Jenny, Therese, Marcus, and Skylar were walking through the mall one day when “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen came over the mall’s speakers.
“OMG, talk about a throwback,” Jenny said as the bop flowed throughout the air around them.
“This was my JAM back in twenty-twelve,” Marcus squealed, shimmying his shoulders to the catchy tune.
The song progressed as they strutted down the hallway, examining each storefront and debating which ones they wanted to enter. Everything was peachy until the princess of bubblegum pop sang, “Before you came into my life I missed you so bad.”
And then Therese, like the little naïve follower she was, said, “I don’t get that.”
“What do you mean?” Skylar asked.
“How can Carly Rae Jepsen miss someone before they were even a part of her life?”
Jenny, Marcus, and Skylar let out a collective gasp. Time stood still as they gazed at Therese in shock.
“You mean you’ve never…” Marcus muttered.
“She doesn’t know about…” Jenny trailed.
“What am I missing?” Therese asked.
Skylar laid a gentle hand on her shoulder and motioned to a nearby seating area. “C’mon, T. You might want to sit down for this.”
They guided their friend to a chair right next to a plastic fern. She sat, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s sing-song voice faded away, replaced by another mall-and-elevator staple, Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”.
“Okay,” Jenny said, kneeling in front of Therese so they could be at eye level. “It’s time you learned about the Carly Rae Jepsen Interdimensionality Theory.”
“The what?” Therese asked nervously, eyes darting between Marcus and Skylar, who stood at either side of Jenny.
“Some scholars refer to it as the Carly Rae Jepsen Interdimensional Beacon Theory,” Jenny explained. “But most respectable academics use the first title.”
“I’m scared,” Therese mumbled.
Skylar said, “It’ll all make sense soon.”
“There’s nothing to worry about,” Marcus added.
“Okay,” Jenny started, “so, first off, we live in a multiverse. Obviously. Everyone knows that.”
Therese nodded. Everyone did know that.
“But what most people don’t know is that the Carly Rae Jepsen in our singular universe is an interdimensional beacon, not to be confused with any other Carly Rae Jepsen in any other singular universe. She’s cosmically connected, though, to all of those other versions of Carly Rae Jepsen throughout the multiverse.”
“Cosmically connected,” Marcus stressed.
“Yeah, so, when one Carly Rae Jepsen does something important in another singular universe, like, pet a three-legged dog or give a jelly donut to a homeless man, the Carly Rae Jepsen in our singular universe taps into the energy of the multiverse and knows about it.”
Therese sat there with a confused look on her face. “A Thousand Miles” faded away, and an indiscernible, yet equally-relatable Katy Perry song flooded the mall.
“So, in this specific case, ‘Call Me Maybe’ is about a boy, right?” Jenny asked.
“Definitely about a boy,” Skylar affirmed.
“Well,” Jenny continued, “in one of the infinite singular universes, a Carly Rae Jepsen met that boy before the Carly Rae Jepsen in our singular universe met him, and since she’s cosmically connected—“
“Cosmically connected,” Marcus stressed.
“—she was able to tap into the energy of the multiverse and know about that boy. And because our Carly Rae Jepsen ‘met’ this awesome and amazing and uber-hot boy in the other singular universe, but because she hasn’t met him yet in our singular universe, she’s allowed to miss him by technicality.”
Therese stared blankly at Jenny.
“There’s an opposing argument from some other idiot scholars in this highly-scientific debate who think our Carly Rae Jepsen was visited by a future version of herself and was told about this boy before she met him,” Skylar added. “But that’s bogus because everyone knows time travel is impossible.”
Jenny stood. “’Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad,’” she sang. “It makes sense now, huh?”
“It’s a proven fact,” Skylar said.
“She’s cosmically connected,” Marcus added.
Therese looked to Jenny, and then to Marcus, and to Skylar, and then back to Jenny, who all looked back at her with raised eyebrows. The look of confusion on her face quickly changed to a faked smile, and she hopped out of her seat.
“Of course,” she giggled. “How else would that lyric work?”
Jenny, Therese, Marcus, and Skylar returned to their day of shopping, the tune of “Call Me Maybe” playing on repeat in their heads.