Let me tell you a story (7)

Let me tell you a story

The night has come, the landscape was dark and the moon was the only Iight we could see. I was locked in Eden’s loft, sitting on the table. He took everything interesting with him, leaving me in a complete boredom. TRIAL Num.3. How many times did he attempt to change his present? What his Joshua’s role in this? And most of all: do I really believe anything they’re saying? An headache started to grow: my brain slowly committed suicide. I closed my eyes and put my face in my hands, trying to stop the process of self-destruction. Thoughts were bouncing off the walls of my mind. I felt overwhelmed once again. My heartbeat went faster and my body trembled. One thought kept on coming back and forth, stronger and stronger: Ethan. I needed to get him back by my side at all cost. I walked to the door and tried to open it. Closed. Well, that was expected. I looked around if there was any ventilation pipes I could crawl into and get out like in movies. ‘But this isn’t a movie… ‘ I whispered to myself. I gazed at the window.. Carefully, I stepped closer. In front of me, a landscape of rooftops drew its line in the dark blue sky. I wondered in which of those buildings was Ethan. I looked down. The distance with the ground was way too much for me to even consider jumping. I got lost in my thoughts when suddenly, the lock on the door opened. I turned around. The door slowly moved A metallic object appeared in the opening. A gun. I searched for a place to hide but there was no furnitures to get cover. I stood there like a statue, hoping to acquire the hability of invicibility in the next five seconds. As the gun moved forward, the person holding it appeared as well. It was Eden. I sighed as I felt relieved it wasn’t some crazier person. Behind him, a woman was following him closely. Sanaa…! She winked at me when she saw me. I was confused. ‘How…?” was the only word that came out of my mouth. They ignored me. Eden took some papers under his bed and notified us to leave. As I stayed immobile, Sanaa grabbed my arm and pulled me.

We were walking for about four hours. I didn’t know our destination, but Eden seemed to be confident. He led the way, few steps ahead of me. Sanaa, who watched my back, caught up to my pace. In whisper, she asked me: ‘Is it true that Joshua is dead?’ I looked at her, surprised by the words she used. I nodded. She looked down at her feet, her mind was lost in emptiness, then: ‘How?’ I glanced at Eden, wondering why she was whispering. ‘He shot himself in the head.’ She froze for a second. I observed her: she was obviously shocked. ‘Keep on walking.’ Eden said. I looked at him as he was turning his back to us. I focused back at Sanaa: she retrieved her usual face. The silence of the night became heavier. Sound of our footsteps echoed in the air. I slowed down to be at Sanaa’s level. ‘How did you get out?’ I asked. She smiled as an answer. I waited a moment before daring to ask: ‘Who is Joshua Aikon?’ I could see tears appearing in her eyes when I pronounced his name. A nostalgic smile replaced the mischievous one. She looked at Eden’s back, intensevely I didn’t expect her to tell me anything, as they avoided all key issues I raised so far, when: ‘He’s… was a good friend of mine. For Eden, he was a little bit more: he considered him as a second father. He has a profound respect for him.’ My eyes fell on Eden again. I saw him differently, somehow. ‘Joshua is…was the one who created the time-machine… In 2024.’ My head turned abruptly. ‘Yes, his death changes everything.’ I stayed speechless for a minute. ‘What do you mean?’ I finally said. She took a moment then put her eyes on mine. ‘It means that this is our last chance to avoid the world’s destruction.’ My headache came back. The mood became heavier. I stared at my feet as we kept on walking along a desert road. Suddenly, Eden stopped in front of an old barn. A large garden surrounded the building, we could only guess its shape in the darkness of the night. A metallic door shined with the moonlight. It was the only entrance, but it didn’t look like anyone used it for a while. I walked closer. As soon as I stepped on the grass, a big bright light blinded me. I heard the door opened and people running towards me. Rattles accompanied their every moves. They are armed. Two of them grabbed me by my arms and dragged me into the building. The hallway was pitch balck, I couldn’t see where I put my feet. My heartbeat was racing. I was scared and lost. I felt like this was the long way to hell. My view was barely adapted to the darkness that antoher light blinded me. ‘Enough with the lights!’ I yelled. They moved it away from my face. ‘Oh, my bad.’ Someone said shyly. I gazed around me: I was surrounded by a bunch of men staring at me like I was a caged rare animal. A man stepped forward. He had more presence than everybody else in the room. We stayed in silence, scanning each other. He sat down, released a long sigh and ordered someone to approach. A minute later, another man showed up holding Ethan by his shoulders. My eyes wide-opened. ‘Ethan’ I whispered. He looked at me, tears came up tp his eyes. I could see that he wanted to run to me but he was held back. I stepped once, they aimed their guns at me. I froze. ‘Stand down.’ The man sitting down said. ‘There is no need for violence at this moment. The danger is not in this room yet.’ My body started to shake. I gazed around: Eden and Sanaa weren’t there. Where were they taken? The man in charge waited. He kept his eyes on me for at least two minutes without blinking. When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I broke the silence: ‘What do you want?’ He smiled. ‘Nothing you can’t do.’ I didn’t understand. It’s like he was speaking in another language but from another planet. Really strange dialect. ‘We want you to do something for us.’ I glanced at Ethan: he seemed physically fine. The door behind me suddenly opened. I turned around as Eden and Sanaa were pushed in by two armed men. When Eden saw the man in the chair, he looked surprised. Chocked. So was Sanaa. ‘You… can’t be alive.’ Eden whispered. What? I looked at him. He had a bigger smile on his face but remained calm, even relaxed.

  • ‘You grew up, my nephew.’ he said.

  • ‘I’m not you’re nephew.’

  • ‘You’re father was a brother to me. That makes you my nephew. No matter what you think.’ He stood up.

  • ‘This can’t be.’

‘The old man you shot in that building was my paternal. You know: it took me a long time to find you. Both of you.’ He pointed Ethan and Eden. Very odd language. He looked back at Eden and smiled. ‘It’s a chance to see the two of you in the same place. A rare privilege. Don’t you agree with me, James?’ I didn’t know what to answer nor what to think. The man scanned me. He looked at Eden but the later kept his mouth shut. ‘Oh. He doesn’t know anything…? That is….Both admirable and, let’s face it, a little bit dumb.’ Without any hesitation, I ran towards him and threw him my strongest punch. He stumbled and fell down on the floor, spitting blood. ‘I hate it when people openly mock me.’ He raised his hand to order his men not to shoot me. He stood up and turned around. We stared at each other for a while, then he laughed. ‘I haven’t meet anyone this impulsive in a while. It’s refreshing.’ I wanted to turn and look at Sanaa to get any translation of what he was saying, but I was afraid he would attack as soon as my eyes leave his. ‘What do you want from me?’ I finally ask. He went back on his chair as a man ran to him with a tissue in his hand. I shook my head like a reflex. THIS is dumb. ‘We need something that only you can provide.’ He paused. He grabbed a gun and handed it to me: ‘We want you to kill yourself.’

To be continued

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