Thirteen-year-old Jessie leaves to school in the morning with a dark cloud over her head. It’s doomsday—report card day. It’s not that Jessie is a bad student, she’s just average. And that’s ok. She’s not embarrassed by it, and neither are her parents. She just knows she's a procrastinator and fears that will reflect on her grades. She drags her feet in the asphalt as she walks to school, uttering the same promise she makes to herself every report card day. No more procrastinating.
When the envelope is dropped at her desk, she takes a deep breath. While most of her classmates are eagerly ripping theirs open, she decides to just take her sweet time. Why rush? It’s not like she’s hatching an egg and the grades are going to suddenly improve the longer it stays in there. No rush, she keeps telling herself as she opens it carefully.
Hey. Not bad, Jessie. If she could tap herself in the back without looking like a weirdo, she probably would. Jessie had gotten good grades. Not the best, but most importantly, not the worse.
She pushes her front door open with a proud smile, holding her report card high above her head. Her mother smiles as she glances over her shoulder from the kitchen. “Good grades, I assume?”
“Better than I thought!” Jessie thinks to celebrate with a big fat sandwich! She drops her bag by the dining chair and starts toward the kitchen— She freezes on seeing her mother’s don’t-you-dare-leave-a-mess-in-my-living-room look. Oh, come on! She grunts, almost pouting. “I’m hungry!”
“Up to your room.”
Jessie picks her bag off the floor grudgingly and rushes up the stairs. As soon as she turns into her room, she gasps.
The sight of a brand new computer on her desk looks like a mirage. Ok, maybe not brand new. But new to her! It was her first computer, ever! Jessie didn’t even have an email, but now… “What!”
Her mother appears behind her with the widest grin. “Like it?”
Jessie was speechless. “What? I mean, yeah, but how...?”
“One of your father’s clients got a new computer, so he gave him his old one,” Mum goes on and on about how she already knew Jessie’s grades since last week and--
Wait, What? They’ve known for a whole week? And still let Jessie sweat bullets every second of the day? Now, that’s cruel.
“So...” Mum giggles. “You like it?”
“I love it!” Jessie steps forward with open arms, and for a split second she finds herself fighting back the urge to hug the monitor first. “Thanks, Mum!”
Mum smiles as she puffs out her chest like mission accomplished, then turns on her heels and returns to the kitchen.
Jessie turns on her new computer and after hours trying to figuring how everything works, she finally creates her very first email. A welcome message arrives from Hotmail and she reads it, because well, it’s her very first email!
It turns out to be the most boring email ever, but she still feels giddy. She closes the welcome letter, then scans the screen searching for the compose a new email button.
Wait… there’s another new email.
She opens it.
Dear 13-year-old Jessie,
Welcome to the world of internet--What the heck took you so long? Do you know how much trouble you and I could’ve avoided had you gotten an email ages ago? Oh, well. I’m here now, and I’m going to help you.
Oh, yeah. I never said who I am, did I? Well… I’m you.
Years in the future there will be a breakthrough in technology. This computer software is called “Backtrack” and it allows us to send emails to any given time, including the past. So, this morning I sat down at my desk and typed several little warning emails and scheduled them for very specific dates.
So, make sure to check your email every day.
I cannot tell you much about the future, and I will try not to reveal too much details so as not to rob you of the all the excitement that will come with several experiences.
Oh, please do not share this with anyone. Otherwise… your programmer husband will find out you been messing around with his newly developed software and—Oh, oops! You can’t know you’ll be married. (DELETE)...
...You will get in A LOT of trouble.