arms of her first love, Ark. Tears pouring out of his eyes as he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, caressing her pale cheeks. He pressed her to his heart, feeling nothing but guilt eat away at him as gut wrenching sobs tore through his chest.

"I'll find a way to get you back." He whispered to her lifeless form.

I slammed the book shut, "And I will get you back."

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