by Clara Garner |
It had been a long time. She was young and vibrant, unlike the old, frail corpse he remembered. Eddy made sure that he kept his distance, who knows how she will react if she saw him like this, this striking image of a man she knows, yet different somehow – older and dismal.
They all told him he was going crazy, that losing her was driving him crazy, but Eddy never cared much about what anybody had to say. All he cared about was getting her back.
Nights without end, Eddy would be in the basement tinkering and clanking to the annoyance of his neighbors. His neighbors put up with all the noise, they figured that he needed time to get over her. If they had known what he was really doing, they would probably have called the doctors to come drag him off to the insane asylum. The idea of building a time-machine was as ludicrous as it was impossible.
Eddy was what one would call a genius. Before losing her, Eddy had used his genius to help others, now it was time to help himself. After countless excursions to the research institutes and universities around the country, and laughed at for having the notion that time travel was possible. So Eddy decided to prove them all wrong by building his own time-machine.
Firstly, Eddy would have to find a way to create a wormhole. Secondly, he would have to find a way to stabilize that wormhole. And lastly, the hardest part of all, would be figuring out a way to pinpoint the day he lost her and then somehow connect the wormhole to that point in time. It all sounded easy enough.
The practical part of the plan took a long time, but Eddy never gave up on this project that everyone said was crazy. Eddy did not care that building the time-machine consumed every waking moment of his life, but his family and friends did.
In the end, family and friends became insignificant when compared to this crazy science project of his, so Eddy decided to vanish from their lives. He relocated to a town where he knew no one and nobody knew him. And there, Eddy continued to build his time-machine.
After waiting fifteen years for technology to catch up, Eddy was finally able to create a wormhole. Another few years was spent making it stable. And the past few years was spent trying to build a device that could control which point in time the wormhole would open up to.
Then came the testing. Eddy put a rabbit in a container that was attached to a rope, and threw the container into the wormhole. When he pulled the rope to bring the container back from the other side of the wormhole, the container was still intact, and the rabbit was still in one piece. That machine was ready.
There was nothing much to prepare. Eddy’s plan was simple. All he had to do was go back to a few minutes before that point in time when it all happened.
Eddy made the necessary adjustments to his contraption. He held his breath and closed his eyes, anticipating possible pain as he stepped through the wormhole. But there was no pain, just a tingling sensation, like a small electric current surging through his body. When Eddy exhaled again, it was into the cold winter air of 2059.
That day in 2059, was just the way Eddy had remembered it, how could he forget a day like this, he replayed this day over and over again in his head. He considered all the possible scenarios that could have played out, how he could have saved her.
The police report said that the car slid on the icy road and hit the intersection. Megan was one of three who was hit by that car, but she suffered the worst injuries. Eddy remembered that they had just finished their date and were heading home in opposite directions. They were on the same corner of the street.
When the light turned green, Megan kissed Eddy goodbye and crossed the road while Eddy was waited for his light to turn green. Megan was almost to the other side when a screeching noise came out of nowhere. The car tried to avoid her by swerving away, but the icy road did not help much.
The car crashed into a lamppost on the sidewalk opposite from where Eddy was standing, but not before hitting Megan and sending her through the air. Eddy ran as fast as he could, ignoring all the traffic, there was blood flowing everywhere. If only the paramedics had arrived sooner, maybe then Eddy would have no need to build this time-machine.
Eddy watched as his younger self and Megan were walking toward the corner of the street, he had to prevent her from crossing the street. With a cup of coffee in his hand, Eddy started to walk toward the young couple and pulled his black cotton hoody lower.
When he got close enough, Eddy faked losing his footing and used it as an excuse to accidentally spill coffee on the couple. The distraction kept Megan alive to see the car swerve into the lamppost.
The portal closed as Eddy walks through it for the second time and back into 2095. He checked the house and found no Megan, because Megan was still dead.
If Megan had not died, then Eddy would have no need to build a time-machine. But he did build a time-machine and he did go back in time and save Megan.
Eddy did indeed save Megan, but in saving her, he created a timeline different from his own. A timeline in which Megan will go on to live a long and happy life, but with a different version of Eddy. A version of Eddy who did not build a time machine.
Nevertheless, Eddy lived on knowing that in a different reality, Megan was still alive.