Josephine Vaughn knew something was horribly wrong even though everything around her was exactly where it was supposed to be. It was 6:14 am and like every morning she was sitting at the kitchen table staring out at the road. It was a quiet neighbourhood road and the only traffic at the moment was her next door neighbour walking his Yorkshire Terrier. The newspaper had just been delivered and she had it neatly laid out before her on the table, but she had yet to read a word.
She had lived in this house for over 50 years. It was where she raised her kids. Where they brought home her grandkids. It was where she had spent her entire married life to Walter. So why did everything feel so unfamiliar?
She could hear Walter in the bathroom getting ready for the day. He whistled the same song he always whistled. It was something he had picked up when the kids were little. They thought it was hilarious. Normally, she didn’t notice it, but today, somehow it felt different and grated at her.
Thinking she must just be short on sleep, she got up to make more coffee. As she moved into the kitchen, family pictures that usually filled her with contentment and joy stared back at her like strangers. Her brain knew these faces as her family, but the feeling of home when she looked at them, for the first time in her life was missing.
* * *
“What did you do?” Earl shouted at his trainee, Sam.
Sam whirled away from the screen depicting Josephine Vaughn. His eyes were huge.
“You were supposed to take her back in time so she wouldn’t lose her husband’s ring. One week! That’s it. We only ever go back one week!”
“I didn’t—I mean I only meant—but then suddenly they were young. I tried to get it back, but then,” he trailed and said weakly. “It all happened so fast.”
“Who is that?” Earl jammed his finger at the screen. Walter had just stepped out of the bathroom and joined Josephine at the table.
“Errr.” Sam quickly started shuffling through the papers in front of him, glancing quickly between the screen and his binder. “I-I think it’s her husband.”
“That’s not Frank,” Earl whispered. “You’ve rewritten her entire life!”