Monday, February 25th 2019
Mike stood in front of the group, grinning like he’d just won the lottery, and asked the question they’d been anticipating for 4 days.
“How many of you guys had deja vus?”
The group looked around at everyone, but only Mary raised her hand.
“What?” Jasmine said, sounding defeated.
Mike’s grin faded to a frown and he watched as everyone else’s faces fell as well. If he wasn’t mistaken, he even caught a glimmer of disappointment flash across Harry’s eyes too.
“Bro!” Kenny shouted. “I thought you said at least four of us would get it this time?”
“I did,” Mike replied, looking at the floor and retracing his thoughts.
“It was a fluke,” Harry said.
The group sighed and Jasmine turned in her chair to her laptop, ready to start researching the Mandela Effect, no doubt.
“No, wait,” Mike held his hand up. “This might not change anything.”
“How?” Kenny said. “You said we were gonna get bombarded with deja vus. We only got one.”
“It could be because Mary’s is the only one we need. Hers might be the key to connecting all of the other ones.”
The others looked at Mary and she sat in her seat sheepishly, trying not to make it obvious that the pressure was getting to her.
“So Mary,” Mike said, speaking slowly. “What did you see?”
Mary rubbed her lap and took a deep breath. “I was watching a YouTube video and a beer commercial came on.”
“What beer?” Mike asked, his heart pounding. This was it.
Mary replied with one word.
The silence was deafening.
Jasmine lowered her head.
Kenny squinted at the whiteboard.
Mike’s eyes darted around the room, desperate for an explanation.
“Wow, Mike,” Harry blurted, clapping. “You were right. That explains everything. Watch out, 2020. Corona’s gonna getcha!”
Mike faced the whiteboard and took in all the things he’d written. This didn’t make sense. What did beer have to do with a nationwide panic?
“It’s alright, Mike,” Mary said. “It was fun while it lasted.”
Mike’s eyes darted from one end of the whiteboard to the other.
“Earth to Mike,” Harry interrupted his thoughts.
“We must’ve missed something.”
“What else is there? You said it yourself: Corona explains it all.”
“No,” Mike shook his head. Then he turned to the group. “I know we’re right. I can feel it in my bones. We still have one more day left. Let me figure this out. We’re so close.”
“I dunno man,” Kenny said. “I never thought I’d say it, but I think Harry was right.”
“Greater men than you have said the same,” Harry nodded to him.
“One more day,” Mike requested. “A deal’s a deal.”
The group exchanged glances. Jasmine had already started typing, but stopped to look from Harry to Mike.
“One more day,” Harry agreed. “Then we’re done.”
With that they ended early and left.
When they returned on Wednesday, Mike had cracked the code.