Starting Over – Chapter 07

First thing I want to get out of the way: I made no compromises in my recreation of the first time ‘round .
It was a difficult road, to be frank . Taking lessons for a ten-year-old with the intelligence of twenty and having conversations that suited a kid my age was harder than you’d imagine .
Real grueling . Felt like I was gonna go insane in a classroom one day . Maybe this isn’t the best way to express it, but I bet that’s how it feels to be a sane guy thrown into a mental hospital .
Anyway, I was serious about everything I did, cut no corners .
Everybody craves the limelight from time to time, so of course I had urges to answer questions that nobody in class knew, or object to ridiculously wrong nonsense the teacher said . I’m not gonna deny it .
All that self-control can’t be good for the body; it was pretty stressful resisting those urges .
But it wasn’t all bad, of course . There’s nothing better the world can offer than the luxury of seeing the world through a child’s eyes again .
I was still friends with the world then, you could say . The trees, the birds, the wind, they all opened for me . And that’s not half bad .
Of course I’d seen all of this before, yet it all seemed new somehow, so it was a great experience .
I wondered what exactly it was . Maybe my memories had been damaged in the trip back . Or maybe they were compressed for space into something less detailed, more abstract .
For example, let’s take this memory: “The starry sky on the day we camped at the lake during the summer when I was twelve . ”
If I tried to recall that, I’d think “The stars were innumerable and pretty, and there were a number of shooting stars too . ”
That’s what I’d naturally remember, but not a trace of the physical scenery came to mind .
I couldn’t remember what the lake or the campsite were named . I just remembered “lake” and “campsite . ”
Even if I tried to recall deeper, sometimes I just couldn’t scrounge up any more detail .
This is how memories work to begin with, of course, but it seemed extra prevalent in my second loop of life .
So because of that, I chose to not waste any of those moving experiences . Or maybe I should say that, with some knowledge of what was going to happen, I could be prepared, and would take the opportunity to enjoy every moment .
Maybe you could say it was like reading a book having only read the summary prior .
But with how vague my memories of the ten years ago were, I’m sure there were things I just flat-out forgot .
Still, I planned to do what I could to recreate my first life .
Using my limited memories to shed light on the situation, I made the choices that felt most “natural . ”
It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I’d sent off all lingering doubt about using my advantages to improve my life further .
I loved everything about my first life, and I was bound to the idea of keeping it . Whatever happened, I didn’t want it to be undone .
But as they say, something as small as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can bring drastic changes .
Five years into the second round, my life began to veer off from the path of the first significantly .


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