Short Fiction

Thirty Seconds of Freedom

In thirty seconds, I can blurt out exactly what I think and take it all back.

In thirty seconds, I can do anything and immediately make as if it never happened.

Hello, my name is Kyra, and I have the power to turn back time. If you start singing that Cher song, I will definitely hurt you. Thing is, I can only go back thirty seconds. I tried to tell my parents once about my power but I saw the horrified look on their faces and quickly erased the moment. I ended up telling a lame lie as to why I wanted them to sit down and listen.

That is the best part of my ability. I can take a really bad situation and make it better after knowing the reaction.

I also think it might be the worst part. I never have to deal with the true repercussions of a mistake. So that kinda makes me a coward, right?

Take for example: now. Although I am only a sophomore in high school, I stand in front of the most gorgeous guy in the senior class. I placed myself in his way on purpose by slipping out of study hall early. No one else is nearby.

Travis slings his backpack on his shoulder and slams his locker shut.

I need to make this quick or I lose my window of opportunity.

“Travis?” I stand so close to him that I catch the scent of his cologne. It is yummy. I almost lose my nerve as it distracts me.

He glances down at me with a frown. He honestly has no idea who I am. He is tall, so much taller than I thought when watching him from a wistful distance. I move fast, placing my hands along his face, feeling the slight stubble there. Before he can pull away, I raise on my tip-toes and bring my lips to his. The kiss is soft and sweet. It lasts only for a few seconds. I know that he is startled. His lips don’t move on mine.

I pull back and wait for the reaction to come.

He looks confused. Baffled. And, oh God, a little disgusted? Is that disgust?

Oh no. I can’t face his rejection so I jump back in time thirty seconds.


I stand at the end of the hall. There’s no one there but Travis as he gathers stuff from his locker. I sigh and walk in the opposite direction. Even though the kiss never happened, I remember the warmth of his lips on mine.