1 A Different Environment

It was a beautiful morning, the day was still young with its heavenly weather. The fluffy white clouds, yet clearing off the skies, make way for the sunshine. The sweet aura of the morning dew coupled with its fragrance gave serenity to the environment.

Nia lay in her bed, fast asleep. The cozy breeze made her instinctively adjust the blanket properly over her body as she tossed it over. At that instant, the continuous beeping of the alarm clock beside her bed maneuvered its way into her head; invading her beauty sleep.

She grumbled, squinching at the sound of it as she wasn't really a fan of alarms but then, the persistent sound wouldn't let her be. Drowsily, she reached for it, tapping it into silence while she buried herself back in bed.

At that instant, realization dawned on her.

"An alarm?" She grumbled mentally to herself. "When did I set one?" She thought for a few seconds. "Wait." She muttered as the sweet smell of an air refresher hit her nose. "What's ...." She instinctively jerked up while tossing the blanket aside, her messy curly dark hair falling freely on her shoulders but instantly stopped between words at the sight that met her chestnut eyes. "What's– this– place?" She questioned, lurking around.

This wasn't her simple room decorated with a 3D wallpaper, a wardrobe seated at the far left of the bed, and a small work area to her right with her washroom just a few steps away. Rather, it looked more like a teenager's room, a high schooler to be precise.

"Something is not right here," Nia muttered to herself, shrugging to her feet.

Filled with a lot of unanswered questions, she slowly sauntered across the room, her eyes nervously lurking around as she explored an all-new room to her.

Her pace was heavy with hesitation, and her heart thumped faster than usual, not so sure of her surrounding. She instinctively turned towards the window, following the cry of a puppy but was thrown into awe at the sight that met her eyes.

Her feet suddenly felt numb and her face pale as if its color had been drawn out as she gazed at herself in the mirror seated close to the window.

Finally taking her stand in front of the mirror, the shock in her eyes heightened. She instinctively gasped, putting her hand over her mouth in the process.

"What happened to me?" She muttered under her breath, staring at the reflection of a 16years old teenager instead of a 22years old lady. "Am I dreaming or something?" She questioned.

To find out whether her assumptions were true or not, she pinched her arm. "Ouch." She groaned softly, looking up into the mirror once again. "This can't be happening." She said, "But how...?" She went on but stopped in between words when broken pieces of flashbacks from her subconscious mind started to hit her mind's eye.

First, a flashback of herself in the office where she gets scorned by her boss, then there came one with her fiancée where they had a big fight then another where she was in a huge misunderstanding with her mother. She got so pissed and rushed off to her room.

Nia tried to put the pieces together but they were just not making sense to how everything ended the way they were.

She was still with her thoughts when her door swung open, drawing her gaze to it.

"Why looking in the mirror this early? I thought you were even asleep." said the blonde hair lady in her mid-thirties who stood at the door but Nia just stood staring at her without moving or saying anything. "Hey–" The lady who was supposed to be the teenager Nia's mother mumbled, slightly looking over her shoulders. "Why staring at me like that? Did you see a ghost or something?" She questioned but before she could utter a word, a male voice interrupted from downstairs.

"Natalia dear." The voice came again.

"Coming– dear." Nia's mother instinctively answered as she swiftly glanced outside then back to Nia and slightly tilted her head. "You should get ready for school now else you'll be late." She warned and shuffled out of the door.

Watching the woman's shadow disappear through the door, she glanced back at her reflection once again.

"Don't keep long up there Nia–" Her mother's voice echoed through the corridors as she descended the stairs.

Nia heard what her mother said but her mind was busily absorbing her new environment, trying her best to understand what was going on.

"Her looks had changed." She thought to herself. "But one thing remained the same. That's her name Why is this so?" She queried, searching around for anything that could give her answers.

Just then, her eyes settled on a book that looked like a diary on the study table situated in the left corner of the room. "What's that?" She said, sauntering over.

She instinctively picked the book up near the table. Her eyes scanned the name boldly inscribed on it and to her surprise, they both share the same first name but different surnames.

Without wasting another second, she hastily flipped the first page open. She scanned through what was written there and her breath quickened. She went on flipping through the rest of the pages with wide eyes and a stunning look written all over her face.

Closing up the book, she gulped down a loop of saliva down her throat as she stared into space.

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